Any Tips For Taking A Cat Along? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-01-2010, 11:47 AM   #1
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We are thinking of taking our 17 year-old cat along with us when we go camping - she doesn't like being left alone at the house and hates being left at the kennel. Do any of you have any tips on camping with a cat? She's now very sedentary and doesn't do much more than sleep, so I don't see any problems with her running away, but would appreciate any tips concerning food & water, litter box, etc.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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We have not traveled with our cats, but several folks have done so at our gatherings. Most of them have had a similar cat - older and quite sedentary. They all put the cat on a leash so the kitty could sit outside with the folks. The leash was attached sometimes inside the trailer so that cat could go back in if she wanted to. Of course, this means leaving the door open or having a movable screen. A small litter covered litter pan can be moved outside or inside depending on the weather/need. Clean it at least twice a day because the odor can be quite strong in a small camper! Several food and water dishes can be found that are combo units for ease of use. At night, make up a bed for the kitty under the dining table or let her sleep on the bed with you. She may like a curtain left open to look out during the night and be prepared for some strange noises until she settles in to the new home.

Don't be surprised if the cat wants to stay inside (on the leash) most of the time at first. Gradually, she will try coming out and will want both a sunny patch and a shady patch for other moods. If you want to haul a small cage with you, the cat can sit in there (with food and water) until you get back from a short trip on the campgrounds. Otherwise, she will be safe in the trailer if you need to be gone. Make sure to leave plenty of ventilation for her, since small trailers can really heat up in the bright sun, or take her with you on short road trips.

Good luck and happy camping!
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:37 PM   #3
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We have traveled with many cats and now travel with Dallas our hairless cat. With the more active cats we have used figure eight harnesses as they fit around the body and not just the neck. A cat can't back out of a figure eight when put on correctly. We had one cat that loved to travel loose in the TV while traveling but for the others we have always used a carry case. Dallas likes the smaller model with lots of blankets and mostly he just sleeps the long hours that we drive. He's main requirement is that his box be set so that he can see both of us. I really would not leave a cat in the trailer while driving as they could get hurt and you wouldn't know it. When you first start traveling with a cat it is good to give them a treat eat time the car starts so that it becomes a good thing. We love the fantastic fan because we can set it to come on if it should get too hot. If we don't leave a blind open in the trailer to allow sun bathing, we have found teeth marks on the blinds. We have a full tub with lid for a litter box with an end cut out. That prevents the cat from throwing litter all over for us to walk on. We use the green tubs of cat litter that Cosco sells as it helps with any smells and we do have to clean twice a day. One of the other cat owners will have to tell you about the outside things for cats as Dallas does not like to go outside. I think traveling with a cat is wonderful. Go for it. We started traveling with one cat when she was 8 and she enjoyed many years of fun with us, Dallas started when we got him at four and is now eight.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:07 PM   #4
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I got a folding cage from Petsmart and have it hanging on the outside of a window so my two felines can be "outside" when they are not allowed, like here at a friend's house in Bisbee, AZ. I fabricated four hangers from curtain rod hangers and used short sheetmetal screws into the window frame. I made a "T" support piece from PVC. In summer I put a rug remnant on the top if the cage will be in the sun. Works really well and the last few years. In the summer they sleep out there at night.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:39 PM   #5
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I lost a cat when he went outside and would not respond to my calling him back.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:48 PM   #6
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Jerry started camping at 8 weeks old after our daughter surprised us with a kitten, just 2 weeks before we had a camping trip scheduled to camp at Lake Casitas with friends. We decided he would be our camping kitty .. He will be 4 next month. We really enjoy having him with us, we don't have to worry how he is at home, while we are away having fun and he loves it...

We solved our litter box problem, finally. At first we had a box in front of the closet - it worked but made the entrance very narrow. Now we have the litter box in our Liberty model under a table in the back between our two beds. His canned and dry food are kept in the tall plastic container and we keep a container of fresh litter behind the food. We keep the litter box clean.... We put his food and water dishes in front of the closet on a plastic place mat - works great.

We use a stroller for Jerry ... cats (at least ours) will only walk a short way on a leash and you have to go where he goes.. and not very fast - but he loves the stroller. It has made it so easy for us... He has been to 7 states, including 4 corners.. and we are about to head up to Oregon..

Jerry is one that we do have to watch carefully. He tries everything to get outside.. So even when we are in the trailer with our door open, we keep a leash on him and we have a hook for the leash inside the trailer.... So far when he has gotten out, he doesn't stray - just casually walks around, but if there would be something to chase - a squirrel, bird, etc. he would go for it. We also take a tunnel with us that has netting at both ends with zippers. He loves to be in that outdoors - he's safe and we can relax. At night, if there is a campfire, he sits in his stroller right by us...

He loves to sit up front with us while we drive. Either on the armrest or the one who isn't driving gets to hold him while he watches everything out the window. We have a Pet travel Sherpa bag that is right behind the drivers seat and he loves to be in that.. We also have a small cardboard box with litter that travels with us in the van, and I use two small margarine plastic cups with lids for food and water. He knows how to tell us he wants the food.. and we never have to stop for a cat break.

We think you will enjoy having your 17 year old cat with you .. you will never have to worry how he is. Having Jerry with us is great.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:22 PM   #7
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I would be cautious about starting her camping at an advanced age. I have a 10 year old female that is very territorial at home and yowled and yowled in the trailer while it is in our back yard. I have 2 cats, and they have both been de-clawed so they live their life entirely indoors. I would not allow one of mine to be untethered or unrestrained while out of the house.

That said, we have friends who have converted an Evenflo Babygo for their 2 cats' use. Their cats are also de-clawed, and they secured a cover over the babygo so that it was totally enclosed. The cats get the whole back section of their Suburban while they are on the road.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:14 PM   #8
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Hi Fred

That's exactly the way we took Jerry the first time out. We went to the Swap Meet - found the netted bed and purchased it for $10 .. it was like new and even had a vinyl carrying case. It worked like a charm... Of course, he was so little that we had room for his litter box, toys and food and water.. Had a nice mattress too.

We passed it on to Bonnie and Tao who then passed it on to some friends. Who knows where it is now.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:58 AM   #9
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Fred,

I begin conditioning the animal at home, I fed kitty in the trailer only for weeks, leaving him in it a little longer each time with a litter box, he associated the trailer with the food, the new surroundings with something pleasant. I trained him by working on the trailer with him in it with the curtains open for short periods.

A vet gave me some kitty bye bye medicine to calm him but I did not need it, When I went to the grocery in very short trips first taking him with me in a different carrier!!! (not the one he goes to the vet in!!!) I acclimated him to being moved about safely without fear.

(Kitty knows the vet carrier, the hard plastic one was the vet, the soft fold-able one was the fun one with a different smell)

He started training at 12 lived until 19 and traveled well, the harness design is the most important and breed is a factor, some cats are more compliant than others. (mine was a Persian cat)

Moving around was the hardest part as the cat is a territorial critter, the trailer must be the recognized territory and the safe place for it.

New places are a threat for it from predators, and other cats so it a nervous business for it, its kitty brain hard wired that way, you cannot change that.

Some do well and some do not, a slow approach is best and knowing what you got is important before you ruin a trip.

Happy Camping, Safe Trails.

Harry
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:05 AM   #10
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Wow - what a bunch of great information! Thanks to all of you for the input. I just hope our little old kitty will adjust to traveling with us.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:35 PM   #11
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A couple of other important items for us is to be sure that Jerry's vet visits are all up to date with his shots. We always carry his paperwork with us. We also have a metal name tag for him that is attached to his harness.

and I also purchased key tags. They are round and click onto his collar or harness. At each campground I write the campground name, space we are in and the date. My cell phone is listed on it too with his name. Just in case, and makes us feel better anyway. Jerry wears it proudly.

One of the things that I did also, is I have made 8 x 11 printed out sheets of a Lost Cat poster that we can post around the campground. It has his photo on it and a little info like our phone numbers etc. I hope we never have to use them, but in case we do, we can immediately grab them and put them up instead of looking for some paper and pen to write a message... These stay in the trailer all the time and I believe there are 15 copies.

We just know there is a possibility that something would startle Jerry and he would run - we want to be prepared.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:45 PM   #12
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One thing we learned about taking cats with us; Cats are not likely to hold still while riding in a motorcycle sidecar, no matter how much duct tape you use.
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:29 PM   #13
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One thing we learned about taking cats with us; Cats are not likely to hold still while riding in a motorcycle sidecar, no matter how much duct tape you use.
Now that has the feline of a cat-astrophe.....
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:49 AM   #14
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I think it is wonderful to come back to a trailer and be greeted by a cat. Cats love to be with their owners so they do enjoy coming with their owners. The main concern is finding a way that they like to travel. Some like the big play pen but when we got Dallas we got a big travel carrier with plans to add water and food, but he cried for the first two trips, about eight hours. We tried a smaller carrier just barely big enough for him to stand and turn around and we never heard a sound out of him. It was a comfort thing because three years later he still will willingly climb into his travel box and never says anything unless it has been hours and he needs a potty break. Once you find how your cat wants to travel both of you will enjoy traveling together.
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