Dogs have always been popular companions amongst RVers and Campers. At any hour of the day, you’d see all dfferent breeds being walked by their owners at campgrounds and rv parks. However recently, cats have been making their presence known by storm and have become quite the traveling companions.
Today, it’s common to see cats slumbering or bird watching (even cows!) in the windows of RVs; ours included. Sometimes you can spot a cat owners’ RV by bird feeders methodically planted near or stuck to windows.
Our nomad cats…
We were owned by two sturdy and fluffy Maine Coon cats. Krissie, our Tortie who is now 8 years old and our Calico, Kandi who is 6, were members of our family way before hitting the road.
When we started shopping for our RV, our most important concern was our cats’ comforts and safety. We toured dozens of recreational vehicles with those requirements in mind. We’d walk in and just as quickly, walk out simply because they just weren’t going to accommodate our girls.
Cats are creatures of independence and they sleep a a lot; up to 20 hours a day so RV travel just seem to make sense. Dog owners constant concern is leaving them too long alone in their RVs. Dogs get anxious and need more interaction, walked and well, they pee and poop outside whereas, cat owners just need to make sure they have clean litter boxes, full food dishes, fresh drinking water, and windows to watch the birds and squirrels and nap the day away. So for us, it’s really, no different than living in a sticks and bricks (house) and going out for day trips or even an overnighter.
Cats are pretty low maintenance and make awesome RV companions
It’s been a few years since we started our trek across America. Our furry, little bug catchers have adapted to our nomadic lifestyle. They’ve each found their own favorite places to nap, know where their snackies are (but they can’t get them on their own because they don’t have thumbs) and where their potty is.
We thought transitioning from a 3200 square foot home would be a challenge for them however, they proved quite the opposite. Krissie and Kandi love to be in the same room as us anyways, so this was a double bonus.
So, how about meeting our furry nomads…
Krissie blessed us with her presence (yes, that’s what I said!) shortly after Dan was recovering from a deer/motorcycle accident in 2008. Since I had to return back to work, I thought he needed a companion, so I adopted a kitten for him. Though he wasn’t a cat person, that mouthy little fuzzyhead charmed his heart. Now, they are inseparable.
Dubbed our ‘Sheldon Cooper of Cats’, Krissie never misses a beat with finding new things in Liberty. Krissie has to have everything just perfect. In fact, she has the sparkly rhinestone crown to prove her highness dangling from her pink collar. (pssst, they’re not real diamonds but don’t tell her that!)
We named our little Calico, “Kandi” because she has the sweetest disposition of a cat. A few months after we lost another cat due to illness, we decided Krissie needed a companion to help with her loss and keep her company while we were both at work.
We adopted Kandi at our Veterinarian’s office in late 2010.
Now, years later, Kandi is still our big sweet girl; weighing in at almost 17 pounds of Maine Coon cuteness. She loves getting company; especially men. She’s quite the little comedian and acts very dog-like.
Prior to setting out on the road, we discussed with their Veterinarian of any implications or issues that may arise. They were both given their immunizations, copies of their medical records and business card if we should need his assistance down the road. Krissie was already micro-chipped through the Kentucky Humane Society. Kandi, on the other hand, needed hers before leaving.
We are extremely careful with opening and closing doors with our resident mousers, no matter where we are. Cats are notorious for being escape artists and campgrounds seemingly are the places where cats end up as strays. In fact, there have been a couple times we’ve helped locate other RVer’s cats who escaped from their homes on wheels. Luckily, we’ve found them all.
If we do take them outside, they are either in their harnesses or in this cool fully screened cat tent we bought on Amazon.
If they are outside, we are always with them as sometimes, dogs are let off their leashes or wildlife may be in the area.
So, the looming question amongst cat owners who are prospective RVers is ‘where to put the litter box?’
We keep our girls’ litter box in the shower. Because we all live in a small space, we scoop their poop once or even twice a day. We’ve had several guests come for happy hour or coffee complimenting us on ‘not being able to tell we have cats’ (ie. odor and hair).
Once everything inside is secured and Dan is finished outside, we put the girls in their own cat carriers. It is only then when we can pull in the slides. Sadly, we have heard horrible stories of pets getting crushed in the slides so we take absolutely no chances.
Once all slides are pulled in, we then load them in their cat carriers into Captain America. Unfortunately, Krissie is our mouthy problem child as she doesn’t settle as well but Kandi just lays down quietly with rarely a peep.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
However, by the time we arrive at our new destination are ready to check out their new neighborhood. The first place they go is to the screen door so they can smell the new outside air and see who the new neighbors are. We return their food and water bowls to their usual place and they’re happy campers again.
Since beginning our journey in 2014, we have met with hundreds of other RV cats and their owners. We tend to gravitate towards each other and are willing to look after each other’s kitties while the others leave for an extensive time period.
So, as you see, cats do well with RVing. If you’re thinking of taking yours on the road, be aware it may not be an easy transition; especially older cats who are set in their ways. But work with them by taking them on short(er) trips to get them accustomed to moving and riding.
“Time spent with cats is never wasted” – Sigmund Freud