Everything You Need To Know About RVing With Cats

June 17, 2023
A cat enjoying the RVing lifestyle

RVing with a cat can seem intimidating at first. These little creatures can be finicky at times, and you want to be sure that they’re comfortable on the road.

Fortunately, living with cats in an RV is something that many people do. This guide will teach you what to expect and how to make your feline friends happy.

Is RV Living With Cats Possible?

Not only is RVing with a cat possible, but many feline companions thrive in an adventure-filled home on wheels! As you’d imagine though, each cat has its own unique personality and preferences.

Some cats are naturally more adaptable and curious, making them perfect travel buddies for your RV adventures. On the other hand, some cats may need a little extra time and patience to adjust to their new mobile lifestyle.

When considering RV living with your cat, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you’re prepared for any challenges that may arise. This means creating a comfortable space for your feline friend, a routine for them to follow, and planning ahead so the important things like vaccinations and vet checkups aren’t missed.

The bottom line is that yes – RVing with a cat can definitely work out! It just requires proper planning and preparation beforehand.

Tips For RVing With A Cat

RVing with a cat doesn’t have to be intimidating. With a little knowhow and preparation you’ll be able to make sure your pet thrives and has a great experience on the road.

Here are the main tips to get you started.

1. Consider The Size Of Your RV

Size matters when it comes to selecting the perfect home-on-wheels for you and your feline companion. And bigger is usually better.

Larger RVs provide more room for your cats to roam and explore, which will help keep them entertained and also allow them to get some much-needed exercise. Interestingly enough, cats are also less likely to experience motion sickness when living and traveling in a larger RV due to its increased stability on the road.

A cat exploring the top of an RV

But with that being said, RVing with a cat in a smaller vehicle is still a viable option. It just requires a little bit of extra effort! 

For starters, you might need to keep your cat in the tow vehicle with you while driving (if you have a travel trailer of some kind). The main reason for this is to ensure that they stay cool if you’re unable to run some form of temperature control or keep things well-ventilated in the RV. But another reason to consider is that cats will sometimes get anxious in the RV by themselves while it’s moving!

You’ll also need to make more frequent stops along your journey so your cats can get a break from being cooped up inside the tow vehicle with you.

If you have a smaller RV, it’s even more important to establish a dedicated space for your cat to call their own. This can be challenging, but it’s essential. Add in some forms of enrichment like interactive toys or even vertical spaces like cat shelves or window perches for them to climb on. There are plenty of options if you get a little creative with your space!

2. Make Sure Water & Food Is Always Available

It’s crucial to ensure that your cat always has access to food and water while traveling in an RV, since maintaining their regular feeding routine will go a long way toward making them feel at ease in the environment.

We recommend using the same food and water dish that your cat is familiar with from home to minimize any confusion or stress when getting used to RV life. You’ll also want to establish a dedicated location for your cat’s food and water within the RV.

If you notice that your cat isn’t drinking enough water, consider investing in a pet fountain designed specifically for travel use. These fountains typically have low power consumption and encourage healthy hydration by providing a continuous flow of fresh water.

Adequate hydration is essential for preventing health issues and keeping your cat comfortable while on the road. Monitoring your cat’s eating and drinking habits during those first few days (or even weeks) on the road is crucial. By observing their intake, you’ll be able to assess how well they’re adjusting to life on the road in an RV and make any necessary adjustments if needed.

3. Perfect Your Litter Box Setup

Figuring out how to handle the litter box situation is absolutely essential when RVing with a cat. You want to make sure your cat is comfortable and can access it easily, but you also want it tucked away for your own convenience.

Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to establishing an effective litter box setup.

Type Of Litter Box

Choosing the right type of litter box for your RV can make a world of difference in maintaining cleanliness and keeping both you and your feline companion comfortable on the road. Each type of litter box offers its own advantages and disadvantages for RV living, so it’s important to consider which one will best suit your specific needs.

  • Top entry litter boxes are an excellent option for those looking to minimize scattered litter around their RV. With their enclosed design, these boxes make it easy to move them without spilling any contents – making them ideal for placing in an RV shower or other areas prone to movement. However, top entry boxes may not be suitable for storage areas with height restrictions, such as under the bed.
  • For those with more space available, covered litter boxes with side openings could be the perfect solution. These work especially well if you have under-the-stairs or basement storage where a cat door can lead directly into the opening of the box. While they tend to be bulkier than other options, covered boxes provide additional privacy for your cat while also keeping potential messes contained.
  • Open litter boxes offer flexibility when it comes to use in smaller spaces. They’re ideal for cabinets, under-the-bed storage, or custom cat cabinets since they don’t require much vertical room.

Location

Finding the perfect spot in your RV for the litter box crucial for maintaining cleanliness and minimizing unpleasant odors.

One spot to consider is placing the litter box in the shower. The benefits of this location include convenience, easy cleanup, and it won’t take up any additional floor space. If you do this, use a large cat mat to keep litter from going down the drain.

If you have a large RV and are looking for an out-of-the-way solution, consider placing the litter box in your basement storage area by cutting an access hole from the inside. This method not only keeps messes and smells contained but also frees up living space within your RV. If you do this, make sure there’s proper ventilation in the storage area so that odors don’t accumulate over time.

Another option is the bathroom cabinet. You can make this work by removing the doors or cutting a hole on one side. This keeps the litter box hidden while still providing easy access for your cat. The obvious downside is that you’ll lose some bathroom storage space with this setup.

Lastly, under-bed storage could serve as another suitable place for a litter box if configured correctly. Section off an area beneath the bed and install a cat door for easy entry and exit. The downside of this method is that you’ll need to bend a bit more when cleaning it out, but if that’s not a concern then give it a shot!

Type Of Cat Litter To Use

Picking the ideal type of cat litter for your RV can require a little bit of trial and error. While it’s essential to use a cat litter that your pet is already comfortable with, you also need to consider factors such as litter tracking, smell control, and disposal of waste when living in an RV.

To strike the right balance between these factors, you might want to explore alternatives to clumping clay cat litter. Pellet litters made from materials like wood or paper can be an excellent option for RV living with a cat. They’re less likely to track throughout your small space and have better odor control than traditional clay litters. Additionally, they’re biodegradable and break down into sawdust when wet, making them easier to dispose of during boondocking adventures.

Crystal litters are another popular choice among RVers due to their superior odor control and low-tracking properties. Made from silica gel beads that absorb moisture and lock away odors, crystal litters can last longer than other types before needing replacement which means fewer trips hauling bags of used cat litter out of the rig! However, keep in mind that some cats may need some time to adjust to the new texture.

When introducing a new type of litter to your cat, gradually mix it with their current litter over several days until they become accustomed to the change.

Choosing the right kind of cat litter for your RV lifestyle will require some experimentation and observation based on how well each option works with your furry companion’s preferences. Don’t get discouraged if you need to try out multiple options before finding one that suits both you and your pet.

Establish A Litter Box Cleaning Routine

Establishing a litter box cleaning routine is crucial when RVing with a cat.

A clean litter box will not only keep the space smelling fresh, but also help reduce your cat’s stress levels during travel. These are creatures that value cleanliness, so keeping their litter area tidy is essential for their overall well-being.

For starters, you should begin scooping the litter box more frequently than you would at home. This is because the confined space of an RV can make odors more noticeable and offensive to both you and your furry companion. Aim to scoop the litter box multiple times per day or whenever you notice it has been used.

In addition to frequent scooping, be sure to perform a thorough cleaning of the entire litter box on a regular basis. This involves removing all the old litter, scrubbing the box with mild detergent and warm water (avoid using harsh chemicals that may harm your cat), rinsing thoroughly, drying it completely, then refilling with fresh cat litter.

4. Take Temperature Seriously

Paying attention to the temperature inside your RV is a must if you have cats with you. It’s easy for these animals to overheat in an RV, so you should always take the necessary steps to keep them cool while you’re on the road or away from the campsite.

Start by creating a cross breeze in your RV by opening windows on each side. This will help circulate fresh air throughout the space and prevent it from becoming stagnant and hot. Additionally, consider investing in a DC-powered fan that can run while you’re away without draining your batteries. Running a fan not only helps keep the air moving but also makes it more comfortable for your cat during those sweltering summer days.

Hydration is another critical factor in keeping your cat cool and safe during hot weather. When temperatures soar, consider feeding your cat wet food as an additional source of water if you don’t think they’ve been drinking enough.

Lastly, invest in a temperature monitoring system that’ll allow you to keep tabs on how hot or cold it gets inside the RV when you’re not around. There are several products available that send alerts straight to your phone if temperatures go beyond safe limits.

5. Take Measures To Prevent Your Cat From Running Away

For many people who are RVing with their cat, the possibility of their pet escaping is at the front of their mind. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent this.

Start by ensuring all windows are closed and doors are shut when you’re not using them. If your clever cat figures out how to open a screen door, invest in an add-on locking feature to keep them from making a break for it.

Additionally, make sure everyone who uses the RV is aware of the cat’s presence and takes extra care when entering or leaving.

Establishing a routine for outdoor exploration can also help prevent your cat from trying to escape at unexpected times. By following a schedule for when they can go outside, your furry companion will know what to expect and be less likely to dart out whenever they see an opportunity. This predictable structure can help reduce their desire to make sudden escapes, as they’ll understand that there will be designated times for adventure.

Another smart move is to outfitting your cat with a tracker on their harness or collar. This way, if they do run away during your travels, you won’t have to panic about finding them amidst unfamiliar surroundings. A GPS tracker designed specifically for pets can provide peace of mind knowing that even if they decide to embark on an unscheduled excursion, you’ll have the means necessary to locate them quickly.

6. Make Sure They’re Engaged & Happy

If you want your cat to thrive living in an RV, you need to keep them happy and entertained. Cats are naturally curious creatures, so providing them with toys and activities will help keep their minds stimulated and prevent them from getting bored.

A cat enjoying the RVing lifestyle

We always recommend packing a variety of their favorite toys. Not only will this keep them engaged, but it will also help them feel more at home.

It’s also a good idea to establish a dedicated space for your cat to explore and scratch. A portable cat tree or scratching post can be easily assembled inside your RV, giving them their familiar territory to climb, scratch, and survey their surroundings. This not only helps satisfy their natural instincts, but also will minimize the chance of them getting antsy and scratching up the interior of your RV.

Taking your cat outside for supervised exploration can be another great way to ensure they’re happy during your travels. Not all cats enjoy being outdoors, but try it out if yours does! You can use a harness or cat carrier for this to make your explorations stress-free.

If you’re RVing with cats it may require a bit of creativity and effort to keep them engaged and happy at times, but it’s nothing to worry about. As time goes on you’ll learn what works and your cat will become more comfortable with their entertainment options while on the road. 

7. Sort Out The Vet Situation

One of the trickier parts of RV living with a cat has to do with their healthcare needs. Just like humans, cats require regular check-ups and vaccinations to stay healthy. And as you’re traveling with your cat, staying on top of vet availability will be a continuous process.

First off, research emergency pet hospitals located near your travel destinations. It’s crucial to know where the nearest facilities are in case of any unexpected health issues or accidents involving your cat. You can use online resources or apps that list veterinary clinics and emergency pet hospitals in various locations.

Aside from emergencies, scheduling routine check-ups and vaccinations for your furry companion is also necessary. Depending on your RV lifestyle, you may not visit the same location every year. The best way to get around this is to do some research online or talk to fellow RVers to see who they like in the area.

By taking these measures beforehand, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that no matter where you go on the road with your cat, they’ll receive proper medical care when needed. It’s always better to be prepared than scrambling at the last minute during an emergency. Your kitty deserves the best possible care while exploring new places together!

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know how to approach RVing with a cat, it’s time to start the preparations. Go through your rig and map out where you’ll put the necessary items to help your cat stay comfortable. And if that requires a little handiwork, dig into it!

If you have any questions about living with cats in an RV, feel free to get in touch with us. We’re always happy to help.

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