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Getting a cat on the road...
I tried to get this answered elsewhere and got nowhere. I'm going to want to get a cat once I'm in my van. Where I'm staying beforehand will not allow cats, so that is out of the question.

Has anyone done this and can you tell me what you did?

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Not That it's much help but my current place doesnt allow pets...and I have 5 cats.
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I had a dog and a cat in my van for seven months.  I trained Trilby to a leash, had a litter box, no problems.  But I can tell you right now, that if you think you're going to teach your kit to a leash all in one jump, you're dead wrong.  You'll see people on YouTube dragging their cat.  STUPID.  Get one of those wrap-around harnesses, gradually get her used to that.  Clip a leash to it, and let her drag it around.  Pick up the leash and FOLLOW her around, w/no tension on the leash.  Gradually get her to walk with you with slight tugs.  Patience is the name of the game.  I seriously doubt if the there is a harness that a cat can't get out of, if she's panicked enough.  DO NOT EVER let it get to that point.

Do the same with riding in the van:  Baby Steps.  See that she's comfortable with each step before moving on with the next.  Put her in the van, with the van just sitting there.  Feed her in it.  Read a book in it and let her explore it.  Later, turn the van on and just let it idle with her in it.  When she acts normal with that, drive around the block and then stop it.  Be sure YOU act normal, and don't 'poor baby' her into thinking something is wrong.

A folding wire dog crate is good, one like this:   My crate is 36" long, and folds to 36x24x6".  Don't get one with wheels, as they take up a lot of unnecessary space.

A larger crate will hold a litter box, a bed and water (they usually come with a floor tray).  It will keep you from losing her if you get distracted and leave a window or door open, if you're in an accident, and when you arrive in your new camp and are setting things up.  Use a plastic tote for a litter box, and cut a hole in it HIGH; if you place it low, she will push the cat litter out.  Male cats will sometimes do a half-crouch pee, and go over the edge of a regular litter box.  You sure don't want that!  If you get a kitten, use a smaller tote & cut a lower hole, and replace it with a larger one when she gets more cat-sized.

Get or make van window screens.  You can buy screens that attach with Velcro, but IMO, Velcro and cats don't mix well.  All you need is for some moron to punch the screen as a "prank" (God, I hate that word!) and your cat is gone.

What I did then is what I will be doing again:  getting some cheap, thin wood paneling (used for walls) and making framed screens.  Make a paper or cardboard pattern of the actual window opening, and then cut off one inch all along the bottom.  Inside that pattern, draw the same shape, but 2" smaller all around to make the hole for the screen.  Trace onto the wood (one right, flip the pattern over for the left -- I put the colored side facing outward).  Cut out both edges with a jigsaw.  Draw a line on the inside of each bottom, 1/2" up from the edge, and about 1" in from each side.

Get one 3- or 4-foot strip of 1/4" h-channel aluminum shaped like this:  h (maybe $5); it also comes in a 'capital H', but you don't want that.  A j-channel will do in a pinch, but I think the h gives more support and security.  Most decent hardware stores will have this.  Cut each strip the width of the bottom of the window MINUS about 2".  Use a hot-melt glue gun (low-temp melt won't work) to run a wavy line above your drawn line and set the bottom edge of the strip of aluminum on the line with the open h-channel facing DOWN (the channel will catch on the edge of the glass window) and centering it at the ends.  Press the channel down firmly into the glue and let set until cold.

Get about 3 feet of ALUMINUM window screening (nylon is too weak -- do not use).  Cut it to fit about 1/2" inside the edge of the wood frame, and just above the h-channel strip.  (If you make it the same width as the frame, you will cut your hands on the raw wire every time you use it.)  Using your hot-melt glue gun, run a fairly thick wavy line of glue just above the h-channel, center the wire mesh on and just above it, and press down with popsicle sticks or something similar, adding more hot glue on the top so the glue oozes through the mesh and connects on top for a tight bond.  When cold, apply the glue to the other three sides of the screening.  Then go over the rough metal edges of the screening with your hot glue and popsicle stick, covering the rough edges  of the screen.

To put in place, roll up the window glass about one inch, set the aluminum channel over the edge, hold in place while you gently roll up the window, fitting the top of the wood frame into the upper slot where the glass usually goes.

p.s. I would also have a soft carrier for trips to vet, etc. Soft carriers can be folded and squashed to fit in spaces that rigid carriers can't.
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jacqueg (09-24-2017)
This seems on-topic; if not, I apologize in advance.
When the RTR was officially announced, I accelerated my preparations. While doing that, I think I went a little too fast for my cat. So, I took her into the vet for a check up. After enthusiastically sharing my nomadic predilections, the vet used the rest of the appointment to convince me otherwise (for my cat's sake). Additionally,I read Bob's post about his assessment that 60% of the cats disappear. Of course, I was bummed and started to second-guess my desired course. Consequently, my preparations came to a screeching halt. I would not be able to live with a dire consequence for my cat as a result of following this resurrected whim.
Now my life has become a bit more complicated with cleaning a litter box (she was toilet-trained) and composting the excrements (it was much easier to just flush the toilet). Despite that, I feel better about developing habits that leave a smaller (I think) environmental footprint. Though, nomadic thoughts continue to circulate in my mind.
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Vagabond_Keith (10-21-2017)
Plenty of people live the nomadic van life with pets, cats included. Your biggest concern, after the leash thing, is to know how you are going to handle the environment inside the van when you have to leave. Animals can deal with the cold much better than they can with heat. Cat's can be easier to leave behind than dogs because they use a litter box, but climate controls is going to have to be a serious consideration.
2007 Keystone Springdale
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Vagabond_Keith (10-21-2017), Gardenias (10-19-2017)
I traveled with my cat for a year in a chevy S10. i discovered right away that riding in a moving vehicle made her bowels move. So I would drive 10 miles, let her out of the carrier to use the litter box, clean the litter box and then she was free to roam the cab for the rest of the trip. Somewhere I have photos of her lying on the dash driving down the interstate. she also liked to sit in my lap and watch traffic go by.

I stopped one evening at a truck stop to give her some water and as soon as I opened the passenger door she was loose. A truck coming off the exit ramp used their jake brake and the noise scared her and she froze. I caught her and never had an issue again.

My cat hated traveling. when she was in a pissy mood all i had to do was start moving boxes and she would shut up. A lot has to do with each animals personality in my opinion.
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dawnann7 (03-18-2018), Gardenias (10-19-2017)
If you are just starting out and getting a cat...get a little kitten. They are not set in their ways.
I had two little kittens I adopted from the barn. Bottle feed the first week.
They loved riding in the truck. They thought it was completely normal.

They went to the barn every morning, and came back every night. No issues.

My current kitten has been going for riding with me. She keep moving, so she is always adapting to new situations. I believe she will take to the RV just fine.
"I never saw a sight that didn't look better looking back"

Kat, Smidge the cat, and Honey

1988 Honeywell.  E350 chassis   21'
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Vagabond_Keith (10-21-2017)
Gardenias, lots of people travel with their cats.

Technomadia take Kiki everywhere! She even writes her own section of their blog on occasion... Big Grin 

I wish GotSmart still posted here, Tigger gets insulted if he leaves her behind in the house after having been a road-tripping cat.

Yes, some cats disappear but  I  suspect the % of cats that disappear is no higher for mobile cats than for home based cats. Since any cat owner would be posting here or on facebook or on their blog if they lost their cat permanently, we'd hear about it frequently. An occasional temporary separation for a few adventurous ones but reunited with their owners.

Relax guys I said almost always..there's always the exception!!

Leash train the cat until they won't go out the door without their leash on. Do not leave the cat outside unattended. Develop protocols so that the cat doesn't have the opportunity to jump out at gas stations/rest areas/campsites etc.

As to the vet, just another housebound human finding 'reasons' why others shouldn't be free. If it hadn't been the cat, the vet would have probably found 10 other reasons why you shouldn't do this.
Worry is a misuse of imagination!
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Full-timer again as of November 24, 2015 - 14 glorious years on the road before that!

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dawnann7 (11-24-2017), Gardenias (10-19-2017)
(08-19-2017, 08:28 AM)Vagabond_Keith Wrote: "... I'm going to want to get a cat once I'm in my van. ...

Has anyone done this and can you tell me what you did?"

gramakittycat took four kitties in a minivan.
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The following 2 users say Thank You to Gardenias for this post:
dawnann7 (11-24-2017), Vagabond_Keith (10-21-2017)
in addition to the five products that abnorm shared on this thread,
I added a sixth.
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