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Otter Spotter aka Debbie

Camping With Cats

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We have taken our two kitties camping at the Fort since they were babies.  At the beginning (1996) we always reserved a pet loop, declared our babies at check-in, and paid the nightly rate for pets.  Since 2003, we do NOT declare any pets (on the advice of a Loop Attendant), and have never had any issues.  I mean...they are indoor pets, and no one is aware of their presence, unless they are sunning themselves in the dash of the RV.

The only thing the kitties do not like is the fact we put them in a carrier any time they are in a vehicle.

Warning when you camp with cats:  Cats like to find out of the way places to hide.  Our first Class A (used 1992 Winnebago Brave) had an opening in the bathroom that lead to the chassis compartments.  After frantically searching for our little girl the first night camping, (about 30 minutes of searching and listening for her meows - we finally found her under the drawers in the kitchen) we found the escape route & plugged it up.  We have since made sure there are absolutely no escape routes out of any motor home we have owned.  Just make sure you leave no cabinet doors ajar, and you will be fine.  Also - I suggest if your kitty likes to bolt when a door is open, to keep a squirt gun in hand and shoot some water at them while yelling "NO" if they try to follow you out the door.  Cats, unlike dogs, will not come when you call them!

Other than that, we have the MH because of our kitties!!

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we took our cats in our truck camper with us.  they are gone now.  but, they went a lot of places and were very content just being with us.  the first half hour of EVERY trip-they would meow like crazy.  then they would settle in. 

in the truck camper we didn't have much floor space, so, their litter box could only go in one or two places.  it never failed at least once each trip the cats would go number 2 and set the monoxide detector off. 

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We had our Toby with us last year during our "camping adventure" as we call it when we stood in the PUP for almost 4 months cause Matts transfer was delayed- She did great in the camper, but she figured out how to undo the velcro around the slide out canvas- she would slip out to go take care of her Potty Business and refused to use the liter box in the camper- but she always came right back in...

Now the cat is housebroken- even up here she'll only go outside to go potty- but the dog isnt  :siren: She'll seriously walk up to the back door and meow to go out and paw at the door to come back in  :)

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One of ours has been to FW 6 times, the other only 4. They are usually well behaved when travelling -- one will sit in the navigator's lap while the other lies on the floor between seats. Or they look out the windows. Or get up in the loft in their cases.

One of them has managed to disappear a few times -- backs of cupboards and in or behind the sock drawer.

Usually at FW we let them out in cages where they can watch the passing parade. This year we were in a site right next to the dog and pig walk. (You read that right!) I don't see a need for our being in the pet loop, but would be embarrassed if we had to report one missing.

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I've always wondered about cats going camping. I'd be afraid they'd take off and head for this hills.  One of my kiddos is desperate for a cat, but hubby's playing the "I'm allergic to cats" card. It very well may be true -- he's a medical marvel -- but I'd still REALLY love to have a cat, too. (Whoops, total thread drift!)

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For many years my DH and I have had Old English Sheepdogs and since our last one passed last year, I finally got my way this year and we are now owned by a 12 week old grey kitty names Smokey. These posts have made me more aware of a lot of facts before we leave Maine in September to drive and live as snowbirds down in Florida. We are bringing him in to the motor home every weekend to get him used to being inside of it and have adapted some screw in posts to keep the screens in place. Hopefully a few weekend camping trips this summer will give us a better idea of how he will travel. Never thought after all these years with dogs that my husband would get so attached to a kitten but he has.

Nancy

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For many years my DH and I have had Old English Sheepdogs and since our last one passed last year, I finally got my way this year and we are now owned by a 12 week old grey kitty names Smokey. These posts have made me more aware of a lot of facts before we leave Maine in September to drive and live as snowbirds down in Florida. We are bringing him in to the motor home every weekend to get him used to being inside of it and have adapted some screw in posts to keep the screens in place. Hopefully a few weekend camping trips this summer will give us a better idea of how he will travel. Never thought after all these years with dogs that my husband would get so attached to a kitten but he has.

Nancy

Hi, Nancy!! Welcome to the world of camping with cats!

We full-timed almost 2 years in our MH & the cats were just fine. We've had 6 Class A MH's since 1996 - 3 used, 3 new - and with each MH we went through them with a fine toothed comb looking for escape routes. In our current MH (2005 Itasca Meridian) there are places under the kitchen & bathroom sinks where, if the doors to the cabinets were left opened, one of the kitties could climb over an open space at the rear of the cabinets and get into the chassis basement. They couldn't escape to the outside - but they could get "lost" in the basement. In almost 6 years we haven't had an incident but, we are very careful never to leave these particular cabinet doors open.

Just be thorough and diligent inspecting your MH for possible escape routes. Another place to look is under the driver's side dash. Our 2001 Dutch Star gasser had an opening just big enough for a kitty to squeak through and get into the engine compartment. It never happened because I crawled around on the floor of the MH looking for spots that would be tempting for a cat to explore and found it. My DH made a barrier that blocked off the entire floor area of the driver's side and did not allow the cats access to the space.

Another thing - and this is just a "thing" for me - I never let our cats free-roam in the MH while we are driving (or in the car). I know some people do but - if you were to get into an accident those tiny little bodies would become projectiles. If they survived a crash they could easily bolt - never to be seen again. Remember - cats do not come when called as a dog would. I feel it's better to be safe than sorry. If you are traveling long distances you could get a carrier for a large dog and equip it with a litter box, bed and water dispenser so your kitty can travel in comfort.

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