We discovered purely by accident that taking the cat in the caravan was feasible. We were badly let down by our cattery for one of our trips last year, so we decided to take him with us. After all we were not away for long nor were we far away from home. We applied some common sense prior to us setting off and now we don’t hesitate in taking Smudge with us.
Unlike most dogs, cats can be easily scared and can often suffer from anxiety, they don’t like change. So, with that in mind there are a few tips to make the cat feel at home in the caravan.
The worst thing a cat will endure when touring is the journey. Up to this point our cat had only been in the car in a carry box to and from the vets, so, getting him familiar and relaxed with the car was our very first step.
We sat in the car with him on our drive, with the engine off and no radio, allowing him to roam free and sniff out the interior. At first, he was timid but after a couple of hours he wondered around and was curious of his surroundings before settling down to sleep.
A few more attempts at this and soon he was quite relaxed to be in the car. The next step was to take short journeys and again make him feel relaxed. After just 3 days from no interaction to being driven to the park and back, he was fine. He didn’t go in the travel crate, instead he was tied into the seatbelt and sat securely on Chloe’s lap, where he rests and sleeps throughout all our car journeys.
Once he was happy in the car, the next obvious step was getting him familiar with the caravan. For us, that meant a few hours in the caravan whilst in storage. We had items that our cat likes including a blanket he loves to sleep on and a few toys he enjoys that have his scent on them. After a couple of hours, in the caravan again he was quite at home, finding “his” spot in the caravan and letting him do his thing.
In total it took 3 days and 6 trips in the car, two 3-hour sessions in the caravan for him to be completely happy in the surroundings. Smudge was a rescue kitten when we took him in. He had a traumatic start in life and we must reassure him, comfort him in everything he does. As such, he doesn’t like outdoors, he hates wide open spaces but enjoys looking out at them from behind a window.