These Voyagers Live on the Road With 5 Cats and Love Every Minute of I
A lot of people dream of traveling and taking their kitties with them, but because some cats can be a bit challenging, we were curious to find out how the Vegan Voyagers were able to get their five feline companions comfortable with RV life.
Check out our interview below if you’re interested in learning a few tips on how to take your kitties on the road.
You live and travel with quite a few animals. Can you describe your pets for us?
Hayden and Aaron: We travel full-time in an RV with five cats, a dog, and a Silkie chicken. Our cats are the following ages: 13, 9, 7, 3, and 3. Our adopted dog is a 3½ -year-old Labrador mix. And our Silkie chicken, named Brienne of Tarth, is 2 years old.
How long have you and your pets been living full-time in your RV?
Hayden and Aaron: We decided to downsize and live in an RV almost two years ago after having moved to three different states in less than two years. It became ridiculous to pay so much money to get a moving truck, put down security deposits, and pay for utilities, when what we really wanted to do was travel full-time. After deciding to pursue RV life, we sold or donated everything we owned within a month and hit the road shortly after.
So you dove right into living on the road?
Hayden and Aaron: We jumped right in! Neither of us had really spent much time in an RV, but we had friends who had moved into an RV, and we thought, “Hey, we could do that!” We decided to pull the trigger and, a short month later, we no longer had many possessions and were off on the adventure of a lifetime.
Some cats might not like being in a moving vehicle, especially for an extended period of time. How did you prepare your kitties for life on the road?
Hayden and Aaron: We really didn’t prepare them at all! One day, they had 2,200 square feet, and the next day, they had only 400 square feet. We’ve tried to leash train a few of them, but none of them have seemed interested in going for walks.
Was it a stressful transition for your cats?
Hayden and Aaron: The cats actually transitioned really easily. Because we had already moved around a lot, they were used to adjusting to a new space. For them, the best part about our travels is that they constantly have a new view outside the window, with new birds, squirrels, and rabbits to watch, so they never get bored.
Did you have any reservations or concerns about taking your animals with you?
Hayden and Aaron: We’re traveling in an RV specifically because we have animals. The big dream would be to live out of a suitcase and fly around the world, but we’d never be able to leave our furkids behind. So, because of them, we made sure we bought a trailer big enough that could accommodate all of us. We renovated the back bedroom so there’s a built-in chicken coop and a large cat box. Everyone has everything they need in our tiny home.
Would you say that your cats are comfortable with RV life, or do they still get stressed sometimes? And, if they do get frazzled, what are the triggers?
Hayden and Aaron: We recently experienced 4th of July in Indiana, where it’s legal to light fireworks. That was a big stressor for the dog, but the cats didn’t really seem to care much about the noise.
The only stressful part about RV life is moving day. They each get individually crated and stacked into the backseat of the truck while we drive to our next destination. However, this is a regular occurrence, so it doesn’t really bother them too much, but they’d love it if they didn’t have to do that.
You mentioned that you have older kitties in your family. Would you say it’s a good idea to introduce an older cat to traveling in an RV?
Hayden and Aaron: The eldest cat is 13 now, so he was around 11 when we moved in. He’s been a traveler since he was a kitten, flying back and forth across the country many times and living in many different houses and apartments over the years. Because of his background, he didn’t have any trouble adjusting.
It really depends on the temperament of your cat, as they all have different personalities. If you want to see if your cat will adjust well, start with smaller trips and see how they do.
Some pet parents might be worried about risks associated with taking their cats on the road. How do you handle emergencies or the need for vet visits? Are you concerned about parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworm?
Hayden and Aaron: Not having a consistent vet was a little challenging at first, but we came across the chain, VCA Animal Hospitals, which made the process much easier. In fact, if it’s your first visit to a new location, you get a free office visit, which helps to cut down on costs. We’ve also used Banfield Pet Hospitals, which are affiliated with PetSmart, because our eldest cat is prone to UTIs, so he has special medicated food that we can buy at any Banfield location.
Because VCA veterinarians are located all over the country, they’ve been easy to find. Luckily, we haven’t run into many emergencies, but you can always search online for a 24-hour emergency clinic, if necessary.
All of our cats are indoor cats, so that helps cut down on the exposure to parasites.
A lot of travelers like to train their kitties to be adventure cats. Do your cats ever go outside?
Hayden and Aaron: The cats don’t go outside, except every once in a while on a leash (which most of them don’t care for). Surprisingly, they don’t try to run out of the RV, but we think that’s because they’re content sitting at the screen door and watching the world go by.
They’ve always been indoor-only cats, but they did have a catio at one point, which they loved. We’ve talked about somehow building a catio onto the RV, but haven’t made that a reality yet.
Caring for so many pets while on the move must be tough sometimes, especially when it comes to ensuring that everyone has all of the food and supplies necessary to be happy and healthy. How do you do it?
Hayden and Aaron: We’re pretty good at planning ahead and making sure that the next destination has the supplies we need.
We used to shop on Chewy.com when we lived in a house, but haven’t used them while on the road. However, because they ship so quickly, we might start using them again and get everything delivered to the nearest post office or RV park that we’re staying at.
Do you have any advice for pet parents who want to follow your lead?
Hayden and Aaron: We’d definitely recommend trying to do some short weekend trips to see how your cats do with the transition before jumping into full-time RVing. But, we didn’t even follow that advice and everything turned out fine! Just do what you think would be best for your animals, and know that they’re resilient and can adapt to new situations.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that we haven’t already discussed?
Hayden and Aaron: If you’d like to follow our adventures, we have a bi-weekly vlog that we produce on our YouTube channel, we post a lot of photos of our furkids on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, and we have a website that you can check out as well!
More by Lisa Selvaggio