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Old 07-28-2020, 02:57 PM   #1
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Traveling with a Cat?

Hi all, We have downsized from a hobby farm with many animals to now having 1 cat. She is about 1.5 years old. We would like to travel with her but aren't really sure how to get started. Leash training? Crate in the truck for riding along? Then what do you do about potty training. Litter box in the camper for rest area breaks? I just have no idea. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 07-28-2020, 03:19 PM   #2
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We carry litter box in truck. Usually no more than 5 hrs in truck so watch about feeding... they won't die! Water sparingly if at all . Put kitty bed on seat so he can nap. Be prepared for barfing. Usually once after you start then ok until we arrive. I dont crate him or put any restraints on him. He walks around sits on our lap, talks etc. Overall a good camper
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:23 PM   #3
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We carry litter box in truck. Usually no more than 5 hrs in truck so watch about feeding... they won't die! Water sparingly if at all . Put kitty bed on seat so he can nap. Be prepared for barfing. Usually once after you start then ok until we arrive. I dont crate him or put any restraints on him. He walks around sits on our lap, talks etc. Overall a good camper
Good info. Thank you
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:26 PM   #4
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We haven't tried it ourselves, but we saw one man who traveled by car with his cat and stopped at KOA cabins. He had the cat on a leash which she didn't seem to mind.
Knew a couple with a cat in a motorhome that had the run of the place. I think they put the litter in the shower which was lined with plastic when in use.
Know another couple with a cat in a trailer. She had food, water and litter in the trailer, but soon got bored and figured out how to open the screen door. Luckily she just hid under the trailer til found.
Cats are individuals so no one solution is going to work for your cat. At 1 1/2 years, she's still got a lot of 'kitten' in her.
Good luck. Let us know what works for your cat.
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:27 PM   #5
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Get a harness and train it to walk with that. You can use it for tie out in the campsite as well. When on the road use the harness with a tether so in an emergency stop tHe poor animal does not get tossed around in side the vehicle slamming into things. Litter box and potty breaks will depend somewhat on your animal. It is best to give them the opportunity at each rest or gas stop.
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:35 PM   #6
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I think I'm going to start taking her out to the camper with me to just hang out and get used to it. We keep it plugged in at the house. So maybe that will help some too. Been thinking about the harness training too. I like the idea.
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Old 07-28-2020, 05:14 PM   #7
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We started taking Angel with us in 2017 at 16 yrs old. We originally adopted her when she was 4 wks old, that's another story. My son would check on her when ever we went away. Except for going to Vet, she never went outdoors. Our first TT (Retro) was too small to have a pet. But in '17 we bought a 24' Connect. From day one (when she started traveling with us) we never had a problem. She stayed/slept on back seat of truck, litter box on rear floor along with food and water while moving. We didn't use a restraint, although I realize we should have. When stopped, she was very happy in the camper and had no desire to be outside. We never could get her used to a harness and leash. When stopping for breaks, Angel stayed in Camper if it wasn't hot, otherwise we took her with us or DW set in shade with her while I went in to get us something to eat. We had no problems leaving her in camper while at camp sites when we were off sight seeing, etc. In 2018, we did a 3 month trip and Angel enjoyed all of Route 66 with us. When we bought our Class C in March 2019, she adjusted just fine, now she never had to leave her comfort zone.

Unfortunately, Angel passed away while we were in Canada in August 2019. She was 18 yrs old and had been on Kidney medicine for 3-4 yrs. We brought her back and had her cremated in Sault Ste Marie, Mi.

Two weeks later we found Iggy in St Ignace, Mi. and adopted her at about 2 months old, the day after she was "fixed". In anticipation of getting a kitten, we bought a small dog training crate and removed one of the dinette cushions. We had a shelf for the bed, small litter box and food and water. Iggy was used to a cage as we adopted her from a shelter and she had no problems with the crate. It was her safe place and we put her in there at night and when we weren't in the RV.

The rest of the story. Thirty minutes after introducing Iggy to the RV, she headed for the front floor board and you guessed it... Up under the driver's side dash and across to passenger side. We hadn't kitty proofed as good as we thought. So, I started dismantling the dash. We didn't want to wait til she came out on her own as she had just been operated on the day before. I ended up taking the passenger airbag out and there was our scared little Iggy. When I got done putting the dash back together, the radio wasn't crooked anymore. Thanks Iggy.

So, when we got Iggy, she started out traveling. After we got home, the crate came out and is stored in the garage. We did a 3 week trip last November and she was fine (access to under dash blocked off). This past May, we headed out and Iggy cried the whole trip (2 days traveling to CG) and wanted the DW to hold her. She didn't eat for 3 days so we took her to the Vet. He said she was probably stressed and gave her a B12 shot and appetite enhancer. She started eating and has been fine since. We were at CG for 7 wks and stretched 2 day trip home into 4 days and when moving, Iggy slept on her bed on the dinette booth. I think the original problem was that she hadn't been in the RV for 6 months. We'll be heading out again in another week or so and we will see how she does then.

Like others have said, all Cats have their own personality and traits, and won't all react the same way. I see a lot of others traveling with cats and have seen 2 or 3 that let theirs out on their own without a leash. I don't think I could do that, although Baby, the cat before Angel, probably would have been okay. Baby is another story, never traveled with us except to England. We got him at 2 days old and 3 ozs. Someday I'll write a book about him, he was special and thought he was one of us. Actually set at table to eat spaghetti with us. Okay, I'll stop. You'll have to wait for the book.

Anyway, enjoy your cat(s), and keep all cabinets closed. They will be fine. And if worried about the first outing, check with your Vet about a mild tranquilizer. We enjoy our Iggy. She keeps us entertained.

Good idea about introducing her to camper ahead of time, maybe even spend a day and night out there before your first outing. Also take her for ride in truck if she's not used to that. And don't be surprised if she just falls over when you put the harness on. Good luck.

One more thing, I wrapped the leg/pole for dinette table with sisal rope. Iggy uses it and we aren't tripping over a scratching post.

Be safe and have fun. Ron
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Old 07-28-2020, 05:22 PM   #8
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What an awesome story. Thank you for sharing it. We rescued our girl from the shelter at about 8 mo old. Don't know what her history was. I'm going to try the harness for sure. We will see how it goes.
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Old 07-28-2020, 05:35 PM   #9
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We full time with 2 10 year old cats and have been on the road for 5 years. They travel in the truck in kennels without food, water or litter. Our travel days are never more than 5 hours and they do just fine.

We have a large 5th wheel with a half bath which doubles as the kitty litter room and have made room for a cat tower/scratching post.

Our cats are not leash trained and as such never leave the rv. They are quite content to stare out the back window for hours on end.

I would recommend leash training if at all possible.
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Old 07-28-2020, 05:38 PM   #10
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Thank you. That's awesome!
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:26 PM   #11
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we take our mature cat with us. we have a fifth wheel and pickup truck. the cat goes in the truck with uswe have a carrier but we let her out of it as soon as we get hooked up and the journey has started. she will tell you how much she does not like the truck for about the first hour. but then he'll fall asleep and quiet returns. when we stop during the day we put her in the trailer where there is a cat box and water. sometimes she uses it, sometimes not.

once we arrive for the night we do not let her out the first night. if we are staying multiple days we'll slowly start to let her out. at first she will go down the stairs and stay under the trailer. she climbs back up the stairs when he wants back in. for the first couple of days i go outside with her whenever she is out. by about day three we just let her out just like we do at home. she'll go under the trailer and then start to explore under the rigs next to us and perhaps three rigs away. then she turns around and comes back under out trailer. of course we are concerned about her and we check on her, but she pretty much takes care of herself out there. she just loves to get under a rig where she knows you can't reach her and then she just looks out. people walking dogs do get her attention.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:49 PM   #12
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Awe, so sweet. Thx
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:05 PM   #13
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The most important thing is apparently to make sure that you get the kitty weighed. There are literally hundreds of posts on this site warning that you are *doomed* if you don't stop at the CAT scale and know your exact weight!
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:49 PM   #14
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Oops! Momma cat weighs 22 lbs. Let the weight police descend.

Might need a HDT to haul her around.

Still wouldn't trade the cats for anything. They make the RV home.

Also never have had a problem with mice, squirrels or other vermin.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:10 PM   #15
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I traveled with my cat for over 15 years, he loved camping. Adjusted well and loved it.

In later years he even sat on my lap sitting around the campfire.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:20 PM   #16
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we take our mature cat with us. she just loves to get under a rig where she knows you can't reach her and then she just looks out. people walking dogs do get her attention.

I am glad you keep a good eye on her, I could see her exploring under a neighbor's camper and being mistaken for s stray and stolen or worse. Also, we camp in a lot of areas with natural habitat of animals that would prey on a cat, hopefully not the kind of camping you do so your baby is safe.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:21 PM   #17
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Traveling with a Cat?

Owen the cat has been traveling with my pack since he was 8 weeks old. He is harnessed all the time, with tags attached to the harness. I also added a second leash ring as a failsafe.
Be VERY careful when you buy a harness. I found some of the “vest” style harnesses were easy for Owen to slip out of. Test it at home! Also be careful that the harness you buy is NOT quick release. Many cat collars and harnesses are meant to snap open if the cat reaches the end of it sharply, but in a remote campground, a cat shouldn’t be unattended EVER so the risk of getting caught and choking will be nil, making this feature unnecessarily risky.
Owen rides in a crate in the truck, either with a dog or in his own, depending on space. His litter box is in the trailer, so after a few hours driving, we stop and he gets the opportunity to use it if needed.
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:10 PM   #18
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Owen the cat has been traveling with my pack since he was 8 weeks old...
I love it! The pictures are great!
I wish we could bring our cats with us. Too afraid they’d accidentally get out and panic, they are not outdoor cats at all.
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:20 PM   #19
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Traveling with a Cat?

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I love it! The pictures are great!

I wish we could bring our cats with us. Too afraid they’d accidentally get out and panic, they are not outdoor cats at all.


Thanks! Owen is indoors as well, except for leashed adventures, and even though I don’t think he’d go very far (he’s very bonded to the dogs and me), I am very very careful! I camp alone with them, so don’t have to worry about anyone else letting a critter loose!
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:04 PM   #20
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My cat, Evie, has been living with me since she was 12 weeks old. I'm a full timer and she's been a joy to have. Started harness training her once I found a harness that was easy to put on - I do not like the ones with velcro or the ones with little tiny buckles, and found one made by Tre Ponte that she loves and is very easy to put on. For a long time we had training sessions IN the trailer....I was scared to take her out! Then one day at a RV park in Montana I had a big grassy area and it wasn't a busy place, so out we went! She did great - I did fair Over the past 2 years she's been to Canada and 7 or 8 states. We are spending this summer in the mountains of Arizona rather than the planned visits up through the Rockies. Have a great park with lots of places to take walks and many friendly dogs/people to visit with. Always makes me laugh when someone says - That's a Cat!!! Yep, sure is

I've had cats for many, many decades, indoor - outdoor - barn cats...they had all the freedom to come and go, catch rodents, sleep in the hay. They all lived to be 15-18+ years old, but they had 'street sense'. Evie doesn't think anything will hurt her, so I'm pretty protective.

I've never allowed her to exit the RV door steps by herself, she is always carried. So far she understands that is how things work and she's never tried to go out on her own. I also have 2 (yep, count 'em two!) scratching posts for her, one as tall as would fit, the other one is about 1/2 that. If she's in the short one, she's at the perfect level to look out a window.

Personally, I wouldn't tether a cat - they can get just too squirrely if scared and you just don't know what might come around. About the 2nd time we were outside in Montana a guy came around the back side of my trailer with a weed eater. She flipped out, but he saw what was happening and shut down immediately. Evie likes most dogs and is happy to touch noses and be on our way.....her body language told me which dogs to avoid.

It's an adventure - enjoy!
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