February 25, 2012

A Kat Karrier Fit for a Kitty

Several weeks ago I began the first in a series of posts about some of the solutions we’ve come up with to make our lives easier and our space in the RV more efficient.  While I’m hanging out in Austin, I’ll try to post a few more ideas.  Making the RV cat-friendly was one of the first issues we addressed.  Kitty is the reason we bought the RV, fondly known as the Kat Karrier, in the first place.  Therefore, we knew we would have to figure out a way to accommodate her needs.

The first thing that comes to mind is where to put the litter box. Luckily, we have a “basement” in our RV under the sofa, and that is the perfect location for that necessary fact of life.  You may remember that it was the basement that led us to purchase this particular RV in the first place.

The basement is really just a recessed storage compartment with a removable lid.  There is plenty of room inside for a litter box, with space left over for some of our items.  The compartment came with a lid that just lifts out.  We had a new lid made with a large opening and covered the top with a rubberized mat.  Now Kitty can walk under the sofa and jump down into the litter box.  The mat then cleans any excess litter from her paws when she exits.  That keeps the RV clean.

The Basement Is Under the Sofa in the Center of the Back Compartment -
The Lid with the Opening Covers the Baseemnt
A Closer View of the Lid with the Opening
The Litter Box Is Inside the Basement -
We Just Open the Back Doors and Remove the Lid to Clean the Box
Kitty was used to jumping down through an opening into a litter box at home, so she instantly adapted to this arrangement.  We clean the box twice a day, and honestly have never had an issue with odor.  The only objectionable odor we have to deal with is her food! Why does canned cat food smell so disgusting?

To contain her food, we found a feeding system known as a Neater Feeder.  It’s a brilliant invention and is ideally suited for RV travel.  The Neater Feeder contains two bowls and catches and contains any spilled food or water.  We placed it out of the way between the ottoman and the sofa and secured it so it would not move.  I am happy to report that we have never had to clean up any spills on the floor, no matter how bumpy the roads have been. 

The Neater Feeder
One of the biggest issues we have had to face is what to do with Kitty while we are driving. Although it is recommended that cats remain in a carrier while the vehicle is in motion, many people ignore that rule.  We knew that Kitty would not be happy in a carrier so we experimented with letting her have her freedom.  We came up with a relatively safe solution that is working perfectly for her and for us.

We had purchased a Sleepypod to use as both a bed and a carrier.  The bottom half is the bed, and it is very deep with stiff sides and a rubberized bottom.  The top half zips on and turns the pod into a cat carrier.  We placed the bed portion of the pod on a rubberized mat on the counter next to the sliding door.  The pod has never moved an inch while on the road.  Kitty hops into the pod when we start the engine, and that is where she spends most of her time.  In the afternoon, however, she sometimes gets a bit cranky, just like a child, and decides that my lap is the better place to be.  Luckily, she has never tried to get under the driver’s feet.

The Sleepypod Can Be a Cat Carrier
The Sleepypod Is Also Kitty's Bed
The Sleepypod is Kitty’s bed and safe space, but it’s also where she sits to look out the window, both on the road and in the campground.  

Watching the World Go By
Kitty also has a small pillow-type bed which goes on the driver’s seat once we arrive at our campsite.  That’s often where she will spend the night.  Two beds in a small RV!  Not to mention our bed, where you will sometimes find her!  What a lucky kitty!

This Is a Cozy Little Bed at Night
In order to preserve our upholstery and curtains, we knew Kitty would need her own scratching post.  But where could we put one?  We came up with a surprisingly simple solution by covering the two posts that support our tables with carpet.  We found a texture that she likes, and she started using the posts almost immediately.  At least one of the table leg posts is always up and available for her use.  She occasionally will try and scratch the curtains or blinds, but thank goodness that’s not too often.

A Little Carpet Turns a Table Leg Post into a Scratching Post -
The Neeter Feeder Is Visible On the Right Behind the Post
You’ve no doubt seen many photos of Kitty in her harness and on her leash.  That has worked out surprisingly well, and she loves being able to go outdoors and explore new spaces.  We also have a collapsible kitty enclosure that we can install outdoors for her to stay in.  We haven’t set it up too many times, but may start using it again when we are able to sit outside in the evenings.

Kitty Has Adapted to her Harness and Leash
Let's Go for a Walk
I Can't Get Out of Here
Kitty seems to be happy with her space and her things, and Tim and I are so relieved that she considers the RV to be her home.


  1. She IS a lucky Kitty! Also, very smart and good looking. :-) LV

    1. LV, She is lucky, and modest, but I have to agree with you! Thanks! Sarah

  2. You are hired!!!! :) AG
    How is Tim doing? Family?

    1. AG, Tim's mom passed away on Sunday morning. Tim and his family are doing ok. Thanks for your concern. Sarah

  3. That is one spoiled Kitty! You guys think of everything.
    ~Chris & Skip

    1. Chris and Skip, Aww... She's such a sweet kitty that we just can't help ourselves! Sarah