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Old 09-03-2015, 07:44 AM   #1
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Cat on the Road

I'm looking for some advise. My husband and I are purchasing a 2013 27FB. We are having a home built so we are planning the next 12 months (+or-) traveling. We have one dog, who travels everywhere with us, and one indoor/outdoor 14 year old cat. I have read that the cat should be in the TV with us, but she is not a very good car traveler. I worry that it would be more stressful than in the AS, which hopefully she will view as her home. Can anyone explain the reason for the cat to be in the TV vs the trailer? Is there a danger of carbon monoxide? Many thanks!
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:14 AM   #2
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Can anyone explain the reason for the cat to be in the TV vs the trailer? Is there a danger of carbon monoxide? Many thanks!
No. There is a danger of bouncing, swaying, loud noises, and other things that cats hate unless it's been raised from kittenhood in a sailboat. If your cat won't tolerate traveling in the tow vehicle, it will tolerate traveling in the trailer even less.

Talk to your veterinarian about ways to gradually introduce your cat to riding in a vehicle. Doing so will have many benefits, such as making it easier to take the cat to the vet.

Cats are like any other pet, they value consistency, so they have to gradually become accustomed to each step of the process. First getting used to the pet carrier it will ride in, if if isn't already. If it doesn't even like being in the pet carrier, it won't like going anywhere in the carrier either. Then getting used to being in the vehicle in the carrier without even starting the engine. Then getting used to being in the vehicle with the engine running. Then getting used to being in the moving vehicle, including listening to whatever radio or music you play in the vehicle at a volume suitable for sensitive cat hearing. Then getting used to bathroom stops, which will entail allowing it to use the same litter box that it uses now, with the same litter it uses now, in the same location inside the trailer that you will use while camped. Your vet can tell you how often you'll need to make litter-box stops while on the road.

It could take weeks of patient effort before the cat is finally ready to travel with you.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:42 AM   #3
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We travel with our cats in the tow vehicle, using (separate) cages we built to fit our truck. One travels well. The other...not as much. He sometimes freaks out and flips his litter box in the cage.

We recently got him a Thundershirt-type garment (I think ours is the Cozy Cat brand). I'm not ready to draw a conclusion yet, but I do think he's a bit calmer with it; he'll still freak out a bit, but nowhere near as badly as he had before.

Before the shirt, this cat that managed to pull back the fencing on the cage and break out of it while we were on the road. He was completely quiet as he explored the truck so I came to the conclusion the issue isn't the truck, the movement, the noise, etc., and that it's really the cage that bothers him. Maybe he thinks he's going back to the shelter (never, ever - but he doesn't know that).
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:46 AM   #4
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Our 12 year old cat was also indoor outdoor. She rides in the TV with us. She squalls for awhile and then sleeps. We have a soft sided carrier. She rides in it in our TV and sleeps in it in our trailer.

We left her in the trailer only one time in transit. We were at Alumapalooza and drove around from the field behind the factory to the parking lot in front. We thought she would be fine since we were going such a short distance. Wrong! She freaked out. It took a couple of days before she forgave us.
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:54 AM   #5
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Cat in the tow vehicle-
No living creature should ever be in the trailer while it is moving down the highway.
Please watch Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball in "The Long, Long Trailer".
Read the book by Clinton Twiss, too.
We had a couple of cats in the past that traveled well. I think I will remain "cat-less" for now because they are a bit of trouble.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:42 AM   #6
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Our cat travels with us everywhere we go. He has never liked the actual road trip, but he LOVES the trailer (once we get where we're going). We use a two-sided Sturdi-Shelter (Double Car-Go Pet Shelter – Sturdi Products) in the cargo area of our SUV. (We put his bed in one side and his litter box, a top-entry litter box, in the other side....with the partition between the two unzipped just enough for him to get to his litter box. He hardly ever uses the litter box when in transit.) Once we get where we're going, we move the Sturdi-Shelter, litter box, and bed into the trailer. He is then a very happy "camper."
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:02 PM   #7
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Aurora, our camping kitty, in our previous trailer-
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Aurora in the Airstream-
She left us 12/12/2014 after many years of love, companionship, and friendship.
There will never be another one like her.
She was the beat cat I've ever had.


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Old 09-03-2015, 12:15 PM   #8
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We have carried our now 21 year old cat for many miles in our Flying Cloud. Because she can be an unhappy traveler in our tv we too thought that she would be much happier sleeping on our bed where she spends most of her time when parked. Big mistake. It was obvious she was under a lot of stress when we stopped to check on her so that ended our experiment.
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:19 PM   #9
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You could start by feeding the cat in the tow vehicle, while you are in the truck.
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:00 PM   #10
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We have traveled with several different cats over the years. None of them have ridden in the trailer.

Sugar used to hide under anything, sometimes wedging herself between cargo so tight that we couldn't find her. Once in the trailer she managed to fit into the space under the stove at the return air vent. We were worried that she would find her way into the heating system and die there. And that was with the trailer parked!

Studley DooRight used to ride on the flat part of the dashboard, preferably closer to the windshield. He liked to look out front and, when stopped, greet anyone in nearby cars. He was a perfect traveler until it came to areas with seismic activity or dips, such as the hills west of Benton Hot Springs in California, which has both of these features. Then it came out both ends rather unexpectedly. We used to hold him on a blanket whenever we heard the 'yowl' hoping we'd could stop before the action took place! We tried Kitty Dramamine, but that didn't work very well - just made him drugged.

Sissy Spacecat, while not the best traveler, only makes a rukus for a short while. It used to take about 60 miles to settle her down, but not it only takes a couple of blocks. However, she also suffers from Studley's aversion to seismic activity and dips, as well as sharp curves at high speeds. We don't feed or water her after 4:00 a.m. the morning we travel to help her sensitive stomach.

Our experience is that the more time the cat spends in a vehicle the better. And since their our children now, we always want them close to us. Of course, taking them to Baskin Robbins doesn't hurt.
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:40 PM   #11
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I sure miss my friend.


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Old 09-03-2015, 04:02 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the great advise. We have started taking her for short (5 min) rides. Before now she had only been in the car to ride to and from the vet. She isn't hysterical, but clearly nervous. She absolutely hated the hard, cat carrier we have, so I will try the soft one mentioned above. We will work on it over the next couple months before we pick the trailer up. Hopefully she'll adjust!
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:01 PM   #13
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Aurora rode in the truck like a dog- always looking out the window, lying on the dash, or on the console between us.
She liked her carrier. We left it on the seat with the door open so she could come and go as she pleased.
She camped like a boss!


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Old 09-03-2015, 07:05 PM   #14
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Black cats are great. I miss my Mr. Lovey. He was a great traveler, and took his last trip with us last fall.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:52 PM   #15
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cats are all different but the same

a big "NO" to letting anything ride in the trailer. If you want to know what they would go through, have your significant other drive you around for a bit and you will know that its a washing machine back there. We have one cat who is Houdini reincarnated who can hide and not be found. I plugged holes as they could be found but she would always find another. After a few trips, I said "Screw it" and took the other two in the TV and rode down the road until the next exit. When I opened the door, "Houdini" would stagger forth as if to say "You win". Now she only gives a token of fuss before giving in. She doesn't get carsick.
She's one. We have three cats. Another travels like a seasoned bus driver. He doesn't get carsick at all but actually seems to like the experience. The third one (not Houdini or the bus driver) gets carsick before putting the TV in "drive" (literally and foams at the mouth). He's apparently carsick (literally and from multiple orifi... bring rolls of paper towels) for the first day. After that, he's not happy but resigned and doesn't get sick (wetly anyway). This is kinda like "sealegs" for us sailors and he's okay until we park for a week or so and then the cycle repeats.
The biggest comment we get from other campers is "Wow... ours would have torn the screens out and destroyed the interior by now." They are all different......
The first trip out we were ready to throw in the towel after the first two hours. Now its all part of the adventure. "Hitch up.... lower the antenna..... wipe the cat's mouth...."
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:58 PM   #16
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That is reason number 3, of 28,794, not to travel with, or own a cat.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:00 PM   #17
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This cat, Maggie, although I loved her and she loved me, had severe psychological/behavioral issues- separation anxiety, pushy, bossy, needy- a shelter cat that was never properly socialized-
She pooped in the bed for the third time- I snapped and put her out and she never came home again- I did not handle that situation properly. I should have had more patience, did some research, took her to the vet for an exam to see if the showing out was health related or behavioral. If it was health related, get her treated. If it was behavioral, keep the bedroom door closed. I was keeping the door closed, but when I went in to get dressed for work, she slipped in and pooped in the bed again. I lost it.
No more cats for me. There are no guarantees. They ain't all like Aurora, my best true friend and companion.
Although Maggie was troubled and a pain in the buttocks region, she still camped like a boss.
I wish every day that I would have handled that whole situation better. If I had more patience she might have eventually turned into a great cat.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:19 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
This cat had severe psychological/behavioral issues- separation anxiety, pushy, bossy, needy- a shelter cat that pooped in the bed for the third time
Is there any other kind of cat?
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:31 PM   #19
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She pooped in the bed for the third time- I snapped and put her out and she never came home again- I did not handle that situation properly. I should have had more patience, did some research, took her to the vet for an exam to see if the showing out was health related or behavioral.
Cats are creatures of habit, and scent is their strongest sense. If a cat "goes" anywhere but its litter box, it's very important to get rid of the odor right away by thoroughly cleaning the area— in this case not only your sheets but your mattress as well. A cat's sense of smell is about 200 times stronger than a human's and something that smells clean to you might still reek to a cat. There are enzyme cleansers specifically made for cleaning up after pet accidents.

This is important because if it smells like a litter box, it is a litter box, as far as the cat is concerned. And that's why it was three times in the same place; after the accidental first time, the cat followed the smell and subsequent times were no accident.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:57 PM   #20
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This is where Boy-Cat likes to sleep during the long travel days... Not very comfortable but makes him happy.
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If it's no obvious, he gets behind my back and goes to sleep.
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