How to RV with Cats – 10 Things You Need to Know

So you want to take an RV road trip and take along your feline babies. Traveling in an RV with cats can present some challenges, but take heart. We’ve provided some tips that can help you to acclimate your cat to RV travel.

10 Tips for Travelling in an RV with Cats

How to RV with Cats

Make a trip to the veterinarian

You should do this when your RV trip is still in the planning stages. You’ll want to make sure that your cat has had all of its necessary shots and that vaccination records are taken along and kept in a safe place during your trip. If your cat requires any medications, make arrangements with the veterinarian to have those prescriptions ordered and mailed to a location of your choosing. It’s also a good idea to have your cat microchipped just in case they get out of the RV during one of your stops along the way. Bring along photographs and records of any allergies. If you’ve been a diligent cat parent and have kept up with vet visits for your cat, these items shouldn’t be too hard to track down. Also, as a precaution, make sure that your cat has an identification tag containing your name and address.

Bring along a first aid kit that’s just for felines

You will want to be prepared for any unforeseen events because it’s better to be safe than sorry. Sure, you could get on your cell phone and call for help, IF you’re in an area that even has cell phone service or a strong signal.

Get your cat accustomed to traveling in a vehicle

This is the logical thing to do if your cat doesn’t routinely travel with you in the car or truck. You probably already have a pet carrier, so put them inside and take short jaunts here and there so that your pet can grow more comfortable with being inside a moving vehicle.

They may howl for the entire trip (we can attest to this), and that will be comfortable for no one. But the idea is to make motorized travel a less unique and fearsome experience for them. If they are upset, maybe putting a blanket over the carrier will help to calm the kitty down. And just keep the larger picture in mind while you’re on the road with a very vocal and unhappy feline or two or three.

Or you might just have a chill feline who will have no problem at all with riding in a car or RV. In this case, once they have gotten used to traveling in a moving vehicle while in their carriers, you can then transition them to the RV. It may take time for them to adjust to the rolling or bumpy movement of the vehicle as it rolls along. The key is to drive slowly and allow them to get comfortable with the whole experience. Before long, they can roam free in the RV without being kenneled. But this all depends on you and your cat. Some cats may be better off in their carriers or kennels whenever the RV is in motion.

Introduce them to the RV while it’s still parked

You can bring your cat’s toys, food, bed, and other items into the RV while it’s still in your driveway. This will fill it with familiar scents and help your cat to associate the RV with home.

Provide a place for the cat to “hide”

If it’s taking a little time for your cat to adjust, leave some cabinet doors open, and leave them be if they want to hide underneath the sofa or bed. They may need time to not only adjust to a moving vehicle, but to get used to their new “house.” This is a good thing to do for your cat so that their stress is greatly minimized.

Load up on cat supplies

Of course this includes plenty of food and odor-free litter, but you might want to get a leash and harness for your cat. (More on that below.) Invest in a collapsible litter box that’s designed for travel. Toys are a necessity as well, and you’ll need bags for picking up waste along with brushes and kitty treats. You’ll need an airtight container in which to store the food so that critters and creepy-crawlies are deterred.

Find a spot for the litter box

You’ll want to designate a spot for the litter box in your RV. Now we know that space in an RV is at a premium. But consider putting the litter box in the shower, inside a closet, or in a storage bay. You can even put it under the sink or bed. Tight spots such as these won’t take up floor space or allow the box to jump around during your travels.

Leash-train your cat

Oftentimes, cats get left behind when their owners leave the house, or in this case, the RV. So it may be time to leash-train them so that you can take them wherever you go. Now about that aforementioned harness: your cat may not enjoy wearing it! It should be mentioned that this is accomplished much more easily when the cat in question is a mere kitten. Adult cats might protest the whole harness bit and put up a fuss about it.

Try putting the harness on them for just short amounts of time and gradually increasing the length of time. Avoid walking your cat in wide open spaces and allow the cat the cover afforded by bushes, structures, or vehicles. And don’t skimp on the treats, either. Reward your cat for putting up with the harness and they’ll come to see the harness as a good experience that’s associated with something tasty. Be patient and give this process a few weeks. Then you might just have the pleasure of harnessing your cat and taking him or her along as you explore new locations. And just think, you can both stave off the boredom of being cooped up in the RV by going on those excursions together.

As long as you’re nearby, your cat can grow to love being with you as you take in the sights or just soak up some rays. Just don’t take things to the extreme and leave the harnessed cat outdoors and unattended for any length of time. There are too many wild creatures, known and unknown, in the great outdoors to take such a chance, even if you’re just at a campground.

If, even after making the effort to leash-train the cat and get them accustomed to wearing a harness, your cat is still skittish, it’s probably time to invest in some good cat tranquilizers. There are plenty of non-pharmaceutical options on the market, including sprays and drops, that you might try. Just determine what works best for your situation. Or you can let your cat stay in the RV for short amounts of time while you explore your new surroundings without him or her. At least you’ll know that you gave it your best try, and you can fill your cat in on all of your discoveries when you return to the RV.

If you do leave your cat alone in the RV for any length of time, remember to keep the vehicle well-ventilated and at a comfortable temperature. You might want to consider visiting places that have climes that aren’t too hot or cold for this very reason.

Provide a comfortable place to sleep

Set about making a bed for your cat in a storage cabinet or designate a soft chair for him or her. Or consider preparing a special bed for your cat in your closet. If you have a high cabinet that overlooks the bed, that’s an even better spot because it will allow them to see you and their surroundings.

RVing with Cats Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats travel well in RVs?

Some cats will take longer to adapt than others. But if over time you gradually increase your cats exposure to being in the RV and traveling in the RV, they should adapt well eventually.

Can you leave pets in an RV?

Often, leaving a pet in an RV is much more suitable than leaving it in a car. However the exact same precautions must be observed. You must ensure that the vehicle remains cool and has fresh air. So you’ll want to leave a window cracked and the AC on. Of course power outages are always a possibility.

The safest way to do this is to install a temperature monitor inside your RV. These devices will remotely monitor the temperature inside your RV. Then send an alert to your phone whenever conditions get uncomfortable for your pet.

Waggle RV/Dog Safety Temperature & Humidity Sensor | Wireless Pet monitoring system | Verizon Cellular | Instant Alerts on Temp/Humidity/Power loss via SMS/Email 24/7 | No WiFi | Subscription Required
  • ◆SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED◆: Waggle Pet Monitor Cannot Be Used Without A Subscription. The Subscription is for Cellular Service with Verizon's Network; The Waggle Pet Monitor Has No Way to Communicate or Update Temp/Humidity Changes Without a Cellular Plan Including Power Loss & Back Alerts. Available From Monthly To 2-Yearly Plans (Starting from $12.5/mo) Download The Free iOS/Android Waggle APP To Subscribe
  • INSTANT ALERTS ON YOUR PHONE: Get Alerted - Not Alarmed. Keeping An Eye On Your Dog’s Safety Is Now Easy With Waggle. Get Real-Time Alerts On Your Pet’s Ambient Temperature/Humidity Changes, Heat Index, And More Via Your Smartphone While In RV/Car/Home/Boat etc
  • ACCURATE AND ALWAYS ON: If The Temperature Exceeds The Limit Set, You Will Receive An Instant Email/Text Alert. Monitor Your Pet While Away & Get Real-Time Updates In Seconds When Your Pet Is In Danger. Ensure 24/7 Pet Protection With Waggle Pet Monitor

Can you go camping with your cat?

Yes. In fact there’s actually a popular and fun instagram account documenting photos of people camping with their cats.

How do you travel long distance with a cat?

Like mentioned previously, this is all about acclimation. Once your cat is comfortable being in your vehicle, you move on to taking them on very short trips. Eventually as you up the exposure your cat will be comfortable going along wherever you go.

Can cats live in an RV?

Yes. many full-time RVers live with their cats. If you get the cat when it is a kitten, it will know nothing else so living in an RV will be normality to it. If your cat is grown already, then provided it is acclimated gently and gradually, most cats will adapt to life in an RV just fine.

Recommended RV Accessories for Cats

Necoichi Cat Cage (Cage)
  • Pop-open, fully collapsible, portable cat cage is convenient and comfortable for both you and your cat
  • Large enough to easily fit two cats with travel litter box (Portable Cat Litter Box sold separately)
  • Comes with easy-to-clean double sided, removable waterproof fleece mat and storage bag(Big enough to put both portable cage and Necoichi Portable Cat Litter Box sold separately)

rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash for Walking, Escape Proof Soft Adjustable Vest Harnesses for Cats, Easy Control Breathable Reflective Strips Jacket, Pink, XS
  • Cat Harness with Leash, Fits Average Cats: Size measuring:Neck Girth: 8.5 -11 Inches, Chest Girth: 13.5 - 16 Inches. Please measure your cat carefully and refer to the size chart before order. (Tips: Your cat's head circumference should be at least 10 inches or your cat may slip out.) Package includes: 1x Small Cat Walking Vest and 1x Walking Nylon Leash (150cm)
  • Comfortable Outdoor Harness: This real comfy cat harness will snugly fit your feline friend's body, while still keeping him or her cool with its breathable air mesh. Soft and lightweight (approx. 100g), suitable for daily walking, jogging, training, and any outdoor recreations. Also a perfect comfort harness when you’re taking your kitty to an unfamiliar place, such as the vet or groomer
  • Escape Proof Cat Harness: This adjustable kitty harness features 4 adjusting straps which allow a just-right fit for your flexible cat. Both sides have a sturdy safety buckle for a more secured closure - never worry about your cat getting lost during outdoor adventures (Tips: The harness should be snug enough for you to fit one finger between the straps and any part of your cat's body)

PEEKAB Cat Scratching Post with Cat Tower Tree and Cats Arch Self Groomer Massager Brush Kitty Ball Toys for Kittens and Small Cats
  • TOP PERCH: Top platform with sides wrapped in soft plush provides a great sleeping space for your feline friend to zonk out after playtime.
  • SCRATCHING POST: Scratching post is made with thick cardboard tube and wrapped in natural sisal. It makes your kittens get an effective and satisfying scratch, protects your furniture from sharp claws.
  • GROOMING ARCH: The cat grooming arch is made with the best quality materials, make special attention to detail. The construction of the arch is very strong and steady, for maximum durability and stability

HI SUYI Portable Large Pop Up Pet Cat Tents Enclosures for Outside Patio
  • QUICK & EASY SET UP.Pulling string pop up system makes it easy and fast set up and take down in seconds. Save your time and effort.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE DESIGN FOR TRAVEL.Comes with a carry bag so you won't have to worry when it's time to travel, you can easily bring the cat tent with you!
  • LARGE CAT RUN ENCLOSURE.Dimensions: 74 x 63 x 36 Inches.With over 32 square feet of activity space, this outdoor playhouse is large enough for multiple cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, and other small animals. To maximize playtime, there is plenty of extra space for toys, treats, litter box, and even a bed.

Quality Gray Cat Litter Trap Mat, Non-Slip Backing, Dirt Catcher, Soft on Paws, Easy to Clean
  • Reduce litter scatter and keep paws clean with this Cat / Pet Litter Catcher Mat featuring soft, rubberized material that traps dirt and litter and brushes against paws to remove litter
  • Made of non-toxic, safe, high quality PVC material that is BPA-Free and Phthalate-Free
  • Mat is easy to clean with a non-slip back, also suitable to place under feeding bowls to catch spill

Go out and have fun!

Hopefully, this article has armed you with lots of useful information that you can implement while on an RV road trip with your cat.

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RV Camping with Cats

Stephanie Lynne

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API