Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Cats: To Take Camping or Not to Take

Julee Meltzer

I have had a lot of questions over the years about whether or not to let a cat out? Whether or not to take a cat camping? How to take a cat in an RV? What if my cat gets out? Should a cat even go camping?
You get the picture; people are very unsure about taking their cats with them while traveling and camping.
Obviously the camping vs. a pet sitter at home question is a contentious one.
I can really answer this with a few words:

1) It depends upon the cat
2) Use common sense

But, my job is to write an article, so I will elaborate.....

1) It Depends on the Cat
There are mellow cats and there are high-strung cats. For example,

High-Strung should be indoor type of cats:

Calliope: I had five cats once in a very large house with tall ceilings. I adopted a full grown cat and brought him into the house. When my long-haired Siamese saw him for the first time, she literally raced up the 11 foot walls and hit the ceiling several times while yowling very loudly. Get the picture; she didn't really care for the new guy on the block. And she was going to let me know in no uncertain terms.
Sadie: And, then there was the small Maine Coon cat that my husband thought would be funny to put a kitty mask on and come up behind the chair she was sleeping in. ...The scars on his face eventually went away.

Mellow, should be outside kind of cats

Pickles: On the opposite side of the spectrum was my all time favorite cat, Pickles. He was a stray who was all black with short legs and a rather round physique. He was the mayor of everywhere he went. He went up to people, shook hands, and asked if they wanted a drink! Meanwhile, he thought he was one handsome dude! And, it was his duty to share himself with the world.
Pickles lived until he was 18. He walked away one morning during a snowfall at a campground in Freeport, Maine and never came back. As he left, he turned around and winked.

Cats who surprise you type of cats

The Boys (Tommy and Vishnu): Tommy and Vishnu were two high strung big babies --show quality Siamese cat brothers. The first time I ever let them outside, they found a bee nest and got stung on their faces, which was the end of that for quite a while. They yelled at me all the time and spent much of their lives in front of a woodstove. When we lived in Arizona, they used to lie out on our patio at 120 degrees...thinking to themselves, "Isn't life grand?" They just couldn't get hot enough and they didn't want to bother with the great outdoors.
Well, that is until we moved into the country and they spent most of their days outside being great white go figure, they were mysteries wrapped in enigmas.

The point is that there are some cats that are just too high strung to trust outside. If you take them traveling and they get loose, you will probably lose them.
There are other cats who take everything in stride. They will go out for a while, but they will always come back.

2) Use common sense
It should go without saying, but always be careful and use common sense. Don't let your cat out at a highway RV park. Don't let a male cat out at an RV park, if he is the type to mark tires. Do be aware of the environment; find out if coyotes and other predators are nearby. I will never forget the people in Arizona who would leave their cat outside on a leash...appetizer on a string for coyotes. And, the car wouldn't be able to get away.
Let you cat out for very short periods of time WHILE YOU ARE OUTSIDE WITH THEM. Use food to get them back in. And, also start to get them used to calling for them to some home. They will start to respond after a while.
We just open our RV door and yell "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty" in a really loud, high-pitched voice. They almost always come running!
Please email me at : with any questions or comments.

Best of Luck!