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MountainGal

Full-Timing with Cats

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Hi everyone! I'm brand-new to Escapees, and am grateful to be joining you.

I have a beloved Siamese who is already a good traveler, having crossed the US with me 11 times.  But as I prepare for full-time RVing, I'm questioning whether it would be a fair life for him to go from a 350 sq. ft. apartment to a smaller Airstream or a van.  Though, at 14, he's not as active as he once was, he does enjoy a good romp around the place each day.  Should I stay put until he's lived out his natural life?  I'm very, very attached to him (as a single woman, he's my family), so I'm more than willing to wait, if that is the kind thing to do.  In fact, I'm a few years off from hitting the road anyway, working to save for a rig. 

Full-time RVers who are cat owners, please share with me your experiences.  Has it been challenging to find quality cat food, litter, and veterinary care while on the road?  Does your cat stay comfortable and content?  And when your beloved kitty passes, do you plan to get another one, or do you think you'll remain pet-free?  

 

 

 

Edited by MountainGal

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Mountain Gal, welcome to the forum.  We did not start full time with cats, after 10 years on the road we acquired two brothers who were abandoned.  The only home they have had is our 35ft. Fifth wheel.  They travel in their carrier in the back seat of the truck when we move from one site to the next. There is plenty of room in the rig for cat play between them.  We have been able to find good Vets where ever we needed them. 

Hope you enjoy your travel and take the cat along.

Edited by jeanhoyle

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We travel with 2 cats in our MH. They are perfectly happy. Vet, food is a non issue. We put ours in the bedroom with the door closed when we travel. They are very happy sleeping away on the bed. They have access to litter, water and food.

When we had a 5th wheel we just let the stay in the 5th wheel. Never had any problems with them. Most cats snuggle down in to a hidey hole and stay there while traveling.

We have friends who always put their cat in a carrier when they traveled. Cat hated it. We were traveling with them one day and they decided to allow their cats to remain in the trailer. Cast was much happier.

Life is much more interesting for a cat on the road. In camp ours sit/sleep in the front window People stop and talk to them which they seem to enjoy. When we are stationary for a while we put up a hummingbird feeder and that keeps them well occupied.

Many people travel with dogs and cats and all goes well.

Hit the road, you bill both enjoy it.

 

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I went a year catless...that was after 40+ years of being owned by several.  It was a good thing as I traveled many thousands of miles in some HOT weather, I wasn't always well.  But once I settled here in AZ for the winter....it sure was quiet.  I looked and looked and thought and then it happened - I now am staff to a lovely kitten (4 months +).  She's all I could have hoped for in a companion - tests me every day on the lessons she taught me the day before.  Heard this once:  Some people own cats and go on to lead normal lives....

She will become an International Traveler this summer as we head to Northern Alberta, Canada.    We are both having fun.  Having another heart beat along is very comforting.

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When we hit the road 3 1/2 years ago, we had a dog and 2 cats.  We lost our beloved Cocoa (the dog) and Raskal (male tuxedo kitty) about a year into our adventure.  We still have Callie, who rides safely and comfortably in her crate, which is seat-belted into the back seat on travel days.  We would never allow her to ride in the 5th Wheel during travel. We did talk about getting another dog or cat once we got past the worst of the sadness, but we’ve decided Callie is enough for now.  

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Not a fulltimer, but have traveled extensively over he years for extended periods with cats and dogs.  In my experience, cats are easy!!  Though I have heard from a few folks their cats hated traveling.

If you buy your food and litter at Walmart, you will likely not have problems.  Chewy.com is another place you could check out with the 1-2 day free shipping on orders over $49.  As long as UPS delivers to where you're setup, you're fine.

Vet care is sometimes a challenge in remote/rural areas.  Most country vets will not have advanced medical facilities.  Sure, a scrape or cut can be stitched anywhere, but serious health issues could require moving to a larger town.  Been there, done that.  Plus, vets may want to give you cat an exam, and the accompanying cost of said exam, even if you know what the cat needs.  IMO, those are minor issues pet lovers who travel just have to accept.

I think if your kitty likes to travel, you will have a good time regardless of age and RV size.  Our dogs lay down on the back seat floor of our crew cab and the cat rides in his carrier beside them.  We would never allow him, or them, to ride in the 5th wheel while moving.  IMO there is entirely too much jostling of the trailer.  To each his own. 

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Thank you, fellow kitty folks, for such thoughtful, kind responses and (often heartwarming) stories.  I've read your posts thoroughly and given thought to all of them.  Each was helpful in its own way.  You've inspired me.  And Shawnee, my Siamese, is relaxing upside down in my arm, watching me, purring and delightfully content, while I'm at the table on my laptop.  It's like he knows that I'm reading about cats. Laughing, but true. :rolleyes:

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Our 16-year old Kitty has full-timed with us for 10 years.  No problem going from free run of the neighborhood to the confines of the rig.  She wears a harness and leash when she goes out with me now... never unsupervised.

As for vets, keep a notebook with copies of important papers in your tow vehicle, including your own emergency med details and records from each vet you visit.  It's been very helpful to be able to hand each vet Kitty's history as we move from state to state.

We are now having to give her subcutaneous fluids twice a week since last summer.  VetRXDirect.com has been great to work with.  I order what we need and they call Kitty's vet to verify the prescription.  They ship to wherever we are.  drsfostersmith.com will do the same and have a lower threshold for free shipping.

As for traveling, Kitty rides with us in the truck and likes to look out the window or snooze in her crate.  She only rode in the fifth wheel the very first trip.  It took six months before she quit jumping at every little snap and pop the trailer made when we parked.

Your cat's going to be happy as long as he's with you.  When you get ready to hit the road, come back and ask about cat toys, etc.  You'll get a long thread going on that one, too.

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Do those that full time with cats pay the pet fees for indoor only cats? Normally I follow the rules, but paying $5/cat/night when they stay inside seems a bit crazy.

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I never heard of any campground that you need to pay for cats. Been RVing with cats for 40+ years................Who told you this????

Edited by SWharton

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SWharton

Thanks for your reply. In my research, most reservation systems I’m seeing ask about “pets.” Figured if cats were excluded they’d ask about dogs. I think we can follow the “forgiveness vs. permission” mindset.

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Cats aren't considered "pets" mostly, dogs are. I think it might be for insurance. Several cgs don't want aggressive breeds. The only question I have ever had and only at Escapees Parks(recently) is if their shots are up to date. If the system asks for pets and then tries to charge you, change the number to 0.

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A cat changed my camping habits quite a bit.  No more barren parking lots like casinos and Walmart.  Part of choosing a site is the rocks and bushes for her to have fun in.  No vet requirements yet as she's just 8.  

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In 10 years we've never been charged for Kitty, but when asked we tell them we have a cat.  I like the manager to know she's in here in case of some emergency.

It rarely happens, but sometimes power goes out in our park on high-demand days when it's super hot.  If we're away from the rig, I'd like a call if that happens.  Yesterday (June 8), it was 90 degrees at 8 pm INSIDE the fiver after towing all day through south Texas.  It could be that and more in no time if the electricity goes out mid-day here at the border in the summer.  If I can't get back quickly to rescue Kitty,  the manager knows how to get her out.  Our pet sitter also lives onsite and knows the emergency plan.

Just something to think about when deciding whether or not to tell management that you have a cat in the rig.

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1 hour ago, rocksbride said:

In 10 years we've never been charged for Kitty, but when asked we tell them we have a cat.  I like the manager to know she's in here in case of some emergency.

 

Never having traveled with a cat, I never really gave it a lot of thought, but telling a park that you have one does seem like the honest and ethical thing to do even if yours is never outside, especially if the park has a  stated pet policy. I suspect that most pet fees in parks really mean dogs, but telling them or not is an individual thing. I know one couple who travel with 2 McCaws in the RV and even a paraquet would be a pet by strict definition. Since some cats are now leash trained, I would think that the same rules would apply to such cats as to dogs, but I'd bet there is no single answer. 

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4 hours ago, SWharton said:

We have a MH and set our generator to AUTO so if there is a power failure the generator will come on.

What do you know?  My husband said we could do that with ours, too!  Does it turn itself off when the power comes back on?

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Ours did but I am not sure if the is an option or not. We didn't program the generator to turn on so it may be hard wired. We tested ours to see what would happen.

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