Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Is the cat missing? You’ll be shocked at all the places your pet can hide in your RV

Pets usually adapt fairly well to new situations. That is, usually. But then, there are pets that do not. A new RVer (and cat owner) recently took her first RV trip. She brought Kitty along. Evidently, Kitty didn’t feel safe, so she hid. Kitty’s owner looked inside and outside the camper for two days! Desperate, Newbie RVer was about to give up when all at once Kitty made an appearance. Newbie still doesn’t know where Kitty was hiding all that time. She’s just happy to have her back!

As it turns out, many, many pets have gone into hiding while RVing. Who knew?! Just in case your pet decides to hide, take a look at all the places cats and dogs have used as their hidey-holes. Some are extremely innovative!

Hiding spaces

One pup, frightened by the sound of thunder, ran into the RV closet to hide. The dog somehow managed to crawl behind a loose closet panel and stayed out of sight for over an hour. Pup’s owner was frantic! Eventually, the storm passed, and the dog emerged.

Many RVs feature reclining furniture. Cats have accessed places inside the recliners by climbing under the footrest and/or entering through the back of the chair. The same is true for sleeper sofas. Cats and even small dogs are able to squeeze into very tight places, leaving their owners to scratch their heads in amazement.

Both dogs and cats have found hidey-holes under the bed. Turns out that many RVs have an open space near the head of the bed that leads directly to the under-bed storage space. It’s an easy-in-easy-out for a pet who wants a little “me time.”

Cat owners report that their felines love to hide in the walls! (Yes, you read that right!) Evidently, a cat or two has been known to crawl into an open drawer and proceed to the space behind that drawer. Most RV cabinets do not have a back panel, so a cat can maneuver itself behind several cabinets and emerge at a place that is far from where he entered! One cat ended up behind the shower panel, between the panel and the outside wall of the RV! Another enterprising feline found a loose vent cover and proceeded to investigate the HVAC ducts, much to the chagrin of its owner. Cats have also found places to hide in some Class A motorhomes inside the dash panel. Gaining access near the steering wheel column, felines somehow crawl in and remain out of sight until they choose to make an appearance.

In plain sight

Some pets hide themselves out in the open. An owner, desperate to find his lost pet, can easily overlook a pet that does not want to be found. Take, for instance, the cat that slept on the dining chair cushion. Because the chair was pushed under the table, the cat was out of sight – and perfectly content to watch her owner become more and more panicked, searching for her! A little dachshund crawled under the arm cushion on the overstuffed sofa. Being nearly an exact color match to the sofa fabric made him camouflaged. He was easily overlooked by his fretting family.

Finding that lost pet

What can you do if your furry friend decides to hide? First, try calling the pet’s name. If you have a particular jar or bag that rattles when retrieving a pet treat, make that sound throughout your RV. Try luring your pet out with strong-smelling food, like tuna for cats. Dogs may respond if you rattle their leash and ask, “Want to go for a walk?”

Here’s everything to do if you lose your pet. This is an excellent resource

Has your pet ever performed a disappearing act? What did you do? Where did your pet-buddy hide? Share your experiences! They just might help a fellow pet owner out!


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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1 year ago

One of our cats slipped under the mattress, and moved a loose lid covering the storage for the fresh water tank underneath the bed. We finally found him, but the next time we suspected he was there, he was found in the bottom drawer of the section between our twin beds, having gained access the same way.

However, the time I almost died of panic was much worse. A different cat was resting on top of the retracted slide as we were driving. Somehow, he slipped down the gap between the slide and the wall, and was trapped. There was no way to get him out. We had to stop and buy some tools, and my husband had to remove the front panel from the side of our sofa, then cut away some wooden framework to enlarge the space between us and the terrified cat (a big Maine Coon). With difficulty, we gently pulled him through. That beloved cat has since passed on, but we still put pillows in the gap over the slide to prevent another one from meeting the same fate.

1 year ago

We picked up our new Siamese last April in Georgia. Left him free in our Class A while at dinner. Came back and he was not found. We were frantically searching and he wasn’t about come out. He meowed twice and I thought it sounded like he was under the dash. Figured we would call someone the next morning to help us remove dash and retrieve him. Didn’t have to do that. When in the restroom I felt like I was being watched. Looked at the shelving and saw him up on top behind the panel. It was a huge relief. He’s traveling with us now and he stays on our bed or behind my neck on the passenger seat. Great traveler now.

1 year ago

When we bought our first 5th wheel we had 2 cats. They rode in the truck on moving day, in a harness. First trip out one disappeared as we were loading to move. I was convinced that she had slipped out the door and refused to leave the campground until we found her. Well, 8 hours later doesn’t she shashay out from under the sink. (just snuggled behind the cabinet drawers, she is black and quiet). 2 days later we lost both of them when we decided to leave them ride in the trailer. Fortunately the male protested with loud meows. We had to take the underbed storage compartment apart to rescue them from the screws that move the slide. We thought we had learned our lesson until years later when she hid, again under the sink, over the partition, in between the hot water heater and the furnace. Again convinced that she had escaped out the door. After searching for many hours the trailer went into storage. 24 hours hours later we went back to the lot and heard the pathetic meow.

Sharon K
1 year ago

Our cat, all 13 pounds of him, disappeared while we were shopping at Walmart. We looked absolutely everywhere, became convinced that he had slipped out the door when we left for the store. Finally, my husband opened the door to the driver’s seat and there was Eli under the seat. Took awhile to get him out, but at least he was with us. He’s gotten much better at it, goes under the seat from the front and goes out the back. Of course, only when he feels like it…

Kathy Niemeyer
1 year ago

We full time 6 months out of the year. Our cat, Dusty, doesn’t like travel days. It takes him about an hour to calm down. We have to block a spot under our queen bed of our Class C. When the slide is in there is a small opening and he goes under the bed. Since we can’t access this area we don’t want him under it so a pillow stuffed into the small opening works every time. Now that we have finished a year he has adapted to travel and loves looking out the window while we go down the road.

Mel Jones
1 year ago

Our dog likes to get behind the pedals under the dash to hide in our motor home.

1 year ago

Sunny knows when it’s moving day and immediately hides behind the recliners. His favorite spot (until the hubby blocked it) was under the inside steps in our 5th wheel, which led to the belly storage. Once he figured out how to get around the half panel at the back of the step area, he would go to the belly and hide out.

1 year ago

Our cat Pork Chop is not a good traveler. Once we bring in the slide-outs, she jumps behind the jack-knife sofa and stays there until the slide-out comes back out.

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