Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Soon-to-be full-timers disagree on having pets — need advice


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
We are thinking about buying a large Class A motorhome. My husband and I want to travel full-time for a few years. We have been planning this for some time. We read a lot of RV blogs and I see that many full-timers have pets. My husband doesn’t think that is a good idea. We have two cats and they are my babies. I don’t plan to travel without them and he doesn’t plan to travel with them.

We are at a roadblock before we even get on the road. Can you offer any constructive advice to convince him that I am right? They are indoor cats and would never have to leave the motorhome. The units we have looked at so far have huge storage bays that are accessible from inside the coach. One would be perfect for food, litter and bedding. Please help me. —Catastrophe in Columbus

Dear Columbus:
There is no sense in having a cat fight before you even take the brake off. Traveling pets are as common as a cold. I would estimate that at least 50 percent of the people I meet on the road have a pet traveling with them. This rig is going to be your “home” on the road, and there is no place like home for a cat or dog that gives you company.

I can vouch for the no-hassle edition of having two cats travel with you. My wife and I have done it for years. One likes to help navigate from the front window and the other makes a beeline for the storage bay (cat cave) if I so much as look at the driver’s seat. I have to admit that they will escape on occasion. We have always found them and persuaded them to rejoin us. Actually, you will meet a lot of wonderful people while looking for a missing cat in a campground.

I would suggest you have your husband read some of the articles you have found pertaining to traveling cats. It is truly not like trying to give a cat a bath. You will find them to have an adventuresome spirit. You don’t have to walk them at oh-dark-thirty, they bury their own land mines, and you can leave them “home alone” for a couple of days. They are very responsible and know how to take care of themselves. All cats, big and small, sleep on average 18 hours a day. They don’t bark, and best of all you can take them into any park because you don’t even have to declare them. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.





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KeithK (@guest_8156)
6 years ago

We’ve full-timed with a cat for 12 years. She won’t go outdoors and is happy to remain alone while we explore. Today’s cat litter combined with a covered box means no odor and easy clean up. For a full timer, a cat makes sense – don’t back down!

Vicki J. (@guest_8134)
6 years ago

Please do not surrender or abandon your furry family members! I volunteer with a local shelter/animal rescue organization and it’s heartbreaking when that happens. We didn’t start RVing with our feline until she was 15 years old and she did just fine as yours will also!

Cheryl (@guest_8131)
6 years ago

We have two cats that have traveled with us for years. I worked with them to accept a lead but now the older one (20 years) just hangs out with us no lead needed. Litter box was biggest issue, but we just place it in the shower on top of a rubber cover to catch stray litter. Sad to hear that anyone could just abandon a family pet due to life style change.

Karen (@guest_8114)
6 years ago

There’s a serious issue here if your husband thinks It’s okay for you to just abandon your furry friends. Where would they go? Indoor cats in a large rig should do just fine.

Astrid Bierworth (@guest_8095)
6 years ago

We have travelled with a cat for years. We are not full timers but half timers. Cats are so much easier than dogs and they are great company. Having the storage bay access is such a boon! We travel with a fifth wheel so litter box places are more of a challenge.

The only time we did not have a cat was when we traveled across the continent to Seattle. We were between cats at the time. We took an Alaska cruise out of Seattle that year so not having a cat then was a good thing. Four years later we took the trailer to Alaska.

Marvin Thomasson (@guest_8084)
6 years ago

I can’t decide if you love, like or hate KOA. Or maybe you think KOAs are the main source of campgrounds. We are fulltimers, workampers and travel extensively , usually in the early spring and fall. We just finished a 7 week tour through NM, AZ, UT, & CO. We stayed at a few of KOAs, but most times at private campgrounds. Most KOAs are clean and a have standards, sort of like a McD’s, you know what you’ll get. Try the Amarillo Ranch RV Park in TX, Magnolia RV Park in Magnolia, AR, or the Holiday Travel Park in Chattanooga, TN (once a part of Holiday Inn), the Water Sports Campgrd in Dodge City , KS ( Lake dried up ) most are great for overnights or short stays for exploring area. KOAs are fine (we workamp with them in Maine, WI & FL sometimes) but there are many small cmpgrds that are not even listed and can be found along US and State Hwys using Google or seeing signs. Add a little adventure to your life. KOA is not the be all in campgrounds, just a slightly brighter lite.

KeithK (@guest_8155)
6 years ago

We’ve been Rving since the mid-70s, and full timing for twelve years. At one time KOA, like Holiday Inn, could be counted on to deliver a high standard. Sadly, that is no longer the case. There are many KOAs that are well below standard, but their price point is always significantly higher than average. Browse rvparkreviews.com and you’ll see what I mean. I’m not against KOAs, although they offer little for a retired couple, but the fact is that the franchise name means nothing in terms of quality.

Lee Ensminger (@guest_8186)
6 years ago
Reply to  KeithK

Marvin Thomasson, KeithK, I’m thinking you’ve somehow left your comments in the wrong place, since Dr. RV Shrink’s column has nothing to do with KOA Kampgrounds…you might want to retype them on the front page.

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