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Old 06-23-2022, 10:12 PM   #1
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Forest River Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Metchosin BC
Posts: 463
Our Cat RVing experience

So we got our rig last year with a view of taking our cats. Started off with a couple of single night stays in the driveway (one was not happy). Next was an overnight trip under an hour from home. They hadn't been in a moving vehicle since before the advent of COVID but did fine. Next was a 4,200 Km 26 night trip. And then less than a week after we got home, a 600 Km 4 night trip.

Things we found out

Cats may not eat their regular fare in the RV, and may relish stuff they will not touch at home.

Bought a lightweight (silica) litter which worked well and required much less changing (none in fact) than expected. Took way too much spare. Litter box kept in the shower.

They liked going out for (leashed) walks, especially here it was quiet. We did this more to tire them out so they'd sleep more at night.

Bought a bubble back cat back pack for both as it was also would double as a hands-free escape pod (fortunately never had to be used for such).

They both found their refuge spot under the jackknife sofa and usually stayed there while on the road. One became adventurous enough to sometimes come out and roam outside, even using the little box while under way.

Overall they seemed to enjoy (or at least tolerate) the road trip.

'07 Coachmen Mirada 300QB - UVW <14,000 lbs, GCWR 10,300 lbs > GVWR
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Old 06-24-2022, 01:59 PM   #2
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As with all animals, including humans, they must be slowly acclimated to new surroundings or become stressed, sometimes to the point of becoming ill.
You did good.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX,Infantry retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:19 PM   #3
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That the cats don't seem to get car sick which was a good start. On the long trip, we had a 1 hr first day, then a long-ish travel day the next, followed by 2 days of no (or very limited/short) travel, another long day, followed again by 2 days of no travel.

We were expecting stress-induced illness and brought the medication/treatments/supplements necessary. Fortunately they were totally unnecessary. Only health issue was intestinal upsets due to them munching on what appeared to be grasses (we try to be diligent as they're always on leashes outside). One thing we will do is to bring our on cat grass.

'07 Coachmen Mirada 300QB - UVW <14,000 lbs, GCWR 10,300 lbs > GVWR
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Old 07-06-2022, 04:00 PM   #4
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Appreciate reading about others' experience traveling with their cats. I travel with 3 that were rescued as young kittens. When driving, they are all happy to be in a nylon dog kennel, (has netting on the front and sides) purchased at Walmart. I keep several cat beds in it, and from the moment they are zipped in they are quite content. Once I am settled in at the camp ground, slides are out etc. the kennel is unzipped - and regardless of how long we've been driving they do not rush to get out. They now have 20,000. miles under their their "colars" so to speak. I do not let them out of the RV. Too many things can happen no matter how careful you are. At our home in S. Florida, they have a 30' screened patio to explore, but they are 100% indoor cats. I am amazed at how quickly they adjust to being in the RV.
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Old 07-06-2022, 07:51 PM   #5
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We have a cat too.
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Old 07-12-2022, 11:47 AM   #6
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One thing that has helped us with upset tummies is to carry their water with us. At home they have a pagoda fountain, it goes with us in the motorhome, and we take a 5 gallon bottle bottle of water with us for them. We don't usually deviate from their food, treats or meds when on the road but there are times that they get cranky and a bit finicky. If that happens I make sure I have some of their favorite but special brands to entice them to eat their meals. With the cats we have discovered that keeping them on as normal a schedule as possible so bedtime treats and the usual litter boxes and 'litter' is what works for us. But we do need to check and service the boxes several times a day. At home we have 10-12 boxes, on the road we have 4 and I try to clean as soon as it is used. (we use a pine pellet system that requires minimum maintenance)
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Old 07-16-2022, 05:49 PM   #7
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Think Im tired of draping all the furniture. Think I’ll try some sprays to repel chairs and sofas.
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Old 07-16-2022, 10:06 PM   #8
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We have been traveling full time for two years with Buddy, our 17 year old Siamese. He hates travel days but has a couple "hidey-holes" where he hides while on the road. We try to stop every hour to hour and a half, and he's learned that's a good time for a potty break and a snack.

He never goes outside, and hasn't for years, even at our house in the country. Between coyotes, and fighting with nearby cats, the outdoor life wasn't good for him. Too many vet bills so we quit letting him out. He really didn't mind.

Now he does what any retired, full time RV, senior cat would do. He's "active" for about 20 minutes per day, usually in 5 minute "bursts" of energy. Sometimes for a quick snack, a minute or two of watching his string get pulled along in front of him (it might call for a slow motion swat or two with a paw, or not...), or a minute or two of getting brushed. After all this activity, he's ready for another nap.

We've found the Litter Breeze system to work really well. Litter is large solid pellets that don't track. Piddle runs through the pellets and into an absorbent pad underneath. He's a big boy so the large Litter Breeze box works for him, and it fits in a corner of the bathroom. Pellets last about a month before they need changing. Pads are supposed to last a week, but his kidneys are starting to fail, which means he drinks and pees more often, so the pad goes about 4 days before needing to be changed.
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Tom and Pris M. along with Buddy the 18 year old Siamese cat
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Old 10-25-2022, 09:37 PM   #9
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Cats have now done 53 nights this year over 7 trips (5 of which were ~1 hr or less away from home). They mostly spend travel time under the jackknife sofa although sometimes they'll ride close to us (on our laps or by the dog house). One even used the little box while in motion.

We bought a purpose-designed tablestand with closed enclosure for a litter box (previously in the shower which was too limiting) and it worked well.

On the last trip of the season (unseasonably warm and dry), we found out that they liked and preferred going out for walks at night (even with black bears in the campground) over day time. Even the shyer/scardier one wanted to go out at night. That said, both of them have never been to the toilet outside in their lives, even when one of the campgrounds was close to what must be the biggest litter box they've ever encountered.

Despite the cold (they're bigger long hair cats - both Ragdolls), they often slept by themselves if they weren't in the bed with us. We got a nice felt cat cave but one of them insisted on making it into a bed by sleeping on the roof.

'07 Coachmen Mirada 300QB - UVW <14,000 lbs, GCWR 10,300 lbs > GVWR
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