14 Tips to Prepare Your Cat for RV Travel

how to travel with a cat in RV

Are you tired of boring flights and uncomfortable car or bus rides with your cat all over the planet Earth?

If yes, traveling with a cat in an RV (recreation vehicle) is something you might consider for a decent adventure around the country.

Many cat owners will especially adore the advantages of an RV because they can travel much longer and more comfortable than ever before with their cats, thanks to this great vehicle.

Of course, you won’t be able to reach as long distances as you could by airplane, but stay assured that comfort is one of those travel issues which can be easy to overcome.

So, let’s dig in.

14 tips to prepare your cat for RV travel

1. How to schedule your trip with a cat properly?

Well, you won’t find a decent answer anywhere on the internet. Each cat has a story for itself.

So, you need to know everything about your cat before you start any type of journey with it.

But, even if our previous sentence is the biggest truth ever, we are ready to make your trip with a cat in RV very comfortable and well prepared.

2. Get your cat acquainted with the RV

Get the basics out of the way first. Is this an unknown space for your cat? If yes, then your cat might feel uncomfortable in new surroundings.

This might the most obvious reason it might feel weirded out and it will jump around, scratch the door if it feels like it needs to get out.

If this is your RV, there’s plenty of time to get your cat inside and let it know that this is a safe place for it and make it feel welcome. Few days of spending time before the trip should do it.

If, however, you are renting an RV for the trip, and you are unable to get it before the exact date of traveling you will still have enough time to get your cat to feel out its home for the next few days.

Spray a scent that is familiar to it around the RV, sit inside with it, in other words, just chill for some time so that it won’t feel like it shouldn’t be there.

By doing this, you will save precious time on the road by not having to stop out of the itinerary just to calm down your cat. Instead, it will feel fine just wondering about its new home on wheels in the coming days.

3. Find a good spot for your cat’s carrier in the RV

Another thing you will find will ease up your trip will be to find a good spot for the carrier. Yes, your RV is big enough for your cat to move around, and if you see fit let it loose so it can stretch its legs.

But, there will be times when your cat will want to spend some time in its favorite carrier. For example, if it gets nervous because of a lot of the bends on the road.

A good spot for the carrier is a spot where your cat can have a good look at you, a good look at the road, where there is plenty of air, and somewhere where it is sturdy so that the carrier doesn’t shake even if the road is not the smoothest one out there.

Those are some of the things to pay attention to so that your cat won’t feel uncomfortable and freak out.

4. Pack the right stuff!

If you are already traveling in an RV, chances are that you will be spending most of your time there, including sleeping. So what you will most probably need are a lot of toiletries.

Definitely pack up some cleaning products if your cat decides that it doesn’t have that kind of time to go somewhere outside to go number one, or even two. That is a smell you do not want to have to linger in the place where you will be spending the bulk of your time during the trip. Think in such a way that you will cover all of the basics that you covered in your home.

Because after all, this will be your home for the duration of your trip, the only difference being that it is on wheels.

You know your cat best and you know all the things it does in your home, and chances are it will do the same things in the RV, so come prepared and pack the right stuff.

5. Don’t forget the sedatives

When people and animals find themselves in need of something, Mother nature usually provides. Which is true in this case as well.

There are several good natural sedatives that you can use to calm your cat down whenever you think is necessary, and that includes traveling in an RV. Our suggestion is Bach Rescue Remedy.

Also, catnip is very effective for most cats who are more than 3 months old.

Prior to that, it won’t do you and your cat any good. It won’t do any harm either, it simply won’t affect your cat in any way.

But if your cat is more than three months old it will most probably have a relaxing effect on your cat.

You can find that out real easy, simply buy some catnip before the trip and bring it close to your cat, you will see the reaction right away.

One other very old school and natural way to calm down your cat is to get some dry chamomile leaves and place it in a spot where your cat spends a lot of time. Perhaps its well-placed carrier.

These are only some of the natural sedatives you can use to calm your cat down. It is always a good idea to consult your vet about using any sedatives for your cat.

If your vet gives you the green light, go for it! There are plenty of other natural sedatives, and you and your vet will know what is best for your cat.

6. Place the litter box in a good place

If you are confident that your cat will be okay to go around the RV freely, and you are not keeping it in its carrier. Then you must bring a litter box for it.

Like all cats, it will want to have the place that it will know is intended for that sort of use. So the placement of the litter box must be obvious to your cat.

What will it matter that you brought it on the trip for it if your cat is unaware that it is there? If you are bringing the same litter box that you are keeping in your home, that is a good thing.

It means that it will recognize it more easily. If you decided on getting a new one, try to find one that looks similar to the one you already have.

If it is a case you finding that certain litter box out-of-stock, have no worries.

All you need to do is make sure that your cat understands that you brought it for it, and where to find it.

So combine the time when you are introducing your cat to the RV and place it near the litter box a few times until it looks to you that it sniffed it out for a bit and that it understood that its little special place is located there in the RV.

With that, your cat will feel more confident when spending time in the RV.

7. Favorite stuff is sometimes all your cat needs to feel at home

This is the closest thing to a magic trick you can come to when we are talking about traveling with cats.

You’d think they are hard to fool. But sometimes all you need to do to fool them is to bring something that they just can’t let go of.

Most cats like to chase something, like a string that is dragging on the floor can occupy their attention. So could some other thing that they like to play with.

If there is someone who knows what your cat likes to play with, that is you.

So it might be an old hoodie of yours, an old t-shirt, a favorite blanket or a small cardboard box.

Do not give your trick away too soon, wait for your cat to show signs that it is getting nervous or bored.

That is the time that you will pull the ace from your sleeve, so to speak. Get the thing you brought out, and get its attention.

8. Old school preparation tricks are always welcome

Don’t laugh when you hear that your cat needs to introduce itself to your RV.

If you are a rookie at this kind of traveling, try to spend some time with your cat for a few weeks or even months before your journey.

Don’t pretend in front of your cat! Stay free to eat in your RV, try to feed your cat several times inside your RV.

Cats usually like places where they can smell something really tasty and delicious.

Give it some kind of treat for spending time with you inside the RV. It will learn that an RV isn’t something it needs to be scared of.

Put its carrier inside the RV and drive your car around for a while. But stay assured that this ride shouldn’t be too long or too exhausting.

Just drive for 15 or 20 minutes around your hood and secure the visible position of the carrier.

This is great method to teach your cat that it’s fine inside and that your trip isn’t anything bad for it.

Let it walk around the RV when it is not moving. And after a few exercises, it would be possible that your cat falls in love with an entirely new “moving home”.

9. The right amount of food at the right time

Feeding your cat enough in situations like this is tricky business. You want to avoid the hungry meows so that means that you want it to get a good amount in it.

But as we all know, our cats sometimes like to eat just a bit too much. That combined with regular road issues, bends, potholes, bumps can lead to your cat emptying its stomach all over the RV.

This is not a thing that will brighten your trip in any sense. Not only will you be worried if this is a serious problem, but you will also get a nose full of the funky smells this will produce.

So what you want to do is feed your cat an amount of food that will help you avoid these kinds of problems.

If you are not sure about the quantity, follow how much food does your cat eats during regular feedings, write it down and you can use that information when the time comes for you to get the trip going.

Also, you might want to combine feeding with your longer breaks, because this will give your cat enough time to process its food and not have a problem during the time on the road.

10. Frequent pit stops during the trip

Let’s be real here, the only person who actually knows the itinerary is the driver of the RV. What we mean by this is, no other person, or in this case, the cat knows when a stop will be made.

When the driver takes a turn and brings the RV to a complete stop, it is break time. You have to make sure that time overlaps with your cat’s break time.

So what is really important is to kind of know what your cat needs and when it needs it.

If back at home you feed it and a certain time after that it has to do its business in the litter box, basic math will suggest that it will want to visit the litter box after the same period even when on the road.

So try to plan out your trip accordingly.

You might find out that it was a good idea to plan frequent pit stops in between the camping spots for a completely different reason or reasons.

Your cat might simply feel better after a short leg stretching session during those stops. After which it can go back to lazy meowing from its favorite spot.

11. Windows are opened just in case your cat’s carrier or cage is closed!

Safety first! We don’t even want to think about the worst things.

But you need to be sure that your cat is free to move around the RV without any possible issues.

And one of the important reminders that you need for a safe trip is that the windows can’t be open at the same time when my cat is outside the carrier!

We know that cats are firmly engaged to their owners, but no one wants to risk the possibility of jumping out.

Even our cats can see us in the same vehicle where they are. It is almost definitely that they won’t have any doubts to check what’s going outside your RV.

Our advice is to feed a cat always outside its carrier, but only when you just moving on. You’ll need to put the cat back in its carrier for a few seconds.

These few seconds will be enough to check your windows and doors.

When you are sure doors and windows are closed, you can now unlock the cat’s carrier or cage.

12. Those appliances there could be warm!

We usually like to watch our cats playing with things we are using every day. But when traveling in RV, that easily can become really dangerous.

Some appliances we used can stay hot even several minutes after preparing drinks or food.

And the last thing we want to see is our cat running or jumping over there. They can hurt their feet in such situations!

Your cat can damage its health in the worst manner if you leave it to spend its time next to appliances.

Teach your cat that it can’t find anything fun or nice there!

13. Some verbal and nonverbal commands can be very helpful

Whether you are traveling in an RV or not, it would very good for you to teach your cat some useful commands.

We know that this kind of training is sometimes very hard and can last long.

But your cat surely can learn what NO, STOP, COME HERE and some other shorter commands mean.

For nonverbal commands, you can use some signs with your arms and your facial expressions.

That can be really helpful when you want to calm your cat down or tell it something important.

These commands can save your cat’s life sometimes. But surely you can use them whenever you want – no matter if are you traveling with it or not.

14. Always have a few of your cat’s favorite treats near you

Imagine the situation when your cat gets nervous and your next pit stop isn’t so easy to reach.

Simply, you haven’t enough time to stop your RV and see what’s going on. But you need to have some special treats your cat adores.

And that can save you a lot of time. Just give it something it can’t resist and you’ve bought extra time for yourself.

These treats aren’t just stress-killers! You can give your cat an award for good behavior or anything else positive during the journey.

Treats also can help it understand better what’s appropriate and what things aren’t good enough.

Issues you could face while traveling with cats in an RV

Although we like some new unexpected travels, our cats aren’t so satisfied because of those moments.

As almost always, our cats need to be prepared for longer journeys, and the fact that they should be on the road for weeks or even months while traveling in RV can be very stressful.

Especially if your cats are used to their garden or yard. But rest your worries, because an RV is much better and more comfortable than any other type of vehicle.

Lack of fresh air

While traveling with a cat in an RV, you need to be ready for extra patience.

We are good when everything’s going well and by our plan, but there are some situations when we must be careful.

If you like to open your windows and drive through nature or cities, then you need to secure your cat’s carrier properly. But who likes to keep a cat inside the carrier for a whole time?

Well, then we need to close all of our windows in the RV and turn on the air condition. And suddenly, we are out of fresh air!

That can cause numerous health issues, as our cats simply need a constant flow of fresh air.

Our cats are always around house appliances

It is great if your RV has enough space for a lot of helpful appliances, but it can turn your trip into a nightmare if your cat is always near these things.

Cats shouldn’t be so free to jump around your RV as they would be in your living room or bedroom.

They can make big trouble and those are the situations we definitely don’t need while traveling.

If your cat is always next to these things, it could cause some serious bodily harm, or, even worse, they can lose their lives.

So, you need to secure your appliances in the best possible way. Or try to teach it not to jump around appliances and not to do those meow things where it is not allowed.

Cats aren’t satisfied with their position in RV

As always, you can’t just put your cat’s carrier or cage anywhere in the RV and drive around.

Be sure that the position of its carrier is among the most important things when traveling with a cat in RV.

Potentially bad positioning can cause many troubles, and they are usually loud and a bit crazy.

So, keep in mind that your cat needs a nice and visible carrier placement from where it can see everything it wants to see.

Our cats aren’t made to look at your RV’s bed or bathroom doors. Furthermore, don’t even think about the trailer!

This certainly isn’t the position they want to spend their time while traveling in RV. The only worse position than this one could be under the driver’s legs.

And keep your cat engaged with other passengers, they are the creatures who like people’s attention constantly.

Your cat gets car sickness and often throws up

While traveling with a cat in an RV, you need to take care of your cat at the same level as you would in normal travel conditions.

Vomiting is almost always caused by overfeeding.  It can also happen if your cat has a sensitive stomach, in that case, we suggest Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Probiotic Gastrointestinal Support Cat Supplement.

You should be careful while feeding your cat on the road and before your trip starts.

It would be great if your cat doesn’t eat anything three or four hours before you hit the road. Or at least, don’t feed it with something extremely caloric then.

While you are on the road for some time, for example, three or four weeks, it would be crazy to feed your cat and then to wait for a few hours to continue your journey.

It is normal to feed it while your RV is moving.

But even then, it would be great if you have enough time to make some pit stops or some shorter pauses. That’s the ideal time for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Some of you have much calmer cats who are used to travels and these cats are ok with food intake even while your RV is moving.

That’s great, but many cat owners don’t have that luck!

So if you have a very interactive journey in front of you, try to teach your cat to eat while everything’s moving, or simply, make shorter stops for less caloric food intake.

The other problem that causes vomiting is stress. Stress can be caused by many different factors, but the main one is because of uncomfortable surroundings.

Try to ensure a comfortable blanket, carrier or cage for your cat while traveling in RV.

Unusual behavior

Your cat is an old traveler but you see for the first time that it feels unsettled while traveling in RV. That can be a sign that you need to change something around it.

Check its favorite accessories and toys, maybe you forgot something at home!

If everything’s there, then probably you need to put its carrier somewhere else or just to offer it a breath of fresh air, a sip of fresh water or some of its favorite treats.

It would be great to check its overall health if you are sure that your journey will last a bit longer. And always listen to the vet.

Sometimes, a trip with a cat in the RV simply isn’t a good idea.

Sometimes cats can be more aggressive than usual and that means that something has changed in your RV since its last journey.

Did you know?

Cats can easily detect different colors in our vehicle or some other changes we’ve made.

So don’t forget to introduce your cat to the new interior before the road trip starts!


There are a few basic things you need to know about and take care of them before heading out on the open road with your cat in the RV.

There will be no weird meows from your cat if you let it know that the RV is a safe place and that it can do all the things it needs to do in there.

Provide it with a place for napping, some tasty food and occasional treats, a place for its litter box and a spot where it will see a familiar face, you.

Take care of these things and you are free to go wherever your heart and feet desire with your furry buddy right there by your side.

You asked yourself how in the world you could do so that you will make your cat comfortable and bring it along on your trip.

You asked, we answered. We hope we helped.

Have you had any experience with traveling in an RV with your cat?

Did you already check some boxes from the list we wrote?

If you did, tell us what your experiences were and how was that trip with your cat?

We’d love to hear the stories from your trip, or if you have some comments or suggestions!


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