Taking my cat away travelling - what do you think?

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • My 18 month old cat has settled down enough now - I hope - to come travelling with me. Experience will tell, but I'm wondering how other people get on having their little feline friends travelling alongside them. Young Nobby is a bit noisy when he's travelling, and spends a fair bit of time shouting at me on the short trips he's been on to the vets or his sitter. If my fingers are through the bars of his carrier so he can be in physical contact he's ok though, and stays quiet. Does this mean it would be too traumatic for him to spend months away? Whilst dogs all seem to love the nomadic life I'd really like to hear what others feel about nomadic cats. I'm very scared of him buggering off on a loo break and not returning, and there's the obvious terror of him and the traffic - I'd have to be fanatically careful about that. In the house he spends most of his time on my lap or sat right by me as I work on the computer, so our little two person pride rarely separates. What do you think about him coming travelling, and do you have a cat co-traveller?

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • No personal experience of this,but I do see a lot of people in their campers with their cats,in fact on some aire de camping cars,sometimes the cats out number the dogs.
    He may have a moan for a while until he gets used to it,but then will adapt I would imagine.


    My four legged fella is a great travel companion,though he was not sure of it to begin with.


    I would advice you to give it a go,just give him an extra bit of love to help him deal with the change.

  • No personal experience of this,but I do see a lot of people in their campers with their cats,in fact on some aire de camping cars,sometimes the cats out number the dogs.
    He may have a moan for a while until he gets used to it,but then will adapt I would imagine.


    My four legged fella is a great travel companion,though he was not sure of it to begin with.


    I would advice you to give it a go,just give him an extra bit of love to help him deal with the change.


    Thank you Fly, that's very reassuring. Bloody separation anxiety is horrible! Also, sometimes our animals are the only sane people we converse with for days.
    I'd do anything for this cat, which probably seems ludicrous unless a person's an animal lover. The French are particularly potty about their pets, aren't they, which I think shows what a very advanced culture they have - am I right in saying 'tu' applies to those close to us or any child or pet? Wonderful people.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Bogwoppit brought her gorgeous cat to Dovedale in her horsebox this year. I think you will know your cat enough to read the signs of stress if it shows any. If so you can always return it. I would recommend good insurance, I think some insurance policies provide funding to help with advertisements if ever lost . I was once booked in at Santa pod raceway on a Bug bash weekend. I arrived with the my bus towing a trailer full of stock. Me, my kid and missus along with our little lurcher. I got to the gates and it said NO pets. I had no choice but to smuggle the dog past security. They put the stalls along the side of the race track. Our poor, but diamond of a dog, just laid quietly on the bed in the bus all weekend (not a murmur out of her) only sneaking her outside for a pee after dark. They sent the jet car screaming down the track once a day, only yards behind our bus, even this didn't vex her.

  • I would be very careful about this, obviously I dont know your cat , but changing their enviroment can be very stressful, it is normally recommended you keep your cat in for a week or so when you move house for the creature to acclimatise to a new enviroment, and then introduce it to outside carefuly.
    We travelled with a couple who had just gone on the road who had a cat, they were extremly distressed when the cat ran off and dissapeared as we were getting evicted. They never saw the cat again , and they had had it for several years. I would be very cautious,

  • Thanks Steve :) Yes, we take our Bengal out with us quite often in the van or the lorry, and we intend to take him with us when we go full time early next year. To be fair, a Bengal is more like a dog than a cat - he walks on a lead, follows me around the house, will sit on command etc - but we have another 'just' moggie who lives with us who also loves travelling. We're thinking about taking him too (he's not technically ours, next door left him when they moved and he lives with about three different households now) but he's getting on a bit and I'm not sure he would like living so closely with the dog and the other cat.


    Advice... get your cat walking on a harness and lead asap. Take him out on fun trips once he can do that - to the park or woods where he can have a good walk. Always always give him a treat or feed him when he gets back in the vehicle. If you can, get him to come to the vehicle to be fed before you go away in it. Start the engine as you feed him, then gradually begin to start the engine as a sign that food is on its way. That will get him used to coming back when he hears the engine start once you do feel confident enough to let him out on his own. Make sure he has a safe, enclosed place in the vehicle that he can go to when he feels unsure. Our boy is happiest, once he's explored, in his box or curled up in some blankets.


    It can be done, but it does take longer than with a dog, and you must be very consistent with your training.


    Good luck! :hippy:

  • I have a friend who takes her cat with her, the cats fine travelling but the cat remains a house cat, she doesn't let him just wander off from her van.

  • I would be very careful about this, obviously I dont know your cat , but changing their enviroment can be very stressful, it is normally recommended you keep your cat in for a week or so when you move house for the creature to acclimatise to a new enviroment, and then introduce it to outside carefuly.
    We travelled with a couple who had just gone on the road who had a cat, they were extremly distressed when the cat ran off and dissapeared as we were getting evicted. They never saw the cat again , and they had had it for several years. I would be very cautious,


    I would think there is a very real chance of him wandering off... I have always kept cats in for at least 2 weeks when moving and even then when you let them out its a gamble....

  • I think it very much depends on the cats personality am sure some would love that lifestyle while it would turn others into nervous wrecks. Most cats will cry when you put them into small cat carriers so maybe you could try a bigger cage for him that has room for his litter tray and food and encourage him to see this as a safe/comfy area. Once he gets used to it then maybe you could take him for short drives in the van in it? I wouldn`t even consider letting him outside the van though until you`ve done lots of trips and until he see`s the place as home.


    I was dreading bringing my cats over here as it was a 12 hour journey and they cry non stop in cat carriers but they were totally chilled in the big cages. I puts loads of soft bedding in and draped a blanket over the top and they just sat and watched the world go by without even a meow.


    I reckon it`s definitely worth trying though as he`ll probably be much happier going on holiday with you than going into a cattery :)

  • we have had cats that the only way they would travel quietly was to be allowed to roam the car, in fact when one of our cats was so ill she could barely move, in the car on that final trip to the vets she climbed out of the basket and came and sat on my lap all the way there as I was driving, when we got to the vets she barely had the energy left to lift her head, I am certain she knew what was happening and made that one last effort. Yes I would do anything, suffer anything for any of our cats (down to 6 now, we lost both daughter and mother in 2 weeks not so long back, but with that comes the responsibility to do the right thing at the end). try them on short trips first, get them trained to a lead (small dog harnesses are best as they go round the neck and the tummy, and are not so easy for the cat to get out of, plus then the lead doesnt pull on their neck) all our cats only go in the back garden on leads as there is a very busy main road not far away, often we will clip 3 leads together (ever seen 3 cats that can agree which way they all want to go?).
    Grendel

  • We live in our caravan with our cat. We had two but my gorgeous baby got hit by a speeding car after being int he same place for over a month. :-(


    We have been in the van since August and moved six times. They are very attached to us so they have always come back. Revel got a bit lost when we first mood into the van. We were only in the spot for a week and he went into the woods. Luckily Charlie led me to him and when I got close enoughg and he heard my calls he me owed pitifully at me. He didn't go that far since then!


    Charlie our remaining cat sees us packing up and waits on top of the car. He travels in the middle seat sleeping between the kids. He is much happier without a cage.


    It very much depends on the cat. :-)

  • Hi, I travelled on my boat and my cat went out after we moored up. I was worried so got her a tracker for her. A devise was on her collar and I pressed a button on a hand held devise and it beeped more loudly the closer she was.

  • Oh my word it's so wonderful to know you've all got the same obsession as I have with the little scallywags. All your advice is so gratefully received and I keep reading through to get a clearer picture. The idea of the cat lead is an absolute gem Grendel, and even if the little person doesn't appreciate it it's got to be better than the alternative or the worry.
    I've been trained by Nobby to respond to treats, that is if I want to see him and he's busy elsewhere I shake a Dreamies or Goodies packet and he appears if he is within earshot, and not too busy. People do look a bit askance when they see me wandering around shaking a packet and shouting "Nobby, treats!", but I think a lot of people understand. I hate that tv commercial 'Gary's cat is missing...' and would like to inflict the same distress on the person who thought it up as they've inflicted on those with missing cats so they understand and empathise, even though I suppose it does end happily!
    Agatha where did you get the tracker device? I've seen the little box of tricks that you remove from the collar when the cat gets home and then connect it to your pc to reveal a map of where their travels have taken them, but your gadget sounds much better because it's a 'real time' thing, which would be especially helpful if your cat was stuck in a shed or whatever. I used to wonder where Nobby went every day for hours at a time until my neighbour told me that he visits her cat Pixie who is agoraphobic, and stays by their boiler sharing treats. I would have had more hair today if I'd known sooner where he was. Bloody kids!
    Once again thank you everyone

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Great picture Mouse nose! Mind is boggling as to how you got your pseudonym and wondering if it's to do with your nose getting mistakenly 'caught' and mauled!

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Somebody told me Ma that cats get to know 'their own road' is dangerous, but that any other road is just terrain to be explored. They don't associate tarmac with danger. So I do feel very concerned about this.
    I have Nobby microchipped and a collar tag with my mobile number etc on it. Plus the Dreamies 'Treats' thing described below, but you are right, it's really worrying.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • I think he's going to be staying indoors venusinfur after what I've read here. I used to have a young cat called Stubby who would come travelling and he'd stay out all night and come back in the morning. That was on campsites well away from traffic though. As you say, it's a very uncomfortable gamble.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • one of our cats (the eldest at 22) will sit by the open door and wait for the lead to be put on, the harnesses are good as they dont have to be too tight to still be escape proof, now when we go get the harnesses there is a rush to the back door to have them put on.
    Grendel

  • We parked up on a farm for a couple of months before we set off travelling, Our 10 yr old cat Skirmish settled in fine but after 3 weeks he legged it and we never found him, it was heart breaking.
    On a more positive note I read a book by some bloke who has a barge that he travels around on for a few weeks at a time and he takes his cat with him, he lets it out at night and it usually came back the next day, he did lose it a few times tho, lol so maybe its not that positive...

  • My 19 year old cat has travelled many many miles with me and has been travelling since she was a kitten. The queens travel better than the boys. She was (until she became deaf) trained to come to the rattle of biscuit tin. When necessary I use a ferret harness, if we need to have a pee stop some where not safe, but she also has a cat tray in the van for long journeys along with a lockable catflap in the door.
    I have always had travelling cats. At the end of a journey they get pilchards.

    "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well" Mother Julian of Norwich

  • can't remember if this advice was given to me here or elsewhere (on the road), but this was the advice i got given.
    feed the cat with the engine running so the cat associates the engine noise with food (to encourage them back when you need to leave).
    feed them at regular times of the day and be regimented about it, was told this works and they return at fixed times of the day

  • A traveler some years ago, trained his cat to come when the engine started. The cat learned this very quickly. He would come to the sound of any of the vehicle engines eventually. One day the traveler jumped in his motorcar to pop off to get some cans of beer. Not thinking about much but the beer. He put the car in reverse and the cat was under the back wheel. It didn't end well.