By Dawn M. Aerts
I would not recommend traveling with an RV cat.
First, you need to get over the idea that your camper is ‘your’ camper. We pictured the trip as ‘our little’ family traveling side-by-side down the road looking for adventures. Instead, our little furry traveler had quirks and claws. But they are family, so we decided to take a chance and packed up a little suitcase of necessities to take her along.
I mean, how bad could it be?
There are things you can do to put the little kitty mind at ease – cat box and litter (check); fun toys (check); favorite kitty food (check); enclosed sanctuary carrier (check); food dish with water bowl (check). Our camper was now outfitted to meet the needs of any ‘finicky feline.’
While frightful visions of shredded furniture, litter-box drama and crazy behavior danced in our head, there were no serious escapes out the door hatch, or disappearance into unknown locations. I have a friend who lost a cat, somewhere in Zion. All I can say is our first trip with RV kitty was memorable and slightly exasperating. Who knew?
The good news is this cat did not get motion sick, did not complain or act out. In fact, she made herself at home and acted more like seasoned driver visiting a NASCAR raceway. When kitty was not in the back camper, we welcomed her into the truck where she took short naps on the dashboard. If she was not sleeping, she still had access to all necessities in the back seat.
The first 100 miles were super: just RV Kitty and us, and the wide open road.
But Kktties get bored — very easily. Because we have always believed that ‘declawing cats’ is mostly inhumane – I mean how can they protect themselves from a big, bad dog, or worse? We couldn’t bring ourselves to put her very survival at risk. But she did love those windows, and the steering wheel was a mouse. As you can imagine, the more miles in the RV, the more comfortable kitty would become.
I take no pleasure in admitting that RV Kitty needed to be corned and controlled. This brings me to the five-best tips to consider before bringing your RV kitty along:
Best Place for Litter Box
A small plastic storage bin with kitty litter fits perfectly in the little RV shower stall – cleaning required daily.
Storage Space a Plus
Storage may be tight, but create some hideaway space. A kitty-enclosed cube is best to use.
Perches and Window Space
It goes without saying the cats love a view – get comfortable with an RV kitty finding new spots to take in the sun or take a nap (couch, counter tops and dashboards) are part of the deal.
Do not let an RV kitty roam the kitchen, around the stove, and secure screens as needed for the escape artist.
Reasonable dog to keep them in check.
Patient and tolerant attitude.
Cat collar and harness (with little leash).
Outdoor cat enclosure – yes, it’s worth the investment.
Be a Hero and Adopt…in support of local animal shelters. If you can provide a caring home to a homeless dog or cat, contact the Enoch Animal Shelter, the Cedar City Animal Shelter, or the Iron County facility, 435-586-8791 or 435-586-2960.