Travel Days– Feline friends typically do not like car rides. They are usually unsafe if not corralled while driving. What I learned when working in the animal health industry is that cats try to seek the lowest point in the car to hide while traveling. If they are not contained, they tend to crawl under the gas or brake pedals if they are in the vehicle, creating a dangerous situation for drivers.
Having a Class A, 5th Wheel, or multiple other RVs, might change this a little. But how you travel with your cat may change based on your cats reaction to travel. Our cat, Sox, does not prefer to travel, unless she can be with her bed, in a secure location, and confined.
Sox is usually upset for the first few minutes, and then she calms down and sleeps for most of the ride. We do not leave a litter box or water in her kennel, but we do leave food. Before you think we are being cruel- this is the explanation of why. We stop every 2-3 hours when we are traveling and give her access to water and the bathroom. If we were to put either of these in the kennel with her, undoubtedly, she would be wearing both by the time we stop. She does not like baths so it’s best to avoid that situation.
Slide-outs in the RV- Slides can be a potentially dangerous situation for Sox. If we cannot hang on to her while we put slides in or out in the RV she could be hurt. If you are not corralling your kitty in a keennel or safe area, make sure you find them and keep them safe while the slide outs are moving in or out.
Where to keep them while traveling- We have found the safest place for her to ride is in a kennel, in the bathroom, on the floor. It is a very stable point in the RV. We make sure there is nothing that can fall onto the kennel, and we usually put a thick blanket over most of it so it is darker and quieter for her. Depending on the layout of your RV, I would find a way to confine your kitty in a place that does not move as much, and is darker and quieter.
When Parked- Unless you have trained your kitty to use the toilet (we will not try this), there are some supplies that you need to keep the small space livable and healthy for everyone:
- Clean Litter Box – Scoop at least daily, and clean/change litter at least weekly. Most litters recommend 3-4 inches of kitty litter in the pan
- Clean Litter – There are several made for small spaces that help keep odors under control, if you follow the instructions on the bucket or bag.
- Air Filter – Optional, but we place this directly beside the litter box to catch any dust or smells that she leaves. We vacuum out the filter weekly. It’s amazing, and a little gross, how much it’s keeping out of the air.
- Litter Genie– This contains the dirty litter so that you can scoop a few times and then empty it, and it is sealed off.
- If you have dogs, find a way to keep the cat food away from dogs. Cat food can make dogs very sick if they eat enough, they are not the same food.
- Small Cat Tower – if you have room in your RV, this gives them an elevated space off of your counter tops. We have a small two foot tower with a scratching area so she can still scratch her nails, away from the furniture and carpet. Her bed is placed on top, giving her an out of the way retreat from the dogs.
The litter genie is a device that allows us to clean the litter box as often as we want by providing someplace to store the dirty litter. The trash isn’t a preferred option for us, as dirty litter will quickly gather odors. You absolutely do not want to dispose of litter in the black tank, it will undoubtedly clog up your black tank. Living in such a confined space we do everything in our power to reduce or eliminate bad odors. This is the best system we’ve come up with so far.
We have recently started to train Sox to wear a harness and walk on a leash. We wanted the ability to give her some controlled outdoor time. We have never had an outdoor cat, and while traveling it would be a considerable risk for never seeing her again. For the time being we use a tiny dog harness, and attach a leash to her, so that she cannot stray too far. This allows her to still enjoy the outdoors a little.