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Thread: Camping with Cats?

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Camping with Cats?

    Oh yeah! I went there.

    We have 2 cats, geriatric. Neither loves the car, but I think with Rescue Remedy, thundershirts and good crating we might be OK. We'll ease into it. Any tips?

    The reason I want to look at the possibility of doing this is that one of the ladies needs meds (chronic kidney disease), and they've been switched to a homemade meal which needs to be fed several times a day. I can't see asking a neighbor to pill the queen. She barely tolerates me doing it, and DH thinks if he had to do it that she'd kill him. Yeah, she's a bit of a scrapper. And I can't ask the neighbor to come in several times a day to feed them. Boarding them is a less than attractive option, they're very set in their ways, and very bonded to their family (other than the dog. They can take or leave her, with the preference on leaving her.) they stop eating if they're "displaced".

    We have a travel trailer with AC and a furnace and a generator for no power situations, so climate control shouldn't be too much of an issue. While I know that this isn't a "fun" getaway, perhaps at least we -can- get away for a bit if they can travel...

    Some CKD cats live for many years with their illnesses, I can't see us never doing more than a day trip from now until the end. The kitty slave needs to detox sometimes from home to be a better kitty slave...

    Does anyone do this? Any tips on getting the started? Things to watch out for? I was thinking (DH was groaning and rolling his eyes) that we could do a short trip this long weekend to try it out.

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    Sorry. Other than having some one come in and pet sit/house sit.

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    we used to travel with a fifth wheel behind a truck. my Loki stayed in the fifth wheel. he wasn't happy and only relaxed when we parked. later we got a motor home. better by far. still he wasn't much of a traveler. Good luck.

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    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have not taken my cats camping. We don't camp either. It should work as long as they don't get away from you. You will need a crate large enough for a litterbox. Good luck, I would rather stay home and tend to them. I would not ask a neighbor.
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  5. #5
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    The last time we took -any- vacation was over 2 years ago. The people who took care of the animals didn't see stormi (the queen) the whole time we were gone. They assumed (and it's all I could ask them to do) that things were fine, because the food was disappearing. With her having the kidney issues now, that's not something we can do anymore (not that I was comfortable with it before)

    The only other thing I could come up with is there are vet techs who will sometimes come and check on them, but few of them will want to chase the queen down to pill her twice a day and then try to get her to eat.

    She's been a tough cookie since the day she adopted me. It took her 16 years to finally accept DH.

    The girls would ride up front with us, front seat for kitties, and back for the dog. Trailering them has always scared me. My mom did it with her dog, but I couldn't tell if they were having problems, and that would make me crazy. It's possible I'm too attached too.

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    Senior Member Diannia's Avatar
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    I lived in our 5th wheel for almost 6 months. I have 2 cats. 1 adjusted just fine but the other never did. She would run around all night. I think the air/heat scared her. It was in the floor and whenever it started she'd take off running around and meowing. I didn't try traveling with them...good luck!
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    I had a cat who loved to travel. One time to the vet was all it took to get her hooked. She would get into vehicles and leave without announcing her presence. One time it was a 3 hour drive before she made herself known. Went and got her and then she sneaked in with someone else- and preceded to have her kittens in their camper before we could go and get her. We finally decided that she liked traveling way to much and she went with a friend who had a camper- She is a QUEEN know.
    Traveled with a cat to Alaska- He always tried to escape the vehicle. Crate him before getting out, or we would be playing catch the kitty when we stopped. That one hated to travel.
    Go and see how it goes. Every cat is different.

  8. #8
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    Why don't you try "camping" in the yard. Drive kitties around a little bit so they get to know the feel and then stay close to home in case things go wrong. You can abort the trip if stress gets too much. My DB and DSIL had to live with their old kitty for seven months in an RV. She adjusted OK.
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  9. #9
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenR View Post
    I had a cat who loved to travel. One time to the vet was all it took to get her hooked. She would get into vehicles and leave without announcing her presence. One time it was a 3 hour drive before she made herself known. Went and got her and then she sneaked in with someone else- and preceded to have her kittens in their camper before we could go and get her. We finally decided that she liked traveling way to much and she went with a friend who had a camper- She is a QUEEN know.
    Traveled with a cat to Alaska- He always tried to escape the vehicle. Crate him before getting out, or we would be playing catch the kitty when we stopped. That one hated to travel.
    Go and see how it goes. Every cat is different.
    Ha! Your kitty sounds like so much fun. My first kitty didn't mind the car at all. She loved going for burgers. I'd call her and say "let's go for burgers!!" She come running, tail up in the air, and wait for me to pick her up. I'd carry her to the car, and she'd ride on the console or the cargo cover in the back. I didn't even own a crate for her at the time, she was such a good traveler. Her last recreational ride in the car, she rode on the back deck in the Mustang to McDonalds for a burger. She ate 2/3 of a patty.

    All of our kitties have been strictly indoor kitties, and don't seem to want to go outside, which I think will make this adjustment easier. Less escape attempts. They've never really wanted to see the outdoors.

    Quote Originally Posted by tesspug View Post
    Why don't you try "camping" in the yard. Drive kitties around a little bit so they get to know the feel and then stay close to home in case things go wrong. You can abort the trip if stress gets too much. My DB and DSIL had to live with their old kitty for seven months in an RV. She adjusted OK.
    I was thinking of doing that tonight. See part of the problem I'm trying to escape temporarily is bad neighbors. They like to party most weekends in the summer, and it's always outdoors. Loud music, screaming and yelling until all hours of the morning. We went over the one time to ask them to turn it down, and they threatened DH with physical violence. And after that, the police still took 1 week to even call me back. And no, it's not a bad neighborhood. It was really enjoyable til these people moved in about 3 years ago. I can probably get away with camping in the yard during the week, but weekends are becoming intolerable and this one's a long weekend, which promises to be worse. I will see if I can find somewhere, provided the overnight goes well, that we can go within 45 mins to an hour of home. The one kitty is fine with the truck, because of her vet visits. The other one hasn't been as far as this new vet, only to the one closer, so she's had less adjustment time. I will put them both in the truck when DH gets home and go for a bit of a drive.

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    No help with the cats, but I do have three poodles who stay at home when I go somewhere, very happily, with their "come to my home" sitters. These folks are very good, but I can't remember if I've ever had to have them give meds or do anything radical to mine...but they surely would and they would do very well with it, I'm sure. Is there no one in your area who could do this? If they're professionals, as mine are, they can handle it all and you don't need to worry about it! Good luck!
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    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I would ask your vet! The traveling might just be too much for that kitty! I know that at the vet clinic I worked at (I'm a vet tech) we would often get older and infirmed pets in for boarding. Does your vet offer boarding? If so, if anything untoward happened, your vet would be right there to treat. So much more is involved when you have a geriatric cat who has CKD. Also, cats who are stressed and not at home will often refuse to eat or drink. I'm concerned that if you are out on the road and this happens, your cat may require an IV bolus of fluids. This is really something you need to discuss with your vet, IMHO.
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  12. #12
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diannia View Post
    I lived in our 5th wheel for almost 6 months. I have 2 cats. 1 adjusted just fine but the other never did. She would run around all night. I think the air/heat scared her. It was in the floor and whenever it started she'd take off running around and meowing. I didn't try traveling with them...good luck!
    We tried for about an hour a couple of years ago, and one of our kitties did the same thing. I was thinking that armed with the rescue remedy and the thundershirts we may have a different result this time though.

  13. #13
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I used to travel all the time with two cats but they started when they were kittens so it was part of their routine. If your little ones aren't used to traveling, you may be in for a difficult time. It will also take some time for adjustment after you get to your camp site.

    My biggest concern is always "what if"? they get loose. Take extra precautions to make them as safe as possible and one important thing is if you are going to put them on a leash at any time they would be safer in harnesses rather than collars. Make the best of it and enjoy that you are doing your best for them. Keep calm and double check everything.
    peace
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    We had an umbrella crested cockatoo that we could not find anyone that was not afraid of her. (Which was funny because she was very friendly and she was your friend for life if you shared your banana or grapes with her.) So we finally had to board her with the vet. When she came home she would make whining dog cries when she wanted to wake us up or if I was on the phone.

  15. #15
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momto5 View Post
    No help with the cats, but I do have three poodles who stay at home when I go somewhere, very happily, with their "come to my home" sitters. These folks are very good, but I can't remember if I've ever had to have them give meds or do anything radical to mine...but they surely would and they would do very well with it, I'm sure. Is there no one in your area who could do this? If they're professionals, as mine are, they can handle it all and you don't need to worry about it! Good luck!
    The only one I know of formerly worked at the local (terrible) vet and she was fairly flighty even when just handling our billing. I'm not sure I'm that comfortable with her.

    Quote Originally Posted by auntpiggylpn View Post
    I would ask your vet! The traveling might just be too much for that kitty! I know that at the vet clinic I worked at (I'm a vet tech) we would often get older and infirmed pets in for boarding. Does your vet offer boarding? If so, if anything untoward happened, your vet would be right there to treat. So much more is involved when you have a geriatric cat who has CKD. Also, cats who are stressed and not at home will often refuse to eat or drink. I'm concerned that if you are out on the road and this happens, your cat may require an IV bolus of fluids. This is really something you need to discuss with your vet, IMHO.
    I completely agree. You're right, I should have discussed this with her. I will call or email. My vet (the holistic vet in Edmonton) doesn't offer boarding, unfortunately, because I feel like they might be the only vet that I have used in the last 20 years who could pill stormi. The one in town here is very poor lately, and I can't see boarding with them. They have dogs and cats in the same area in the boarding area, and stormi's dog intolerant. They diagnosed stormi as being in end stage kidney failure with a borderline high thyroid then wanted to see her in 6 months. They also used Convenia to treat a bladder infection and use Metacam for pain in cats, despite my request that they not do it with ours. I just barely caught them the one time. The holistic vet has her almost back to normal values, and her t4 has never been out of range, it's in the low part of the range in fact.

  16. #16
    Super Member QuiltingVagabond's Avatar
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    Our kitties like to go with us when we camp - usually I try not to feed them in the hours before we leave to minimize stomach upsets. Both are indoor cats and do not try to escape.

    Your cats sound like they may be more of a challenge with CKD and all, hope you get the respite you deserve.
    QuiltingVagabond aka Kathy

  17. #17
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ube quilting View Post
    I used to travel all the time with two cats but they started when they were kittens so it was part of their routine. If your little ones aren't used to traveling, you may be in for a difficult time. It will also take some time for adjustment after you get to your camp site.

    My biggest concern is always "what if"? they get loose. Take extra precautions to make them as safe as possible and one important thing is if you are going to put them on a leash at any time they would be safer in harnesses rather than collars. Make the best of it and enjoy that you are doing your best for them. Keep calm and double check everything.
    peace
    Actually, that's a good point. These ladies did travel more when they were kittens. I was "young" and moved a lot. They always came in the car with me, and from time to time would come even if we weren't moving. It's been alot of years though since then. We have a harness for one of the girls - she used to wear it all the time, it kept her calmer, but I wouldn't have them outside at a campsite. I don't know what's on the ground for them to ingest.

    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingcandy View Post
    We had an umbrella crested cockatoo that we could not find anyone that was not afraid of her. (Which was funny because she was very friendly and she was your friend for life if you shared your banana or grapes with her.) So we finally had to board her with the vet. When she came home she would make whining dog cries when she wanted to wake us up or if I was on the phone.
    LOL! I guess that's a problem you face with a pet who can mimic sounds! I have a friend with birds, he tells me the oddest stories.

  18. #18
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    The only one I know of formerly worked at the local (terrible) vet and she was fairly flighty even when just handling our billing. I'm not sure I'm that comfortable with her.



    I completely agree. You're right, I should have discussed this with her. I will call or email. My vet (the holistic vet in Edmonton) doesn't offer boarding, unfortunately, because I feel like they might be the only vet that I have used in the last 20 years who could pill stormi. The one in town here is very poor lately, and I can't see boarding with them. They have dogs and cats in the same area in the boarding area, and stormi's dog intolerant. They diagnosed stormi as being in end stage kidney failure with a borderline high thyroid then wanted to see her in 6 months. They also used Convenia to treat a bladder infection and use Metacam for pain in cats, despite my request that they not do it with ours. I just barely caught them the one time. The holistic vet has her almost back to normal values, and her t4 has never been out of range, it's in the low part of the range in fact.

    Even if your vet doesn't do boarding, he/she might have a suggestion of a pet sitter or a boarding facility that can ake proper care of your baby. We actually changed our kennel because we had a geriatric dog who was to the stage of having BM accidents. When we would pick her up from the old kennel, the feces would be dried all over her and the OWNER of the kennel would tell us "It just happened". We found a wonderful kennel and they actually bathed our old lady everyday she was there and only charged us an additional $10! We even boarded our newest dog that we got from rescue who was undergoing the injections for treatment of heart worm. This kennel has been in business for over 25 years and we never worry about our animals when we leave them there. Wish you lived here because they certainly would take the best care of your baby!
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    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    We have been camping with cats for about 14 years now. I only have one now but we did have 2 at one time. We carry our cats out to the camper and let them find their own hiding place. We have horror stories of when Penny cat would hide under the slides in the bedroom (DH had to pull the floor up to get her until he finally fixed that). Now we have a young male cat and he struts around the camper till he finds his spot and then we lock the doors and drive off. We usually camp about 3 months each winter down south and then take numerous camping trips including a 3-4 week trip somewhere in September. I do not drug my cats in any way and they have never given me a problem. We put them in that camper each season and they always do really well. Our old cat stayed in a nice kennel by the window on the bed and would look out the window as we traveled, sure got lots of waves from travelers about that. But Shadow, our male, refuses any type of kennel and just likes to rest on the floor. We also travel with 3 dogs in the back seat of the truck and at one time carried 3 parakeets with us. If I am going camping, the pets have to come with us, we have no-one to help us with them. Good Luck.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ginaky's Avatar
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    My cat is diabetic and requires insulin shots twice a day. We used to tent camp but bought an RV so we can take him with us when we go. He does fine--he loves laying in the window watching out when we are parked. When we are driving, he sleeps on one of the beds, we have to wake him up when we get home. Before he became diabetic we would leave him home and my sister would check on him, but he would get so lonesome. Now that he is diabetic, we don't want to stress him by leaving him for several days, so he goes with us. I think every cat is unique, though, and will handle it differently. Thankfully he does ok! Good luck with yours.
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    Two of the cats that lived with us had overactive thyroids and were given medication twice a day. I put half a pill in half a feline "pill pocket" followed by a few Temptations treats. I would just put the med and treats on the floor and cats would vacuum them up.

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    The brand name for the pill pockets is "Greenies"

  23. #23
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntpiggylpn View Post
    Even if your vet doesn't do boarding, he/she might have a suggestion of a pet sitter or a boarding facility that can ake proper care of your baby. We actually changed our kennel because we had a geriatric dog who was to the stage of having BM accidents. When we would pick her up from the old kennel, the feces would be dried all over her and the OWNER of the kennel would tell us "It just happened". We found a wonderful kennel and they actually bathed our old lady everyday she was there and only charged us an additional $10! We even boarded our newest dog that we got from rescue who was undergoing the injections for treatment of heart worm. This kennel has been in business for over 25 years and we never worry about our animals when we leave them there. Wish you lived here because they certainly would take the best care of your baby!
    How horrible!! Why take a pet if you aren't prepared to take care of them. She must have been miserable. I will definitely ask if the vet says no. I have an email in to them now, hopefully I'll hear from them soon.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wanabee Quiltin View Post
    We have been camping with cats for about 14 years now. I only have one now but we did have 2 at one time. We carry our cats out to the camper and let them find their own hiding place. We have horror stories of when Penny cat would hide under the slides in the bedroom (DH had to pull the floor up to get her until he finally fixed that). Now we have a young male cat and he struts around the camper till he finds his spot and then we lock the doors and drive off. We usually camp about 3 months each winter down south and then take numerous camping trips including a 3-4 week trip somewhere in September. I do not drug my cats in any way and they have never given me a problem. We put them in that camper each season and they always do really well. Our old cat stayed in a nice kennel by the window on the bed and would look out the window as we traveled, sure got lots of waves from travelers about that. But Shadow, our male, refuses any type of kennel and just likes to rest on the floor. We also travel with 3 dogs in the back seat of the truck and at one time carried 3 parakeets with us. If I am going camping, the pets have to come with us, we have no-one to help us with them. Good Luck.
    We're in exactly the same situation. No one to help us, and I don't think I'd want to try to burden a friend or neighbor anyway with a special needs type of cat. If they were just in need of food, water and a warm bed, it might be OK for a weekend for us, but our vacation a few years ago made me so nervous. We have such a great neighbor, the one time she looked after them, she made sure she visually spotted stormi each night and emailed me to tell me that she had. A lot has changed since then though, and it would be unkind to everyone to try to ask her to pill an unwilling cat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginaky View Post
    My cat is diabetic and requires insulin shots twice a day. We used to tent camp but bought an RV so we can take him with us when we go. He does fine--he loves laying in the window watching out when we are parked. When we are driving, he sleeps on one of the beds, we have to wake him up when we get home. Before he became diabetic we would leave him home and my sister would check on him, but he would get so lonesome. Now that he is diabetic, we don't want to stress him by leaving him for several days, so he goes with us. I think every cat is unique, though, and will handle it differently. Thankfully he does ok! Good luck with yours.
    Somehow I knew that the people here wouldn't think I was a complete nutter for wanting to do this. We had the trailer already, for the bikes and such, but I find as I'm slowing down some, I see other uses for that big back area I'm reasonably sure they would do fine with the trailer when it's stationary, and might get used to the truck while moving. A trailer is so bumpy when it's moving (I rode in the back for a couple of miles once to see what it was like for the animals), I'm surprised that animals will sleep in the trailers.

    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Two of the cats that lived with us had overactive thyroids and were given medication twice a day. I put half a pill in half a feline "pill pocket" followed by a few Temptations treats. I would just put the med and treats on the floor and cats would vacuum them up.
    OK, I laughed out loud when I read this. One of the kitties thought I was nuts. I've seen them in the stores and often wondered if they worked. Kitty Crack, eh?

  24. #24
    Senior Member willis.debra's Avatar
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    The only thing I can think of is to ask the vet if there is a kitty Dramamine. Our dog had to have Dramamine to go on a car ride to the vet or he vomited everywhere. The vet said to give him half a Dramamine. It worked and he eventually got over it.

    Good luck.

  25. #25
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Oh, you are going through a rough spot. We had to decide whether to put our two 18 year old cats to sleep or move them 3200 miles with us. Both had health issues/ We just couldn't euthanize our companions. It was a rough trip even with the "relaxing drops" the vet gave us. I wish you well and hope you find a good solution for you and your fur babies.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

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