We have two cats, Barnum and Bailey. Even though they do not like the actual moving part of RVing, they have adapted quite well to the full-timing lifestyle.
We had a 5th-wheel RV, when we started to travel full-time. When we were picking our RV we heard horror stories about pets asphyxiating in the trailer from exhaust fumes, so we decided to have all our pets in the truck with us. We couldn't have the cats run free because it would be a danger to them and us if they crawled under the seats and got in the driver's way, so we put our dog's crate in the back seat and put the in it. They are sisters who have never been apart, and we learned when they were kittens that it's best not to try to them. This was a good way to travel from a safety perspective. They were where we could monitor them to make sure they were doing ok, and they were in a confined space so they couldn't get into any trouble. The bad part about that setup was that since our cats hate to be in a moving vehicle, we had to listen to them caterwaul the entire time. Let me tell you, that does not make for a peaceful drive. Phil and I were going nuts.
Finally we couldn't put up with it. Since we had never smelled exhaust fumes in our rig, we decided to try having them back in the trailer. In the beginning we still wouldn't let them loose back there either because we were afraid they m crawl into dangerous places, so we still crate them while we re in motion. They re probably still carrying on, but at least we didn't have to hear it, and we knew they couldn't get into any trouble. We let them out as soon as we're stopped for the night. We try not to be too unfair to their bladders by not driving for too many hours per day.
After they got familiar with the RV we started to leave them loose while we traveled. Usually they would stay in the same spots they used when we were stationary, and it was easier on everyone. We knew they had acclimated to travel when we started to see them sitting in the window whenever we would stop along the way.
To make their lives while stopped more enjoyable, we made a few cat concessions in each of our RV. We made alterations to their old cat tree to make it fit in our , and that work quite nicely. When the tree got too ratty, we wrapped it with rope and gave it new life. The same tree lasted for 8 years in different variations, so they're pretty durable.
In both of our fifth-wheels the cat tree led to the top of one of our cabinets. In our first RV that was the cats favorite place to sleep. There a nice, cushy cat bed up there for them.
In our second RV we removed the door from one of our overhead cabinets and cut a hole in the bottom. Their tree led up to this entryway and we had a bed and their food waiting for them in there. We gave up some storage space for them, but it made a nice, safe haven for them where dogs couldn't reach.
As for the litter box, RV's are not all that big, and odor is a concern. We usually went for a covered litter box to control and prevent the dogs from going after “cat crunchies.” We started with a corner litter box with a lid. The lid helps with cutting down odor as well as making a nice place for the cats to stand and look out the window, which they just loved. The box we ha at first had a low step, and we ha quite a bit of litter being tracked outside the box that we would have to
About a year in we upgraded to a cabinet we salvaged and By laying it on its side, we could fit a regular litter box in there with room to spare. We carpeted the inside so they could brush the litter off their paws as they came out. We cut a hole in the topside of the for their entry and exit. The we used this as the base of their litter box. Whenever we needed to clean their box we could just open the door and get in easy. The cats are good , so they don't mind, and the dogs can't get into it.
The cats love looking out the windows, so we try to keep the blinds in the bedroom open so they can sit and stare all day. And if you have dogs and cats, and your dogs are like ours and can't seem to let the poor cats get any peace, we recommend a gate between rooms, like this:
This allows our cats to jump the gate and have their own space in the bedroom while the dogs are stuck in the living room. Or vice versa.
Traveling with cats can take a little adapting, but having your fuzzy family with you makes it worth the effort.