Living in a camper with a dog and a cat
Living with a dog and cat in a camper is the most beautiful thing for me. On the trips before I always had my dog with me, at the beginning a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Then Aloha came along. Traveling with the dog in the camper or even living in it is optimal for me. That was also one of the reasons why I bought the motorhome a few years ago. Because I have always missed the dog on my travels, which had to remain at home in care. That's why I decided to travel with the camper in Europe, so that the dog can come along.
It was different with the cat. He should originally stay in Mallorca on the finca of a friend for a year. However, I was not right not to see him so long. I did not even think of taking him with me until I came across a group on Facebook: Camper with cat.
And I thought: why not. It was a good decision!
Aloha is a herd protection bitch from the animal shelter. Mama Maremmano. Father Owtscharka. She was born in March 2020 and comes from Italy. She was a very scared, insecure dog in the beginning. Since we still had an old male Ridgeback at that time, she had become very attached to him and gained more and more confidence. Today she is a great companion and takes good care of the camper - her territory. On the road she is very social and loves all animals. She had spent the first month with us in the camper, then 7 months on the finca in Mallorca and then we moved to the camper.
We go for walks a lot and she guards the camper when I am out shopping or sightseeing. And so she has a job and is busy.
More noticeable is that she has fun traveling and is always thrilled when we meet other dogs to play and romp around.
She is un-neutered and therefore 2 times a year in heat. But we have this well under control. She is then always on the leash for a few days so that no unwanted pregnancy occurs.
Phoenix is a MaineCoon mix and about 11 years old. He is a neutered male and lived 9 years in a small apartment together with another male. After that he enjoyed the finca life on Mallorca for more than 2 years and became a great outdoor cat and hunter. We deliberately encouraged a fear of cars in him so that he would not run into the street. Which has since proven to be very positive as he avoids roads when on tour. I don't think his range of action is very large overall.
He is mostly nocturnal and spends nights out, unless we are in an urban area and free standing on a road, then he is not allowed out. He refuses harness and leash. But it is also not necessary.
His favorite place and retreat is the large spare tire under the camper.
We just have to be careful on parking and camping sites that he does not go into other RVs. Therefore, I always inform neighbors that in addition to the dog, I also have a cat with me and that they should chase him away immediately if he approaches their RV. The danger is simply that he gets in where and they leave without noticing.
What to pack for the long trip?
Living with a dog and cat in a mobile home also means good preparation. To be blunt, I packed too much. Probably due to the fact that my motorhome has a lot of cargo and space. So let's start with the dog stuff. As there would be: Food bowl and water bowl, plus a small foldable water bowl to take on trips, collar and leash and a spare set, brush and some medications, flea shampoo and pet ID, dog bed and blankets, toys (definitely too many). Ordered many cans of meat ( about 200) from a large pet food supplier online and had them forwarded to campsites or friends as needed
For the male cat: Carrying bag, harness and leash (free of charge, since outdoor), toys (also too many) and his food harness, pet ID, wet and dry food for 3 months, and also here reordered if necessary and let forward.
And what about the food?
As already described, I have stashed a lot of food and when it ran low, I ordered more and had it sent on, which was never a problem. It is important to me that they get their usual food and that is not available in every country and everywhere, therefore well planned. Since Aloha grain-free and sugar-free pure meat gets without additives
I also had treats in stock and then bought on the road in pet stores. In addition, Aloha had gotten fresh meat and bones from various butchers and of course my unseasoned barbecue leftovers.
The cat gets in the morning - he has previously spent the night outside or slept with me in bed - wet food. In addition, in the afternoon a second helping or treats and dry food and water is ready for him all day, which I put upstairs in the alcove at night when he is outside, or I leave both in the camper when I am alone on the road, because otherwise the bitch eats his food.
The bitch gets wet food in the morning and evening and in between times a fresh bone from the butcher or snack treats.
Sometimes necessary, but was never a problem. In Spain once with the bitch at a very nice vet in Cordoba. Fortunately false alarm and everything was fine. In Portugal with the male cat in a clinic, there he was helped quickly and competently. They made a blood analysis and gave him injections. After 2 days he was fit again.
You can find vets and clinics Internet and I always read the reviews.
During the ride
A lot is written about safely strapping in animals while driving. With us it all runs very relaxed. I drive only during daylight and not long distances, mostly between 25 and 100 km, very rarely 150 to 250 km a day. Therefore, the cat usually sleeps in bed or comes to me in the front, sleeps on the passenger seat or on my legs.
The dog is safe in her bed under the table. Sometimes she curiously comes to the front between the driver and passenger seat.
Both have no problem with driving in the meantime. The bitch sometimes gets sick on very curvy roads and then she sometimes has to throw up. That's why I don't feed her 3 hours before the trip, then it's not so bad. Since I drive a maximum of 70 to 80 km/h on country roads and hardly cover longer distances, driving with them is very relaxed. In the beginning I had to make it clear to the cat that he does not lie down to the pedals. In the meantime he has understood that and is no longer in the way, which can be really dangerous when you have to brake.
Free standing / camping and parking with them
If I stand free in the nature or at the edge of the village then the cat may go out. If there are busy roads in a radius of 50 m he has to stay inside, whereupon he protests of course. But safety first. When I walk with the dog, I have to be careful that he doesn't run after us.
On campsites he runs around outside, on pitches it depends on whether there is a dangerous road nearby.
In the wild, we've had encounters with foxes twice at night, which can be dangerous for him. But as soon as he gives the alarm, I'm with him. Also dangerous are stray cats and dogs, and birds of prey.
Aloha is always outside, usually leashed under the camper. She is only inside to sleep, or when I am out and about, she guards the RV from inside.
In summary, all I can say is that I love traveling with the two of them. We have so much fun together and discover so many beautiful places together.