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Traveling With Kitty

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#1 GeeJay & ElleJay

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:05 PM

We had the following PM inquiry:

I saw where you said you travel with a cat. We are about to buy a Casita and I want to take my cat with us. How does traveling with the cat work for you? I'm most concerned that she could get out of the trailer and we wouldn't find her. Also, wondering how long it takes them to get use to being in such a small space.

When we had completed our reply it occurred to us that it may be of interest to others, so here it is:

We are probably not the people to ask these questions as we have yet to purchase our Casita (but very close). Until recently we have been fulltiming in a 36ft HitchHiker 5th wheel.

Our kitty was abandoned in an Alberta campground we were in when she was about 7 or 8 months old and very pregnant. We contacted all the local animal rescues and all were overloaded. We finally found one run by a lady on her own who said she would take her but asked if we would foster her until we had to head south for the winter. She asked that we email a picture and said she would advertise in the local newspaper for a good home. We agreed and that led to further agreeing to pay for having her speyed and her kittens taken at the same time. By then we were so attached to her we finally agreed to adopt her, naming her "Camper".

Camper has been a good traveler from the outset. When travelling, she is put in her kennel in the back seat of our CrewCab, with a plastic tub under the kennel to have it at the same level as the front center console. Since the very first trip the door has been left open so she can come forward and lay on the the lap of whomever is in the front passenger seat and go back to kennel when she wants, which is seldom. Occasionally, she will explore the back seat area, which is always packed with different items, or lean on the armrest and watch the world go by.

We started out taking her back to the trailer to use her enclosed litter box every 2-4 hours but now, as long as she uses her litter box before we start on the road, she does not need to use it again until we stop at the end of the day. If she needs to go to her litter she has a "stressed meow" and scratches her kennel bed that we have come to recognize as a litter alarm.

We started off putting her in the kennel when we stop for fuel just in case she decided to see what was outside and bolted out an open door but now she automatically gets up and goes into the kennel on her own whenever we stop. We still close the door “just in case”.

When we are parked, to prevent her getting into mischief at night, we keep her in the bedroom by opening the bathroom door to block the hallway and wedging it in place and latching the cat flap closed. That way she has access to the bathroom where her litter box is kept but she seldom leaves the bed where she curls up in the crook of Llinda's legs until the morning

Our plan with the Casita will be to put a cat flap in the bathroom door and keep her enclosed litter box on the shower pan, placing it on a mat to prevent any stray bits of clumping litter getting into the drain. It can be easily lifted out whenever her humans need to use the bathroom.

As far as living in a small space is concerned, her habit in the evenings is to alternate laps to lay on and we don't foresee any change in that. During the day, when she isn’t sleeping, as long as she has her toys to play with, has different views of the world outside and can chirp at the birds she is convinced are only there to tease her, she is a happy kitty.

Best of luck with your "kamping kitty"

Attached Thumbnails

  • Camper in Kennel Travelling South in Truck 2011.11.17.jpg

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Gord and Linda
with "Camper" the Cat

#2 Meadowlark

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:07 PM

Oh, thank you! This is such good information! Last summer, our first with the Casita, we left our cats at home. But we intend to take them with us from now on, because...well, they're our girls. I like the idea of the cat flap in the bathroom door, that's a great idea. The only worry I have is one of my cats, Sable, is very much a go getter, let's see what's around the next corner sort of cat, she is the one I worry about getting out and getting lost. We have her microchipped and of course, she doesn't go outdoors without a harness on, but still, I worry. The other cat, Diamond, is content to look out the windows and sit on laps. Thanks for the good info!
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These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#3 CHUCK & SHERYL

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:01 PM

Camper sounds to be very much like our Suzie-Q. Suzie's origins are a little more sinister though. About 21 years ago Sheryl "stole" her from a neighbor she thought was not doing a good job of taking care of some new kittens.

If you look back a few pages on this General Chat of the other site you'll see some more of us who travel with cats. (See "Here's a Silly Question").

Perhaps I should say Suzie-Q is pleased to allow us to drive her to various locations in this great USA.

Chuck & Sheryl
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A TEXAN AND THE YANKEE (SHERYL & CHUCK)
THE ADMIRAL AND THE CAPTAIN
TV 2004 LINCOLN NAVIGATOR ULTIMATE 4X2 7 PASSENGER 5.4L 4-VALVE FI ENGINE
ELECTRONIC 4-SPD AUTO TRANS W/ O/D LOCK OUT
CURT REFLEX BRAKE CONTROLLER, CHARGE WIRE CUT OFF SWITCH
(THE GRAY GHOST) THE "BIG E , CV-6, THE USS ENTERPRISE"
EGG (HUEVO DEL DRAGON) 17 FT SD HLA PROVIDER ST 225/75R 15 LOAD RANGE E
HATCHED 06/10/10 AND SHE IS BEAUTIFUL.

#4 Carol Christensen

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:07 AM

I enjoyed your story of Camper's rescue. She is a very lucky cat, which I'm sure she knows.

It is always interesting and helpful to hear how other travelers deal with their traveling pets. Especially hints on keeping them safe. We too are extra careful with our furry traveler's, 2 dogs. Losing a pet while on vacation would be dreadful.

Here is a link to an old travels with cats thread, I want to share. There is a photo of a cat harness that looks extremely safe; just scoll down to CarolU's photos.
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Carol Christensen
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pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#5 willsr

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:14 AM

Here is another point of view. Last summer we were first time Casita campers when we spent a month in Yellowstone. I wanted to take the cat (Frank) with us and my wife had serious reservations. For once she was right, Ha Ha. After a day or two, the cat did fine traveling in our Honda Ridgeline and and staying in the Casita. The problem is space. With the litter box, food and water bowls and a scratching post, things were tight. If you don't have a scratching post, the carpet on the Casita's walls will get damaged. We tried putting the litter box in the shower, which worked but was a big mess. Without much room to wander, the cat would walk on my head a few times each night. Another fun cat activity at night turned out to be taking his paw and opening the storage door below the sink and letting it snap shut over and over again until he got a snack. At one point my wife panicked, because she thought he escaped out the door when I left the trailer. We looked all over, notified the rangers, and put up signs. As it turned out, the cat was sleeping in the space near the water pump. So from now on, Frank is staying home for his safey and my sanity.
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#6 Greg & Ann

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:19 PM

Great thread. After a bad year in which we lost both of our cats, we adopted Nibbles who so far travels very well. She snoozes in her carrier in the car and crawls under the bed of the Casita where we put a plastic crate in sideways so she can hide and feels more secure. A basket is in the crate for her bed and my wife made a denim curtain which I stapled at the opening of her new home. Plenty of room in there for litter box (for emergencies), food and water. The litter box comes out at night (when she uses it most) and we put it under the cabinet door between the bathroom and the exit door. We leave the harness and leash on her and attach it to a cabinet. No chance of her making a "jail break". The leash tells us where she is at all times. She's also a burrower and we sometimes find her snoozing under the bedspread on the bed. The harness comes off at night when the door is bolted shut.

We're heading on a 5 week'er in April and here's what I have planned. A little ambitious? Maybe but it should make all 3 of us all happy wanderers:

I'm making a new base for the dinette table which will go between both seats (like we were converting it into a bed). I'm cutting a pole for the table with a new base plate which will keep the table at it's current height but allow for an opening under the new table base. No more leg room for us at the dinette but will let us permanently place litter box under there. We'll sit with one leg tucked up on the seat at mealtime but that's ok. This eliminates the "crunchies" of stepping on cat litter and moving the litter box daily.

NOW, here's the other idea I'm working on. Don't laugh. We have a Class C motorhome and found that the cat loves hanging out all day (and night) up in the overhead bed. I'm taking a 48" x 18" piece of plywood and very tastefully attaching it under the overhead cabinets at the rear of the trailer above the bed. 4-1/4" holes through the cabinets will hold it in place. I can conceal with snap caps when we're not in the cat travelling mode. I tested the idea, and we can still watch tv, sit up in bed, and still reach the cabinets in the overhead (if Nibbles doesn't mind).

The things we do for our cats! Like I say, we adopted her. Wrong, she adopted us.

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by Greg & Ann, 25 January 2013 - 05:24 PM.

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#7 Meadowlark

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

And Nibbles has trained you very, very well...;-)
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These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#8 Hot Coco

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:54 PM

Hey everyone, we just returned from a 1 week trip with our two fur children(15 and 16 yr old Ragdolls) We use to camp with them all the time in our pop-up trailers, but this was the first time in the Casita. Our normal kitty sitter moved away. They did really well in the SUV driving out to west Texas, cried a bit in their kennels. But we let them out after we got out of town and under way on I-10 and they sat up front with us while driving and settled down.We bought a small litter box, and it fit perfectly by the door with enough room for us to pass by in the Casita. Next time, we will get unscented litter! We took them on leashed walks in the morning and once in the evening around Davis Mountains SP. the only issue we had with them was my fault, I failed to trim the 16 yr olds nails, which were pretty long. And she made pulls in the upholstery on the dinette seats when she would get caught on them. Other then that, they did very well! We did take along their scratch post, and they were good girls and used it, but we did catch the 15 yr old sharpening on the wall once..Lol. The cat scratch took up to much valuable room, so we'll have to find an alternative next time. Their food dishes we kept under the dinette table, but that turned out to be a bad spot,so we moved them in front of the fridge on the floor. The door would clear both dishes fine. We have to admit, it was was a tight squeeze, but they did really well and I know they loved going with us. I hope this info helps campers who plan to take kitty on Casita trips.

Christine

#9 Greg & Ann

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:22 AM

Excellent! I like the comment about the unscented litter! Did they freak out or hide in the Casita? What were the nights?
Lompoc, CA
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#10 Meadowlark

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

We're still in the planning process of our upcoming camping trips with our two cats. Like most cats, they know very well when it's time to eat. I'm using this as a way to clicker train them. When my husband or I put down their food bowls, we use the clicker and say "come' while we're putting the bowl down. We've been using the clicker every time we feed them.
The advantage to this is: IF (god forbid) we lose them or one of them panics while we're out in the camping world, we'll use the clicker to call them. The clicker is loud enough to be heard a long distance and as we are using it solely in connection with food, I hope that should an emergency arise, we can use the clicker to call the cat home.
I say this because as we all know, cats have selective hearing. They will come when called Maybe. Or Never. Or Once in a While. They usually ignore one when one calls them, because it invariably means we are interrupting what they are doing, whether it's sitting outside contemplating the universe or deciding whether to leave the county. I think, too, if they are witnessed (by another cat) obeying an order to come, the called cat has to tear up her union card.
Training them to associate the clicker with food is an entirely different kettle of fish, pun intended.

Please, please,please microchip your cats. Please. Collars are easily lost. Take GOOD pictures of your cat, showing her markings. This doesn't always work, for instance, black cats, tabbies and Siamese all look alike, but there are differences. Black cats almost always have at least one white hair, and Siamese, once you get to know them, do have differences. Tabbies are not always identical. For instance, my tabby has three diamonad shaped spots on each of her cheeks, so she's Diamond (or Six of Diamonds).

These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."






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