So you have decided to follow your long lost dream and travel from country to country but you don’t want to leave your cat behind. It’s no secret cats don’t like travelling, let alone living on the road. You practically stuck between a rock and hard place, but what if you can teach your cat to embrace the RV travelling?
As we all know cats love routine, anything either then routine seems strange and dangerous. So the cat puts up a defence as a mechanism to deflect and to keep itself safe from any harm even if there is no harm intended. Therefore the following tips are to help you plan and transition from your home to the Rv.
Familiarize the Cat to the Rv.
This step must be done prior to your travel so that you can understand the cat’s behaviour and body language and by doing so you can adequately prepare. It’s best that you park the Rv away from home like the park or the sports grounds. Its good to do a trial run to allow the cat to enter and just acclimate itself with the confined atmosphere since a motorhome is smaller than your real home. A really good idea is to unlock the door of the RV and allow a few minutes for the cat to enter free willing.
Use the cat’s curiosity to your advantage, the first time might be tricky but you can practice this trial run daily. Casually, you will notice the cat will gain interest and become more responsive, at this point try not to be noticeable. Give space for them to roam around and discover however they see fit. Over time the cat will start to calm down and become less anxious since the motorhome isn’t new anymore.
Adjust and Rearrange the RV to Suit the Cat.
The aim of this step is to create a small little cosy home for yourself and the cat inside the Rv. Incorporate blankets, cushion, favourite toys, litter box, cage and any other useful things. It’s important for the cat to be comfortable and relaxed.
For the first few weeks, its good to allow the cat to sleep in the cage that it’s used to, anywhere else will make the cat feel out of place. Within the RV allocate a corner for the cat cage. Make sure you remove any distractions and disturbances. Always leave this corner clear so that the cat can have its own privacy. Its often a good choice to let the cat take the window seat, as the scenery could be a form of good distraction allowing the cat to become relaxed.
Most importantly make sure the corner that is allocated for the cat is well ventilated with a good average temperature. Some parts of an Rv are slightly warmer due to the engine heat that’s entering inside.
On hot days, an RV is probably the worst place to be in as the tempreture can rapidly increase. You must maintain a good comfortable tempreture inside but opening window, doors, vents and or switching on the AC.
Litter box Setup.
The litter box must be in a place that is away, normally at the entrance/ behind the door or in the toilet corner. Cats are the very private and shy animals when it comes to pooping and peeing. They very discreet, so its best that the litter box is left at a place away from any interaction and distractions.
To balance the cat litterbox while driving, place a thick towel or styrofoam layer under the litterbox to absorb any swift driving motion. This will prevent the litter from spilling
Cat litter must be cleaned daily to prevent any smell from invading. Studies also show that germs in cat faeces can affect human health in a severe way, so to prevent any pathogens and infections, cleaning the litter box daily is a must.
Once you have set a place for the litter box, do not change that place. I repeat, do not change the litter box place more than once. This is the most important thing if you change and rearrange the litter box the cat will refrain from using it and will poop where ever it feels safe. The last thing you would want is to have poop everywhere in your RV.
When choosing cat litter you can choose from options such as clay, paper, crystals or even biodegradable if you intend on reducing your carbon footprint. Disposing of litter is really simple, a quick toss and cover into the sand is all it takes. Biodegradable litter is actually harmless and environmentally friendly.
Hiding Places and Fun Obstacles.
It’s no secret cats love being adventurous, they thrive on the high and energetic lifestyle, therefore set up play areas almost like an obstacle course, space may be limited but be creative. Include the cat’s favourite toys along with other interesting fidgets. You want to make sure you create a normal lifestyle for the cat, you really need to fill every void so that you are able to nurture and sustain the cats well being.
In terms of hiding places, be sure to remove any objects that could harm the cat. You want to provide hiding places that are safe and easily accessible. Cats love to hide and simply relax away from anyone. A cat is an animal, their animal instinct always plans ahead and makes room for threats. Therefore hiding is part of their survival plan, although there isn’t any attack.
Cleaning and Fur Removal.
Cats shed a lot of their fur, there is no way to prevent in but rather there are ways to help keep it under control. Daily brushing of the cat’s fur can easily remove any lose lying fur. A soft yet firm pet brush can be used in a controlled manner to prevent bruising and injury. Brushing must be done outdoors since, clean up will be easy. Brushing of the living area, as well as mats, are very important.
It’s crucial that you clean and disinfect your mobile home. Since human and animal is sharing the living spot you would want to be very careful, so that they may not be any cross contaminants. Disinfectant liquids and cleaning products can be used as long as its pet-friendly and mildly scented. Some products may cause allergies and respiratory problems for the cat. Your best bet is mild and pet-friendly.
Rv Maintenance Check.
Before you head out, you want to make sure the RV is in good condition from head to tail. Check the
- Tyres, wipers, Air conditioning, lights, battery etc.
- Make sure all the appliances are working.
- Top up on propane, enough for the journey.
Cat Travel Accessories.
Its important that you are fully prepared to cater for your cat onboard. You need essentials
- Cat carrier
- Portable litterbox
- Cat toys and fidgets
- Fur remover
- Odor absorbing litter
- Leash and harness
- Quality window perch
- Space efficient bowls for water, food and storage.
- Cat tent
- Cat shampoo and bathing equipment
- Bedding and sleep wear.
Emergency First Aid kit for Cats.
First aid kits are very important, it is not predictable to know when you may need any medical supplies. It’s not ideal to give cats human medication in any situations. Cats have their own anatomy and physiology and their medication is specifically created for their body and well being. Since you have chosen to travel full time you must have a first aid kit. You can either chose to buy a first aid kit which sells for about $70 or you could opt to make your own. The basic supplies include:
- Bandages and gauze
- Surgical sticky tape and gloves
- Sterile Swabs
- Blunt ended scissors
- Saline solution
- Antiseptic solution
- Cat laxative
- Pain relief medication
- Syringes and forceps
In more serious cases its good to keep a good reference of vets that are mobile and trustworthy. If you think your cat is coming down with the flu or isn’t well you probably want to make the necessary arrangements before the matter worsens. You can look up good vets and clinics and arrange a consult.
Nutritious Food and Water.
Nutrition is a big factor when travelling. It’s very difficult to track daily meal and water intake especially when you mobile. A simple way is to set reminders using your mobile phone or even draw up charts and allocate specific times for feeding and water. It’s preferable to keep cat dry foods since its a lot easy and lots less messy. However the cat cannot be restricted to only one specific food, therefore there are ways to include more liquid foods.
Water and food bowls must be able to seal tightly to prevent spills. There are also water dispensers that only release water once the cat pulls. You can opt to use can foods. Depending on the quantity of food your cat consumes, you should choose a can size that supply enough for a meal rather than having a lot which can be difficult to store when travelling. Include your cat’s favourite snacks to make the cat feel more relaxed and at ease.
Interval Breaks and Rest.
While travelling can be adventurous and extremely enjoyable, taking breaks in between is crucial. It’s preferable to take breaks after every 3-4 hours of driving. You can step out to enjoy the beautiful scenery and a quick breather and stretch. Be sure to carry your cat along. Make sure you parked at a safe spot and the cat have a leash.
It’s also important that you have a good driving plan so that you can allocate your stops at planned locations. You also want the drive to be fun filled with exciting sceneries.
If the cat has motion sickness, breaks are very important. It restores the cats well being and brings about a calm feeling. Check out for motion sickness medications which can be helpful. Motion sickness is often triggered by changes in driving speed. It’s ideal to keep a moderate steady pace throughout the journey.
Can I keep a cat if I travel a lot? yes, you must make sure you properly providing excellent care and giving enough attention. The cat can get stressed out and slip into a state of depression since its being introduced to changing scenery, however, cats are smart and they adapt really quick with enough preparation.
How to keep cats from escaping Rv? At first you want to prepare the cat as much as possible while being patient. When doing this always close the doors so that kitty is enclosed. Give the cat some freedom inside, unleash them so that they can go around and check for themselves that no danger is posed at the same time it gives them a sense of relief.