Look around any RV park and you’ll notice many canines going on the road with their humans. But did you know that lots of full-timers are RVing with cats too?
Cats are the silent full-timers of America and many travel comfortably by RV. Over the last few years, I’ve spotted many people RVing with cats, to include full-timers and holiday RVers. Recently my curiosity about feline co-pilots got the best of me. Since I travel with a dog, I turned to a full-timer to get her insight on what it’s like to live with cats on the road.
Tips for RVing with cats
Cija Black is full-timing with her husband Dave Jenkins. Nearly one year ago they sold their suburban Portland home and moved into a 30-foot motorhome with two cats. They made inventive adjustments for the cats that helped make their transition easier. The stability of being in a familiar, comfortable and non-threatening shelter with cat-friendly features also makes changing locations much easier.
Some cat-friendly features Cija and Dave built just for their cats include:
- The “Cat Cave.” Dave built a larger platform for the master bed mattress. The mod enabled them to create comfy, hidden nesting places for the cats. As a bonus, the space is always about five to seven degrees cooler than the rest of the RV.
- A pet net for safe moving. When an RV is in motion, it’s smart to crate pets if they’re already comfortable with confinement. If not, you’ll have to get creative. “I really didn’t want to put them in crates because they really would have lost it,” says Cija. Instead of forcing her two cats to use the crates, she put up a large “pet net” typically used to keep animals in the back seats of passenger vehicles. The net keeps the cats confined to the Cat Cave area while they’re moving.
- Beds in sunny locations. Cats love gazing out the windows and surveying their domain. “When we’re not driving we try to make sure they can be in their favorite spots, like in the sun, so they can look outside and feel safer,” says Cija.
- The hidden litter box. The one mod the family loves the most is the hidden litter box under the front steps. After realizing their entry steps had dead space behind them, Cija and Dave cut into the space and slid the cat litter box behind it. With a covered pet door-style entry and space for supplies, life is more comfortable and odor free.
Skip the clumping litter
Cija and Dave tried using the clumping litter their cats were used to. “Moisture in there would turn the litter into a gluey, disgusting mess.” In addition, the litter would track all over the RV. So, they switched to a cedar pine litter, and the moisture problem, odor and mess disappeared.
Most cats don’t have the adaptable nature of dogs, but these mods helped their cats to adjust fairly well. If you’re going to start RVing with cats, allow plenty of time for the transition. “It’s just a matter of figuring out what they will tolerate,” advises Cija.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.