We have traveled with a cat. He considered his crate a "safe haven". He didn't care for the moving part but was fine once we stopped. We would NEVER travel with a pet in the trailer when moving down the road. Once the cat finds a cozy place in the trailer, I think they are generally fine. Keep in mind when you are stressed about a situation, pets pick up on this and become stressed too. It is best to keep in your mind that "we" (you and the cat) can handle this and just confidently do it.
We take our 3 Munchkin kitties with us on our camping trips. They all get a bit nervous at first when being transported to the van, but they settle down in different ways. We use individual small cat carriers and leave the doors open while traveling. One always stays in his and two settle down on a blanket in the back. We carry a litter box, water, and food and they're able to get to things while we're driving. Once camped, they find their trailer spots for the duration of the stay and act pretty much like in the house at home. We did ease them into traveling by taking them on short trips around town several times before our first real trip. I know people say they should stay closed in their carriers while traveling, but that makes them nervous, so we give them freedom.
We generally believe RVs and animals should be separate, particularly for extended travel, however we had one good experience traveling with a pet.
My mother wanted to move to MT from CT and would not fly because of her small dog. This dog would go absolutely wild during a car trip.
In our motorhome she was perfect. To her it was like home, she would sit on the couch and look out the window, take a nap, go to it's food and water dishes at will and would give just the slightest yip when it needed a bathroom break. Never a moment of tension.
Personally I can not imagine why a cat could not travel in a trailer. particularly a cat that's not aggressive to it's surroundings. Of course rough roads may be a different matter.
Years ago, we did extensive camping with two 'senior' cats (a Siamese, and a Russian long-hair) in our fifth-wheel rig. The cats seemed to enjoy their alternate home quite well, whether we were in the 'house' or not. While 'on-the-road', they usually chose to bunk, over the cab. But, these were not 'outdoor' pets; and had never been 'caged'. They even handled the 14 hour ferry ride from Agentia, Newfoundland to North Sydney, Nova Scotia, in the camper, with no apparent problems. Perhaps travelling together, rather than alone, was their pacifier ?
I too am traveling with indoor cats. A few things I have done:
- Take them for test rides around town.
- Put their hard sided cat carriers up in living room for a few weeks before travel. Every morning throw a couple cat treats in the back of them.
- Put anti skid rubber mat (shelf liner) under pad in carrier so it doesn't bunch up in back.
- Bought this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o00_s00.
It is the greatest! Prior to travel I put it up in the living room with their beds and toys in it and the kid sits in it with them on occasion. Now they sleep in it on their own (it is not zipped close). It is perfect for under the awning while I am cooking or hanging out and I can pop it up on my queen bed in RV if I have company and don't want to worry about them escaping. If I put the rear seats down in my SUV it will also pop up in there if I want them semi contained in the vehicle!
- And.... Just so you know I am totally crazy I got them something similar to this: Quilted Pet Hammock Car Seat Cover - BedBathandBeyond.com.
It is to make their area more secure, cut down on them falling on floor when I stop, and it has a zipper section to close off the space between the front seats which makes them less likely to keep walking back and forth!
- Finally, I have heard very good recommendations on and all natural calming product you put under their tongue. It is called Rescue Remedy.
Anything you can do to make an easy transition will be great. Every cat is different. I think the cats would MUCH rather be on an adventure in the RV than stuck at home with someone coming by once a day to pet and feed them, or worse yet, in a boarding facility.
Miss Emmy Dickins is nervous enough that she can develop a stress-related skin condition. Her vet gives her a shot that will last about 6 weeks, and has recommended both Rescue Remedy and Valerian root. We're trying the Valerian right now, and it does have a very calming effect (although it stinks to high heaven!) and she does seem attracted to having it in her food.
I really appreciate your comments and advice -- maybe traveling with her would not be so much of a pipe dream! I've also looked at the links, read the articles (also encouraging), and looked at the various outdoor screen things, which would be great except for concerns about fleas. (She's probably allergic to them, and the systemic stuff makes her very ill.) Maybe I could surround her enclosure with some kind of flea deterrent?
If we did travel with her, it would probably be in a 13' Boler or Scamp (still looking at these). I can imagine rigging a litter box inside the cabinet under the dining area seats, although I haven't been able to investigate this yet. Have any of you traveled with a cat in a rig that small? She's very good at not disturbing us at night (now), although I worry that under strange circumstances she would go back to keeping us up all night.
My other concern is losing her somehow. She was a stray we rescued, and when we took her to have her chipped, they discovered she already HAD a chip. We took the number, contacted the organization, got the info about previous owners, but they have moved and we can't locate them. The vet thinks she was part of a humane society program where pets were chipped and many were given out for free... perhaps to families that weren't quite careful with them? Or her family thought they wanted a kitten and really didn't? Hard to tell, but of course we worry all the time that she will get lost, someone will explore her chip info, and then be unable to place or trace her. The chip organization is willing to re-register her with us -- if we get consent from previous owners -- whom we can't find.
She does have a good break-away collar with complete ID, which is only good if it doesn't break away.
Thank you for advising/talking me through this. We would LOVE to travel with her, and I think she would enjoy it once she got over her initial nervousness.
I'm going to ask in a pet forum that I go to about how you might entice that company to transfer that chip to your name. I would think that maybe something from the vet along with the fact that the tag is no longer traceable would work. Let me see what I can find out. Which service were they using, that would help.
Our cat always went and got in his open door cage when the engine started. We kept a plastic shoe box size litter pan in their with him in the back of the cage. He could hit the spot when needed.
I am the wife of the man who said we travel with 3 Munchkin cats. We have them in a 16' camper. They have a healthy fear of the open door of both our tow vehicle and our camper. That being said, I have heard of 2 people losing their cat while camping, so best you make plans for this possibility.
Our very mellow 13-year-old male indoor orange cat has traveled in our Scamp 19 and Escape 5.0TA for the past three years. My wife believes he is happier traveling with us than staying at a cattery. I know she is happier having him along and that is the deciding factor.
When moving, he stays zipped in a 25"L X 18"W X 21"H Canine Camper, which we secure. A plastic dishpan holds his litter. His food and a small amount of water are in heavy ceramic bowls. All of these are still in place when we stop to let him out. We do avoid dirt roads as much as possible.
Three hundred miles, 7-8 hours, is a long driving day for us, most are much shorter, and we generally stop for at least two nights before driving again. He never seems stressed when we stop for the night, always ready to curl up on or beside one of us. His bodily functions seem normal. When we are at home and leave him alone for several hours, we usually find him sleeping in the same spot he had been in when we left. I believe that is what he does while we are on the road. That is mostly what he does when we are camped, just as at home. I think the container makes him feel safer. He has never been very relaxed riding in the passenger compartment for trips to the vet, so I think he prefers being in the confined quiet of the trailer. I'm sure he is happiest at home with the run of the house, but camping has its compromises for everyone.
Catteries seem to be somewhat to quite noisy and I assume, stressful. Harley always seems aloof after having been in 'jail' for a while. If you can't hire a sitter to stay with your cat in your home, I think bringing him along is better, especially if you enjoy his companionship.
We take our kitty camping. She usually yowls for the first hour or two of travel, then goes to sleep on my lap.
We keep her harnessed and leashed when outside. She seems to really love spending time in the trailer birdwatching out the big front windows. I am redoing the pop-top canvas and trying to figure out how to incorporate a catwalk up there.
We have two cats, and have had several cats for close to fifty years. We are "cat people." We love them dearly, and they have all been pampered and spoiled rotten, (like most pet cats, lol.) But we don't take them with us when we travel because we worry that they'll get spooked and "take off" somewhere or wind up getting hurt or killed in some strange unfamiliar environment. They don't travel well, and don't even like riding the half mile trip to the vet in their carrier. On a more humorous note, being ever inquisitive, they do love to come explore in the trailer when I'm working in it while it's sitting in the driveway. The problem I have found is that they can't seem to differentiate between the "carpeted climbing tree" they have, and the carpeted walls of the trailer. Needless to say, I have to shoo them out when they attempt to sharpen their claws on my trailer walls. Not acceptable behavior, even for cats! I know they don't know any better, but I'm still not going to allow that to happen. Around the house they think that they are great hunters, but in a wild and strange environment, I'm afraid they might not be so successful in their endeavors. Nothing can ruin a trip, (or deplete your wallet,) as fast as some huge unforeseen vet bills, or worse. They do just fine at home with the neighbors watching after them while were gone. They are quite comfortable at home in their own environment. YMMV
"Government doesn't have an answer to the problem, government is the problem." Ronald Reagan
These are the 3 cats we camp with. The tabbies in this image are on a the bed of the camper during a trip. One spends all his time under the covers except when we are in bed, he comes out to be petted. I sleep with one tabby at each ear and the Balinese at my feet, Munchkin earmuffs and footwarmer. We adopted the Balinese in November to be a buddy to one of the other Munchkins, since they did not get along (contrary to what the picture looks like). We think something is wrong with his eyes; they are always black. On the first camping trip that we took him on, he rode atop the stuff in the far back storage space in the bright sun, so his eyes finally adjusted, and we saw, after a month and a half of having him, that he has beautiful blue eyes. He is the best of the 3 camping, although he hates being locked in the cat carrier.