In October, Pat and I decided to take our two Maine Coon cats with us on our RV trip to Arizona. I was apprehensive because even a car ride to the groomer or the vet can send me into meow-overdrive. I wrote about our apprehensions in a previous post here and wanted to give an update on what it was actually like RVing with cats.
It wasn’t as bad as we had hoped. Before we left we purchased a few items to make the ride a little smoother for all of us. We assumed that riding in the hard sided carriers individually could be a source of anxiety for our two furballs, so we purchased a portable pop-open cat cage to give the cats a little more room, and allow them to snuggle together if they were feeling a little unnerved. We also bought some cat calming spray, because we read that the scents could soothe animal anxiety–which usually is the cause for mouthy cats on car rides. We used the Nature’s Miracle Spray from PetSmart.
The jury is still out if the calming spray really provided the cats the soothing relief that they needed, but I can tell you, it smelled good! The cat carrier was a very big success. I really think the cats like the room to stand up and move around, the room to stretch out when they wanted to snooze, and they liked the ability to see what we were doing in the front seat. A few times, Prada (the older cat) got really restless and started to bite at the screen to get out. Her teeth got caught a few times on the mesh, and I would say that I was alarmed, but it was really quite funny seeing her stuck with her mouth agape and squeaking out these funny meows. Such a mean mom–I know.
On the second day of travel, we allowed the cats to roam free in the car. Scout loved to climb up on the seat and look out the window, and both cats were much happier sitting in my lap. We let them in and out of the crate along the way depending on the distressed meow level.
Inside of the RV, the cats did really well. Each time we stopped for the night, we filled the litter box and placed it in the RV’s garage. We have a Heartland Road Warrior 5th Wheel Toy Hauler, so the garage space is a perfect spot for a litter box. The cats soon found their favorite hiding places and made themselves comfortable inside of the RV. Even though the cats normally sleep in bed with us, they didn’t like the space on our bed, so we ended up purchasing little kitty beds to sit on the floor of the RV for each cat to have their own lounging space. In true cat-form, they liked hiding under the recliners and behind the closet in the pop-out more than in the beds we bought them. Their hiding spots weren’t a problem until it was time for us to retract the pop-outs and get the cats back in the car. That was the time the cats decided they wanted to stay inside of the RV and NOT go back into the truck. We had to get creative with a broom and a spray bottle to shoo the cats from out of the back of the bolted-down recliner, but in general, it wasn’t too much of a struggle to get the cats in and out of the RV. After a week, they sensed when we were packing up and moving on, and in typical cat fashion, they decided that was the time to go ghost and hide in the most secluded spot possible.
So, will we RV with the fur-kids again? Yes. Was it a super easy process RVing with our cats? No, but it wasn’t horrible. We enjoyed having our cats with us on the road. We know that they were much happier being with us for a week instead of at home with a pet-sitter, and truthfully, we are happier with our cats along side with us as well. It’s a win-win for all of us.