Motorhoming | Family Motor Coach Association
Owners: Wes and Audrey Albert, Grants Pass, Ore.
FMCA membership number: F387657 (we joined in 2007)
Type of pet: five cats
Breeds: Maine coon, American longhair, American shorthair, Dukes mixture
Names and ages: Dorothy and Sunshine, 15; Winston, 12; and Maggie Mae and Boston Blackie, 3.
How often do your pets accompany you on motorhome trips?
They have been traveling with us for the past five years (the two youngest joined us after arriving). We had two other travel cats that have since died.
What type of motorhome do you own?
We travel in a 2001 Newmar Mountain Aire.
What do you like best about motorhoming with your pets?
Since we are usually gone for extended periods, we don’t have to worry about who is taking care of them. They also get very lonely when we aren’t around.
Was it easy for your pets to adapt to motorhome travel?
After a few miles to get used to the motorhome engine, they settle right down.
Do your pets have any favorite destinations?
Their favorite destination is Grandma’s house in Ferndale, Calif. She has a large deck out back that is perfect for sunning. Fields nearby ensure lots of good exploring and frog chasing.
Do your pets have a favorite spot in the motorhome?
Each has picked out his or her favorite spot. Dorothy likes under the kitchen table. Sunshine goes behind the couch. Winston and Boston Blackie vie for my lap or the dash. Maggie Mae goes under the covers on our bed.
Besides the motorhome, what are your pets’ favorite toys?
Their humans! They don’t care much for toys. They like to play with us when in the motorhome. Outside, it is definitely chasing lizards and mice. They are constantly brining us unharmed animals for us to “play” with.
Have you modified your motorhome in any way to better accommodate your pets?
The cats have a Littermaid self-cleaning litter box to keep their litter clean. I have a heavy plastic drinking glass for their water. All of them like to drink out of a glass rather than a bowl.
What is your favorite activity to do with your pets while traveling?
We give them the run of the motorhome. They have learned that when we are stopped and leave the motorhome, they have to stay put unless we open the door and keep it open. Then, they go in and out at will.
Advice for other motorhomers who travel with pets or are considering traveling with pets?
Cats can travel as well as dogs. They just need a little extra time to get used to it. It’s actually fun for us, and the cats seem to have a sense of adventure that makes seeing and smelling new things fun for them, too.
Keep mealtime consistent. Cats’ internal clocks don’t change time zones very easily. Ease them slowly into earlier or later feeding times. They will definitely let you know when it is time for them to eat! But, by making it 15 minutes earlier or later each day, you can ease them into the new time zone. Also, unless your cat is already leash trained with a halter, don’t try it when you are far from home. We did this with Winston and he was out of the halter in five seconds flat. Thank heaven he is a treat hound, so we were able to get him home quickly.