When we first started RVing, our campground neighbors had a cat with them. I remember saying to Susan, “who the heck goes camping with a cat”? Or something like that… Anyway, it turns out that lots of people go RV camping with cats. Susan and I have owned six cats between us over the years, so we like them but never took them camping.
So, after seeing so many camping cats we thought we would put together our list of camping supplies just for your cat. So, what are the essential cat accessories for RV Camping?
- Cat Carrier
- Portable Litter Box
- Portable Outdoor Cat Fence/Tent
- Catch Scratcher
- Cat Toys
- Collapsible Indoor/Outdoor Cat House
- Odor Masking Kitty Litter
- Collapsible Food and Water Bowls
- Leash and Harness
- Airtight Food Storage
- Window Perch
But before we jump into the list let’s discuss some basic guidelines for RV camping with cats to make sure they stay happy and healthy while traveling with you!
RV Camping With Cats – Helpful Ideas
Keep Your Cat Comfortable
Make sure your cat has all the comforts of home in the RV like food, water bowls, litter box, toys, bedding, etc. Introduce your cat to the RV slowly by letting him spend some time in the RV before the camping trip. This way he will become more familiar and comfortable while in the RV. And, take him on a few short drives in the RV so he can get used to all the sounds and movements that go with RV traveling.
Bring The Cat Carrier
Your cat should have his own cat carrier in the camper or motor home. His cat carrier will serve as a safe place for travel and also a familiar hiding spot while at the campsite. The cat should remain in the cat carrier whenever the RV is in motion, or when the camper door is open. Just leave the carrier door open so your cat can go into it any time he wants.
Also, please do not travel with your cat unattended in a travel trailer or 5th wheel. If anything were to happen to your cat you would never know! If you have a towable RV your cat should be in the towing vehicle with you.
Bring Food and Water From Home
Bring food and water from home for your cat. Any change in food or water could result in stomach problems for your cat.
Never Leave Your Cat in an Unventilated RV
Always be sure to have the AC on or leave windows or vents open if leaving your cat inside the RV. For more info about leaving your pet alone in your RV check out our article called Is It Safe to Leave Pets in an RV?
Don’t Leave Your Cat Outside the RV
Do not let your cat run freely around the campground. Keep your cat on a leash or at least stay with your cat at all times when he’s outside. And, please don’t leave your cat tethered outside the camper alone. If another animal attacks your cat he won’t be able to escape.
If your cat is used to being indoors, keep him inside the camper with interactive playtime and cat toys. If he is trained to stay near you, or on a harness and leash, take him outdoors to explore. My cats always freak out when I put a harness and leash on them so it would be wise to get your cat used to wearing a harness before your camping trip.
Protect Your Cat’s Health
There will be other animals at the campground including other cats, dogs, squirrels, rabbits, or other wildlife. And, there could also be feral cats hanging around. Make sure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date and be sure he has a collar with ID tags – with your cell phone number on them – just in case he gets out and gets lost. Your home number on your pets ID tag will do you no good while you are away RVing. It’s also a good idea to bring your cat’s vet records along too.
Essential Cat Accessories for RV Camping
1. Cat Carrier
Using a hard-sided pet carrier for your cat will not only keep your pet safe while you’re driving but also provide secure transport for your cat when loading and unloading the RV. Also, if you ever need to bring your cat to a cat hotel or vet’s office, a hard-sided pet carrier will be useful. There are also from very cool expandable cat carriers on the market too.
2. Portable Cat Litter Box
Just like at home, your cat needs a place to relieve itself, and the ever-changing landscape means that you can’t have the fancy litter box you have at home. So a portable cat litter box that zips up for easy travel is a great idea. A smaller box that could fit in the shower or in between cupboards is usually best.
3. Portable Outdoor Cat Fence/Tent
Some cats might be used to getting fresh air during the day and roaming the neighborhood, but with new surroundings and constant traveling, that’s not always possible. Having a collapsible cat fence still allows the cat to get fresh air outside but also keeps them safely contained within your campsite.
4. Cat Scratcher
Your cats still need to scratch, and you don’t want them scratching up the RV furniture, especially if it’s a rental RV. So it’s important to give them a good multi-surface scratcher to keep them happy. Depending on the layout of your RV, you may be able to get a hanging scratcher as well to keep things fresh and exciting.
5. Hanging Automatic Interactive Laser Cat Toy
Bringing your cat with you means they get to spend more time with you while you travel. But you still probably have plans outside the RV so your cat will need some entertainment while you’re gone. Something like this laser cat toy can provide hours of entertainment for an active cat. Just be careful that you don’t have the laser aiming at furniture that could easily be torn up by your cat’s nails.
6. Collapsible Indoor/Outdoor Pet Cat House
The RV can be an uncomfortable new space for any pet so it might be a good idea to get a collapsible cat house that you first introduce at home to give them a safe area. A portable cat house like this one is heated and waterproof which can make a lazy cuddly cat right at home. This house is also easy to put together and take down which is helpful in a limited space like an RV.
7. Odor Masking Litter
With very little space in an RV, there is no room for error when picking litter that needs to mask the unsavory smells from your cat. Skip the cheap bags and find quality litter with outstanding customer reviews to bring on your travels.
8. No Spill Food and Water Bowls
There are many different options out there for food and water bowls, but finding containers that are either collapsible or can be covered for easy transport is a good idea. No matter what bowls you choose, remember to always have fresh water available for your cat throughout the day.
9. Harness and Leash
The idea of putting a cat in a harness and then on a leash might sound a little silly, but if you can train your cat to get used to it, they are beneficial. Finding a comfortable harness and standard leash will allow you to bring your cat outside for fresh air and exercise while also keeping them safe.
10. Airtight Food Storage
It’s always a good idea to store your cat’s food in an airtight container to keep out ants and critters (including your cat!) But it will also keep your cat’s food as fresh as possible during your travels. This could be as simple as using Tupperware containers. By the way, if you do get ants in your RV, check out our article 7 Incredibly Effective Home Remedies To Rid Your RV of Ants. There is some great information about using products that are non-toxic and totally safe for your pet that will get rid of ants at their source!
11. Cat Window Perch and Scratcher
My cat loves looking out the window – especially when the dog is outside or if there are birds in the bushes. A cat window perch and cat scratcher is a perfect combination for any cat to enjoy the outdoors from inside the RV. By the way, if you have a dog check out our article called 11 Essential Dog Accessories for RV Camping too!
At the end of the day, you know your cat better than anyone. You’ll know whether or not they’re perfectly content laying around all day or if they’ll want some fresh air or entertainment. Try to the get items that’ll make your cat feel most at home. Bringing along the comforts of home along with some new fun toys will make your cat comfortable and happy on your next family road trip.
Do you know of any essential cat accessories that we should add to the article? Please add your suggestion in the comments below and I may just have to check them out and revise the article.
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I am an avid RVer and full-time blogger who loves camping, fishing, hiking, and biking. I started RVBlogger.com to share my lifetime of experience and knowledge about all things outdoors.