Camping with Pets

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loringsontheroad

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Feb 17, 2010
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80
Location
Stoughton, MA
We are getting ready to retire - finally committed to a date - and planning our first cross country trip across the south during the fall/winter of 2020.  Seems like a ways off - but a lot to do to prepare and time has a way of creeping up!
Because our trip will be about 6 months in length - we will probably be taking our cat with us. She has never been camping with us but we will probably take her on some trial runs in 2019. My biggest concern for traveling with a cat is  - #1 the traveling.  She generally doesn't like being in a vehicle, #2 leaving her in the trailer when we are out and about. We are thinking of getting a pet stroller so we can take her with us on excursions but I'm sure there will be certain places that won't work.
I guess a trial run will be the best indicator of what will work for all of us.  Maybe it's not ideal for her either.
Just curious what others have done on long trips with pets.
 

Utclmjmpr

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Sep 14, 2009
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5,619
Location
Cedar City, UT
We have a dog and cat,,they travel well because of experience with traveling.. We put the cat in the motorhome an hour before leaving to allow her to acclimate to the surroundings and all the "hiding places" she has used before. We see many folks with cats that are taken for walks daily and they seem to do well..>>>Dan
 

MikeFromMesa

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Jul 13, 2014
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295
We travel with our cat who does not like to travel at all. When we put her in the RV she finds some place to hide, usually under the bed covers, and does not come out until we stop for the day. Once we are stopped she comes out, tells us what she thinks of being in an RV again and then settles down someplace she considers proper for her dignity - usually on one of the cab seats.

When we leave the RV to go do something we either open all of the windows for fresh air and turn on the ceiling exhaust fan (if it is cool outside) or turn on the air conditioning (and generator if needed) if it is hot, and she seems just fine. She does like to go outside but she will not tolerate a leash so she mostly just stays in the RV.

She just does not like RVing but has grown accustomed to having to put up with it and appears to just wait for us to get back home.
 

UTTransplant

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Jul 20, 2014
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3,203
Location
Cedar Falls, IA
We travel with a cat. While we have a motorhome now, we had a travel trailer before. It helped that we got the cat used to a travel carrier. We would feed her treats in her carrier, made sure her favorite fabric was in the carrier, made sure to pet her when she was in the carrier, etc. It is now her favorite spot. We carried her to and from the truck/trailer using her carrier, and released her into the trailer by just opening the carrier door. She would come out when she wanted to. She adjusted well because she really looked at the carrier as her special place.

When we were sightseeing, we would leave the cat in the trailer if it wasn?t going to be too hot. Cats can find hiding spots that keep a bit cooler better than dogs, so we were ok with desert temps under 85-90 or humid temps under 80. Above that and we had to have AC. Cold isn?t a problem since they can find a spot to cuddle in blankets.
 

Senator

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Jun 14, 2014
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244
Location
Eagan, MN
I would get your pet Chipped, and registered, if it isn't already.  If they run away, you may get them back.  Without a chip, you only have ~10% chance.
 

RVMommaTo6

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Aug 5, 2018
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Location
Rochester, NY
We travel with a cat, she does pretty well, sometimes she gets skiddish. How do you usually travel, is she in a cat carrier? If not, maybe she'll feel more secure in one. Or if she is in one, maybe try to see if she's more comfortable out of one. You could put a cardboard box on a seat or on the floor with blankets in it. My cat LOVES her box, more than cat beds or anything we ever bought for her. That way she can go in when she wants and can get out when she wants.
 

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
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2,187
Do be extra careful putting slides out and in when your cat is hiding.  Make sure you KNOW where she is at all times so she does not get stuck in moving walls. 

They also have what I call "cat tents" that you can put outside for your cat.  Supposedly the cat cannot escape from the tent, but I would not guarantee that.

Also, ditto on making sure she has a chip and is wearing a harness and even a leash when you are going in and out a lot. 
 

MikeFromMesa

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Jul 13, 2014
Posts
295
UTTransplant said:
It is now her favorite spot.

Must make it easier.

Our cat will not willingly go within 100 feet of a cat carrier and, if we try to put her in one she spreads her legs out in all directions to make sure we can not put her inside. We can carry her and she will be mostly docile for 10-15 seconds, but then she is at the limit of her tolerance. She is the first cat I have ever had that does not like being held, but then we did not get her as a kitten and I do not know what might have happened before that.

We have put a harness on her to take her out, but then she just lies down flat on the ground and will not move. But then if she gets her own way she is just as loving and friendly as any cat I have ever had. It is interesting traveling with her.
 

1930

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Oct 2, 2018
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315
I love cats, the cat will get use to it and be fine with whatever you do Im sure. Enjoy your retirement
 

loringsontheroad

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Feb 17, 2010
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80
Location
Stoughton, MA
Wow - I am grateful for these great honest answers and advice.  One other question - I am pretty sure where I am going to keep the cats litter box inside the trailer - but wondered if anyone had any clever suggestions about what they have done. Thanks again.
 

RVMommaTo6

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Aug 5, 2018
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2,139
Location
Rochester, NY
loringsontheroad said:
Wow - I am grateful for these great honest answers and advice.  One other question - I am pretty sure where I am going to keep the cats litter box inside the trailer - but wondered if anyone had any clever suggestions about what they have done. Thanks again.
We didn't want it out in the open, so I got a covered on, took the door off the cupboard under the bathroom sink, and put it in there. It was the perfect size. You could probably also do it with a bedroom cupboard.
 

Great Horned Owl

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Feb 10, 2012
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1,791
Location
Lake County, Illinois
We give our two cats a way to go outside when we leave them alone in the 5th wheel. I've constructed a screened in  "catio" that hangs in a window. The two outer supports are adjustable paint roller poles.

Joel
 

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LarryL60

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Nov 23, 2018
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49
We used to always take our dog, but he is a small little dog so he was easily crated inside our camper. I am sure it must be difficult to bring larger dogs along.
 

John Stephens

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Jan 27, 2015
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949
Location
Cape Coral, FL
We actually bought our coach for our aging dogs four years ago. We have lost both of them and have three others. Two of them were picked up with the coach during cross country trips, so they took to the coach as though it was their home, for that is the only thing they could think until we drove home to our sticks and bricks house. They are both Collies and rather large. Our third is a mini Aussie puppy, five months old and our next trip in the coach will be her first.

The two older boys love the coach and when they hear me start the generator when I have to coach out of storage and in the driveway getting it ready for a trip, they get excited. We are lucky in many respects regarding the dogs. They are not barkers unless one of them sees a bicycle ride by, so we don't get complaints from our neighbors in the RV parks. We keep them crated when we aren't there, but we try to include them in as many excursions as possible, taking them wherever they are allowed.

It can get a bit cramped for them when we are driving with the slides in, but they still have enough room to lay on the floor behind our seats, on the doghouse, or on the couch. When we are camped and slides are out, there is plenty of room for them. We leave water out for them while we are driving, putting the water bowl inside a bigger bowl to catch the splashes.

Our biggest problem is getting them enough exercise. We walk them as much as possible while we are parked, and try to rig up a rope line for their leashes to be attached so they can have some walking area while we are outside the coach cooking or eating. So far, our longest trip has been five weeks long and we haven't had any problems with them, but our next one will be three months long. That will be the real test.
 

SeilerBird

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Feb 25, 2012
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16,702
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
The comments about keeping the RV cool for the cats really crack me up. Cats love the heat. All domestic cats are descendants from wild cats that lived in the Sahara, that is why they all bury their poop so willingly. You don't have to worry about cats getting overheated in a motorhome. I full timed for many years with three cats. They loved it. Cats are very adaptable. I keep the litter box in the shower or in the bathroom. This is the one I currently use:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001LUL4L2/ref=sxr_rr_xsim_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=9ddc66f6-9fc0-49ff-b2fa-06a39d9859e6&pd_rd_wg=lY2ho&pf_rd_r=N7TAW8M5QCPTBN7ZAZDF&pf_rd_s=desktop-rhs-carousels&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_i=B001LUL4L2&pd_rd_w=027ji&pf_rd_i=litter+box&pd_rd_r=70cf1f3e-72d5-4661-9c42-8a421c6b8e31&ie=UTF8&qid=1543400174&sr=1
 

wackymac

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Dec 9, 2008
Posts
676
Location
Ocala, FL
Our 2.5 cats travel with us all the time.  Rusty, our 1.5 cat, has been across the U.S. 17 times in our RV.  He howls for about 30 minutes when we first leave the house and then he is OK  We adopted him 11 years ago when he was 8 weeks old from Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood, Oregon.

Our other cat, Penny, hides as soon as I start the engine  but when we stop, out she comes.  We've had her for 7 years and she is approx. 11 years old.  She was adopted from Town Cats in Morgan Hill, California.

We keep the litter box under the dining room table.  That way non-cat lovers don't visit for too long.
 

Gizmo

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Apr 22, 2012
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1,719
Location
Wherever we park it
Senator said:
I would get your pet Chipped, and registered, if it isn't already.  If they run away, you may get them back.  Without a chip, you only have ~10% chance.

Great advice, for a cat or dog.  To the OP, we had a cat who never traveled with us, but a trip across town once when moving and a couple other local rides to the vet was a nightmare because she constantly borderline screamed.  I mentioned to this to another cat owner who travels with their cat and he said his cat did the same but eventually got use to the travel and quieted down, in the interim he turned up his music.
 

Great Horned Owl

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Feb 10, 2012
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1,791
Location
Lake County, Illinois
Contrary to popular belief, cats can be trained. You just need to let them know that you don't buy their act of pretending that they don't understand a word of English. They understand plenty.

If I call ours to "Come," there will no response at all. If I holler "Come! dinner," the response will be immediate. If I call "who wants to go out?" they both run to the door.

They enjoy siting around a camp site with us, and grazing on the grass. It takes them an hour or so to learn the boundaries of a new site. When I tell them "Go home," they go up the steps ans sit at the door. I've tried walking them on leashes, but they just plop down and refuse to move. Without leashes, short walks using voice control work just fine.

To show you their level of understanding, I recall one day when I was hollering "Wispy, go home." She just sat there, completely ignoring me. I tried three more time, with the same result. Finally, I realized that this was Spunky, not Wispy. When I called "Spunky, go home," she went right up the steps. Since she was the only cat out at the time, I'm certain that she knew what I meant, but she just was not going to respond until I got her name right.

There is absolutely nothing special about these two cats. With a little work, any (well almost any) cat can be trained.

Joel







who wants to go ou
 
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