A Tale of 2 Kitties…or how to travel the road with cats
They were the best of cats, they were the worst of cats….It all started around 8 years ago when Paul’s mom took in a stray cat in Miami who turned out, as it were, to be pregnant. A few weeks later, out came 8 bouncing fur-balls of joy ready to climb the drapes, experiment with claws and generally get into trouble. We were visiting, and completely suckered-in decided to take 2 of the little ruffians back home to San Francisco. I asked all the kitties who wanted to come on our world travels and Taggart, in a true reflection of her personality came trotting out first. Rand, quite typically even at 6 weeks old, hid in the background, but since we were running late and out of time she got nabbed and added to the bag. So, there we were, 2 kitties in hand, ready to serve a lifetime of slavery to the cats…because as everyone knows…you don’t own a cat, they own you.
As they grew from fluff to medium-fluff and then pint-sized their personalities developed right in-line with their initial types. Taggart was outgoing, social, loved to party and always the center of attention. Rand was sweet, retiring and hated visitors. Together they cuddled and matched each other perfectly.
Eight years later they’re still a big part of our lives and as tight as ever. They’ve commuted between San Jose and San Francisco (for several years), travelled to Hong Kong and back to the US, lived in smog and sunlight, and are now in the RV.
So, how do cats travel? Although creatures of habit, with a little bit of love and aloooot (did you notice the emphasis?) of patience, cats can really adapt to anything. The key is to take it slow and give them lots of familiar comforts.
The Move Itself:
- Prepare the RV – create “nooks and crannies” for hiding spots and beds. Cats love height and there’s plenty of cupboard space which is just perfect for this in the RV. We put a cat-bed in the clothes cupboard, and another “den” above our bed. We also have a basic cardboard box (with an entry cut-out) that we put under the covers of the bed during the day. Bring a scratch-pole too and find a good place for the litter (most people use the bath-tub and that’s exactly what we’ve done)
- Prepare the cats – lots of stress-relieving stuff before the move. Feliway (sprayed around the cat-bags and RV) and Bach’s Rescue Remedy (rubbed on the ears) work great. A few days of L-theanine before the move can also help. The key to moving with cats is move all your stuff first, and the cats last. So, prepare the place beforehand and then move ‘em in when everything is set-up and ready to receive them.
- Keep a routine – once you move in keep the regular feeding, petting etc. routine. Keep-up the Feliway and work in some cat-nip too. Give the cats time to adapt.
While You’re Driving:
- Secure the cats – BEFORE moving-in the slides secure the cats. Always, always know where your babies are when you move the slides.
- Give them a comfort place – while driving either a cat-bag or a hiding place works best. Our cats have decided under the bed-covers is where they want to be. A little Feliway before driving sprayed on the bed helps to keep things relaxed.
At the Parks
- Keep the routine – cats being creatures of habit, keeping the feeding, petting, sleeping routine keeps your furry friends happy
- Provide some entertainment – Cats need mental stimulation just like we do, so play-time and walk-time can be great tools. And yes, I did say walk-time. We leash-trained our cats several years back and it turns out they love it. So, everyday crazy cat lady takes them for a walk. Taggart prefers the day-time walks while Rand stalks the night. If you decide to do this buy a proper harness (HDW walking jackets are great), and take your time introducing kitty to the experience.
So, if you’re looking to travel with a little love, a few cat-licks and some purring, bring your furball along for the ride…