Cat expertise

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Dean & Linda Stock

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Posts
1,195
Location
Cypress, California
My name is Linda Stock, and my husband and I just bought a new Airstream.  We're true newbies with no experience at all, and one of the reasons we bought our MH is to be able to take our cat with us on trips.  Hopefully, we can learn from others and not have to learn by trial and error.  How  often will we have to stop on our 5 hour trip to pick up our RV to let our cat go to the bathroom--what's an average cat's range?  I've read that some people keep the litter pan in the shower.  How do you prop open the door so it doesn't bang and move as you travel? Our cat is a true "scaredy cat", and the shower door needs to not move at all or she'll never go in there.  If I stop at a rest stop and put her on a leash, will she relieve herself?  With my children, I could run water in a sink and the noise encouraged them.  Is there a similar trip for cats?  Why do some of the RV parks  say "NO PETS"?  Why do they care if we have a cat?  Thanks for any tips you can give me.
 

Bob Buchanan

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
3,038
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Hello Dean and Linda:

>>? How? often will we have to stop on our 5 hour trip to pick up our RV to let our cat go to the bathroom--what's an average cat's range?
====
If I understand you correctly, you plan to bring the kitty along with you in a car when you pick up the MH. I would strongly urge that you have someone take care of the cat until you can break her in properly to MH living. Cats do not like their environment to change, especially to living quarters that move and make noise.? :) The car trip would be bad enough, but to then put her into another strange moving thing will drive her up the wall and then you will have an even tougher time getting used to the new environment.

>>? I've read that some people keep the litter pan in the shower.? How do you prop open the door so it doesn't bang and move as you travel? Our cat is a true "scaredy cat", and the shower door needs to not move at all or she'll never go in there.
====
I've had several cats in my RV during 10 years of fulltiming plus have?rescued a few strays -- and never used the shower, tho some do and that is an OK place. My spot has always been in the bathroom on the floor somewhere. Others have put trap doors down into a compartment. Whatever you decide, you should have that liter box there (and her scratching post) "before" she enters the MH the 1st time. When you first put her in, put her right in the liter box. That way she will know exactly where it is. Also, be sure an have some of her used liter in the box.

>> If I stop at a rest stop and put her on a leash, will she relieve herself?
====
I doubt it. Not unless that is the way she has always gone to potty. Again, my advice is to leave her somewhere else until you pick up the rig and decide exactly where to put the liter box. All of my cats were leash trained -- but none of them would go the bathroom anywhere but their liter box. And that's the way it should be.

>> Why do some of the RV parks? say "NO PETS"?? Why do they care if we have a cat?? Thanks for any tips you can give me.
====
PETS is primarily referring to dogs. If not properly cared for, they can cause the park owner a lot of grief. Nothing worse than being parked next door to a barking dog left alone all day by their owners. Some do not pick up after pets, and so forth. Lotsa reasons. However, parks that do allow pets, and deal with the downside will get a lot more business. Many, many RVers have pets as part of their family.

Along with what I mention above about changes in a cats environment. The best way to get a cat used to a car or RV is to first put their liter box on board, "then" place the cat in it when they are first placed in the rig. Do not have the engine running at the time. Give them time to check everything out. She will enjoy that task.

Next, temporarily take her out of the rig, start the engine and let it warm up to an idle. "Then" bring her back in. Let her then get used to that new noise.

Finally, "very" slowly begin to drive the rig. Try to do this where there is little other traffic. This has worked well with every cat I've owned. It is very important because if she has a bad 1st experience, she may never recover. I hate to see cats hiding under couches and terrified when the rig starts.

If you do have to take her in a car for the rig pick up. Follow the same procedure before you leave in getting her used to the car, plus let ride in her carrier w/the door open occassionally. If she used a liter box, put it in the car or a smaller version of it after she is OK with the car motor and all.

Good luck -- hope it works out . . .
 

Betty Brewer

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Posts
4,757
Hi Linda,
You could also look under the general Discussion section to a topic called Acclimating a Cat to an RV.

Seems Jack and Liz are doing this now.

Betty
 

Dave and Teresa

Active member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Posts
26
Linda...We were also newbies to the RV lifestyle until our first 100 day trip this winter. We also purchased our RV so that we could travel with our cat. She had no problems and she is 17.5 years old. We put the litter box on the bathroom floor and kept it clean, Kept food and water available to her all the time and tihe only thing that we found was sometimes when traveling on curvy and bumpy roads she got car sick, so we found that if we minimized food intake on travel days it helped. Good luck I'm sure that all will enjoy  the adventure. Teresa 
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Hi, Linda!

How  often will we have to stop on our 5 hour trip to pick up our RV to let our cat go to the bathroom--what's an average cat's range?

I've had 3 cats now in the MH and find they adapt better to RV life than most humans. Their range is almost limitless; assuming you have made food, water, and a litter box available to them at all times. I leave bowls of food and water in the kitchen area, and the litter box is outside the shower in the bathroom. Cats are PPP (pretty persnickety poopers) and, unlike dogs, don't need to be let outside to fertilize the flora; they much prefer their own personal area indoors. I was hesitant about taking the first 2 older cats in the MH without several small aclimatizing trips and bought cat carriers for both of them, but never had used them! They took to it like ducks to water. The 3rd, Hercule, has spent all his life (11 months so far) travelling in the MH, and I can say that the only problem we have is trying to decide which one of us will drive, and which will navigate!

Let your mind rest easy; your cat will probably adjust faster than you.
 

Dean & Linda Stock

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Posts
1,195
Location
Cypress, California
Dave and Teresa said:
Linda...We were also newbies to the RV lifestyle until our first 100 day trip this winter. We also purchased our RV so that we could travel with our cat. She had no problems and she is 17.5 years old. We put the litter box on the bathroom floor and kept it clean, Kept food and water available to her all the time and tihe only thing that we found was sometimes when traveling on curvy and bumpy roads she got car sick, so we found that if we minimized food intake on travel days it helped. Good luck I'm sure that all will enjoy? the adventure. Teresa?

Thanks so much for the info.  Our kitty is of similar aqe, and it's reassuring to hear that yours did so well.  Linda
 

Dean & Linda Stock

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Posts
1,195
Location
Cypress, California
Bob Buchanan said:
Hello Dean and Linda:

>>? How? often will we have to stop on our 5 hour trip to pick up our RV to let our cat go to the bathroom--what's an average cat's range?
====
If I understand you correctly, you plan to bring the kitty along with you in a car when you pick up the MH. I would strongly urge that you have someone take care of the cat until you can break her in properly to MH living. Cats do not like their environment to change, especially to living quarters that move and make noise.? :) The car trip would be bad enough, but to then put her into another strange moving thing will drive her up the wall and then you will have an even tougher time getting used to the new environment.

>>? I've read that some people keep the litter pan in the shower.? How do you prop open the door so it doesn't bang and move as you travel? Our cat is a true "scaredy cat", and the shower door needs to not move at all or she'll never go in there.
====
I've had several cats in my RV during 10 years of fulltiming plus have?rescued a few strays -- and never used the shower, tho some do and that is an OK place. My spot has always been in the bathroom on the floor somewhere. Others have put trap doors down into a compartment. Whatever you decide, you should have that liter box there (and her scratching post) "before" she enters the MH the 1st time. When you first put her in, put her right in the liter box. That way she will know exactly where it is. Also, be sure an have some of her used liter in the box.

>> If I stop at a rest stop and put her on a leash, will she relieve herself?
====
I doubt it. Not unless that is the way she has always gone to potty. Again, my advice is to leave her somewhere else until you pick up the rig and decide exactly where to put the liter box. All of my cats were leash trained -- but none of them would go the bathroom anywhere but their liter box. And that's the way it should be.

>> Why do some of the RV parks? say "NO PETS"?? Why do they care if we have a cat?? Thanks for any tips you can give me.
====
PETS is primarily referring to dogs. If not properly cared for, they can cause the park owner a lot of grief. Nothing worse than being parked next door to a barking dog left alone all day by their owners. Some do not pick up after pets, and so forth. Lotsa reasons. However, parks that do allow pets, and deal with the downside will get a lot more business. Many, many RVers have pets as part of their family.

Along with what I mention above about changes in a cats environment. The best way to get a cat used to a car or RV is to first put their liter box on board, "then" place the cat in it when they are first placed in the rig. Do not have the engine running at the time. Give them time to check everything out. She will enjoy that task.

Next, temporarily take her out of the rig, start the engine and let it warm up to an idle. "Then" bring her back in. Let her then get used to that new noise.

Finally, "very" slowly begin to drive the rig. Try to do this where there is little other traffic. This has worked well with every cat I've owned. It is very important because if she has a bad 1st experience, she may never recover. I hate to see cats hiding under couches and terrified when the rig starts.

If you do have to take her in a car for the rig pick up. Follow the same procedure before you leave in getting her used to the car, plus let ride in her carrier w/the door open occassionally. If she used a liter box, put it in the car or a smaller version of it after she is OK with the car motor and all.

Good luck -- hope it works out . . .

Bob, a big THANK YOU!  You were a fountain of knowledge, gave tons of good info, and we'll follow your step-by-step plan for success.  Linda
 

Dean & Linda Stock

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Posts
1,195
Location
Cypress, California
Karl said:
Hi, Linda!

I've had 3 cats now in the MH and find they adapt better to RV life than most humans. Their range is almost limitless; assuming you have made food, water, and a litter box available to them at all times. I leave bowls of food and water in the kitchen area, and the litter box is outside the shower in the bathroom. Cats are PPP (pretty persnickety poopers) and, unlike dogs, don't need to be let outside to fertilize the flora; they much prefer their own personal area indoors. I was hesitant about taking the first 2 older cats in the MH without several small aclimatizing trips and bought cat carriers for both of them, but never had used them! They took to it like ducks to water. The 3rd, Hercule, has spent all his life (11 months so far) travelling in the MH, and I can say that the only problem we have is trying to decide which one of us will drive, and which will navigate!

Let your mind rest easy; your cat will probably adjust faster than you.

Karl, it's so nice to hear of others' successes.  I'm no longer nervous about trying this.  In fact, I'm anxious to see how well it goes.  One of my husband's dreams (he dreams MH at night now) is that the cat will go up on the dash and pace back and forth in front of his line of sight.  Thanks for the good info.

Linda
 
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