TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › RV Travel - need help asap!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

RV Travel - need help asap!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Has anyone done this before? My parents and are are renting a brand new 2008
31 foot RV for a 2wk trip this summer. We are going to be driving during the day and staying in various campgrounds at night.. planning to drive about 8hrs/day.
THe RV is huge and has a separate bedroom and feels more a house. My parents suggested bringing Bella with us as she is very attached to me and the cost to board her is $25 day (which would be $375!).
The boarding place is beautiful.. she would have her own room and the owner is a feline behaviorist who is there 24hrs/day. She would monitor Bella's IBD (Bella is doing great -- no symptoms as long as she is on her pred.) and brush/feed and play with her. I think Bella would be good there, but still -- I am not there and none of her stuff is either.
THe other option is to have my collage age cousin come stay for the 2wks. She loves Bella and is responsible but doesnt know how to give Bella her pred every other day for her IBD. The time she did stay with Bella before she had to have her dad drive over and give Bella her pill.. dont think that will work for 2wks.

Bella is very tolerant and has moved w/ me several times and only took a day to get acclimated to the new enviornment. She is very social and likes to be where people are and cuddle (mostly with me). Because of this I dont do pet sitters who just come to feed/water. Plus the petsitter is $18/visit and Bella is on a raw food diet and needs to eat 2/day, plus her pill before bed.
Anyway -- that is the deal.. I have to let the boarding place know by the end of the week if I want to reserve it. They are the best place in town, so mostly I am just hestitant about spending almost $400 for boarding when thats the cost of my whole vacation.
I am tempted to just bring her along.. but am worried about her getting out.. she isnt an outdoor kitty at all and isnt very gentle/tenative but like all kitties is curious and may wander off if we are not super super careful. Also worried about her not liking it and then we would be stuck 1000 miles from home. Also about keeping us up all night in a small space when she does her 3am kitty stuff.
Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone taking kitties on a long RV trip? She would get used to it really easily I think.. but something is still worrying me about taking her..
thanks!!
post #2 of 16
oooooooo we do have a member RVman - who lives & travels about in his RV with kits - I am sure he´d be able to give some great advice -maybe you could PM him ?

Good Luck !!
post #3 of 16
I've vacationed with a cat or two
My parents are full time RVers.

Get her microchipped if she isn't already, and a collar and ID tag (hopefully with a cell # of a phone that you have with you).
And make sure you have firm procedures in place for entering and leaving the RV to ensure she doesn't slip out.
If she rides well, no reason not to take her along.
post #4 of 16
We also have member Laurie(LDG) who lived in an RV with several cats (and hubby).
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jettafer99 View Post
Has anyone done this before? My parents and are are renting a brand new 2008
31 foot RV for a 2wk trip this summer. We are going to be driving during the day and staying in various campgrounds at night.. planning to drive about 8hrs/day.
THe RV is huge and has a separate bedroom and feels more a house. My parents suggested bringing Bella with us as she is very attached to me and the cost to board her is $25 day (which would be $375!).
The boarding place is beautiful.. she would have her own room and the owner is a feline behaviorist who is there 24hrs/day. She would monitor Bella's IBD (Bella is doing great -- no symptoms as long as she is on her pred.) and brush/feed and play with her. I think Bella would be good there, but still -- I am not there and none of her stuff is either.
THe other option is to have my collage age cousin come stay for the 2wks. She loves Bella and is responsible but doesnt know how to give Bella her pred every other day for her IBD. The time she did stay with Bella before she had to have her dad drive over and give Bella her pill.. dont think that will work for 2wks.

Bella is very tolerant and has moved w/ me several times and only took a day to get acclimated to the new enviornment. She is very social and likes to be where people are and cuddle (mostly with me). Because of this I dont do pet sitters who just come to feed/water. Plus the petsitter is $18/visit and Bella is on a raw food diet and needs to eat 2/day, plus her pill before bed.
Anyway -- that is the deal.. I have to let the boarding place know by the end of the week if I want to reserve it. They are the best place in town, so mostly I am just hestitant about spending almost $400 for boarding when thats the cost of my whole vacation.
I am tempted to just bring her along.. but am worried about her getting out.. she isnt an outdoor kitty at all and isnt very gentle/tenative but like all kitties is curious and may wander off if we are not super super careful. Also worried about her not liking it and then we would be stuck 1000 miles from home. Also about keeping us up all night in a small space when she does her 3am kitty stuff.
Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone taking kitties on a long RV trip? She would get used to it really easily I think.. but something is still worrying me about taking her..
thanks!!
Persi, DW and myself drove from Plano, TX to Cuernavaca, México and back for Christmas. Total time away: 17 days. Total miles: 2450. Vehichle: BMW SUV (not a large SUV). We prepared the SUV (no third seat) and set up the whole back end with the cat's litter box, carrier, blankets, toys, water and food bowls. One of us slept in the back with the cat while the other was driving. We really never gave a second thought to NOT taking Persi with us and with a setup like YOU have, WOW! Depends on the person I guess, and of course the cat, but to me you do not even have a choice, take the cat! In fact, we just finalized our travel plans to Seattle and British Columbia in May for 17 days again. This time will be DOUBLE the mileage and we will be taking TWO cats with us. Since you have an RV, you do not even have to worry about finding cat friendly places along the way like we do (it is actually not much of a problem), what's to worry? Again, it depends on how much your cat already excepts riding. The bottom line for us and probably for you is if you want to be away from your cat that long. And we have somebody excellent to take care of the two if we left them behind but we had so much fun taking Persi to México that we promised them we would take both of them with us to Canada. Note: We are empty nesters so these are our babies and have very strong feelings about leaving them behind.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
thanks all -- I would love to hear from the RVman and anyone else who has done it long term for some advice.. Bella is microchipped w/ a collar and the door is a double one -- screen and big door. Also what about a leash thing? my parents thot of that idea.
I dont want to be away from her very long either..
post #7 of 16
Great idea - get her a proper harness (and let her wear it around your house for a short time every day before you leave). Get the kind with a little strip from the neck collar to one that goes down behind her front legs, and with a little ring on the strip to hook a leash to every time someone opens the door. Don't ever just use a collar alone because cats can strangle very easily. The harness collar(s) should be tight enough for you to just get a finger underneath. Make sure you get the kind with proper buckles as some come without the little 'tongue' and no holes punched, which is also dangerous as they can come loose just like that (and I'm not talking about 'breakaway' collars).
post #8 of 16
Every time I see one of those big motorhomes, I start to fantasize about going on the road myself... oh, how I envy you!

I think it would be great to take your kitty along, but before you decide, you might take her for a few car trips around town, every day for a few days, and see how she responds. If nothing else, that would help reassure her that not every trip ends up at the vet's office!

And when you get the RV, you'll want to "smellify" it, of course, so it will seem familiar to her. Also, you might get a Comfort Zone Feliway diffuser for the RV... and use it in your house for awhile before you leave, as well.

Will you have your computer along, so you can post pictures every day and let us all enjoy your trip vicariously? Pleeeeeease???
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the good advice.. Being such kitty lovers and wanting what is best for them, I trust your comments that it would be an ok thing to bring her. I use Feliway at home since I am gone too much for Bella's liking. It keeps her feeling good along w/ her catnip. So yes Feliway in the RV will be a must. The RV is brand new so hopefully not many weird smells for her.
I also like the idea of taking her in the car and seeing how she rides a few times. I want to find out if she gets carsick or if she relaxes eventually. The harness is also a good idea, I will do that for sure.
This is our first RV trip!! And we are going from Oregon to the GrandCanyon thru Tahao and Northern Cal.. Its going to be 2 whole weeks and I cant wait I can post pics of me and my sweet girl enjoying the road in our big ole RV!
post #10 of 16
Just remember that she'll do better in the RV than a car, where the motion and noise of driving are a lot worse and more immediate. But DO carefully check the RV out ahead of time for ANY tiny (impossible) space she could want to hide in and not be get-outable - top to bottom! Cats are amazing when they want to hide and you can't take anything for granted.
post #11 of 16
Hi all thanks for mentioning me to her, I have an email from her and here is what I wrote.

Hi thanks for the email, our Kitty's are on our schedule, they sleep when we sleep which is great. We always play with them an hour before bed, a laser light is great and we have some string things. Lilly rides on the dash most of the times, Abby doesn't she stays on the floor close to us, they do not get car or motion sick. I had a cat once that would hide the whole trip but not these two. As for the escape we don't have that problem either, just see where she is before going out the door, also keep out side door closed, the screens doors on most RV's won't hold a cat who wants out. The trick to cats riding are teach them young, my last cat was about 8 or 9 and she really didn't like it, but once we stopped for the night she was fine. We really got lucky with these two. Oh and there are wire's under the dash, cat's want to hide if scared and the dash is usually first choice, I have cat fixed mine but it took a lot of work, depending on the RV you can roll up a blanket long ways and put it under the dash, stuff it under there really good. If the rv has slides make sure kitty is in sight before doing the slides else is she may get ......well you know what I mean. Guess that's about it. Oh as for the racing around at night, hmmm, sleep hard or wear her out so she will sleep. The first day or two will be the roughest. August is usually very hot so keep the air going, it gets hot really fast inside a RV.

Kelly

That's the best advice I could offer, I hadn't read her post, I say take her, our cats are our best friends. Lilly loves to watch the trucks go by and she seems to really enjoy the changing scenery.
post #12 of 16
We took our 2 with us on vacation last summer. We rented a cottage about 4.5 hours from home. The cats travelled beautifully in the car and after about 1/2 day were fine at the cottage. Both are harness and leash trained so we took them out several times during the day for little walk-abouts. We all enjoyed the vacation.
post #13 of 16
Hi! Just checking in to the behavior forum - and HAD to read this post!

Gary and I lived in an RV for two years with two kitties at first, and five by the end. We weren't travelling at first, but took a 2 week trip from Northern NJ to Southern GA. Ours is a 37' Holiday Rambler with no slide-out.

If Bella travels well in a car, she'll do fine in an RV. Shelly gets SO car sick and SO stressed out in a crate in a car - but he does fine in the RV.

Larke is right - get down on your hands and knees and check the RV! ESPECIALLY up around the dash - both driver's side and passenger side. Our kitties found a way up into the dash - and if we'd chosen a different style it would have been a major pain in the you-know-what - but we had the kind with the TV in the dash, so we could take it out to get the cats out. We CRAMMED cheap pillows we bought up into the dash and filled the gap tight enough they couldn't get back up in there. On the driver's side we had to take them out for travel - but the very first thing we did when we pulled over for the night was shove those pillows up there.

Don't open the windows all the way - open them just enough for air to get in, but not wide enough for Bella to squeeze out. Like RV man said - the screens on the windows and doors are NOT strong enough to keep kitty in if she wants out.

If Bella is not an outside kitty to begin with, her getting out is probably not too much of an issue. Just make sure that EVERYONE agrees to make sure they know where she is when they open the door to leave. Our kitties never tried to bolt - they didn't even hang out near the door.

Bring lots of stuff that has her smell on it. Does she have kitty beds she uses? Bring a couple of those, toys, one of her litter boxes, her brush (if she has one) &etc. And bring a couple of boxes or something for her to hide in for "safe" space, which she'll probably need (at least at first).

In our RV, under the bed was a storage space. Of course, yours is a rental, so this isn't an option for you, but we cut holes in two sides of it, and filled it with boxes, kitty beds, etc. They all hid under there when we traveled. They got the hang of it really quickly though. Every time we stopped for gas, they'd venture out, drink, pee or whatever. We'd tell them we were going to start the engine and drive again. Then we'd wait a minute before starting the engine. They figured out quickly what was going to happen when we said that, and they'd go back under the bed. But my point is having a couple of "safe" places for her during the travel would probably help.

We also took out the dining room and put in cat trees.

But they loved jumping from the bed up into the cabinets over the bed. And they loved being able to get from the cat tree into the cabinets over what would be the dining room table. Another TCS member had kitties in an RV for a time, and her kitties loved jumping off the back of the driver or passenger chair up into the front cabinets.

If Bella is very attached to you, and is comfortable going places with you in the car, then it's probably a good idea to bring her along. Just remember that cats are usually territory oriented more than people-oriented, so changing territory (especially one that moves) may be scary for her. Try driving to a friends apartment (better if they have no pets!) or something and see how she reacts - both to the drive and being in a new place with you. Of course a car drive is nothing like an RV drive, and a couple of hours in a new place isn't really a way to judge. Just that if it goes well, you know she'll be fine in the RV. If it doesn't go well, it doesn't really mean much, because cats can adjust pretty quickly after a few days. The difference with our kitties was that for all of them (except Ming Loy), the RV had been home for several years, so they knew it and I'm sure they could smell it (despite all our cleaning!)

Here's the thread I posted about the trip: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91721

Feel free to ask any questions - here or via PM.

Laurie
post #14 of 16
LDG great post, we cut a hole in the step to first compartment for our kittys very own potty room, they love the tunnel to it also. Aren't cats great!

Kelly
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RvMan View Post
LDG great post, we cut a hole in the step to first compartment for our kittys very own potty room, they love the tunnel to it also. Aren't cats great!

Kelly
Hi! Are you full-timers? We were (for almost 11 years!), so we really needed all the space. Now that we're not, it is something we considered. But for us, cutting a hole in our step wouldn't lead anywhere but to the outside. We were considering cutting a hole in the living room floor, which would lead down to the largest compartment. We thought they'd love it. Our concern was opening the compartment to clean litterboxes - if any one of them were down there (we have six) when we open the compartment, we were scared they'd flee outside.

Laurie
post #16 of 16
Yes to ful-timers and I have a door that slides, I close it then go out and open compartment then clean the box. I store the litter there too and have a small vavum for cleaning the carpet around the litter box and the tunnel.

Kelly
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › RV Travel - need help asap!