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Old 04-10-2006, 03:54 PM   #1
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1991 25' Excella
SF Bay Area , California
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Question help for traveling with cats and dogs and kids!!!

Hi all! We are looking for advice for our first long trip with our '91 Excella 25', which we got last fall. We have a nephew graduating from West Point, so we have decided to travel cross-country to see it, and many other sites along the way and back. We have three kids under 10, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. We expect the trip to take three weeks. Our question regards bringing the cats along. We considered leaving them with gravity feeder/waterer and occasional check by a neighbor, but it seems too long, both for the cats to have no family contact and to impose on a neighbor. Boarding both cats also seems long for no family contact, and expensive. So, at this point we're resigned to taking them with us. Three weeks traveling long distances with three young kids and the 2 dogs seems like it will be a CHALLENGE, but fun. We're concerned that adding the two cats may ruin the trip for all of us. Any suggestions? Can we, should we do this? Has anyone been crazy enough to do anything like this? Can the cats go in the Airstream while driving - or will that traumatize them? Any help you all can provide would be most appreciated.

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Old 04-10-2006, 04:12 PM   #2
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I think if you leave the dogs loose they will find a safe and comfortable place to wedge themselves in.

The cats should be placed in a burlap sack and tied to the table leg.

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Old 04-10-2006, 04:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by aeriqua
Three weeks traveling long distances with three young kids and the 2 dogs seems like it will be a CHALLENGE, but fun.
I think that you will be traumatized
Alot depends on how the pets travel. Our dogs did not travel well (threw up) when they were under 2 and we needed to medicate them on trips. They have grown out of that problem and I am glad. They were not themselves for quite a while after the trip. I can not say much about cats. My dogs like them and they give them alot of exersice (they never catch them)
It sounds like a great trip. The mid hudson valley in new york is a very nice area to visit.


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Old 04-10-2006, 04:18 PM   #4
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Please do not let your dogs ride in the trailer. Besides the bumping around, the trailer can get very hot without ventilation. You do not want to drive with the windows open due to the dirt and dust. I can not speak for having cats since I only have a dog. Good luck to you on this wonderful trip.
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:20 PM   #5
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We travel with our two dogs and a cat but NEVER put anything alive inside the trailer. Nuff said!? We have the luxury of crating the dogs in the bed of our pickup truck and the cat finds a niche under a seat or in our lap. Travel with pets takes a little extra work like picking up scat, finding a place for the cat box (usually in the shower), stopping for exercise etc. but it can be done. In mild temps, the dogs sleep outside in their crates with no difficulty.
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:25 PM   #6
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Our Black Lab thinks the Motorhome belongs to her and if the engine starts she had better be in it. The cat however......when the engine starts she starts to howl and cry. This is followed in a few minutes by diareah and vomiting. We have tried kitty drugs to calm her to no avail. We just have to leave her home.
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:07 PM   #7
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OUr daughter left two kitties a little over 2 1/2 weeks on her trip to Yellowstone. She left the waterer and gravity feeder and had a friend check in only a few times and all was well when she returned. She could hardly see a reaction from the kitties when she got home--just miaows, rubs, and then off to tend to their cat affairs, as usual. I'd suggest you try to leave the cats at home: you'll feel the stress more than they will since they are each other's company.
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:26 PM   #8
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Have the pets traveled with you before? If not try a short weekend trip to check out their reactions. I would be afraid of the cats darting out and getting lost at a stop. They can be so fast to escape. I put the leash on our yorkie before I open the car or trailer door. He is a great traveler, but I don't trust him not to run into the path of a car. Our yorkie has travled with us all his life and like the lab if a motor starts he is ready to go.

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Old 04-10-2006, 06:32 PM   #9
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We had no major problems full-timing with our 2 cats and 22 lb. dog for almost a year in our 28-footer, so it can be done. (although it does get rather cozy at times, and a 'fragrant' litterbox in the middle of the night can be annoying in that small space...)

That said, with 2 adults, 3 young kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats on what for all intents and purposes is your 'maiden voyage', I think you may be asking for trouble. 25 feet isn't a lot of space when you're all packed in there on a rainy afternoon, and if your cats aren't seasoned travelers already, the adjustment period--which could take the entire trip--may stress them out enough that they'll get sick, try to escape, or both. Cats need their own personal space to 'hang out' and it's unlikely that they'll find that on this trip. Our 2 cats took more than a month to adjust to living in the trailer, and they never have adapted particularly well to the whole motion thing. Also, keep in mind that if you have mechanical problems of any sort--heaven forbid--and have to visit an RV/auto service center, you'll have to make sure everybody (kids, dogs, cats) has a safe place to wait until repairs are made.

If you don't like imposing on a neighbor, you can check into pet sitting services, which are generally bonded and insured, and will give your fur kids attention in addition to taking care of food and litter box needs. Generally a once-a-day visit isn't too expensive, and I think in the long run, both you and the cats will appreciate it.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:36 PM   #10
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My cat , a large sealpoint siamese has traveled with us across country several times. From Atlanta to Pagosa Springs Colorado to Vancouver Washington and back to Atlanta. Other than figuring out how to open the little slide on the screen door he has never been any trouble. We fixed the screen door problem and he was good to go.
We do keep him in a car carrier while in the car. He seems to like it and spends most of his time sleeping. Except when we mention his name then he comes up front to see what's up. He is now 5 and has been doing this since he was 2. He is leash trained and as long as he has his daily walks he is happy.
He likes the trailer and has no trouble adjusting. I take him out to it frequently and just let him roam around at his leisure.
Traveling does not bother him.
Take you cats for some short rides in your tow vehicle. See how they act before you take them across country. My cat rarely eats or drinks while traveling and has only needed to use the catbox a few times. We have water and food out for him at all times.
This year we will be taking the lab puppy with us. The dog will ride with my husband in the tow vehicle. The cat will ride with me in my jeep. We will be taking the dog crate as well as the cat crate.
But do give you cats a chance to get use to the trailer and riding in the vehicle.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:33 PM   #11
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traveling with cats

IMHO there is a great risk with kids cats and dogs that somehow a door will get left open and an animal will escape. Think of the nightmare of having Fluffy lost in the woods.....and having to leave....
This happened to a friend of mine and it was heartbreaking. They stayed extra days and finally found their cat. they were on a trip and had to delay going back to work to find their cat, it was a real mess.

Paying a pet sitter to come once a day to ensure the well being of the cats is worth it in my opinion, or maybe you can get by with once every other day if your cats don't have special needs.

There is also enough stress on the maiden voyage that you will probably really be stressed bring all the extra human and animal critters along.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:51 AM   #12
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Burlap sack tied to the table!??

Markdoane, I sincerely hope you are kidding about the burlap sacks. They do sell small travel cages now.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 72 tradewind
Markdoane, I sincerely hope you are kidding about the burlap sacks. They do sell small travel cages now.
Well, I'm not really a cat person; yeah, the burlap sack was a little bit over the top. Sorry.

Here are care instuctions for my last cat.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:46 AM   #14
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You're going to be on every cat lovers hit list for that last set of directions!!


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