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Old 12-09-2018, 08:26 PM   #1
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Which CAT (the kind that purr) should I get?

Asking for owners advice...

I'm a natural loner but feel now after 14 years of full timing in a Class A RV, that I'd like to have a companion. I like both dogs and cats but I'm not interested in following a dog around picking up their 'droppings'. So that leaves cats as the best choice for me.

I went and visited the local shelter today and saw all the cats they have available for adoption. Probably 40 cats of various kinds. Most were labeled as 1yr 0months old because of course, they can't really tell for sure how old they really are. There were a few kittens that are too young for adoption just yet, but soon.

I asked if they had any older cats. My thinking is an older cat needs a home too, and would probably be calmer when I drive the RV any distance. I consider this because I once gave a ride to a friend over 2,000 miles along with his cat, and the cat was FREAKED OUT! by the engine noises. Never got use to it. He made it fine from Fairbanks to Spokane but still. But the shelter only had a couple of older cats, one was 5 years old.

So, confused by all the choices, I'm here asking for advice. If you've assumed the responsibility for a shelter cat, good for you, but what I'd like to know is what issues did you have? And what would you do differently?

I'm wondering how hard it would be to teach a 1 yo, or older, rescued cat to wear a harness when going for a walk?

Do people's cats run away all the time because of the stress of traveling?

I don't know what I don't know.

Any help?
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:33 PM   #2
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We traveled with up to seven cats. Now down to five but have one waiting in CA for me to pick up. Some of mine lay on the dash when underway, others on the floor near me and some behind the couch. One I walk on a harness and I'm working with another. In the forth picture the one on the right at the window was on her first trip. I started moving, she popped her head up, looked around at the others and went back to sleep.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:44 PM   #3
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I do have a couple cages I hang outside so the cats can watch when parked.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:48 PM   #4
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Any cat who will let a stranger pick it up and drape it over their shoulder will make a great coach-cat. You’ll know her when you meet her.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:49 PM   #5
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Female over male. Us guys get a bit weird as age progresses.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:49 PM   #6
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we traveled with a cat we had from the time she was 8-weeks old until she died at ahe 16. she didn't particularly like ANY moving vehicle but unlike our previous cat she did not freak out. she either hid under a seat or underv a blanket and slept all day. we now travel with Maggie, The Wonder Beagle but if we were to get another cat it would be a kitten. i think a kitten would be more adaptable to traveling in a moving vehicle especially if eased into it. we used to take our kitten on short and then progressively longer car rides before trying her in the coach.

biggest decision you're gonna have is where to keep the litter box. after lots of trial-and-error we finally settled on a clumping litter and litter box liners that sift the clean litter but not the clumped litter. cleaner and much, much easier to deal with. good luck!
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:55 PM   #7
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I have three. Two black cats, one is about 2 years and very "I'm in charge here" but a great lap female cat. She was adopted. The other female was an abandoned cat. I swear she has a mental problem, could have named her Don Knotts but very needy. She's about 6. But the best, I mean the best is our 8 year old big orange tabby! He was a stray. Docile and just likes to eat and sleep. Whatever you do is just fine with him. We live in country and all three are indoor / outdoor cats. never stray from property and always come in when you call them. I think traveling with them would be great.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:28 PM   #8
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Getting a bunch of great ideas...keep them coming! Thanks!


Also, thanks for the pictures Mr D. I like that the one cat just took to travel after seeing how the other cats reacted. Now I'm thinking of adopting two cats. So they have company.
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverBurt View Post
Any cat who will let a stranger pick it up and drape it over their shoulder will make a great coach-cat. Youíll know her when you meet her.
I think this is the best way to select a mellow cat.

We have had two male cats, both from the shelter. The first was a 1-1/2-year-old. We knew we had a winner when he behaved as "RiverBurt" said, and the entire shelter staff was sorry to see him go. Our second cat we got as a kitten. He is the one who has traveled with us.

Some shelters will assess cat behavior and determine if the cat can live well with other cats or animals. If you select a mature cat, it improves the chances the shelter's assessment is near the mark. If you intend to adopt two cats, ones that have lived together before have the better chance of getting along. On the other hand, maybe they have only found out how to barely tolerate each other.

One thing to keep in mind: If a cat has had recent surgery (e.g., spaying or neutering), it is possible that his "personality" will be different in a few days.

All in all- and I grew up with cats- you "pays your money and you takes your chances." Each one is unique.

Finally, if you find a cat that has been in the shelter for a long time, pay special attention. If it is there for a medical issue, decide if you (and your on-the-road veterinary office choices) are up to the task of caring for the special needs. If it's because the cat is old (say, over 10-12 years), again, be aware of the medical issues, but also be aware you may not have your companion for more than a few years. Despite these concerns, it is a wonderful thing to give a mature or medical-needs cat a loving, comfortable home... even a mobile one.
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:49 AM   #10
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A current thread on cats and RVs:

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f59/anybo...at-422769.html
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:16 PM   #11
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Jim-

One more thing... actually two.

Many cats barf, and all cats need to sharpen their front claws, if they have them.

1) Stock some carpet cleaner. We like the Woolite brand with the built-in lime-green brush. If you are really quick, you can get a paper towel under the barf before it hits the ground.

2) Have a dedicated scratching surface, something other than any part of your coach. We found the cheap cardboard one works for this cat, in this coach.

3) We found a spray bottle partially filled with water works well to train a cat. Even our current cat (a Maine Coon mix, that does not mind water- very uncatlike!) does not like a quick spray shot in his direction.

Wrapping up (I promise!), many cats enjoy "kneading" on a soft surface. It seems to calm them. Part of the kneading motion involves a picking with the claws, so whatever you get for that purpose should be disposable (after it is picked to pieces). We keep a cheap fleece, by itself or inside a quilted pillow sham, for that purpose. At home, the cat kneads in his fleece cat bed (but will ignore the bed when it's in the coach- go figure.)

Have a great time picking out your traveling companion(s)!
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:34 PM   #12
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I suggest to get a juvenal - less than a year old. Past that you really cant tell age till they start to show some age. Short haired as they are self cleaning.

Inside only. No wandering the neighborhood. They can easily get sicknesses, lost, etc

I would not try to leash train a cat. YMMV.

Covered potty box. Reduces mess. We keep it in the shower. Easy to set out when we use the shower.

Crated when traveling for their safety. They donr come out of the crate will slide are deployed. When camped the crate goes on top of the litter box in the shower.

A dash pad is a good thing. They love to lay in the windshield.

Once used to the motorhome, they probably wont make a break for the door. But maybe... so be sure to get the kittie chipped. Put a breakaway collar on them with you phone number embroidered on it.

We also have a bluetoot h locator Tile attached to their collar. This makes them easy to find if they won't come out when getting ready to travel. Also used should they escape.
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:30 PM   #13
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I adopted an older cat once, put him in the car for a vet trip and a mile down the road he would always take a big stinky dump.
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:40 PM   #14
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We just starting taking our 12 year old cat, Millie the 8 lb wonder cat, with us in the coach.
She's adapted well. She goes in her kennel until the slides are in or out, then she's allowed to be loose. She travels much better if she can roam and have litter box access. She'll occasionally come up front to express her displeasure, then goes back and lays either on the couch or by the recliner.

Her covered litter box is next to the recliner while traveling so she has access to it. When parked and the front seats are turned around to the camping position, I put her box behind the driver's seat under the steering wheel with the lid opening toward the wall. That gives her a bit of privacy. No issue with smell as long as the box is cleared daily. Only takes a few quick minutes to do.

You can teach an old cat a new trick.
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