RV Travel with Cats
When we started to think about RVing fulltime, our biggest question was, what are we going to do with the cats? You might say we are crazy cat people as we have four of them! Since our cats are part of our family and have been for the past decade, saying goodbye to them once we started to travel fulltime was not an option. We’ve done a lot of planning, bought a few must-have items, and even did some modifications to our tiny home on wheels to make our cats feel comfortable with RV life. Here are our tips and tricks for RV travel with cats.
The number one question we get about RVing with cats is, what do you do about the litter box? Since we have four cats, we need multiple litter boxes. When renovating the RV, we decided to keep the dinette in place so we’d be able to use the under bench storage areas for litter boxes. They are the perfect size for one litter box in each! We removed the drawers and put up privacy drapes that would allow the cats to easily go in and out and keep the litter areas out of sight.
We didn’t want to use traditional litter that would track all over our 300 square foot home. We also wanted something high quality that would help keep the odor down. After a bit of research, we settled on the Breeze Litter Box System. The box fits perfectly in our under bench storage area, the litter is made of pellets that don’t track all over the floor, and the system uses pads to keep the smell to a minimum. While we still clean the litter each time a cat goes number two, we only need to change the number one pads about once a week.
While our cats generally sleep in bed with us, as we’re sure yours do too, we still have cat beds for napping and lounging. Our tiny mobile house doesn’t have a lot of extra room for four cat beds, so we had to get creative. We decided to take advantage of the storage area under the queen bed in the master bedroom and use it as a cat sanctuary.
Since you’re only able to access the under bed storage area by lifting up the top, we cut a cat-sized hole in the front of the bed frame. We then put in the four cat beds. The cats now have their own, quiet space to escape when they’ve had enough love from the kiddos!
Grooming and Care
In our “sticks and bricks” home, our cats, unfortunately, used our couch as a scratching pad. Since we purchased a new sofa for the RV, we didn’t want that bad habit to continue. We put multiple scratch pads around the RV and covered them in catnip to attract the cats. We have a couple of cardboard cat scratchers that sit on the floor and a couple of rope pads that hang from command hooks on the walls.
Four cats worth of hair can collect quickly in the RV. To keep shedding to a minimum, we take each outside once or twice a week for a good brushing session. It’s hard to believe how much our two long hair cats shed, and we’d rather be proactive about it. The cats love the attention, and we love the fact that the hair blows away in the wind instead of in our home. For the hair that inevitably ends up on the floors, a dustbuster is cat lady’s (or man’s) best friend. Our Shark Cordless gets used daily!
Our cats range in age between 9 - 11 years old. But, you would never know as they are all as spunky as kittens! Toys are a great way to keep them entertained and not get bored in their tiny home. We continuously have catnip filled mice sprawled around the rig. The cats chase them around the house and will bring them to us as gifts. Way better than a real mouse!
Speaking of prey, we wanted to attract birds to our rig for the cat’s viewing pleasure. We placed a clear bird feeder on the window behind the couch. The cats can sit on the top of the couch and stalk the birds. It has provided hours of entertainment for cats and humans alike. And, we’re happy to report we’ve managed to remember to take it down each time before traveling :).
After searching for months, we finally pulled the trigger on a cat tower. We needed one that fit in our tiny space yet fulfilled the needs of multiple cats. We opted for the Kitty City Tower as is it compact, accommodates three out of four cats at a time, and includes toys and scratching post. We put it in a corner surrounded by windows, so it offers a wonderful place for the cats to sit and watch the world.
Back “home” we had a fenced in yard that the cats spent a lot of time in. We knew from the beginning we needed to find a way to give the cats the outside time they enjoyed. For the first few months of fulltime RVing, we used harnesses and leashes. A couple of the cats took to them greatly, one was not into it whatsoever, and one seemed to escape every time. We slowly started to introduce the cats to the outside world sans leash. After hours of practice in multiple camping spots, we now feel comfortable letting the cats outside without their leashes. We take them out one at a time, and let them frolic and explore. They are really good at following us back inside the camper, but if they do need a little bit more motivation, we use wet cat food to let them know it’s time to come inside. We don’t think free range life is right for every cat, but it has worked out surprisingly well for our family.
We put a lot of time and thought into figuring out life on the road with four cats. We were honestly more worried about them adjusting to this new lifestyle than the kids! We are so happy our fur babies have adapted to life in the RV better than they even adjusted to our last traditional home. They have seen more in their little cat lives than many people have even seen! We love having them on this journey with us and wouldn’t want it any other way. Are you traveling with pets? Want to know more? Comment below with your tips, tricks, or questions!