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RVs provide a wonderful way to travel and see the country, but for those of us who love our cats, it can be hard leaving them behind. Knowing how to make your RV cat-friendly can cause frustration and disappointment, especially if your kitty doesn’t want to participate.
But with a little know-how and some creative solutions, you can make your RV cat-friendly; making it just as hospitable to your feline friends as your bricks-and-sticks home.
This article covers the many challenges RVers face when taking their cats on the road. Cats present a unique set of concerns that must be addressed before heading out.
The first step is to create a safe and comfortable RV interior that provides your cat with plenty of hiding spaces, perches, and stimulation.
3 Ways to Create the Best RV Cat-Friendly Interior
It’s essential to create a suitable environment for your cat when traveling in an RV. Cats can become stressed easily, and if they’re not comfortable, they may show it by meowing excessively, not using the litter box, or hiding. A little preparation can go a long way in making your cat feel at home on the road by creating the best cat RV interior experience.
1. Create a Safe Space
Cats often feel insecure in new environments. If your cat is prone to hiding, create a safe space with a box or carrier using a towel or blanket inside. Place it in a quiet, dark corner of the RV.
2. Create a Fun Space
Cats need a place to romp and play. For this reason, many RVers choose an RV with a bunkhouse. You can convert RV bunk beds into a kitty play area, providing a go-to spot to keep your cat entertained. Hang favorite toys from the ceiling to bat and interesting perches to lounge on.
Consider positioning a cat tower next to the bunkhouse for your cat to climb to the top bunk for added stimulation and fun. Another way to create a fun space for your cat is to install a scratching post. This will give your cat a designated place to scratch and help protect your furniture.
3. Give Them a View
Cats love to watch the world go by, so make sure you have several cat beds near windows for sunbathing and watching the birds. Also, many RVs have large picture windows, perfect for letting your cat take in the scenery.
Where Do You Put the Litter Box in an RV?
One of the common challenges people have when traveling with cats is where to put the litter box. If you have a small RV, the last thing you want is a big, unsightly box taking up space. Cats are very particular about their litter box arrangements and will often refuse to use a box if it’s not to their liking.
When making your RV cat-friendly, be sure to place the litter box in a quiet, out-of-the-way spot. For example, some RVers use a small bathroom or closet as the designated litter box area.
Another option is to create a DIY cat litter box space, as many RVers do. There are many ways to get creative, but a few popular ideas include building a small cabinet specifically for the litter box or using an existing drawer with a front cut-out panel.
Whatever option you choose, make sure the litter box is easily accessible for your cat and that there is plenty of ventilation to avoid any unpleasant smells.
What Type of Litter Should You Use in an RV?
There are many types of litter on the market, but not all are suitable for use in an RV. The most popular kind of litter among RVers is the clumping variety. Clumping litter is easy to clean and doesn’t track as much as other types. It’s also less likely to create dust clouds when you’re cleaning it out.
And you should never dump cat litter in your RV toilet or drain. Clumping cat litter can clog your RV’s septic system, causing expensive repairs. The best way to dispose of used cat litter is to scoop it into a plastic bag and throw it in the trash, which is recommended daily.
Try the Tidy Cat Breeze Litter Box if you want to forgo using cat litter altogether.
The Tidy Cat Breeze Litter Box uses a unique system of pads and pellets that separate waste from urine for easy cleanup. The pads need to be changed every few weeks, and you should replace the pellets monthly.
This system is ideal for RVers because it doesn’t require traditional litter, and the size is compact, perfect for small spaces.
What Should I Put in My RV Pet Emergency Kit?
When traveling in an RV with your pets, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. By packing a pet emergency kit, you can help ensure that your furry friends are safe and sound, no matter what happens.
Unfortunately, accidents happen, and you want to be prepared if you become stranded outdoors. As a result, be sure to include in your RV pet emergency kit the following items:
- A sturdy carrier or crate for each pet in case you need to evacuate in a hurry.
- Towels and blankets to transport an injured pet.
- A pet first aid kit that includes bandages, gauze, scissors, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic, and tweezers for tick removal.
- A list of each pet’s medical history, a list of medications with dosages, and contact information for your veterinarian.
- Extra leashes.
- Food and water for each pet, including bowls.
- Toys and treats to keep pets occupied and calm.
Place your first-aid supplies in a large box with a list of important phone numbers written on the top.
6 Ways to Keep Your Cat Cool in the RV?
RVing in high temperatures can make an uncomfortable experience for both you and your cat. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help keep your feline friend cool while on the road.
1. Keep Plenty of Water Available
Foremost, make sure your cat has access to plenty of fresh, cool water. A water bowl in each room of the RV is a good idea, or even better, set up a small drinking fountain.
2. Provide Cooling Mats
Another way to help keep your cat comfortable on warm days is by providing a cooling mat or bed. Cooling mats are filled with a gel that helps absorb your pet’s body heat.
3. Camp in the Best Temperatures
Head north during the hottest months of the year. For inspiration, use the weather report feature on RV Life Trip Wizard to maintain a cool 70 degrees year-round.
4. Maintain a Regular Grooming Regimen
Don’t forget about your cat’s fur. A regular grooming routine will help remove any excess hair that could trap heat close to your cat’s skin.
5. Use a Pet Temperature Monitor
One of the most important things you can do to keep your pets cool, safe, and healthy while RVing is to invest in an RV pet temperature monitor, such as the Canary monitoring system.
A pet temperature monitor keeps track of the temperature inside your RV and, if it gets too warm, will send an alarm to your phone. In addition, the Canary system includes a camera so you can see what your cat is up to while you’re out exploring.
6. Add an Automatic RV Generator Starting Device
Add an automatic RV generator starting device component to your built-in gennie. If the campground’s shore power ever goes out, these devices, like the Xantrex 809-0915, detect the loss of power and starts your gas/diesel generator for you. This way, you’ll never have to worry if your cat will become too hot or cold.
Here are a few other things you can do to keep your cat cool in the RV:
- Park in the shade and use your awnings.
- Use your air conditioners early. As RVers, we love to open doors and windows on cool mornings. Just remember to close them before the RV begins to heat.
- Close your blinds during the hottest time of the day.
- Keep your ceiling fan on and adjust the blades to push the AC air downwards.
Do Campgrounds Allow Cats?
Yes, RV campgrounds allow cats; however, there are a few caveats.
Most RV parks require your cat to be up-to-date with vaccinations and may even require a copy when you check-in, so be sure to carry veterinarian records with you.
Many campgrounds also require your cat to be on a leash outside the RV. However, teaching a cat to wear a harness can be challenging, so you must start early.
Of course, cat leash training differs from walking a dog, requiring special equipment and skill. So be sure to do your research before you go, or better yet, ask your veterinarian for advice.
If you’re not comfortable allowing your outdoor-loving cats to roam in an RV park on a leash, consider creating a Kitty Catio, an outdoor, closed-in area that attaches to your RV.
You can purchase one or design your own, depending on how motivated and handy you are. Another option is an outdoor tent for inside cats with connecting tunnels.
There are endless possibilities for giving your feline friend some much-needed fresh air so they can express their natural instincts while staying safe.
Final Thoughts on Making Your RV Cat-Friendly
RVs provide an excellent way for people to travel with their cats, but there are some things you need to do to make sure your cat is safe and comfortable.
We outlined a few ways to make your RV cat-friendly, from adding shelves and perches to installing a litter box. We also provided some tips on how to keep your kitty cool in hot weather and suggestions for items you should keep in a pet emergency box.
RVing with your cat can be a great experience for both of you, but it takes planning to make sure everything goes smoothly. With a bit of preparation, you and your cat can enjoy many happy miles together.