RV Traveling Cats
Normally, my humans never allow me to post. However, I felt strongly about this subject and promised I would keep my profanity to a minimum if I was allowed to write this article since I am the pro when it comes to : How to Travel with Cats in an RV.
Let me begin by introducing myself. I am Singa, the better looking and purebred of the lot of us (no there is nothing wrong with my eye, I am winking at you cause that’s my style). I was “rescued” so you call it. But until we hit the road I would have called it a transfer. Don’t get me wrong, Jason and Nikki are great most days but being stuck in a building looking out at a patch of grass and a parking lot wasn’t exactly what I would call freedom.
My life truly began the day we hit the open road and during our travels we’ve seen all types of humans with us felines on the road. One thing’s for sure a human can bring a lot of joy and companionship to your RV travels, however if they are not prepared they can also bring a lot of heartache. You wouldn’t believe all the whining they did at one of our last emergency room visits. I mean come on, I was the one stuck wearing the cone and having medicine crammed in all directions and I think you know what I mean by ALL directions!
Travel can be great if you are prepared and take the time to get to know our preferred travel habits and styles (not all of us like the solitary chambers) then things can go great. Here are a few things to consider on our perfectly groomed furry behalves before you hit the road.
Decide what type of Cat you have:
- Inside Only – If you have unwillingly de-clawed one of us (you know who you are) or never let us roam free, a bit of leash training might be a good idea. Believe me; we don’t like the idea anymore than you do at first.
- Outside Only – Don’t expect an outside cat to willingly be ‘stuck’ inside the RV all the time. You’ll need to devote a lot of time walking and stimulating your cat before going on the road. Bring your cats indoors daily to get them used to life inside. Just remind them it’ll be worth it when they get a new yard to roam all the time (not to mention savor mice from around the world).
- Inside and Outside – A great start for an RV friendly cat. Practice “escaping” and “recall” at your home. Yes, you call it “escape” and “recall” we call it “going for a walk” and “just needed some personal space”. Understand which toys and treats will get your cat to come back inside when it’s time to go. You can whistle all day long but we are not dogs and refuse to lower ourselves to such a calling.
- Follower or Loner – When you walk in your yard does your cat follow you? How about when you walk down the alley or street? Some cats enjoy following along for a walk with you wherever you go, and others will lose interest after a few seconds (don’t take it personal, some of us can be real dogs sometimes). Loners are best left on a leash (just like a dog, ha).
- Both Cleo (my adopted sister) and I are followers. We can pretty much go anywhere without having a panic attack. We especially love trails where there is a path to follow. We’ve even taken multi mile hikes, we love being outside with our humans.
Get your Cat used to RV travel:
- Load your cat into a pet carrier and take a few short (20 mile or so) trips in your car. They will likely cry the majority of the time (hello unstable environment). Do this a few times over a 1 week period.
- If all goes well it’s time to take the cats on their first camping trip. Be cautious for escapees. Don’t assume they won’t run through the screen door (been there, done that). This trip should be focused on pampering your cats with treats, petting, toys, do everything you can to make them feel comfortable (trust me, pampering works). If all is well, try taking your cats on a leash walk.
- We took to RV’ing well. We go on walks on (and off) leash depending on the location, during driving we curl up and sleep and we get to stretch our legs at the same time as Jason and Nikki on long driving days.
There are a few things you must have for your cat while traveling (and you can find all of our favorites on our shop page under traveling with pets):
- Hard Sided Pet carrier – A soft sided carrier is not sturdy and many cat hotels only allow a hard sided carrier for that reason.
- Airtight Food Storage – BPA free airtight container will keep pests out of any extra food you have on board (it also keeps the food fresh).
- Microchip – Make sure your cats have a microchip with your current phone numbers and address in case they get lost during travel. (not that I have ever gotten lost, I knew exactly where I was)
- Elastic Pet Collar – A standard breakaway collar will simply ‘pop’ off under any stress leaving your cat without i.d. tags. The collars with elastic built in simply stretch if your cat is caught on something; this allows them to back out of the collar when it’s being pulled.
- Veterinarian Papers – Keep your cats up to date on their shots, and keep the records inside your RV. If there is an emergency or if you need to board your cat you will be required to show papers. Also when crossing the border you’ll need their records, and maybe some special papers to show they belong to your family, check with the country weeks before entering.
- Prescriptions – You can have prescriptions mailed to your campground or USPS “General Delivery” in the town you’re staying in. Make sure you discuss your travels with your Vet, typically if your pet needs a written prescription your vet can order and mail to you.
- Good Litter – An RV is a small space, so purchase the best odor fighting litter with the least amount of dust. Since we’re eco minded we use an all natural litter, I just don’t like the idea of chemicals so close to my neither region. My tongue comes in direct contact will all that.
- Living Will – If something should happen to you during your travels, and your cats survive, make sure you have a living will that includes what you’d like to do with them. If you do not they could end up in a shelter or worse.
- Budget – Costs to have your cats on the road with you can escalate quickly. Make sure you’ve considered this in your budget as you never know when we may need to be boarded, or go into the emergency room.
With a little training and some extra special pampering, you and your cats will be ready to hit the road! Just look at me, RV life is the tops!
Shipping Pet Meds – Many people have asked how we get our pet meds on the road. Since we’re on the move constantly we use 1800petmeds and have our items shipped to the next RV resort we’re planning to arrive at. Just make sure you alert the RV resort beforehand, and confirm how they like to receive mail (i.e. Attn: Guest or Attn: Manager, etc).
Calm a Cat – We have never needed to calm our pets as they have behaved well on the road. If you are concerned about your cat getting a little anxious you can look into ‘Rescue Remedy’ or ‘Feliway Spray’ available at most pet stores. We’ve asked several veterinarians on the road about their personal recommendations for anxious cats during travel, and both these products seem to come up each time.
Crossing the Border – We have crossed into Canada, and back into the USA a couple times now without any issue. Make sure you have all the paperwork for your pets, for the cats an up to date Rabies Vaccination (every 3 years) and the yearly FVRCP are most important, but sometimes you must have other shots up to date. Ask your vet, many have dealt with these issues before.
Letting your Cat outside – Some RV resorts allow you to let your cats outdoors and others do not. Don’t think you can let your cat run free at a State Park or National Park, if they get caught you can get kicked out or worse (i.e. a giant fine if you cat kills a bird or animal). We are comfortable leaving the door open at times as Cleo will usually hang out at the step, and Singa will go out and explore. Both cats all come back, every time, no issue. If you let your cats out, be prepared to get yelled at by dog owners, grumpy old men, or the RV park manager if you are at a campground (its usually best to ask first). It’s a total pain but we do realize not everyone loves cats.
Do you have an RV cat? Share your own Traveling Cat tips in the comments below, and if you’re a cute cat drop me a line anytime…meow!
Hello. We have watched many of your YouTube videos. I was surprised to see your cats walking off leash, I think up in the Canadian mountains. My question is how did you start? I mean how did you know the first time that they wouldn’t dart and run away? Seems like you would always be taking a big chance with any first time situation. What do you think?
When we head out in our RV it’s often for a week or longer. On these trips we tend to do day trips to nearby towns etc to enjoy attractions. A lot of those don’t allow pets even on leash. What would you do in this situation if you brought kity with you camping, but can’t take them for that day?
Well for one thing kitties are easier to leave behind than dogs. Cats can tolerate warm temps a little better and they don’t need to go outside to tinkle! Many RVers with dogs tend to stay in moderate temps for just that reason, but if you’re just taking short trips that isn’t always an option. If you’re worried about heat when leaving poochie behind, then you’d either need to stay in a campground with electric or you could invest in a soft start for your air conditioning unit and you’ll need a battery management system that can start your generator too so that your batteries don’t run down. You can get more info on the easy start unit here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/air-conditioning-sailboat
Hope that’s helpful!
We are thinking of traveling for a summer in a van with our cat and my biggest concern is with bears- If bears break into vehicles and RVs to get snacks, won’t they try to get cats?
I can’t find anyone mentioning this in blog posts about traveling with cats. Any advice or experience around this? Have you ever heard of this happening?
Thanks for any tips!
Hey Sarah. I’ve never heard of a bear breaking in to go after a cat. Bears are mostly opportunistic and tend to forage as opposed to hunting. A cat will smell like any other live animal and shouldn’t be an incentive for a bear. Things that are incentive for bears? Don’t leave food out on counters. Do NOT leave ANYTHING lying around in a plastic grocery bag. Bears in areas with lots of people have learned that plastic grocery bags mean tasty snacks. They will break car windows to get at a bag left on the seat, regardless of what may actually be in the bag. And then your cats may escape & be lost or become prey for another animal like a coyote or a cougar. If you have food scraps & such in your trash, empty it more often than usual. And never leave a bag of trash outside your van – always place trash in the containers provided (which are bear-proof in areas where its needed).
I would caution you not to let your cat outside unless it’s with you on a leash. Coyotes will take small pets when given the opportunity, and I do know people who have lost cats to coyotes. They are a much bigger concern to your cat than any bear.
Enjoy the trip!
Planning to move from PA to Oregon with 4 cats. I want to crate them, 2 to a crate, for safety reasons while driving and if we have to get out for gas. They are indoor only and I don’t want a cat getting lost. I figure we can let them out when we sleep then try to get them back in again when traveling again. Wondering if we can all squeeze in a Cruise America compact RV. We may also be towing a Honda CRV too. I will be carefully driving this thing as my husband is not the best driver.
Hi. My cat has claws and we have leather interior. He is an inside outside cat. Any ideas about how to keep him from clawing the furniture? He clawed our furniture at home and I put on double sided tape. But the tape left residue and marks. He’s not always great about using a scratching post. Thanks!
You could try Soft Paws. They are “caps” that you glue over cats’ claws and work quite well.
We used to have a litter box for our 2 cats back by the back sink between our shower and bedroom. Just recently we bought a litter robot and put it in the closet under our power management system. There used to be a washer) dryer there .it works great
Cool article. My wife and I plan on travelling in a few years with our cat also. But we are planning on a pull behind trailer instead of an RV. Anyone have insight on this? Leave the cat in the trailer “free roaming” with litter? Sounds like most cat seem to do well while travelling which is good to here. My wife was concerned about this.
Hi Jeff. We travel in a Class A with our cats but have friends who tow trailers or fivers with kitties. The overwhelming majority of those folks put their cats and a litter box in their vehicles for travel days. As I understand it, the main reason is that trailers and 5th wheels are not designed to have humans in them while underway. Therefore they aren’t insulated against noise in the same way a Class A or C is, and the suspension isn’t designed for human comfort either so they are very noisy and bouncy while being towed. As you can imagine, this could be really terrifying for a cat and might create an aversion to travel over time. I’m sure there are camping forums online where you could get more in-depth info, but hopefully this will get you started.
Hi, we have been traveling for five years with our cat. He gets truck sick and will howl for hours in the vehicle. We put him in our fifth wheel with a kitty mat placed on the bed. He has done very well, some minor tummy upsets so we put a tarp on the bed just in case.
I’m glad you’ve figured out what makes him happiest, and that you are aware of the trailer bouncing issue and have done your best to make him comfy. I think some animals get car sick when things are rushing by the windows – maybe your kitty sees less movement in the bedroom of the 5th.
Never put your animals in the trailer!
That’s like putting your kids in there lol (though I am sure there’s times you would like to!)
Keep your pets in the car int parked. Have a great trip!
We travel with our three cats in a 5th wheel and they ride in a cage in the truck with us. I’d be concerned about leaving them in the travel trailer while traveling. That could be really scary. I think either a carrier or a cage in the truck would work well. Best of luck.
Never put your animals in the trailer!
That’s like putting your kids in there lol (though I am sure there’s times you would like to!)
Keep your pets in the car int parked. Have a great trip!
Hello – thanks for all the great advice from fellow cat-lovers. Sorry if this question’s been answered, but my question has to do with letting the cat roam in the rv while driving. We don’t have our rv yet, but our plan is to try rv-ing for a year, taking our elderly dog and our 5-year-old tomcat Hugo with us. We do take Hugo on trips up to our cabin, and we traditionally put him in a cat carrier for the trip. Problem is he gets carsick and throws up, and just does not enjoy the ride. Recently we’ve started letting him “roam” in the van while we drive, and this seems to have helped. The passenger watches to make sure he doesn’t bother the driver or get under the pedals – he will usually find a little perch or come sit on the passenger’s lap until the trip is over. This calms him and lets him look out the window, which helps with the motion sickness. Would it be ok to let a cat wander in the RV while it’s moving? I’m sure we could “rig” some sort of screen to keep him away from the driver. Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks!
Hi Leigh. In the RV videos you’ll frequently see Singa wandering around on the dash, so the Wynns didn’t put them in carriers. I also RV with cats and we don’t confine them because they are miserable and yowl all the time. I don’t want them to hate travel, so we let them roam. We have trained ours that the driver area is off-limits while we’re underway though. That being said, I also know RVers who believe it is safer for pets to be in carriers that are belted onto the couch while traveling. It’s an individual decision to make, and it sounds like you’re all much happier with Hugo free to roam.
We never travel with our kitties roaming free. They are in kennels and are seat belted onto the sofa. God forbid any accident, they will be safer and not tossed around nor likely to get free on an interstate.
I think it depends on what type of RV you have. If it’s a trailer or a 5th wheel it would be better for your kitty to ride in the truck. If he or she doesn’t like a carrier then I would suggest a crate (like a cage). We had our three cats in carriers at first and they meowed a lot. Then we got a cage and put two of them together and they are doing really well. If you have a class C or a class A then the cats could ride in the RV without a problem.
Our three cats travel in the RV with us and Rome Free. our only problem is when we first take off we have one that gets car sick but once we are on the road a while he is fine he comes up and sits on the couch and just looks out the window so we prep him for travel in the beginning he has a safe place he likes to go to that we now make sure it’s okay for him to throw up in and clean up and all that good stuff. They play in the driver side all the time while parked but have been trained to stay out while moving. Our only big issue woth them is the cat box.. I jist cant find a litter that doesnt track all the way to our bed and has good odor control and dust free, that we can find consistently across the us.
Clystina I too RV with cats and I personally (this is not a Wynn’s recommendation) can’t say enough good things about Arm & Hammer’s Clump & Seal litter. It still tracks (I don’t think they’ll ever fix that one!) but is great at odor control and is 100% dust free. I read that on the box & thought “yeah sure it is” but it *really* is dust free. It’s not cheap but I won’t use anything else now.
I have always used EverFresh Unscented with ACTIVATED Charcoal…but I think you are right….they will never fix the litter tracking all over.
The cat litter that I have found that works best is found at Tractor Supply or other feed stores. It is pine pellets. Sometime called equine pellets since it is used often for bedding. I always use baking soda sprinkled in the bottom and then just pour in the pine pellets. I have 2 cats and their litter can last 5-7 days before replacing it. Awesome odor control and it is not dusty.
I would like to suggest using the pelletized equine pine bedding for your cat litter. Only smell is after they poop if they don’t cover it well. There is no problem with getting rid of used litter since it is just ‘sawdust” and can be put on base of plants ‘not edible’ or thrown out if desired. The poops should be disposed of properly. Look on you tube regarding the setup for this system and there is very little tracking and easy care. No smell and disposal issues. I have 2 cats and they both had no problem with the transition to the pellets. Happy Trails!
Hi, Leigh. We have travelled for five years with our kitty, Sir Basil, riding in the fifth wheel. Like your kitty, he gets truck sick and howls for hours if we have him ride with us. I put a tarp on the bed and a kitty mat for him to sit on. Make sure there is noth8ng on the bed that could bounce and hit your pet. The front of the trailer bounces the least, so this is a good place for your pet. I have sprayed lavender or a calming spray, but I don’t always do that. We have had some tummy upsets in the trailer too, but not the severe throw up and diarrhea that occurs if he travels in the truck.
I would be comfortable with that.
Okay, here’s a challenge. We have ten cats….indoor/outdoor (confined by fence since one was run over a year ago). We want to travel and have done so with our son staying in the house and feeding them. But that’s not always going to be the case and we’re getting to the age that we want to still get around before we’re too old to do it anymore.
Is there a way to design a motorhome/RV to accommodate that many cats? Would you recommend it? Not all are “good” cats who will come when I need them to. Some get stress UTIs easily, and others are constant attention hogs.
Is this foolish? Should we just ask our son to live there while we’re gone and come up with a routine for him and the cats so they’re fed and get a minimum of attention? I believe cats are more attached to location than people. I’m thinking this is a really stupid idea to try to take them along for the ride.
We do not currently have an RV and have never used one so the entire adventure would be new to us. Thinking a specific design would allow us to put a screen door between the cab and the “house” portion. Also thinking that using upper cabinet space for a series of cages or a fenced cat-walk might be useful during the drive. Then maybe a screened cage to put outside to let the cats get some fresh air without actually letting them be free.
Tell me I’m crazy. I’m that woman who takes in every cat that needs a home that stops by my house, including the neighbors’ cats! But now, at 64, I’m beginning to think they are cramping my style and would like to figure out how to incorporate them into my desire to travel with my husband for a few years.
Wow – that’s a challenge alright, and about 5 times as much cat as I have experience with! One big challenge with that many cats will be finding room for enough litter boxes. Some people have “hidden” litter boxes under beds, dinette seats, or in cabinets and one even has an exhaust fan: http://www.technomadia.com/2016/01/bus-renovations-a-cats-purrrfect-rv-litter-box/ But RVs are small spaces and so smells and litter tracking will be a concern. Slides are also a big concern with cats, as cats have been killed when their owners opened or closed slides with cats hiding in/on them. If you start doing some research you’ll find a lot of articles and blog posts on RVing with cats, and maybe they will give you good ideas and inspiration. Then you can decide if 10 cats is too many. Good luck, and here are a few articles for inspiration to get you started. http://rvlife.com/full-time-rving-with-cats/ http://www.doityourselfrv.com/rv-mod-travel-cat-box/# http://wheelingit.us/2014/09/22/5-tips-to-rving-camping-with-cats/
Get a pick up and toy hauler. Put a gate between the people and car parts. Convert the car part to a kitty playground.
I think you could RV with 10 cats. It might be a challenge but it could be done. We’ve been traveling with our three cats since October 2017. I think you would need a good sized RV, one of the bigger ones. We have a 35 foot 5th wheel.
Maybe you can do a bit of both. Take the ones that you think will do the best traveling and leave the others at home and have your son stay at your house with them. That way it won’t be too much for either of you. I’m also looking at RVing very soon with a dog and an indoor/outdoor cat. My biggest fear is that she’ll take off and not come back when we need to leave.
Please thank Singa’s Parents for the lovely article about RV’ing with cats. We are experienced recreational RV’ers and we take our dogs everywhere, but our Kitty, Mila, has not gone with us yet. She is indoor and outdoor, however the shelter swore she was indoor, and made me sign in blood that she would never be let outside, we are not of that mind and believe she was an intelligent rescue (who was given up due to her last parent’s child’s allergies btw, ummm, use generic zyrtec people, don’t abandon your pets! Honestly!) s she has command of our yard, follows us for walks around the neighborhood and is more relaxed than the dogs. (She just said, “duh, humans!) So she was not lost.
I am going on an Oregon Coast trip for five days in August. We have air conditioning, not that I think we’ll need it on the Coast, and we are in a 38ft motorhome. The dogs are going, and they can be a bit loud at times, but then she lives with them so knows that. There are lots of places for her to hide, and climb up on as well.
I have this feeling she would be happier going with us, than being left with my daughter’s inside only cat (9 months old) even if they are wonderful pet parents. Thoughts? Anyone? If I was her I think I would love to curl up in the big front window of the Class A and have people adore me as they walk or drive by. The only thing I worry about is her bolting out if for some reason we aren’t careful. Do cats generally come back if well fed and know the RV is their home at the time? Is an open can of cat food enough of a shout out to come back Mila? Let me know what you think. I would hate to have her run away now. She is a part of our family of course.
From what I can gather, you have a great loyal outside cat. The key has always been for us to give them time (around your home, their known safe space) to sniff out the RV, rub all over it and get used to the space before traveling in it. Then, the only new thing is driving down the road and a new yard to sniff out (which is the fun part). We always take the cats out for a quick leash walk first thing so they have a chance to familiarize themselves with the area around our RV. Then, if anything happens and they bolt, they sniff their way right back.
I would advise to anyone considering this to be slow and extremely cautious. We tried taking our Chloe out last weekend, after months of planning and dreaming about her going with us on short 1 or 2 day trips, catastrophy struck in the opening seconds of the trip. Our carrier, top latch/handle, popped open as we tried moving her from the car to the trailer. She darted into the desert. I followed and kept up with her for about 20 seconds. I lost track of her and she was gone. We are pretty certain we lost her to coyotes that night.
In hindsight, I would have been more careful and planned the details much more diligently. I would have spent time testing her with kennel/carrier time at the local park as well as simply getting her accustomed to road trips with no destination only drive time. We did not have a solid plan and were not cautious enough…and paid the ultimate price.
Please take care if you are taking an adult cat into a new experience. There is risk.
So very sorry to hear about the loss of your fur baby Michael.
I have a 3yo indoor only cat whom has never been camping. We have purchased property to build a house so will now be camping up there every weekend and even extended weekends. She has never been outside. I bought a “kitty holster” in case I decided to bring her out, but am worried it will give her more of a reason to want to escape the camper. Its a 23ft camper so she will have a decent amount of space. I have a calming collar on her to prepare and help her be more comfortable with it. She has been in the camper with me quite a few times now while it was at the house and seemed to enjoy it. However she liked staying by the door and would try and walk out when it would open. I am very torn about bring her out on a leash. My BF’s thoughts are that she should get used to outside in case she does get out so she can know where to go to come back. My dads argument is that it will promote her escaping. I am truly torn. We will be in the middle of the woods and I would be devastated if she got out and we couldn’t find her.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have though about leaving her home, but she is social and has asthma. I would like for her to be with me so I can give her her inhaler if needed. Also I would feel horrible for her to be stuck home alone.
Thanks in advanced! Alicia
Wow – that’s a toughie. So much of it depends on the individual cat and her personality. Some like to roam and some stay close to home. I think you are definitely better off bringing her with you rather than leaving her at home, but I’m afraid you’ll have to decide whether or not to let her out of the camper. I definitely wouldn’t just let her go wander on her own: she should be on a leash or contained in some manner. In addition to leash options you could also try letting her spend time with you in a screen room or buy a small cat enclosure (you can buy all sorts of cat tents and condos that will let her enjoy the outdoors without running loose). That might be a good “first step” since it lets her enjoy all the perks of being outdoors but lets her get used to the location and doesn’t encourage “wandering”. If you decide to put her in an outdoor enclosure, definitely sit with her for the first few times to make sure she’s comfortable with it, and always stay close by in case she gets into trouble (or if you have predators like coyotes). Good luck with it.
Great idea thank you! I have started bringing her with me outside on her leash and harness and she is living it. Loud noises scare her which I expect so I bring her right back into the house w me. When she’s ready to come back out she will meow at the screen door. I have a screen house we are setting up this weekend which I was thinking would be a good place to let her explore. When I do bring her out, I don’t let her walk out of the door. I pick her up and carry her. Idk if that even really matters but I figured mine as well in case she learns she has to wait for me to carry her out. I’ll def look into the cat tents you were mentioning for sure!
That’s a great idea – then she doesn’t get the idea that she can run out of the door! Good luck with it.
I met a family who had a cat that would ninja his way out of doors the second they opened. At home they decided to screen in their porch so he would just be running into a different room and they could catch him and put him back inside the house before they left the porch. When they bought an RV they took the cat with them but invested a couple hundred dollars in a screened in extra room that attached to the side of the RV and that corrals him in the same way.
How long should a outside cat stay indoors after a move? Everything is set up outside the same as the old site but the Husband said to leave cat inside for 3 days minimum. I love love love my baby but it’s like THUNDER DOME in my home right now. ??????
I bought a camper last year (2016), but every time I went camping I felt terrible about leaving my 17 year old cat behind. She is very attached to me and I was worried about her. I asked my vet about taking her with me and she said that it would probably be better for her than leaving her home alone. Since than Tiger (the cat) and I have had so much relaxing time together. This year (2017) I have made several places in the camper for her to climb in and relax. Just to prove that our animals are never to old for a new adventure.
That is so great that she adapted to travel at that age! Love it.
What is your latest brand of cat harness? Noticed you successfully using one down in the Bahamas. Truly, you are a handsome cat. Happy purring and thanks.
Where did you keep the litter box in your RV?
I need to know that, too! I’m looking at moving into my RV with three cats, two who get along, one who doesn’t. The same one that despises sharing a litter box!
we’ve just bought our first RV and would like to take our cats a Male 8 years and a female 4 years..we are planning just to take them to the local park where we’ve decided to make our home base for this summer..we’ve been on one weekend trip without them. He has had FLUTD in the past but has been fine the last several years. We want to go away next year for a month and are hoping to get them use to the RV this year, First to spend a weekend at the RV without going any where then for a short weekend trip or two. We have had them both chipped and up to date on vaccines. We plan to have a harness on them but not allow them out unless they are in the pup tent we bought them that can fit a very big dog or three so they can get fresh air. any other suggestions? we plan on two litter boxes and to keep them contained while on the road driving, a friend who travels with them cat said its safer as you don’t want them under the brake or gas pedals. they used a very large dog crate for this so they can still see everything and we can see them..
Sounds like you are on top of it, good for you! Each cat is different so you will learn what works best for your kitties in your rig. All your prep sounds like the perfect start to me.
Hello cat people !
On our side (my parents and I), this summer will be our third summer we bring our cats to our RV, but unlike some of you, it’s a park trailer, as it has a sliding door instead of a regular one and it has no grey waters tank or fresh waters tank.. Thus, we stay at the same resort year after year.
The first year, my brother left our hometown to live six hours away and so he couldn’t come to cate for our cats and so we resorted to bring them with us. At that time, they were both 10yo seniors. While Misty, the younger and smaller one, got used to RV life very well, the other one, Lily, refused to use the litterbox even for pee. We knew she had bladder stones in the past and was likely to snob the litterbox if something bothered her but we didn’t know her kidneys were failing, so we returned her to the house, and the year that followed, we had to put Lily to sleep as her health was decreasing and we couldn’t afford extra care for her.
Six weeks after Lily’s passing, I was ready to have my own cat, but with what happened with Lily, it was more preferable to adopt a kitten rather than an adult, as kittens get used more easily to RV life. So I adopted Luna, a 11 weeks old black kitten from the town shelter and I assumed the costs of her spay so we won’t get an army of tomcats on our parking lot if she was in her heat cycle.
Little Luna, who’s now 14 months old, got used to RV life very well ! In addition to her spay, I had her microchipped and I got her used to the leash like we did with Misty as well as our previous cats. The older cat is spayed too.
We even added a rope along the balcony where we attach the leash, so our cats can go in the front and the back as they please, as well as allowing Misty (the remaining senior) to get some peace from the young cat.
So, if I can give extra advices :
– If your cat tends to pee outside of litterbox and/or had urinary tract issues, s/he is likely to not adapt well, so make sure your cat is perfectly healthy, and if needed, a cat educator may help you with issues that are not caused by medical conditions.
– Kittens are easier to get used to RV life than older cats.
-Spay/neuter your cats ! Some resort parks already have stray cat issues, so no need to contribute more to it by an unspayed female who’d draw all tomcats and bring kittens that you’d have the hasdle to find good homes for them, or by an unsterilized male that would impregnate females in the vicinity. And shelters are already overpopulated with cats !
When you are boondocking, how do you keep your RV cool for the kitties? I’m so worried about my 16-year old little lady getting overheated while I am away.
The safest solution is to follow cool-ish weather & not boondock in areas where people and kitties will overheat. If you must boondock and the weather’s warm, you could run a generator and leave your AC on – just make sure you have plenty of gas for it to keep running (and make sure it’s reliable and in good running order). Cats are a little happier with warmer temps than dogs, so even if your rig will be in the 80’s cats are pretty happy as long as they have water. You should leave your roof fans on if you have them, and if your batteries are good you could run a small floor fan that she can lay in front of to cool off. If in doubt though, don’t risk it – her welfare is too important!
Thank you! Great idea for a little fan. Indeed my sweet girl is too precious to take any chances.
Nice to read about traveling with cats. My man and I are looking into taking a sabbatical and converting our SUV into a camper and hitting the road with our two mature rescue moggies.
What do you do with your cats when you go and explore outdoors or adventure things your cats can’t come with you? I have 2 cats as well and thinking of doing this but my obstacle is wanting to explore and adventure and some things you just can’t have your pet with you. What do you recommend or have done during those times.
Hi, we have our cats onboard also, and have an informative blog post about what products work well for us. https://svdenalirosenc43.blogspot.com/p/cats-onboard.html
Don’t forget to look at a day in the life of Gus, he loves to share. http://svdenalirosenc43.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-day-in-life.html
Thank you for the great info! We have two cats that are pretty well behaved, and we’re toying with the idea of one year on the road before moving to Hawaii. My job allows us to work from anywhere, so we’re thinking this might be a fun adventure. You’re posts have made us a little more comfortable having the cats on the road. Thanks again!
We were concerned how our two cats would like living on the road, but they do great. They love to hang out in the front window and watch the world. What’s really worked for us is the Breeze cat box system — no smell and no sand. We wish we had stumbled upon it a decade ago. The URL below will throw a few well deserved coins to the Wynn’s.
I am planning a two -at least- year long trip in a converted van RV. I don’t want to leave my cats behind. This article has been a good finding however, mine will be along, long trip. Both my cats are inside cats.
My wife and I have a somewhat unuual issue (I think – not sure). Between my us,there are two cats and a dog and if we rv we absolutely have to take the pets with us. Obviously the dog is in/out as is one of the cats – who we adopted because he kept inviting himself into the house. The other female cat is in only at this time (shows no want to go out, but was born in a barn and lived in a shelter during her first year). As far as options to leave them behind, there is no option. There is no other choice. My question is simple – what are the odds of finding rv parks where we could stay?
Apologies for some of the spelling and extra words – my ipad at times does predictive stuff, and one of my eyes is out of whack. Two for two. “Unuual” s/b unusual. “Between my us” = Between my wife and I.
WOW! I don’t know where in my brain that came from.
Well, at least I did spell “rv” correctly.
Pets are very common at RV parks and very few allow no pets at all. Almost every RV’er I know has dogs, cats or both.
Forgot to add, we have two inside cats we’ve traveled across this country with and they do very well. If you don’t believe it just ask them.
For those of you concerned about leaving your animals in the RV when it is extremely hot/cold, this is one solution: http://www.cellsigntechnologies.com/simpal-t2.html
My wife & I lived in our motor home for 2 years. Now we winter in south Florida 3-4 months per year. Staying away from the costal communities allow us to afford it easier. We pull a trailer with our car, motorcycle, & washer & dryer. So we are somewhat self sufficient. Love sites like this to hear what others are doing or would like to do. We have been rving for 20+years in various types of rvs.
Check this out.
Hi, I love your videos! My husband and I just bought an RV and plan to travel everywhere we can. I was wondering how you make sure your cats are safe (from overheating) in the RV while you are unplugged and out on a hot summer day.
hello i am a lady in her forties with 2 cats that have never bin outside and am considering on talking with hubby bout permanent living in an rv. we have no kids so space isnt an issue for us. i have been toying with the idea for years and wondered what the good ,bad and ugly is of this sort of thing is like. thing is we spend most of our income on bills and never get ahead and i often wonder can rv living in alberta canada be done? thing is we have big dreams on retiring in british columbia and the way things are going i doubt thatll happen for us as we seem to get deeper and deeper in to dept.we love the outdoors in summer and well we tend to stay indoors in winter so having a warm place to live is a must. can one get a camper made so that the winter freeze dont bite and cats can be happy. what is the best camper to live in considering that winters in alberta do hit -40 c at times? what is the average cost of the up keep of a rv? is a moterhome best or a tailor best? what kind of challenges would a person face if one was to do this with in the first year(ie costs,repairs,life challenges,ect)? how would one get a morgage for a rv if one has bad credit? any information on this subject would be grand.
Was not A RV but a car. I lived in my car for 8 months. My cats love it. A whole new world to open up to them. I have a pair of bother n sister tuxedo cats. My boy cat in 5 years had been out of the hoiuse for one time for 3 days;. The girl she could go outside. The boy would sit in the window and watch the world .like a newborn. I would take them for walks and there was no way I would let them of thier lease. Now we sit in a house and are very unhappy. soon we will be in a travel trailer.
Love your YouTube videos, which is where I first took note of your beautiful traveling companions, now looking forward to following your site.
As part of the planning for retirement my husband and I did not replace our beloved cat of 16 years so we could start our dream of extended RV travel. Then.. we were adopted by a sweet little stray that showed up on our doorstep, so named Percy. She is now an indoor/outdoor cat with lots of energy. We just traded in our Class B for a small Class A and have decided to try traveling with her, thanks so much for the great information… it is much needed.
Great article! Is your cat a Pixie-Bob? We travel in a small teardrop so a pet may not be the best for us at this time, but we can dream! Can you recommend cats that travel well? Thanks, Diane
Hi! Thank you for the great advice! We are part time RVers who hope to be full time by next year! We absolutely love cats and have been looking for a companion to join us on our travels. Our only concern is leaving the kitty inside the RV while we are out in very hot/very cold conditions? Do you leave your air conditioner or heat running? We wouldn’t be comfortable letting the cat roam while we are out, especially in new environments
Thanks so much!
We are full time RVers and recently acquired a 3rd cat. We have a 35 foot motorhome, so obviously not a lot of private space to give them their own space initially. I’m open to any suggestions to help their introductions. We have a 13 year old male, who is very friendly and a 13 year old female who is MY CAT! The new addition is a 5 year old male who we know is a friendly cat. Their intro is set for Tuesday after a 5 hour flight from Philly to Phoenix with my wife.
ooooh, keep them in separate rooms for starters so they can smell each other, then move the new cat into the carrier and let them all sniff each other out. Other than that you’re guess is as good as mine. Good luck.
I suggest you look up Litter Kwitter. The greatest thing since sliced bread.
Dear Wynns et al
Hasn’t anybody heard of a Litter Kwitter? (www.litterkwitter.com)
It only took us 2 months to train our Abyssinians (Aby, and her brother Ssinian) from when they were 3 months old. They are now 8 years old and have only used a human toilet when inside. (Aby even used a next door neighbour’s toilet when they left their back door open.) ?
No smell. No germs. I’ve heard of an attachable sensor which will flush when it senses movement, otherwise just flush when you get home. Of course our ‘reasons for living’ ? have never been boarded. They have always had baby/house sitters. It would also be a challenge with a composting toilet, but still worth a try. The website insists that older cats can learn to use it as well and the Wynn cats appear smart enough. Be aware, unless you have multiple toilets, you will have to cross your legs and wait your turn!
Sadly, the RV life is only ‘my’ dream, so I’ll continue to live through you; wait for nature to take its course; and spend ‘his’ life insurance payout on a 45 foot American Eagle with matching trailer for the car, kayak, and bicycle. Not that I’ve given it much thought.
P.S. The insurance crack was definitely a JOKE. If only winning the lottery wasn’t so hard. HAHA.
P.P.S. Lerv the Wynns. I even watch the videos in bed, with headphones, when the lights are out so I won’t disturb ‘him’. ? Then the clown (JW) makes me laugh out loud and then I get told off. ?
HAHA, we love the idea of the Litter Kwitter but sadly it will not work with our composting toilet.
Hi enjoy following your site. we will soon be RVing with 2 inside cats and wondering where you keep your litter box.any info.will be appreciated .Thanx
Maik and Horst from Germany
Hy Nikki, hy Jason, we are dog-owners, two wonderful labradors, Bruno and Yogi, that arme travelling with us when we are on holidays with our trailer. One thing that is always a topic is the temperature-management inside, when we spend time in the warmer regions of Europe. What do you do to make sure that temperature doesn’t get to high when you visit a city (your trips to Florida and California)? Especially AC perhaps cannot be run for many hours without being hooked up, I think.
Enjoy watching your videos.we will be traveling with 2 indoor cats in a class A rv. wondering where you keep the litter box in yours.Thanks. Any info.will be appreciated.
Just wanted to say thanks for replying to my question on you tube. I think it’s really cool that you guys travel with your cats. My RV experience is almost none. I do own a piece of property locally and have a small 5th wheel on it just for the occasional getaway but it is kinda old and dated. I’ve learned a lot from your informational videos. You guys make them well and they are fun to watch. Great job.
Thanks for watching Jerry! We love travel and are always happy to help take away some of the fear or uncertainty about it for others when we can.
Loved the article. We full time in a 5th wheel & wondered about the best spot for the litter box. Tried it in the closet & the shower . Did not like either spot . One day I noticed the area next to the steps going upstairs & thought about putting a kitty door there as the basement is on the other side. When we looked at the basement area there was a panel that had to be removed to place the litter box. When my husband removed the panel it was covering all the wiring. Massive amounts of electric wires that we didn’t want him getting into. My ingenious husband took the kitty tunnel (it’s a kitty toy) firmly attached one end to the litter box opening, the other to the kitty door, allowing him to go thru the door, travel down the tunnel directly into his litter box. Works perfect . It’s out of sight & kitty is safely away from the wiring. It’s been about 6 months & works great.
After reading this article I mentioned this to my partner, he was very interested and was hoping to get further information. We just bought a new 5th wheel and are looking to travel with our two cats. Cat box of course is a must lol
Tom & Linda
Great article and great timing as we are about to travel with our motorhome. Love the Singa writing part. Our cat was a rescue and was pretty abused when we got him, so he has some trust issues at first but we have spoiled him now. I call him our bi-polar cat with anger management issues. He can love you and purr like a Mack truck and bite you the next second. It’s like having a two year old child in the house. He was declawed by the previous owner and we are not sure if that added to his anger issues. We have been taking him outside on a leash to train him for travel but that is a work in progress. He gets extremely mad when picks up a scent of another animal to the point I can’t pick him up. Thanks for the heads up on the spray., we will check on that. Keep the articles coming, you two should have a tv show. Hope to meet some day.
My husband’s job requires us to move every 3-4 years. We have two indoor cats that were rescued from the side of the road. They are brother and sister. They were raised with a border collie, so they actually behave like dogs… sitting for treats, coming when called. When we moved from CA to KS two years ago, we camped our way across 8 states. The cats (Jack and Celia) ride in the truck cab and don’t mind time in the truck as long as we play 1980s rock and roll. If my sons try to switch to techno or country they start meowing. We are thinking of full time rving when he retires in 5 years. Love, love your blog.
I am usually in my Class C RV as the lone human, with my two cats as co-pilots (not really in the cab, but in the camper), while driving. They have now learned how to escape their hardside carriers and they jump up into my windshield…of course I have to do an emergency pull over (which isn’t fun). Is there any type of barrier that anyone has tried to keep any pets out of the cab? Hopefully I’m not the only person who has had this happen…
Well, I can see how that would be a problem. I don’t personally know of a solution but hopefully someone else with chime in with a suggestion!
What breed of cat do you have?
I also had the AC question regarding keeping the RV cool when not there. I recently took a regular 5 hour road trip with the cats in hard carriers in the back seat. They were so hot they were panting. We had the car air on but initially it did not cool the entire area well. when we saw this we went to the supermarket, bought ice, put it into freezer bags and slid them under their bedding as well as wet their fur. This helped until the car A/C did a better job. But that bothered me so much, and I don’t want to be in a situation where the heat brings them harm. Suggestions? Solutions? They are indoor only. Thanks!
Love this post! I have a question for you though, we live in a RV with our cat now, but we have a camper van that we are going to go across the country in… and of course we have to bring our Cat! I’m worried though about the places that we may stop that are hot and muggy… what do you do to keep the inside of the van cool so our kitty is ok if we have to leave for a little? Not all campgrounds and places we park (like Walmart parking lots sometimes) will have plug ins to run the AC. Do you have any recommendations?? Thank you !
If for quick bite etc we take two sets of keys our tundra lets leave car running lock doors with other keys set alarm and air runs whole time for ki5ty girl and puppy bobby
I understand the need to keep the pets safe, however…as an FYI leaving your car idling can be worse on the environment and your car than driving it. I would encourage you to look at other options.
This is such a great post and very serendipitous! My husband, one year old son, two cats, and myself are preparing to move from Atlanta, Georgia to Portland, Oregon this August. The in laws just bought an RV and decided to make our move a ten day “family vacation” (ie they’re coming with us for the drive out, so it’s four adults, one baby, and two cats). Any tips for marathon cross-country trips with cats? We’re talking about 5-6 hours of driving each day with complete RV novices (both humans and felines).
I am curious about starting off a new cat on the rv lifestyle. We have had Lucy for 3 months and she has settled in nicely with us. She is a small cat only 6 lbs. and is 5 years old, our only pet. She likes the outdoors and will wear a harness well. We have taken her on practice car rides, she does well. I am curious how long you wait each time you moved around in your rv before you allow your cats outside again? Do they consider the rv their ‘home’ and therefore no matter where they are they come ‘home’?
Each cat is different (much like children) and so what works for one, may not work for the other. Both of our cats consider the RV home no matter where we are. Cleo likes sticking very close to the RV while Singa loves to leash up and head out on a hike.
I loved your old website and found it much easier to navigate than this new one. Perhaps a more user-friendly search function would help, especially if it were placed at the top AND bottom of the page. For example, I searched your new site for “rving with cats” and found 42 “hits,” none of which were the one I wanted. So instead I searched for “Singa,” and found the thread I needed.
I especially love your helpful videos: they are well-made, amusing, brief, and right to the point. Far too many so-called helpful RV-related videos feature the maker and helpers saying “Ummmmm…then there’s this….” for 15 ENDLESS, BORING, UNHELPFUL minutes. YOURS are fun and truly helpful. Thank you! (Now please invent something that will make the contents of my holding tanks vanish at the touch of a button….)
I know the change is different (but it had to happen) and we are still weeding through hundreds of old posts and categorizing so that finding things will get easier. For example, The Traveling Cats post is on the RV’ing page under the lifestyle category. Hang in there with us.
Thanks for the kind words on our videos! We try to get to the point and be helpful and its so nice to hear you feel that way!
what brand of natural cat litter do you use? Thanks 🙂
Worlds Best multi-cat works well for us, I’ve been using it for several years now.
I just wanted to say that if anyone has a cat diagnosed with herpes, you can give her l-lysine, 1000 mg. a day. I had a cat who was born with herpes and multiple birth defects and she lived at least fourteen years. L-lysine is a miracle and it’s also very inexpensive and readily available.
We met with a professional eye veterinarian who is one of the leaders in feline herpes and he told us the same: L-lysine. He also told us that something like 90% of cats have some form of the feline herpes virus.
My wife and I were wondering as we transition from a 5th wheel to a DP where you keep your cat pan? We would like to begin traveling with our three cats also.
Thanks again for all of your videos. They keep us inspired. Keep up the great work!
We keep it up in front of the passenger chair, when we arrive to camp we turn around the chair and the litter box is hidden. It works well for us.
In adopting a new lifestyle of RV-ing full time, I find that for most RV parks, I must have my cats on leashes. Harnesses work best for them for walks, though they also have quick-release collars.
However, I find that my cats, at least, will put up with a leash, whether attached to a collar or a harness, just so long before shrugging out of the restraint altogether.
What has been your experience, Singa, with harnesses? Do you think that adding a crupper around your fanny and under your tail might make it harder to shrug out of the harness?
Thank you, and happy new year to you, Cleo, and your humans!
You have 2 wonderful cats, as I do. Where do you keep their litter box? Their food and water bowls?
Thank you for sharing your adventures!
We keep the litter box in the passenger front area, it works great while we’re at camp because when we turn the seat around it covers the litter box completely.
We are recently retired with a wish to try some RVing with our 15 yr old cat; Nuisance. My big concern is leaving her inside on a hot day. What if the AC breaks down or a power outage occurs? Here’s my crazy idea: install a lockable pet sized door at some elevation on the canopy side of the RV, rig up some sort of removable caged-in cat-walk to the exterior wall and let her highness have the option of being inside or out. Is there a reason why this wouldn’t work? Does it already exist? Should I be trying to get on “Shark Tank” to pitch my idea?
We have an auto gen start that gives us peace of mind in case of a power outage situation (you can see it here if you don’t know what it is: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/best-rv-boondocking-gear ). However, we have seen people with neat cages just like you are describing connected to their passenger window while parked. I have not personally looked into it so I don’t know of a brand or where it is sold, but at least we know they exist…. but you could probably improve on the device and still go the “Shark Tank” route. 🙂 No harm in trying right!
Dan, hope you see this reply… Search “Cats On Deck” online and you’ll find a nice, modular structure that is often used in apartments and for RVing, and it allows your kitty safe outside time.
Thank you for this wonderful article! I am hoping to be switching to an rv lifestyle within a year and was feeling concerned that my cat would not be happy in a vehicle, or would have other problems with coming along. This helped to adress many questions I had about how to help her adjust. Theres no way I could leave her behind! Thanks for the comprehensive info!
Robert and Ellen
My wife and I love your site and hope to replicate some of your adventures when we begin the RV stage of our lives…one nagging question that remains unanswered – how do you handle your two cats bathroom needs? Do you have a litter box or do the go outside? Love you home tours and hoped to see a box or other clue…
Nikki has an article in the works for this we just keep putting it off. Short answer is they go outside 50% of the time and when they go inside there is a litter box in front of the passenger seat (it gets hidden when we spin the captains chair around).
Help! I am about to move cross-country (October) and have rented an RV for the trip. There are three humans, 2 standard poodles and 7 cats! Not at all worried about the dogs, they will love it. The cats though… they are strictly indoor cats, claws intact! They rarely travel in carriers (I’ve always had a mobile vet to come to my house) so I don’t think they will be too happy about this. I am trying to figure out the best way to accomplish the mission of getting us all across country, with as little drama as possible. I don’t think allowing them to roam free in the RV is a good idea (dogs), and so I’m not sure how to allow the cats their free time (and littertime). My plan is to put all their carriers in the back bedroom area – does it have a hard folding door or is it just a curtain that separates that area from the rest of the RV? Any suggestions on how to make this trip comfortable for all would be most appreciated!!
Each RV is different with layouts and the way they are structured so I can’t give you any specific ideas because I don’t know the RV you will be traveling in. If you do have a door to close off the bedroom from the rest of the rig (I would think so) then putting the cats in that area with the litter box and food/water would be a good idea. We do let our cats roam free while rolling down the road and they are very well behaved but each animal has a different personality so that is your call. Good luck, should be a fun trip!
We brought Linus & Lucy on their first trip and Lucy made a beeline for the engine area under the driver’s feet. She almost made it through the opening, but we caught her in time. We stuffed towels in the opening, and she lost interest, but I’m worried about causing a fire, etc. It freaked me out, and I’m afraid she’ll try it again. Any suggestions on how to avoid that the next time?
If there is a gap you should purchase some fabric or netting to cover it. Attach it with staples, hot glue or velcro. Hope this helps.
We have an older class A with absolutely no space left over for a litter box besides the shower which we tried and hated. Our solution was to replace the old bathroom sink with a vessel sink which raised the plumbing enough to make space under the counter. We removed and stored both doors and use a tension rod and curtain for privacy. I also lined the space with an old shower curtain to make it simple to clean. We traveled with Jazzy the Transcontinental Kitty for the last five years of her 18 year life. We will have Gatsby the Great Catsby out on his first trip soon. Blessings.
Thank you for sharing Lil, tell Mr. Catsby we say hello.
Lori Simpson Keller
Me again with another question.
We have 2 cats also. Where do you store the litter box and what type do you have?
The RVs we’ve looked at don’t have a logical, convenient spot for a litter box.
We are currently storing the litter box up front behind the passenger seat, its not perfect but it’s hidden and out of the way when we’re parked at a campground.
We are new to your site so have to admit I haven’t read all the posts to see if you have covered this already. We considered buying a motorhome instead of our current travel trailer with a bunkhouse area where we have the litterboxes for our 2 kitties. In the motorhome it seemed like the only option was under the dining room table or in the shower. Where do you have the litter box? Our kitties stay inside so using the great outdoors is not an option.
I have seen the largest ball of twine while biking in northern WI and it’s worth the trip to meet the creator of the ball.
We have been storing the litter box up front in the passenger area. When we’re parked the seat turns towards the living area and you hardly even notice it. I believe Nikki is planning to update the post soon.
Hi Wynns! I love following along with your adventures! You are certainly my “RV idols” 🙂
My boyfriend and I are hoping to hit the road early next year in a school bus that he’s converting to an RV as we “speak”. We have two cats and for sure plan to take them with us. We wanted to know if you had any other resources you can share? Temperature control is a high priority for us, making sure that the bus is never too hot or too cold for them if we leave the bus for few hours. Any resources you can direct us to would be great!
There is something about bus conversions you just gotta love!!! You will have to share pics! As for Temp control, we really like our new max air fan (look on our Travel Store in the category Favorite RV Upgrades and Gear for details) because we can set a temp and it will automatically open turn on and close as it warms up and cools down. This way we at least know there is air circulating through the rig. Great for boondocking. Also, check out some of the DIY ideas here on evaporative coolers and such https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-burning-man and for keeping warm in the winter, here is that info: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/winterize-rv
Hi there – so do love your information…..We’ll be traveling with all our furkids – Kissy the cat, two little dogs and a lab mix….Right now we’re in the process of deciding what kind of rig we’ll need….Um, while Kissy is great with the litter box she’ll pee other places when she’s upset (like when we adopted the Lab)…..Being as that smell NEVER comes out, do you have any suggestions, we really don’t want to part with her…. <3 Thank you…..
Singa was an extremely difficult cat when it came to purposeful peeing to “show us who’s boss”, but once we hit the road he only slipped up twice in the first year and he hasn’t done it again. The two times he slipped up we just doused it with the enzyme based cleaners and it completely got the smell out. Good luck, as you know there’s not much you can do to prevent your pet from getting mad and making you pay, for us we can’t imaging traveling without our two cats.
Jay Adam Harper
Where did you locate your box in your new RV? We are considering some extended time on the road in preparation for full-timing. We have 3 cats, and two small dogs. However, we have never travelled with the cats, we just left them at home with someone to watch them while we were gone.
The box is placed up in the front; when we swivel the passenger chair it covers up the litter box. It’s a great solution since we don’t use the front area while we’re camping.
Since we are just now settling in to an RV life with a working husband in the RV, being inventive for certain items is a must. We needed to find space for a printer, so it is sitting on a crate behind the passenger seat. I am using the space behind the drivers seat. The seat turns and this leave a nice hidden area. I place a sheet on the floor and try to make sure it extends as far as it can to catch all the overthrow litter. Seems to work for us.
Great idea, thanks for sharing!
Greetings and salutations Wynns!
We enjoy your fun upbeat videos as we are working on our school bus conversion with intentions of hitting the road full time too.
I was just wondering since you guys have two cats, and we have two cats – any advice on managing litter scatter in such a small space? We have our litter box tucked away under a counter with astro turf and a litter trapping mat around it. We are using a hard clumping low dust litter, but the boys still manage to scatter it faster than we can sweep and vacuum up.
Any suggestions would be super appreciated!!
I wish I had an answer for this as we’re dealing with the same issue with our new RV. The best solution for less litter scatter was our old automatic litter box the Litter Robot. So sad we sold it before we hit the road!
I’ve found the Worlds Best Litter Multi-Cat does a better job than most litter brands. I’m thinking our next step is to locate a litter box topper. In the meantime if you find a solution please let me know.
Well I guess it’s nice to hear that I haven’t missed something super obvious.
Our box is actually covered in addition to being inside a cabinet and surrounded by materials that I had hoped would trap loose litter bits.
I’m not sure how a robot box could help us. I’ve been the box nazi since moving onto the bus – it gets scooped every day like stinky clockwork.
There is one litter substrate that I know for a fact is almost scatter-proof (I have this knowledge because I was a vet tech for too long – they use it after declaw surgery) but not all cats like it and it doesn’t clump in any way, at all, ever. The recycled newspaper pellet litter (like Yesterday’s News) is generally too large to stick to their paws. If I don’t find an improvement with this World’s Best stuff, we may see if the boys will go for some pelleted litter.
Thanks for the feedback!
Good luck, we spent the day looking for a litter box upgrade…stay tuned we’ll update as soon as we have a solution.
I am considering going on the road with three cats, while I would like to toilet train them I don’t know if this will be genuinely feasible. I use the Breeze system at home and I love it. It has large pellets that don’t track that much and are easy to pick up when they do, and it keeps the smell down incredibly well. It’s an idea.
You would have to leave the toilet open somehow and you might have to take the door off the RV bathroom. I’m sure it’s possible, but will not be as easy as training them in a home. Let us know how it turns out, we’ve always joked about making the cats use the composting toilet 🙂
Something that I’ve found works really well is to put your litter box in a big rubbermaid container and cut a hole in the top of the container. This way when the cat jumps out of the top of the container, most of the litter on his feet will fall back in. Much less loose litter. Also, if your cat is anything like my meathead, when he’s scratching around in there, it stays in the rubbermaid bin. It’s also really easy to clean as you just take the lid off and scoop. If space is an issue and you have a cupboard that connects to the storage under the rv with an access door to the outside, install a kitty door on the cupboard and put the litter box in the storage area. Then when you scoop, you just have to open the access hatch outside. much less smell and zero litter scatter inside. Just remember to secure it before you travel!!
great DIY tips Laura. Thanks for sharing!
Take a plastic tote and cut a hole in it for the cat to go in and put and put the litter box in there. Put the hole up high enough so they can’t push the litter out. Pretty easy to move of needed and easy to clean out too. 🙂 Works great for us!
good to hear some stuff about travelling with kittys. we plan to hit the road soon with our three fur brats
“Fur Brats” I love it! So I guess ours would classify as “Spoiled Fur Brats” 🙂
Don’t you secretly wish you were a dog?
I’m kidding, Singa; put your claws away!
I was wondering how you stay cool when boondocking. Doesn’t it get too hot to stay indoors if the air conditioner isn’t on?
Do you two have any videos about RVing with cats?
Not yet. It is on our to-do list!
While off adventuring in places that you can’t or don’t take your pets, what do you do with them? Do you leave them in the RV, leave windows open, the air conditioner running…..? I am hoping to travel with my small dogs and am concerned about leaving them in the RV especially in hotter climates?
Love all your media sites.
Certain adventures won’t allow cats such as Burning Man, Sasquatch Festival, and the random times we have to catch a flight. In those cases we do a ton of research and find the best place to leave our little kitties, they don’t seem to mind…but the downside is luxury comes at a price (but they’re worth it!).
Thanks for the advice.
Pretty kitties 🙂
Hello and thanks for some wonderful advice! I found you while looking for RV storage ideas. We are planning our first snowbird trip this winter, we have traveled for shorter times before. The issue we are having is this; I missed our Tabby Point Siamese cat “Storm” terribly when we traveled last time. I would like her to come with us this winter, but hubby thinks it’s a bad idea. Just so you know, her nickname is “Stormageddon” :). She is a rescue and has handling issues. It really isn’t her fault, my daughter literally rescued/stole her from outright abuse. She does prefer to be near us, follows us where ever we are in the house, but unless she instigates it, she does not allow us to pick her up, or even touch her very much. Now hubby thinks she would prefer to stay home with a house-sitter, but I think she will miss us. I realize I may be projecting here, but she does follow me around all day. I am allowed to pet her all I want while she is eating, oddly enough, so I take that opportunity to love on her as much as possible. I think it’s the only reason we can handle her at all… So should I leave her home, or take her with? BTW, she is almost exclusively an indoor cat, seems very frightened to go outside.
Sorry, longer comment than I intended, but I thought your two fuzzy companions might have an opinion about this. 😉
Our cat Cleo is not too unlike your Storm. Really we’ve found Cleo is the BEST cat for RV travel. When we leave the door open she just wants to sit on the step and look out. While we drive down the road she either sits in my lap or hides in her safe spot under the sofa. Best thing you can do is introduce your cat to the RV by parking your rig in front of your home and letting them get used to the smell AFTER you’ve moved all your stuff in. A quiet environment inside the RV will be comforting. Bring in some of her toys, her food, litter box, etc. and just chill with her for a couple hours. Then take a short drive another day with her, she will likely be uncomfortable at first but she should settle in.
I’d say pretty much any cat is great for an RV EXCEPT for the ones who are a “flight risk”.
Best of luck, we can’t imagine travel without our cats.
We’re thinking of retiring to RV our way across the US & Canada. We have three cats who I’m sure will adapt well. We want to do some “trial runs” but can’t find a place in Southern California to rent an RV and allow pets. Any ideas?
There are places to find pet friendly RV rentals, hmmmm. We’ll ask our friends on FaceBook.
What precautions do you take when leaving your cats alone in the RV? Do you leave windows open and essentially your RV is unlocked? Do you leave the air or heat on for them? I love your videos and website. My husband and I have set a goal of three years to save up money and then we plan to head out fulltime, you guys are an inspiration! We have a small dog we plan to take with us and I’m looking for information on what her life will be like on the road.
if it’s warm we’ll leave the windows open and the fans going. The way our RV is setup you can’t climb through our windows unless you have a ladder and you break the glass.
When we’re at a campground and it’s hot out we’ll leave the A/C set for 78 or so, and we’ll make sure there’s plenty of water and food.
The cats love it, and don’t mind being alone in the RV all day….but unlike a dog they can use the bathroom in a litter box so there’s no need for us to come rushing home for a potty break.
Hi Wynns! My boyfriend and I have two Bengals and hope to be living the RV dream in the next few years (fingers crossed!). With so little storage space in the RV, where do you keep the litter box?
Send us some pics of those kitties! Up front in the passenger floor works well for almost every coach. You can see where we put ours in this organizing video: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-organizing and if you have not already, here is a post on traveling with cats that might be helpful: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/traveling-cats
I wish I had read all this earlier this week when you told me too! I was so stressed out last night driving our cats to the airport and then putting them on a plane. They were stressed too, panting and moaning and sweaty paws the whole way. I should have gotten them used to driving and being in carriers first. Dangit.
Julie, don’t sweat it, they will adjust and it wont always be so stressful!
I love that you travel with the cats, and that you two and doing what you love. Keep up the good work! I enjoy getting your updates!!
Great post on travels with cats! We love taking our kitty, Jinx, with us on short RV trips. He’s adjusted fairly well to leash walking as well. My question is – would it be a good idea to get a companion (feline) for him? I feel guilty when we take off for a long day sightseeing and he’s left alone. Wondering if it might be a happier experience with a friend??
Suz, That’s why we got Singa. We thought Cleo needed a companion. I wouldn’t say she loves him but she doesn’t hate him. If you have a boy getting a female is a good idea. A kitten is best but if you start them off in separate spaces and slowly introduce them you can bond most any cats.
My husband and I actually met you Singa in Grapevine, Tx. several years ago and you are a force to be reckoned with. We had several cats with us and they are now over the Rainbow Bridge, ask your Mom and Dad what that means if you are not sure. Loved your story and I am sure you will agree cats are people in furry suits. I will give you some unsolicited advice Simva, “stop the highwire acts if you want to keep travelling around the USA” has got to make your Mom and Dad nervous. Look forward to your next episode of catting around!
Sandi, we have tried to keep that boy off of ledges but he just loves living life on the edge!
You are living my dream, it’s fun following you.
Great stuff!!! I have two dogs, Noodle loved reading it….but thought the cat looked a lil under weight to make a proper meal. She of course was kidding.
Rolland, Singa does like to watch his boyish figure. He would cause more hairballs than he would satisfy any hunger. 🙂
Great advice! Great looking mercantile shop in that photo. Reminds me of Nacogdoches, Texas. Friendliest Town in the Cat Galaxy. 🙂
Bruce, you nailed it! Nac is the best little town in Texas!
What a sweetie pie! Oh, Singa, you made my day! We hope to hear more from you. Glad you’re lovin’ it as much as the couple you own. Nikki and Jason are pretty cool.
Jeanne, I hear you are a pretty cool for a human! Also, if you ever get rid of Simon, I would love to take him off of your hands. I would really like to see what his stuffing tastes like. 🙂 I have a thing for chimpmunks!
What lucky kitties. I’ll have to try it with mine someday. I’d like to hear more adventures that include your kitties.
So cute! Love the perspective!