Traveling with cats

DSC_0243Most RV’ers own a pet. I believe the majority of them have dogs, but it is not uncommon to find seasoned feline RV companions. They are not as obvious unless you see them peering through the window at you.

We’ve been traveling part time for several years with our cats. They are all boys ages – 1 1/2, 12 and 14. I can’t say that they always enjoy it, especially when the road gets rough. There are some things you can do to help your kitties adjust to life on the road.

– Since they are den animals by nature, an open cat carrier can provide a safe haven. The carrier also works great when our chow-hound kitty is ready for breakfast at 4 a.m. Our youngest will retreat under the covers of our bed when the road gets bumpy. You can actually put something under the bedspread like a small storage bin or box that raises the covers up and gives them a bit of an air gap.

– Before you extend/retract the slide-outs, locate all your kitties. You may need to temporarily put them in a bathroom or in a carrier.

883124_10151498384834672_1402118131_o– If you have one that experiences motion sickness, like our middle cat, a lighter breakfast may help alleviate this situation. It’s no fun cleaning up cat puke while going down the road. Just ask my wife. Keep a supply of paper towels, carpet cleaner, rag towels and rubber/vinyl gloves on hand.

– When visiting Canada, ensure they have a current rabies shot with documentation. This is a bone of contention with many. Since our cats stay indoors, we don’t typically immunize. Most of our felines have lived to be 16-19 years.

– Always have plenty of fresh water on hand. We recommend a bowl with rubber on the bottom to keep it from sliding around.

– Bring some of their toys, including a scratching post. Make your home on wheels seem like their sticks-and-bricks home.

10603844_10152689155519672_1773648823037584338_o– Litter boxes. Some people keep them in the shower. Recommend an extra large mat to cut down on the tracking. Found this one on Amazon: PetFusion Smart Grip Cat Litter Mat – Gray Twist We have also used the Breeze system with some success. Tidy Cats Cat Litter, Breeze, Litter Box Kit System, 1 Kit.

– Stock up on canned food and kibble for the duration of your trip. Keep some extra food in case you get extended on a boondocking trip.

– Veterinarian care: We haven’t had to use a vet on the road, but our Rand McNally GPS lists veterinarians right on the map. This is a good article for RV’ers needing care for their pets while on the road:

– Most felines adopted from shelters have embedded ID chips. Otherwise, a collar with your cell phone number is essential if you have an escape artist onboard.

If you are taking your felines on the road full time after living in a regular home, don’t worry – they typically adapt easily. If you have the opportunity, plan a few short trips before you become nomads.

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