Traveling with a cat.

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Lou0403
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Traveling with a cat.

Post by Lou0403 »

Anyone else out there traveling alone with a cat? What do you do with it during those long days on the road. With my Class C I kept here in the bathroom while moving. No can do with the B190. Even if I used a cage, which I hate to do, where do I put it when parked? Can anyone offer any ideas?
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skater
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Re: Traveling with a cat.

Post by skater »

I did this for years! And we still do with our truck. I used to leave him run free, but after we got into an accident I realized it was a bad idea (not only could he have been hurt in the accident, the side window shattered and he could've jumped out onto the highway at any time).

After the accident we kept him in a carrier. Now, we have small dog cages that gives us room for a small bed, a litter box, and food/water bowls, and the cats stay in them until we get to the campground. The dog cage we have folds up, so I would try to put it on the floor behind the front seats while en route, then fold it up at the destination.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
Lou0403
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Re: Traveling with a cat.

Post by Lou0403 »

Thanks for the reply. I have one of those cages that I used to use in my car. However, it is so heavy that I have trouble handling it even when it's folded up. Could you get to the back of the RV when the cage was set up?
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skater
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Re: Traveling with a cat.

Post by skater »

Lou0403 wrote:Thanks for the reply. I have one of those cages that I used to use in my car. However, it is so heavy that I have trouble handling it even when it's folded up. Could you get to the back of the RV when the cage was set up?
I was fast and loose with the facts when I wrote my previous post.

Original setup: B190, free range cat. This is what I recommend against. The cat didn't much like it either.

Post-accident setup: B190, cat in a normal, smallish carrier (basically room for cat only). This worked for shorter trips. When the accident happened, we had a longer trip to the Outer Banks planned a few weeks later, and we took it right after we got the B190 back, but that was our last long trip in it before we sold the van. I think we left him loose for that trip.

The cat in question (Snowball) passed away last year, and now we have two other cats.

Current setup with the truck: Dog cage/custom cages (made out of wood and metal fencing). The cage is large enough to hold a small bed and small litterbox, and we bought some bowls for bird cages to put food and water in (not much of either). So, I never used the dog cage setup in the B190.

The dog cage we have is this one, small size, I think. It really doesn't weigh that much, though of course it'd be more with the cat loaded. The cage itself might be ~20 lbs. I think there would be enough room to get past the cage into the van while on the road. In fact, my only concern would be figuring out how to secure the cage to keep it from sliding around. You could build a custom cage like we did, but our custom cages don't fold down, so it'd be more headache at the campsite. (If we need the room in the cab of the truck, we can always put our cages in the bed of the truck. You wouldn't have that option with the B190.)

Here you can see Snowball looking out over the mountains from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, to give you an idea of the size of the cage:
Image

When we first adopted the second cat, we bought one of these (although ours is tan, not bright orange) and put in a litter box and small combination food/water bowl. It worked size-wise, but we weren't able to secure it to our back seat very well, so it bounced around a lot, scaring the kitty. It would work fine on the floor of the van, though.

There are lots of options. As you can probably tell we've spent a LOT of time thinking about this. :) This reminds me, we replaced our truck last August and now we need to build two new custom cages...
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
Lou0403
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Re: Traveling with a cat.

Post by Lou0403 »

Thanks for the lengthy reply. I have a similar cage, but it's some kind of shiny metal (maybe stainless steel?). It's bigger and it really is heavy. I can't complain though because it was given to me. I'm going to have to try it. I have also been debating the idea of putting something across the upper bunk and putting the cat stuff up there. I was looking at plastic(?) lattice work today at Lowe's. Was just walking up and down the isles looking for ideas. I swore I wouldn't get another cat while I had the B190, but then I saw this declawed and only three legged one at a shelter and felt so sorry for it.
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Keystone
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Re: Traveling with a cat.

Post by Keystone »

Hi Lou,
I want to second Skater's comment that free-range kitty travel is probably risky, even with two humans in the van, but it's what we have done to this point. I have even taken one cat camping on a short solo trip and he behaved and stayed in his favorite travel spot while I drove, but I wouldn't go for a long trip that way. He likes to crawl down behind the center sofa cushion and hang out underneath the sofa, occasionally popping out onto the armrest of the driver. Eeek! A little freaky when you are not expecting it. I'm sure we are living on borrowed time with this approach, so we will probably find a more secure solution along the lines of the large cage idea for bigger trips. Let us know what bunk Idea for cat containment you come up with--might be interested to go that way.
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skater
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Re: Traveling with a cat.

Post by skater »

Keystone wrote:Hi Lou,
I want to second Skater's comment that free-range kitty travel is probably risky, even with two humans in the van, but it's what we have done to this point.
Setting aside the accident, most of the time he was fine; he'd climb up in the bunk and just hang out there for the duration. Every now and then I could reach up, and I'd get a wet nose touching my hand. :)

However, if he had to go to the bathroom and we were on the road, he wouldn't go back to use the litter box; he'd go in our bed. This didn't happen often, but it happened enough that we carried laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and quarters, and we had a waterproof mattress pad. :(

I should also mention that different cats travel differently. Minnie, our tabby, travels well; you can almost forget she's there. Nibbler, the other cat, has a tendency to freak out a bit and upend his litter box and spills his food. He sometimes throws up, too. He's slowly getting better at traveling and seems to be freaking out less and less, but I'm not sure I'd want him "free range" when he decides to go nuts (of course, he might be going nuts BECAUSE he's in the cage...who knows). Snowball did NOT travel well when I first adopted him (before I had the B190, so this would be in a car, in a carrier), but he got better and better over the years, so I still have hope for Nibbler. There's also those Thundershirts available for cats that supposedly help them settle down. We've considered getting Nibbler one, but I would prefer he be able to calm down naturally.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
Lou0403
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:35 pm
B190 Year: 1966
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Re: Traveling with a cat.

Post by Lou0403 »

I really appreciate hearing from all of you. I just came up with another idea and I hope it works. I ordered one of the large nylon? cages from Amazon. It will be big enough to put the litter box inside and I'm pretty sure it will fit in front of the side door. So far she's only traveled in the small carrying case. From the shelter, to the vets, etc. and was okay then. Just a little complaining. Since she was declawed before I adopted her I don't think she'll be able to claw her way out. The good part for me is that it is light and is suppose to fold up easily to the base size, but only 3 or 4 inches thick. Now I have another question I'm going to post separately. Sure is nice to be able to ask you guys for advise. Thank you much!
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