A Tried-and-True Guide to RV Travel with Your Cat
While traveling with your kitty is a delicate science, you might be surprised at how many cats actually go RVing with their owners—and enjoy it. From providing hidey holes to carrying your pets’ medical records, there are plenty of things you can do to make RVing more fun for both you and your kitty. Here are seven tried-and-true tips for RV travel with a cat.
Catify your RV for Cat Travel
To maximize your kitty’s comfort, outfit your RV with all the things that make a cat happy. That includes hiding places, beds, scratching posts, toys, and, naturally, empty window sills for sitting on. Most kitties do not like traveling at first, but if they have a favorite hidey hole in which to weather the storm, or a nice window seat from which to keep an eye on their surroundings, they may not spend the whole trip whining at you.
Here are a few ways to make your RV cat-friendly:
- Clear out a cupboard and put in some bedding so your kitty has a place to hide
- Make it easy for your cat to hide under the couch, bed, or table
- Clear off a counter or window sill for your cat to sit on
- Put some bird feeders outside so your cat can birdwatch
- Keep the temperature comfortable so your fur baby doesn’t get too hot or too cold
- Have toys, blankets, and other comfort items within reach
- Keep fresh food and water available
- Provide a cat tree or scratching post
Minimize disruptions for your cat when traveling
Cats are creatures of habit. Any disruption to their routine can result in major stress, so if possible, try to set a routine, and minimize moving things around inside your RV. Once you’ve found a good place for your kitty’s bed, litter box, and other items, don’t move them. If you leave your RV during the day, try not to be gone for too long, especially in the beginning when your kitty is still getting used to her new surroundings.
Manage your cat’s comfort while driving
If possible, before driving anywhere in your RV with your cat, you may want to just park it for a few days and let your kitty explore. Once they’re comfortable with the new environment, try taking your cat for a few short drives, and gradually work up to spending hours on the road.
While driving, there are a few things you can do to maximize both you and your kitty’s comfort:
- Provide a comfortable bed or safe hiding place
- Put clean litter within easy reach
- Give your kitty a familiar blanket or favorite toy
- Let your cat sit by a window so he can look outside
Keeping your fur baby in a crate while you travel can help make things safer for everyone. While some let their kitty roam free, the last thing you want is for your cat to get hurt or distract you from driving.
A comfortable, durable crate like The Boop Coop is the perfect option for RVers, as it’s collapsible for compact storage and can be strapped in when you’re on the move. Easy to set up, it can be carried a number of ways, and although it’s lightweight and portable, it’s also sturdy and spacious. Whether you go with The Boop Coop or another carrier for RV travel with your cat, make sure it’s well-ventilated and easy to get your cat in and out of.
Don’t skimp on litter for your RV Cat
You and your kitty will be living in close quarters, so choose a high-quality litter that won’t stink up your RV, and be sure to clean it out everyday. Using a covered litter box can also help keep the smell down. We recommend The Porta-Pawty Travel Litter Box, a high-quality, collapsible litter box you can take on the go. Not only is it easy to clean, it features a zipper top to lock in the smell.
When it comes to placement, some RVers end up putting litter boxes in the shower (just be sure to remove it before you turn on the water). Others put it in a cupboard with a built-in cat door, or in an outdoor storage bay. It may take a little experimentation to find the perfect spot.
While it’s OK to move the litter box around a few times in the beginning, once you find a spot that works, keep it there. If you move it too often, your kitty may get confused or stressed out. You definitely don’t want your fur baby to have to spend time hunting around for his litter box when he gets the urge to go.
Plan for being gone
From time to time, you’ll probably have to leave your kitty in the RV alone. As long as you make the RV a safe, comfortable place for your fur baby, this shouldn’t be a problem. Assuming you’ve already catified your RV by following the tips above, here are a few things to be extra aware of:
- Leave plenty of food and water out
- Consider using a water fountain to encourage your kitty to drink, especially if you plan to be gone for a while
- Keep the temperature controlled so your cat doesn’t get too hot or cold, this may involve opening or closing windows before you leave
- If you’re nervous, use a camera to monitor your cat’s activity while you’re away
Let your kitty explore the great outdoors (safely!)
Naturally, you’ll want to pay attention to the campground’s rules about pets. In any case, just letting your cat roam the area at will is probably not the best option.
Here are a few ideas for letting your cat safely enjoy the great outdoors:
- Use a harness and leash
- Set up a tent or fenced-in cat run
- Attach a tracker to her collar
- Put her in a cat backpack and go for a walk
Before letting your kitty explore, always do the following:
- Check the park’s rules for pets
- Check the area yourself for any dangers
- Be sure your neighbors are OK with it
Finally, make sure to clean up after your cat if he ends up roaming out of your area. (There’s nothing like a pile of smelly cat poop to make your neighbors hate your guts.)
Prepare for emergencies
Hopefully you won’t run into any emergencies while traveling, but it never hurts to be prepared. Keep your kitty equipped with a collar and ID, and make sure your contact info on the ID is up-to-date. Because you likely won’t be able to visit your regular veterinary clinic while on the road, bring along copies of your cat’s medical and vaccination records.
What’s better than life on the road? Life on the road with your precious fur baby at your side! By planning ahead to keep your kitty safe, healthy, and comfortable, you can make RV travel with your cat enjoyable for everyone—even your sweet little bundle of fur.
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