Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Traveling with Cats in a Tiny Motorhome

Traveling with Kitties on board in the RoadTrek is always an adventure.  

I have two 'older' kitties who are seasoned travelers.  They first started traveling with me while I still owned my vintage trailer and they adjusted to our new home very well.  When I purchased the Roadtrek I knew they would adapt but new strategies would be necessary to ensure happy cats and happy campers.  Last summer they made an 11,000 miles trip for ten weeks in adverse (read HOT and HUMID) trip like champs.  Having a fantastic fan, generator, electric AND air conditioning available to choose from kept us much more cool and comfortable than traveling with the travel trailer.   We learned lots of  new lessons on the road.

When we are home, the kitties are house kitties.  They do occasionally escape but usually they want right back in the house.  My biggest concern about traveling with kitties is a concern that they would rush to the door and escape when doors are opened.  Actually, when the door opens they usually head to the back of the Trek until they can check out what is going on.    

I like to give them as much variation of experiences with both indoor and outdoor time as possible.  I have a little cat tent that was purchased on Amazon that allows the kitties to be outside with us  and look around at nature.    Check out the tent here. Frontpet Outdoor-Instant-Travel Tent

We are often sharing our camping adventures in areas where there are wild animals so the kitties are never outside unsupervised.  Even in campgrounds I only put the kitties in the tent when we are sitting with them in our chairs.  I am amazed and often horrified at the number of dogs that are off leash roaming the campgrounds and I want the kitties to feel safe.

Now my kitties are not the kitties on a leash....'let's go for a walk kind of kitties.'  It is more like,  'I'm going to fall on the ground and lay here until this leash falls off.'  Sooooo..... I looked at strollers to take the kitties for a walk but did not find anything suitable for two cats. This is what I finally settled on.  A wagon with a light weight kennel inside.  A blanket inside gives the kitties both a comfy place to lay or they will sit up and check out the view.  The wagon pulls easily on uneven terrain and the wire cage provides safety from all kinds of critters.  I also revised the kennel to open from the top to assist getting the cats into the kennel.

Last summer we traveled to the East Coast experiencing the high heat and humidity that is prevalent during the summer months.  I also purchased a Cooling Pet Mat for the kitties to lay on that reacts with the kitties body heat, providing a chemical reaction inside the mat that cools their bodies.  I bought the size that closest matched the kennel but use it in the kennel or also on the bed.  The kitties did seek out that mat to lay on  when it was hot.


Probably the most asked question is, "WHERE is the cat box?"  Usually when someone comes into the the Roadtrek they don't even see it in it's hiding place. But the kitties know where to find it.  I put a litter box in the corner behind the drivers seat.  With the table in place it is not easily seen. 

 By kneeling down I can see the cat litter box beyond the table.
(check out the white and navy blue kitty litter box below the table cloth in pic below)

 New generation litters control orders very well.  People have entered the Roadtrek and were shocked when they discovered the kitties.  I think that says something about finding a good litter that works for you.  We use Scoop Away - Multiple Cat Formula.  We move the table top to scoop the box daily.  A mat covers the carpet to help prevent litter from being scattered, and can be shaken out.

Note in the picture above, a bungee cord holds the dish holder to the table leg to prevent the dish being spilled.   Each bowl can be lifted individually easily for cleaning and filling. By attaching the dish to the pole it is always available for the kitties and does not need to be moved for travel.

Between the two front seats and seen in the photo above you will find A Turbo Cat Scratcher Toy (follow the link to check it out) which allows the kitties a place to scratch keeping the chairs and bedding free from snags.  After a couple nights of interrupted sleep, being awakened by scratching or playing with the ball, I now remember to put the toy away before retiring for the night.  It rides in the seat behind the passenger seat.

My biggest concern when traveling in a small motor home is the worry when a door opens a cat will try to escape.  Mostly when a door starts to open they race to the back bed until every thing is calm.  I have not found it necessary to keep the cats in kennels while traveling.  During the ten weeks there was only one escape at a campground.  I put the remaining cat in the kennel and left the door open and she quickly jumped right back in. 

Occasionally, they move around during travel, but mostly they find a nice place for a nap and stretch out.

One warning when living with a cat in a small space..... Every square inch belongs to the cats.  

If you are lucky they will let you occupy the space with them.

~Happy Kitty Trails~ 


  1. The wagon-crate combo is genius!

  2. The wagon also meets the double use rule for keeping......great for hauling laundry or stuff to the beach!!

  3. That wagon is pure genius! Your kitties look like happy campers!

  4. You sure did your homework getting the cats a happy travel home. Great ideas.

  5. I don't think our cats would be happy in the wagon but it's a great idea.
    You're lucky they don't try to escape from the van. Sophie lives for trying to figure out a way to get out!

  6. Great post on traveling with cats. Love the last line. We don't travel with cats but it was true when they lived at the farm. Dogs have owners, cats have staff. Love the collapsible wagon. We almost got one for using at the beach but found a cart with wider tires, easier to pull/push through the sand.

  7. Love the cat "stroller" - what a terrific idea! I totally empathize with the issue of unleashed dogs in campgrounds and RV parks.

  8. I am happy to see this post. My two cats are my sticking point moving to the RV life. One will adjust no problem, but the other will be a challenge I think. I agree on the cart, neat idea I will probably copy.

  9. I was about to make an offer on an older Roadtrec tonight, but it ended up already sold. I'm working on it.

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