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, Socks, does not prefer to travel, unless she can be with her bed, in a secure location, and confined.
We recently switched our cat from a hard sided carrier to a soft sided carrier and not only does she put herself in the carrier on moving days (when we begin to pack up the rig), she sleeps comfortably the entire ride in the truck with us now. This is huge considering originally she had to ride in a protected carrier in the 5th wheel the first 6 months or so, of us traveling. She has really adapted well to the moving days.
Slide-outs in the RV
Slides can be a particularly dangerous situation for Socks. 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.
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
- Best Cat Litter – After many different samples of cat litter, we have come to our favorite: Aptly named- World’s Best Cat Litter. It doesn’t have the chemical smells that can drive you up the wall being in such a tiny space. This was a welcomed addition this year and has really helped our RV not smell like a fragranced litter box.
- 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 Socks to wear a harness and walk on a leash. We wanted the ability to give her some controlled outdoor time and freedom to move when we were overnighting with the slides in. We have never had an outdoor cat, and while traveling it would be a considerable risk for never seeing her again. We use a tiny dog harness which surprisingly has to be set to the smallest settings (she is only 8 pounds). We put her on the leash during overnights with the slides in and slip knot the leash to a handle in the RV. This gives her space to move around and use her box, and get to her food, without fear of her hiding in the slides.