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Taking pets camping,,

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi, sorry if this isn't the right place to ask this.

We do allot of camping in our small motor home. {thats how I ended up with Tuffy} Last fall I had to take Tuffy along with us because he was on meds and he won't let anyone else get close enough to him to give him his meds.

He was a little scared on the road but once we got set up he seemed to have a good time. I was real worried that with all the people in and out of the camper he would run out the door and take off, but he didn't seem to want to go out side to much so he was ok. I would like to take him along a couple times this year but I don't know if the stress is good for him. Most places we go to are not far away so we are not on the road long. But last fall when he went with us he climbed on my lap and just shook till we got to where we were going so I had to try and comfort him and drive the motor home at the same time. Yvonne tried to hold him but he just cried and shook worse so she put him back on my lap. But he was fine after we got set up.

He was a sick stray who picked me out of the campers while we were camping in the park of the town we live in. He stayed by us the whole weekend outside because we didn't have the stuff at first for him to stay inside and he was so sick and bad looking I didn't really want him in the motor home at first any way. I ran home and got some cat food and a litter box for him and brung or big pet carrier for dogs back to the camper and made him a little house so he could stay warm and have fresh water and food instead of drinking that horrible river water. We were set up right on the bank of a big river that runs right through the middle of our town.

Do any of you take your cats camping with you? Can I put a collar and a small leash on Tuffy so he can come outside with us if he wants to or do cats have major problems with that? I would hate myself if he got out and ran off and got hit by a car or truck or something or have some mean kids hurt him. He has no problem with wearing a collar, I have a nice fancy blue one I got for him and it doesn't seem to bother him but I always take it off because it just don't look comfortable to me, I am a big softy at heart I guess

I think we still have one of those harness things here some where but I think he might not like having that thing on.

I see allot of people with dogs along but never cats, unless the cats are always inside there campers so I wouldn't see them.

I want to take him with us back to the park where he first came up to me last fall to see if he remembers the place and how he reacts.

I just would like to take Tuffy along camping because I like to have him there with me, I am suprised that Yvonne ask if I was going to take him along this year, she didn't like the idea of bringing him along last year.

Is it bad of me to put Tuffy through the stress of going along just so I can have him along with us? Maybe he will get better with the ride the more he does it and he figures out we are not going to dump him off some place or hurt him in any way. He does good now riding in the van in his little carrier when going to the vet but he has been there so many times I think he likes going there because he gets all kinds of hugs and petting from the people who work there. I can take any of our other cats in when they are sick or whatever but it always turns into everyone asking how Tuffy is doing. Also we live only about a 1/4 mile from the vet so its a real short ride. But then maybe it would be hard for him to be here for days when I am not here since I am the only one he trusts. The truth is its hard for me to leave for days and not worry about all the animals and how they are doing.

Sorry for writing a book about this.
post #2 of 15
I'll move this to care and grooming

Me personally i couldn't take mine away like that because they stress out just going for their yearly check up at the vet, and the surgery's only 2 minutes away by car

I know how you feel about worrying about them being on their own because i go to Scotland for odd weekends to my boyfriends, but i have a neighbour who goes in everyday to check on them, feed, scoup etc..., and he always sends me a text every day to say that their fine.

It's a difficult one
post #3 of 15
The only situation I can think of where this would be ok is if you travel/live in a motor home enough that the cat considers it home- his territory.
If it is just once or twice a year I think it would be too stressful for the cat, not to mention the possibility of his escaping.

The best way to think of it is this- unlike dogs that bond to people, cats bond with places.

This is not to say that our cats don't love us or enjoy our company. It only means that being on safe (home) territory is very important to a cats state of mind. When removed from familiar places they are stressed.
Personally I think he would be much better off at home.

And driving with a cat in your lap is asking for trouble, but then you knew that.
post #4 of 15
What I'd do is condition your cat to travelling now instead of waiting. Take him out for a drive around a few blocks every day. That's what I did with my first cat - he was terrified to ride in a car. At the time I also owned a horse, and so when I'd go there, I'd just put Mitten in the back seat (loose...yeah I know it was not the wisest thing to do) and we'd go back to the stable and he'd sit in the car while I was there.

After a few times of this, he became quite well with riding and never minded it - kinda was an adventure with him as long as I was with him.

As far as camping, I'd also keep him inside the camper - keep him in a carrier if you are not right there - that way if someone opens the door he can't escape. ID him with collar/tags.

Reason I say keep him inside as camps that allow pets have TONS of dogs and your cat could panic if he's not used to dogs.
post #5 of 15
My vet told me a story of one of his other clients. They actually traded in one RV for a larger one when their cat family grew to 7. So you're not alone. Other people take their pets camping with them. We took our two with us to Florida for Christmas (flying) and Seamus made a trip to my mom's NC cabin. Aside from one incident with soot in the fireplace and one attempt to climb a screened in porch, everything was A-Okay.

Seamus is quite used to his harness. I'll say, "Time to get dressed" and he'll come running, sit there patiently, and he even lifts his front paw when I put it through the harness. We often go to petsmart together and if he sneaks into the garage and the car window is open, he likes to hang out in there.
post #6 of 15
My Dazy Mae (basset) went every where. Hubby even modified the trailer so if there where fireworks she could not hear them because she had the music blaring. The cat also went but she stayed on the bed never moved but she purred. I think she loved the change of scenery.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I take Tuffy in the camper in our yard sometimes in the summer if I am in there cleaning or whatever and he dosen't seem to mind, he just checks everything out and plays and watches out the windows. That first day he found me he followed me right into the camper probably because he was so hungry. Yvonne wonders if he came there in someones camper and he got out and they left without him? But he stuck around the park till I took him in so if he did get out I would think his owners could have found him if that was the case.

For some reason its the ride that gets him all worked up.
post #8 of 15
It sounds totally crazy to me to take a cat camping. But I have a friend who camped last fall with her cat. She has a pull behind trailer. She is a single Mom, and brought her daughter, her lab, and a smallish hyper dog, along with the cat Pastel, in a pickup truck. She brought Pastel's carrier, so when the dogs were outside, Pastel could sit out in her carrier. Of course she was always right next to Pastel, just in case someone else's dog or kid wasn't nice.

I met her the last day, and Pastel sat in her carrier (on the toolbox on the back of the truck) while our kids played for about an hour. Pastel was just fine. She kind of acts more like a dog than a cat in many ways, and seemed very happy to be with her "family", rather than left at home.

In your situation, maybe when you are getting the camper ready, having the oil changed and filling the tank, you can take Tuffy with you on the little local trips. He will learn that you always go back home, and you will learn if he travels ok. And he would probably be safer in the carrier with one of your worn shirts, full of your scent, to keep him company (rather than sitting on your lap.)
post #9 of 15
Treat Treat Treat o and praise them. Cats can be alot like dogs I noticed. Some say they are trainable also
post #10 of 15
Once I can afford to buy a camper, I plan on taking my three away with me!

Primarily, if you wish to get Tuffy harness trained, please remember to follow the slow and easy steps to make sure that he's okay with it! All three of mine were harness and leash trained at an early age, but I think it's possible at any age with patience and love!

If Tuffy's not so used to travelling, take him on short trips and build them up. Taking different routes will help as it will give the car/camper different motions. You can also get a herbal travel tablet that will help calm the stomach and keep kitty calmer (They're called Travel Ease - in the UK - and all three of mine take them before travelling. Tibby was an awful traveller!!!)

I think that if you can get Tuffy used to all the travelling and harness train him, he would thoroughly love the holiday!

My friend's parents cats (and Lab) go to their static caravan often! the cats are indoor/outdoor, but will stay around the caravan and definitely not venture out if it is raining!
post #11 of 15
I say take your cat with you. If I had a camper van I would take mine camping all the time! I'm taking both cats with me down to NY city for a month in the summer. They will just have to endure the 7 hour drive! I hate leaving them and do board them at the vet when I go away for a weekend but I can't stand the thought of leaving them for so long.
post #12 of 15
I also vote to take Tuffy camping. I used to take our 2 rabbits camping with us (and we only had a tent).

As someone else said, gradually get Tuffy used to a harness (much safer than just a collar and leash). Bijou and Mika didn't like the harness at first but now will sit by the door and wait while we put the harness on.

Also taking Tuffy for little car rides will help him get used to the car and not be so afraid.

Good luck - sounds like Tuffy has found himself a "soft touch". Good on you for being so kind to Tuffy.
post #13 of 15
I've taken cats camping (birds too).
Tent camping at that.
Of course the cats were conditioned to it as soon as they were old enough to have their first full series of vaccs.

I see no reason not to.
The stress factor really depends on the cat, some cats just roll with the punches and don't get upset by anything, if they were horses, they'd be considered bomb proof.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

We got a bigger motor home last saturday. We were not looking for a different one, but we saw this one for sale and looked at it and ended up buying it on the spot. Its a 1984 Midas Kingston 27ft. So if Tuffy does go with us he will have a lot bigger "house" to run around in. Our old one was only a 19ft long one.
post #15 of 15
Oh WOW!!

That looks fantastic and so big! I'm sure Tuffy will love holidaying in there!!
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