Skip to Content

Camping With Cats: Bring Your Kitty RVing!

Camping With Cats: Bring Your Kitty RVing!

One of the many great advantages of traveling by RV is that the whole family can come along, pets included. Being able to travel with pets is a wonderful privilege. We’ve done several posts now that focus mostly on dogs or pets in general. But in today’s post, we’re talking specifically about camping with cats.

So, let’s take a look at some of the things that make traveling with feline friends easier and more pleasant, not only for them but for their owners as well.

Is It OK to Take a Cat Camping?

Absolutely! Cats make great traveling companions as long as you’re well prepared to keep them safe. That involves a bit of planning and a few extra items to pack, but if spending time with your cat when you’re traveling is important to you, these are small concessions to make.

Let’s take a look at a few things that will help you to enjoy camping with your cat. But before we do, here’s something we knew little about until we started conducting a little research for this post…

What Are “Adventure Cats”?

We kid you not — this is an actual thing! Adventure Cats are feline companions who accompany their owners on outdoor adventures such as hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, camping, and even climbing!

So, while this post is really about camping with cats, if yours enjoy adventures like being out on the water, you may need to consider an extra item for your feline explorer:

What to Consider When Camping With a Cat

There are a number of things to think about if you’re planning to take a kitty camping. Let’s take a look at some of the most important considerations.

What’s Your Cat’s Personality?

If you’re planning to bring your cat on a camping trip, it’s worth considering his or her general personality. If they’re typically in a sticks & bricks house with few people around and rarely go outside, you may want to take a short test run before heading out on a major camping trip.

If your cat is easily spooked by new or loud sounds such as dogs barking, people laughing, children playing, or even the sounds of wildlife, it may take some time for him or her to become comfortable in a camping environment.

What Kind of Camping With Cats Are You Planning to Do?

If you’re planning to leave your cat inside the RV much of the time, then the most important thing you’ll need to do is make sure you have a way to keep your feline family member cool, comfortable, and safe inside the rig. We highly recommend reading our recent post: RV Pet Monitor: Keep Your Pets Safe on the Road.

If you plan to do some tent camping with your cat, you’ll need to seriously consider things like whether they’ll need food, water, or even a litter box inside the tent. (Ewww.)

On the other hand, if your cat is cool about using the great outdoors as a litter box, there are important considerations there as well.

No matter where you are, be sure to clean up after your cat just as you would with a dog. Cat feces sometimes carry a parasite that can be infectious to any warm-blooded species, including humans. The parasite, T. gondii (toxoplasma gondii or toxoplasmosis), can be harmful, especially to pregnant women.

No matter what type of camping you intend to do, you’ll need to make sure your cat is leash trained. You can’t just let a cat roam free at any type of campsite.

A cat climbing on desert rock formations

When you take a cat camping to enjoy the great outdoors, it’s imperative (for lots of reasons) that you have the ability to watch over the cat at all times.

In private campgrounds, this wouldn’t be allowed. And if you’re boondocking, it almost certainly won’t be safe to let your cat roam free. Not only could they eat something that could be harmful, but they could be harmed by wildlife or even by things like a cactus.

Are the Campgrounds Where You Plan to Stay Cat Friendly?

Remember – not all campgrounds and RV parks allow pets. Always confirm in advance that your cat will be allowed at your campsite. In addition, ask your campground hosts for any specific rules you’ll need to respect while there.

Every national park, for instance, has separate rules about pets. So it’s wise to consult each park’s website while in the planning stages of your trip.

Make sure you’re taking your cat to pet-friendly areas unless you’re prepared for him or her to safely remain inside your RV.

Beware of Ticks

Remember that cats can pick up fleas and ticks when adventuring with you in the forest or at pretty much any campsite. Keep a keen eye peeled for ticks and remove them immediately should one catch a ride on Fluffy.

Here you’ll find lots of information from PetMD about cats and ticks.

Important Gear for Camping With Cats

If you’re planning to take your cat camping, you’ll need a few things to keep them safe and comfortable. The gear you’ll need really depends on how you intend to camp and what you plan to do with your cat.

But we’ll lay out some of the most common pieces of gear most cat owners are likely to need.

Food & Water

This one should go without saying but we’re saying it anyway. Make sure to pack the foods your cat is used to eating, as well as sufficient fresh water (very important). Cats can contract bugs like giardia (and others) when they drink from streams and rivers and these can be life-threatening.

So, make sure you have plenty of fresh water available for your cat. It’s also a good idea to have water-purifying tablets on hand should you run out of water and need to allow your cat to drink from a natural source like a river or stream.

Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets with PA Plus, Portable and Effective Solution for Camping, Hiking, Emergencies, Natural Disasters and International Travel, Two 50ct Bottles
  • One Bottle Of 50 Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets And One Bottle Of 50 Potable Aqua Pa Plus Tables
  • Water Purification Tablets Make Questionable Water Bacteriologically Suitable To Drink In Emergency Water Situations

Better yet, how about using safe drinking water from a UV-LED purification system, like the Acuva unit we installed in our own RV.

Acuva Logo

Acuva 10% Off - Discount Code "RVGEEKS"



Ditch the bottled water! Major cities sanitize their drinking water using ultraviolet light, and now you can, too. Acuva’s UV-LED system makes water safe to drink, using a fraction of the space and power… perfect for RVs.

Check out our Acuva installation video here

Get 10% off any Acuva system when shopping online at Acuva's website and using the discount code listed here.

SAVE 10%
Acuva Logo
Acuva 10% Off - Discount Code RVGEEKS

Ditch the bottled water! Major cities sanitize their drinking water using ultraviolet light, and now you can, too. Acuva’s UV-LED system makes water safe to drink, using a fraction of the space and power… perfect for RVs.

<i class="fas...Show More

Ditch the bottled water! Major cities sanitize their drinking water using ultraviolet light, and now you can, too. Acuva’s UV-LED system makes water safe to drink, using a fraction of the space and power… perfect for RVs.

Check out our Acuva installation video here

Get 10% off any Acuva system when shopping online at Acuva's website and using the discount code listed here.

Show Less

First Aid Kit

It’s very important to carry a pet first aid kit if you travel with pets. And if you’re camping out with a pet, this is even more important.

This is a basic first aid kit for anyone who travels with a pet. It’s wise to carry a kit like this in your car if your pet ever accompanies you on long rides away from the RV.

ARCA PET Cat & Dog First Aid Kit for Car -Home Office Travel Car First Aid Kit Emergency Kit Dog Travel Kit – Dog Camping Essentials 100 Pieces with Thermometer and Mini First Aid Pouch
  • ENSURE PET SAFETY ON THE GO with our dog travel accessories, dog owner must haves in pet travel. Our comprehensive pet first aid kit for dogs is your...
  • VET ENDORSED: Our Dog & Cat first aid kit, vet-reviewed for precision, is expertly crafted in a medical facility, providing superior quality emergency...

If you’re a hard-core hiker and you plan on taking your “adventure cat” into the great outdoors, a more robust first aid kit may be in order. Choose your first aid kit in conjunction with how you travel with your pet.

This one is a first aid kit for your entire family, pets included.

Surviveware Comprehensive Premium First Aid Kit Emergency Medical Kit for Travel Camping Gear, Survival Kits, Home Essentials and Outdoor Emergencies - Regular Large 200 Piece
  • 200 PIECE FIRST AID KIT: Includes 100 high-quality car emergency kit essentials and first aid supplies to help care for minor wounds, cuts, scrapes...
  • CLEAR, QUICK ACCESS: Our first aid kit box is clearly labeled and organized so you can find what you need when it matters most. Whether it's your...

Harness and Leash

A harness and leash for your cat are very important if you plan to take them camping with you. There are many different types on the market and, depending on your cat’s size, you’ll need to choose the type that works best for them.

Your veterinarian can also be an excellent source of information for gear like this.

And if your cat isn’t used to a leash & harness, be sure to practice with him or her around your property at home before heading out on a camping trip.

Supet Cat Harness and Leash Escape Proof, Adjustable Breathable Vest with Reflective Trim for Large Small Cats Kittens Puppies
  • 【Fashion &Quality Cat Harness】 Tired of the stereotyped and plain cat harness and leash? Don't worry, our stylish, and high-quality new cat...
  • 【Escape Proof Cat Leash Set】 Customized according to cat's body type, this cat leash and harness set can be adjusted by the powerful 5 adjustable...
PetBonus Adjustable Cat Harness and Leash, Escape Proof Breathable Pet Vest Harnesses for Walking, Easy Control Reflective Leash and Harness Set Jacket for Cats, Kitten, Kitty (Turquoise, X-Small)
  • Cat Harness and Leash Set: Fits most cats or bunnies. Please measure your pet carefully and refer to the size chart before order. (Tips: Your cat's...
  • Escape Proof: This cat harness escape proof has 2 side buckles for secure closure. The 4 adjustable straps around the kitten harness allow you to...

Cat Carrier

If you’ve got a cat and you’re a traveler, you’ve probably already got a cat carrier. If you don’t, though, you may want to bring one along if you plan to RV with your cat.

Whether you’re camping in a tent or in an RV, a carrier may help a cat feel safe in their own small space.

Also, we never know when an emergency will arise and it’s good to be prepared. Should you need to take your cat into any place that won’t allow them on a leash, (hotel lobby, hospital, etc.), you’ll want to have a cat carrier on hand.

There are several different types of carriers available. We’ll link to a few popular ones, and you’ll know which type is best for your feline bestie.

Amazon Basics - 2-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Dogs, Cats Pet Travel Carrier, Gray & Blue, 22.8"L x 15.0"W x 13.0"H
  • Hard sided pet carrier with 2 doors for front and top entry; suitable for cat or medium size dog weighing 12 - 20 pounds
  • Durable plastic construction with steel wire doors; screws keep the top and bottom sections securely connected
Henkelion Cat, Dog Carrier for Small Medium Cats Puppies up to 15 Lbs, TSA Airline Approved Carrier Soft Sided, Collapsible Travel Puppy Carrier - Grey
  • AIRLINE APPROVED CARRIER - With airline-approved design, you can take your pet to go to everywhere. This pet carrier provides two connecting loop...
  • SAFETY DESIGN - The adjustable shoulder strap help you hands-free carrying and makes it more safe and convenient pet carrier bag for your travel
Lollimeow Cat Backpack Carrier, Ideal for Small Animals & Puppies, Outdoor Adventures, Vet Transport. Fully Ventilated Design for Ultimate Comfort On-The-Go
  • 🐱We offer a 2-side mat and a flannel blanket! FULLY BREATHABLE MESH DESIGN:This cat backpack carrier is three-sided mesh, providing a safe and...
  • 🐱AN OPENING WINDOW FOR YOUR PET TO HEAD OUT: Front window can be easily opened and let your cat head out.It's nice to reach in and pet her when...
Pecute Cat Carrier Backpacks, Expandable Cat Backpack with Breathable Mesh, Pet Carrier Backpack for Cats Small Dogs Puppies Up to 18 Lbs, Dog Carrier Backpack Great for Travel Hiking Camping Outdoor
  • 🐾 【 DIMENSIONS OF PET BACKPACK 】: 13.4" L x 10.6" W x 17.3" H. Perfect for carrying 7-10 LBS dogs or 7-13 LBS cats. It comfortably accommodates...
  • 🐾 【 EXPANDABLE DESIGN 】: Expanded size: 13.4" L x 24.4" W x 17.3" H. This pet backpack with an expandable back design gives your pet more space...

And remember that you can walk and hike with your cat in a backpack carrier. Just remember to always connect the leash so they can’t jump out to chase a squirrel!

Apollo Walker Pet Carrier Backpack for Large/Small Cats and Dogs, Puppies, Safety Features and Cushion Back Support for Travel, Hiking, Outdoor Use (Black)
  • LARGE SIZE-Designed for the maximum convenience and comfort for you and your pet while hiking, traveling, or taking your best friend to the vet, or...
  • BETTER CONSTUCTION-Well ventilated design for optimal airflow, two-way entry for easy access, top mesh window for more headroom and visibility, and...

Sleeping Bag or Pet Bed

If you’re camping in cool temperatures, a sleeping bag for your cat may help to keep him or her warm and feeling safe.

Cat Bed Cave Sleeping Bag, Pet Mat Warming Pad Sack for Cats and Small Dog,Burrowing Cozy Soft Comfortable Bed
  • OPEND ENTRANCE: this cat sleeping bag has a support to hold the entrance keep opening,easy for cats to get in or out.
  • FOR CATS OF ALL SIZES: Spacious large hideout for all size cats from kittens to big cats.
Pet Magasin Self Warming Cat Cave Bed with 4-Way Cat Hideaways
  • KEEP THEM WARM, COZY, SOFT & LUXURIOUS:: Best cat bed for all kitties; this bed can be used in multiple different ways, so it's bound to please any...
  • CONFIGURATION OPTIONS: 4 different configuration to suit your cat's changing moods. A cave to hide in, a flat bed to stretch out on, and the fur-lined...

If you’re traveling with your cat in your RV, bringing their favorite bed along (or a special bed just for travels in the RV) is a great idea.

We could go on and on, really – but at this point, you probably get the idea. Camping with cats? Sure! Bring your kitty RVing!

Don’t forget their favorite toys or blankets, and remember that your cat’s safety and comfort is most important of all.

Be sure to check out our other posts on RVing with pets. We’ve got one on RV pet fences and one on pet-friendly RV rentals that may interest you. Most important of all, though, be sure to see our post on RV pet monitors to keep your pets safe in your RV.

Geek Out with Us Every Week

Join our newsletter to learn about all things RV-related. Every week we offer free tips, tricks, product reviews, and more to our online community of RVers. So, whether this is your first time on the road or you’re a seasoned expert, we’d love for you to geek out with us!

We'd Love It If You Shared This!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Christine Voss

Tuesday 18th of July 2023

One of the best investments we have made for our pets and our travels is the Molly Mutt pet bed. These are covers (with or without a waterproof inner bag) that you stuff as desired. We stuff ours with extra linens and out of season clothes! The covers just unzip for access to the "stuffing" and for washing... even in our tiny combo.

Gone are the days of replacing the pet bed every time our cat has a seizure, any pet has an accident or it's just dirty.

Audrey Gentry

Tuesday 18th of July 2023

we camp both in tents and our No Boundaries small "camper" with our dog and 3 year old cat. We have multiple leashes, use a portable litter box (from Travel Cat) and now have also just purchased a mesh playpen from Step Evol. Can use any number of set ups and it comes in a small carry bag, for times when we are hanging around camp or cooking and can't be following our cat around on her leash. She is never off leash and harness outside. We also have her in a backpack for hikes, and when the trail is free from human and dog traffic, she hikes with us, with her harness and leash. She does not like the rivers and lakes, so no SUP nor kayaking with this cat! We recommend getting your cat used to wearing the harness first, with rewards. Then adding the leash and outdoors experience, again with a food reward at the end of the experience.


Tuesday 18th of July 2023

It is absolutely possible to travel with cats. We just took a month long trip from WI to OR to pick up our new Outdoors RV and vacation with it. Our 18 year old Siamese, who has never traveled before or been outdoors, came along and it went better than we expected. You just need to be prepared. We bought a travel kennel well in advance and left it set up so he could get used to it. A travel kennel should be large enough for the pet to stand up and move around a bit. We also harness trained him so we had control of him when he was out of the kennel or out of the RV. You don’t want to lose your pet at a rest stop when attempting to give them some water or letting them use the litter box. Make a vet appointment to check for heath issues and bring vaccines up to date before you travel. Once in the RV he did great. As a warning to all, make sure the cat is kenneled when moving the slides. Cats get everywhere and you don’t want them injured by moving equipment. If your RV is a trailer the pet should be in the car with you when moving, not in the trailer. It is too risky, noisy and bouncy in a trailer on the road. Finally, have great posts on RVing with cats. They gave me the confidence and information to attempt this trip. Thanks for all the RV tips! We use your information often!


Tuesday 18th of July 2023

We have a cat door beside the bed that leads to the front compartment where we keep the litter box in our travel trailer. Works well for our kitty.


Friday 5th of August 2022

These are all great tips. We travel with our kitty and he doesn't want to go outside thank goodness. Couldn't deal with that. But we have seen in more than one private campground people that bring their cats and just let them out. They don't run away. I would have a heart attack if ours ever got outside. Also the other thing you may want to mention next time, is check your RV for places that the cat can get into. Our first trip he went under the bed and ended up in the storage compartment below. We had to board it up. Also we put foam in all the other spaces that he may get into. Under the sink, under the couch. And we always keep him in a carrier while we are traveling. Drives me nuts to see people have pets on their laps or dash while driving.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

PLEASE NOTE: We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We participate in affiliate programs from many companies (including the Amazon affiliate program), which provides a means for us to earn a small commission by linking to products there. But our opinions are our own and we only link to products we can recommend to friends with complete confidence. And using our links won't cost you an extra penny!