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
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.
- Get Alerted - Not alarmed. Keeping an eye on your pet’s safety is now easy. Just peel and stick the monitor anywhere inside your Car/RV/Home and get Temperature, Humidity updates on your smartphone.
- Subscription Required**: Affordable Monthly & Annual plans that covers In-Built Verizon 4G cellular network to monitor your Pet’s Environment Temperature. No Wi-Fi required. (Subscription should be purchased separately using Mobile App)
- Email/SMS Alerts when Temperature falls below/above the set limit, Configure up-to 5 Emails/Mobile numbers so your Friends/Family can get alerts about your pet’s safety.
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
- Pops up in seconds to turn any space into a safe, comfy place for your cat. It can be used as 1. Travelling. Happy cats make for happy travel! 2. Emergency, hurricane, disaster escape 3. A private room for a cat(s) 4. An escape from the stresses of moving, having guests over, and cleaning
- Dimensions Built : 20 x 20 x 31.8 inches Folded (circle shape): 14 x 14 x 4.5 inches Entrance: Front 13.7 13.7 inches, Side 24.4 x 11.8 inches
- Roll up-large mesh panels for maximum ventilation and visibility-Zipper locks will prevent cat escaping outside, safe and reliable.
- 【Cat Harness with Leash, Fits Average Adult 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 kitten harness will snugly fit your feline friend's body, while still keeping him/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)
- 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
- ✔Hydraulic pop up system makes it easy and fast set up and take down in seconds. Save your time and effort.
- ✔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.
- 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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Last update on 2020-08-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API