Friday, January 7, 2011

Full-Timing in an RV with cats

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We are thinking about buying a large Class A motorhome. My husband and I want to travel full-time for a few years. We have been planning this for some time. We read a lot of RV magazines and blogs and I see that many full-timers have pets. My husband doesn’t think that is a good idea. We have two cats and they are my babies. I don’t plan to travel without them and he doesn’t plan to travel with them. We are at a roadblock before we even get on the road. Can you offer any constructive advice to convince him that I am right? They are indoor cats and would never have to leave the motorhome. The units we have looked at so far have huge storage bays that are accessible from inside the coach. One would be perfect for food litter and bedding. Please help me.
Catastrophe in Columbus

Dear Columbus:
There is no sense in having a cat fight before you even take the brake off. Traveling pets are as common as a cold. I would estimate that at least 50 percent of the people I meet on the road have a pet traveling with them. This rig is going to be your “home” on the road, and there is no place like home for a cat or dog that gives you company. I can vouch for the no hassle addition of having two cats travel with you. My wife and I have done it for years. One likes to help navigate from the front window and the other makes a beeline for the storage bay (cat cave) if I so much as look at the driver’s seat. I have to admit that they will escape on occasion. We have always found them and persuaded them to rejoin us. Actually, you will meet a lot of wonderful people while looking for a missing cat in a campground. I would suggest you have your husband read some of the articles you have found pertaining to traveling cats. It is truly not like trying to give a cat a bath. You will find them to have an adventuresome spirit. You don’t have to walk them at dark-thirty, they bury their own land mines and you can leave them “home alone” for a couple days. They are very responsible and know how to take care of themselves. All cats, big and small, sleep on average, eighteen hours a day. They don’t bark, and best of all you can take them into any park because you don’t even have to declare them.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

##RVT796

12 comments:

Too Many Cats said...

Go to the Escapees forums and type in "cat" in the search block. Lot's of tips on fulltiming with cats. http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php

Anonymous said...

We have traveled with 3 cats for years. I know they are alot happier being with us than without us. After a few days on the road they settle into a routine and actually love the adventure. New smells new sights. Taking your babies along with you is a no=brainer.

Travels with Betty and Bill said...

We full-time in a fifth wheel with two cats. The litter box is in the large front storage bay. Access is through a cat door to the laundry chute under the vanity. My brother built them a "Florida room" that fits on the storage bay door on the curb side.
In the A class we had before the 5'er, we put a cat door into the storage bay next to the steps, then partially dismantled and rearranged the parts of a portable dog run for their attached cage.
The cats love the cage. If it is inaccessible (too cold to keep the storage door open or an overnight stop) our male cat complains vociferously for a while.

Anonymous said...

"cat" astrophe..... I love it!! thats awesome!

Anonymous said...

After 4 years of RVing with our 2 cats while my husband bowls professionally have been the best. We micro-chipped them, carry copies of their vet/health records & bring the cat tree, cat condo, toys & supplies. We're getting ready for year 5 & so are the cats! Go & enjoy.

Anonymous said...

One precaution: If you leave them loose in the RV, STUFF ALL THE CRACKS!!
We had a hard time finding where the cat was and then had to do some disassembling to get her out.

It's also wise to keep them penned someplace so that they don't get under the driver's feet while on the road.

Anonymous said...

micro chips for sure, but harness,halter etc helps keep an escaping kitty from siding thru your fingers! easier on the tail,too!

Anonymous said...

We have travelled with our cats from Alaska to New England and back to California without any problem. They love looking out the window and are absolutely no problem. We clean the litter box daily and dispose of waste with the garbage. They never leave the rig and have no intent to do so. We put them in their carriers when we travel so there is no getting underfoot while driving and they are quite content. Totally recommend taking your cats with you.

sagajeer010-gog said...

If you enjoy cats that's great. What about the husband who prefers not to have cats with him in the RV? But alas, I should know, the old man is just along for the ride.

Anonymous said...

We have traveled with 2 cats for 6 years for over 40000 miles. One cat likes to stay in his carrier and the other sits on a heated bed that has been plugged into one of the cigarette lighters. They both have been trained that they can not bother the driver and don't even attempt to get underfoot. If you are afraid they might get out through the door you can put up a mat that is powered by batteries that will give them a small shock. They will never attempt to go near the door after a few encounters. Stop once and a while to let them eat and drink without anything moving.

Anonymous said...

We traveled with our cat "Max" for four years. She went to Strugis twice and enjoyed traveling. She died last year and we really miss her. Cats are good company, you can tell them everything. Take the cats!

lee said...

We've been on two extended trips in our 33' 5ver. One 4 months and one 7 months. We took our 4 cats and had no problems. In fact they seem to get along better in the trlr than when we're at home. Our alpha male tries to get out the screen door so I attached a small link chain to the inside of the door and attach it to an eye hook screwed into the door frame. This can be accessed from outside through the slide opening in the door. No problem