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Old 04-08-2021, 07:07 AM   #1
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Introducing cats to rv trips\dealing with an escape artist

Hi,

We have never tried to take our 2 cats on rv trips. They hate traveling in any vehicle if crated. They are fine if out of the crate.

Our oldest cat and dog are best pals. The dog even grooms the cat, but the youngest one if very weary of the dog, and is an escape artist.

Our longest trips now are 10 days but have plans for 15-30 day trips next year.

My pet sitter who comes every day for 30 mins when we are away reckons anything more than 10 days they need alternate arrangements.

We keep our camper at home so can try them out for small durations and maybe try them overnight at home.

At the campsite I do have pet mesh tents (think 1 person kids tent) that they can go in when we sit outside. If inside I say they will love hanging out on the dash looking out my class A's window. Would bring toys and a climbing tree.

My concern is that the Escape Artist might try to get out the door and escape.

I will speak to my vet about getting a sedative for them while.

We do have cellular temp and power monitoring in the coach, we also would not be away for more than 2-3 hours.

Looking for any advice?


Thanks,
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:21 AM   #2
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I would introduce them slowly. The dog and the older cat at the same time as they are buddies, the other one when you can. If you can carry them to the rig as opposed to taking them in the crate that would probably be best. I'd even go as far as sleeping a few nights in the rig so they see you are comfortable there. As far as the escape artist I would make sure she is in a harness on a leash whenever you open the door. Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:25 AM   #3
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Thanks Arcaguy,

That's great advice. I do have a harness for the escape artist. If she goes outside with it she lies on the ground and will not move. I will start trying her around the house with the harness.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:30 AM   #4
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My other concern is they are not declawed, they have already thrashed a leather sofa at home (replaced it with pet restraint ones). I can easily cover the sofa but would need to get covers for the driver and passenger seats.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:33 AM   #5
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Be sure they, especially the escape artist, are all chipped.
consider keeping the escapist in harness with a leash.
Most CGs require pets to be under physical control at all times.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:33 AM   #6
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I travel with three cats and two dogs (yes, crazy I know) and one of my cats is an escape artist as well.

I purchased collapsible cat carriers for the felines for when I knew I would be making stops so that I would not have to stress about someone getting out at a gas station or other unsuitable location. Because they are collapsible, I can stow them very easily when I am not using them.

Otherwise, they are pretty great RV travelers where as they do NOT enjoy car travel. While on the road I do let them out of their little canvas kennels. They usually just look out the window, sleep, or sit on the dash and watch the world go by. I just make sure I put the cats in the carriers before I open any doors.

My parents give their pets CBD oil when traveling. It has greatly reduced the stress to their cats and dog (and my mom). Check with your vet, but it might be a less harsh option than a sedative.

I think letting your cats spend time in the RV in a totally non-stressful non-traveling time is a great idea. I would also give them their favorite treats while in there so they associate the RV with good stuff.

Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:36 AM   #7
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UD-

Yup... Short test trips, close to home, in case things don't work as hoped.

We chucked our cat in the RV for the first time and drove on a 4-month, 8,000-mile trip. No problem at all. He's totally in indoor cat, though. We make sure he doesn't get curious about what's on the other side.

Don't forget to find a practical location for the litter box.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:45 AM   #8
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Thanks all,

Both cats are chipped and they do have collapsible carriers. I will make sure they have ID tags also.

Would definitely try them at home 1st and then an overnight close to home :-)

How long would be acceptable to leave them alone in the camper both with and without the dog?

Edit: Would not bring them if too hot, so maybe 50-60f to 75f-80f during the day, would run air or leave vents open. Would do our tourist or hiking early in the day or later
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:58 AM   #9
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For our less than 10 day trips I would just leave the cats at home with a sitter, this really only is for a couple times a year.

We do have an 8 person fully enclosed screen tent they can go in also.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:58 AM   #10
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Rocket (our 19 year old DEAF cat)absolutely loves his motorhome. Note I said HIS motorhome.
We started him getting used to it by having him in the coach whenever we were either working on something or stocking it for a trip. He explored everything and everywhere. Two things improved his attitude. 1. I had the front leaf springs replaced and this improved the ride tremendously. 2.He went deaf at around 17 years old. He now will get up and go get something to eat while we are moving down the road. Even has gone so far as to continue sleeping on our bed--right above the diesel engine while we are traveling.
He has learned he CANNOT go out of the coach without his collar and leash on. They hang right next to the door and he will go to them and meow.
Initially he was terrified about going in the coach or car. Apparently he associated this with going to the vet. We started taking him on lots of short trips around town and now he wants to go in the car all the time.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:12 AM   #11
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Hi Nitehawk,

I think you hit the nail on the head with them associating going in in vehicle with going to the vet, they do make an awful racket when in the crates in the vehicle.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:22 AM   #12
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Was reading an article on this and saw this photo :-)Click image for larger version

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Old 04-08-2021, 08:33 AM   #13
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Just spoke to our pet sitter, his wife runs a boarding kennel we have used in the past.

He said if it does not work out we would board them for a week or so and he would bring them home and visit each day.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:05 AM   #14
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Here are some suggestions that work for our fur baby whenever we are leaving for an extended trip. First, the carrier. Put your kitty in the carrier with toys and sit alongside. Do this for maybe 5 minutes. Then extend the stay in the carrier by 5 minutes at a time and this time walk away. Work up to about one-half hour in the carrier with you away. keep extending the time until you are at a couple of hours. You might need to open the carrier and let him or her out for a while to show they are not trapped. This is important. Make sure the kitty has water, give treats, and also a small litter box. Put the carrier in the middle of a room where you will come and go. It takes take several tries to get this to work but be patient. Once the carrier issue is overcome, you will find half of your concerns disappear. Next, go camping in your driveway. And I do mean camping, not just spending a few hours. You will need to sleep, cook, eat and sit at night and watch TV or whatever your nighttime routine is. You're going to have to do this for a number of days, not all in a row if that's a problem, to get everyone acclimated. Make sure the entire family participates. This is a good time to make sure everything works prior to a trip. Once the carrier issue is resolved and the initial test runs are over, it usually only takes some brief "setup" time prior to future outings. I hope this helps some. We would never consider even short trips with out our furry family member. Chuck
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