RVing full-time with cats

Having a cat, willing to travel. You could live full-time in an RV with your cats. Our interviewees are taking their kitties on a wonderful adventure.

Do you dream of living a nomadic lifestyle that will take you to new places and provide you with new experiences every day? With an RV, you can join the many people who already live on the road full-time.

What if you have cats? Is it possible to take them with you? Life Among Pines caught our eye on Instagram, and we couldn’t resist talking with them about what it’s like to live in an RV with cats and dogs.

Can you tell our readers a little bit about your pets?

Sam Binger: I travel full-time with five pets, two cats and three dogs. Anna and Elsa are 4-year-old littermates. Elsa is a gray and white cat, and Anna is a calico.

Why did you decide to live on the road full-time?

The prospect of full-time travel motivated us to live on the road. While we were on the move, we could live in a comfortable RV with our pets.

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In college, we were interested in living out of backpacks and being fully nomadic. Eventually, we realized that this would have been stressful for our pets and difficult to travel internationally with them as well.

As a result, we came up with the idea of traveling via RV, where we’d live together in a tiny home, while maintaining our constant travel lifestyle. Everywhere we go, we have all of our belongings with us.

I consider this to be one of the most comfortable forms of travel. Just over a year and a half ago, we began living full-time in our RV.

How did you transition from full-time RV life to part-time RV life?

As soon as we purchased our motorhome, we took a long trip about six hours away. A few months later, we hit the road full-time. We mostly jumped right in.

What concerns did you have about taking the pets?

Sam Binger: We did quite a bit of research on road life before we began, but we never worried about our pets. We knew all of our pets would be adaptable since they were young. Despite our expectations, the cats were pretty comfortable with the RV within a few days.

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We were only concerned about one of them getting lost and not knowing where to go. While we are extremely careful when outside with the dogs, none of our pets have ever been lost. In case the worst happens, they’re all microchipped and equipped with two forms of ID tags.

How often do your cats go outside?

Sam Binger: The cats live indoors only. They haven’t shown much interest in venturing outside, and seem to prefer spending time indoors. We initially thought they might enjoy venturing outside once in a while.

In order to prevent them from running out, we train them to stay away from the open door. Over time, we’d nudge them away from the door when we were about to open it. From there, they started moving away from the door when we entered and left. We’ve had it easier because they’re not escape artists.

Do you think introducing an older cat to RV travel is a good idea?

The fact that our cats were young when we moved into the RV definitely contributed to their ease of transition. All of our dogs were under 3 years old at the time, and they were only about 2 years old.

Younger animals are said to adapt more easily to RV life, but I think a cat of any age could do it eventually. An older cat may take a bit longer to adapt and become totally comfortable.

The first time your cats went into your RV, was it stressful for them?

Sam Binger: Our cats’ first real experience with the RV was moving in. In order to prepare them, we brought them out to the RV a few times for a couple of hours. There are plenty of places for them to sleep and hang out, as well as easy access to their favorite toys and treats.

We had moved with them from an apartment to a house and driven with them before, so we knew they were generally relaxed. The first time they sat in the rig while driving was the day we pulled out of town. Initially, they were a bit stressed by the moving vehicle, but soon they relaxed completely.

Are your cats ever stressed now?

After about two or three months, the cats had completely settled into a routine after living in the RV for a few weeks. They just accept and realize that the RV is home, and they treat it like any other home we’ve ever had.

When we first started, I did a lot of research on RV cats and mostly found that they were a little stressed in the beginning (as cats are with any change), but they eventually adjusted.

By doing so, they will be able to establish places to go while riding. We travel with our cats in their bed and under the passenger seat. Whenever the engine starts, they immediately go to bed and stay there until we finish driving. While we’re moving, they occasionally get up to use their litter boxes or drink water, but they’re most comfortable staying put.

On the road, how do you keep your cats healthy?

Because our cats are fully indoors, parasites aren’t a concern. The dogs wear flea and tick collars and take heartworm medicine to keep them parasite-free since they go outside quite a bit. Our kitties are kept healthy the same way we would in our own home: with a healthy diet, up-to-date vaccinations, and lots of exercise.

How do you make sure you have enough supplies, food, etc. on hand to keep your cats healthy and happy?

Sam Binger: We travel with about a month’s supply of cat food and litter to ensure we always have enough. We rarely spend more than two weeks in remote areas, and we have yet to run out of pet food. It is definitely helpful to plan ahead.

In the event of an emergency or a need for a vet visit, what are your procedures?

Sam Binger: So far, we haven’t had any emergencies with our pets, and I hope that continues. We usually know where the nearest emergency vet is, just in case. So far, everyone has been healthy and happy during our road trip.

Our pets have Banfield Pet Hospital plans for vet visits. We plan ahead to ensure we’ll be close to a Banfield when our pets require vaccinations, check-ups, or other preventive care.

Do you have any advice for pet parents who are reluctant or scared about taking their cats on vacation or even living on the road full-time in an RV?

Sam Binger: Give it a try! If you’re worried about your cat’s reaction to being in a moving vehicle, you can always kennel them. There’s a good chance they’ve been in a car before.

Only you know what your cat can tolerate, so you know what to avoid. Although some cats may dislike it, I have many friends who travel with their cats and they seem to enjoy it. No matter how short your vacation is, you’ll never know unless you try.

RVs are set up like regular homes, just smaller. It is similar to moving into a new house with your pet when you move into an RV. Initially, they’ll be unsure, but they’ll eventually get it. Anything you do with your pet at your house or apartment can be done with them in an RV. overthink it, and go for a test drive if you’re really unsure.

Is there anything else you would like to add that we haven’t already discussed?

Sam Binger: Both humans and animals can benefit from this lifestyle. As a result, our pets are with us more often than when we worked full-time. Every day, the kitties watch wildlife right outside, and they seem to enjoy seeing new landscapes every day. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding road life with pets on any of our social media channels: @lifeamongpines.

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