Caravan holidays have become more popular over the last couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the constantly changing travel rules and regulations. Many people feel it is worth saving money and effort by hiring or buying a caravan and exploring what the UK has to offer. Although it may seem odd, as a result, there has been an increasing number of people taking their cats on holiday with them in the caravan.
Why do we say this may seem odd? Well, traditionally, although cats and dogs are both highly domesticated animals, cats always seem more free-spirited. It’s not really surprising that some people may be curious about the logistics. Perhaps you are a cat owner who is either interested in buying or renting a caravan or already owns one and asking the question posed in the title of this post.
Well, the short answer would be yes, you can, as there are many examples in forums online and on actual caravan sites of people taking their cats with them. Given the differences between cats and dogs, though, there are several important things you need to consider before heading on the road with your favourite feline family member.
Your Cat’s Personality and Temperament
The first thing you really need to think about is whether your cat will enjoy coming on holiday with you in the first place. Cats can be incredibly territorial and often prefer to stay close to what they consider their home turf. If your cat does not really go from one place to the next with you and spends a lot of time around the house, barely going out at all, then it may not be in the cat’s interest to take him or her along for the trip.
Even if your cat is not completely housebound, it still may create problems that could easily be avoided if you took them on holiday with you.
However, if your cat likes to follow you and is more attached to family members than your house and property, and you feel they would be missing you too much while you are away, it might be best to take him or her on holiday.
When taking any pets on holiday, even dogs with great recall skills, you should always have safety precautions in place. First and foremost, the last thing you would want on holiday is for your cat to go missing or to get lost or even stolen. Therefore, it is probably best to, if you haven’t already, invest in a collar and leash for your feline friend.
That way, like you, would with a dog, you can safely take your cat out with you wherever you go and know they are not going to run away, get lost or get into other trouble.
You should also make sure they are microchipped, and your contact details are kept up to date, just in case your cat does get loose and lost.
For the journeys during your trip, it is important to make sure your cat is safe in the car. There are rules and regulations about travelling with animals, so make sure you are aware of them. Many cat owners use harnesses that connect up to the seatbelt, if possible. Others use travel boxes and cages. It is best to try and familiarise your cat with whatever option you decide before taking long trips, so you can make sure they are going to be comfortable and will not get stressed or even frightened.
Another hugely important safety precaution you need to take is that if you intend on leaving your cat in the caravan while you go on a day trip or go out somewhere and can’t take them, that you make sure they can’t overheat. This is especially a problem during the summer as caravans do not offer the best levels of ventilation. It may be that you need to leave a couple of windows opened just a crack, or something similar.
Making Sure Your Cat is Comfortable
While ensuring your cat is safe is crucial, you also want to make sure they are as comfortable as they can be when you are on the road and living in a caravan. In the same way that human members of the family like to have home comforts that make caravanning a more pleasant and pleasurable experience, cats are just the same. Make sure you take some of your cat’s favourite toys, a bed they love and at least one scratching post along with their regular food and regular litter tray.
The more your cat feels at home in your caravan, the better their holiday experience will be.
Check the Rules of Sites and Parks
If you are caravanning off the beaten track, you don’t need to worry about the rules or being contentious to others. However, if you intend on visiting different caravan sites and parks that are managed, you should make sure they welcome pets.
Even in places where they do, you should be a good neighbour to others holidaying in the same place and be aware that not everyone loves pets, and some people have allergies. While we are not suggesting you curtail your cat’s freedom, we are suggesting you exercise caution.
If your cat loves to hunt for wildlife, you also need to be aware of any rules and restrictions that may be in place wherever you are holidaying. There are some rare species that you are not allowed to hunt and as your cat is hardly likely to know the difference, to avoid getting into trouble and facing severe fines or worse, it would be best to keep your cat on a tighter leash and more closely monitored in those situations.
So, there you have its folks. If you ever wondered whether you could take a cat on holiday with you in a caravan or not, yes you can. In theory, that is. The biggest takeaway we can offer from carrying out the research into this post is that it very much depends on your cat and its personality. Some cats don’t like being taken from their home and it distresses them. Remember, the cat’s health, both physically and mentally, should be taken into consideration ahead of what’s right for the family.
If your cat is fine with travelling and walks in your shadows at all times, as long as you take the safety precautions outlined above and make the trip and your caravan as comfortable and fun a place for your cat to stay, there is no reason why you can’t make it work.