Cats are notoriously finicky travelers. I’m sure we’ve all heard a horror story or two about a scaredy- cat who made traveling a nightmare for its owner. Up until now, you may have avoided bringing your cat along on RV trips. Or you may be putting off the idea of full-timing because you’re afraid your cat will wreak havoc on your rig. Well, we have news for you: it’s entirely possible to RV with a cat. In fact, many cats enjoy life on the road!
To successfully go RVing with cats, you must think like a cat; learn what they want and what they need. They need food, water, sleep, and a place to go to the bathroom. They want to be comfortable and play in a place that feels like home to them. As your cat’s guardian, your job is to give all of this to them. In the confines of an RV, that can seem like a challenge. Use these hacks to make RV life better for the both of you.
Hack #1: Acclimate Your Cat to Its Home First
Cats live by their noses. (Which is why you might find a surprise outside the litter box if you’ve left it dirty for a while!) When they move somewhere new, whether a house or RV, they’re going to be nervous because it doesn’t smell like them. Get your cat used to your RV by taking them in it for a few hours at a time without going anywhere. Let them explore and rub their face wherever they please; that’s how they leave their scent. When it’s time to start your trip, they’ll be much more comfortable if they’re surrounded by familiar smells.
Hack #2: Give Them a Comfy Place to Sleep
You need a comfy place to sleep when you sleep 16 hours a day! At home, you may have noticed your cat has different sleeping spots throughout the day – a certain chair, a box in your closet – anything goes! They’ll want a secure, cozy space to hide and sleep, especially when they’re first getting used to RV life. If you can spare a storage cabinet in your bedroom, it makes for a great cat cubby. Here’s a tip – cats feel safe when they’re up high, so try creating a spot in the cabinet over your bed.
Hack #3: Keep the Litter Box Clean and Discreet
Your cat likes a clean, inconspicuous litter box as much as you do! There are plenty of places you can modify to accommodate your cat’s litter box. Many RV owners cut out sections of their bathroom cabinets; others make a space under the bed or the front stairwell. Some even tunnel to an empty battery bank or basement storage area! Just make sure the hole doesn’t lead anywhere that can harm your cat or allow it to escape.
Hack #4: Let Them Scratch (Something Other Than Your Furniture!)
We all know cats love to scratch stuff, and if they don’t have their own post, that “stuff” ends up being your furniture! In an RV, space is precious. A scratch pole can take up a lot of it. Instead, pick a few areas and make them scratch-friendly. Secure a hanging scratch pad to the end panel of a kitchen cabinet. You can also place a few horizontal-style scratch pads around the RV, like in the windowsill or somewhere else out of the way.
Hack #5: Keep Their Food and Water Secure
If you keep your cat’s food and water in bowls on the floor, all it takes is one bumpy road to send kibble and water flying everywhere! Why not get creative? Install a sliding drawer under your fridge or kitchen cabinet and turn it into a feeding area. Simply close the drawer when you’re on the road, and you’ll never have to clean up cat cereal again!
RVing with a cat can be enjoyable for both parties. All it takes is a little imagination, handiness, and patience. If your cat feels comfortable and accommodated, they’ll come to love RV life! Whether sitting in a window watching the changing scenery or out walking on a leash, cats enjoy exploring new territory when they have a place to call home at the end of the day. Your cat loves adventure just as much as you do, so let them come along for the ride!