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How To Keep Cats From Escaping RV Campers

cat outside of RV by wheel - feature image for how to keep cats from escaping RV life
Learn how to keep cats from escaping RV campers. Photo: Shutterstock

RVing With Cats: How To Keep Them From Escaping

Traveling with a four-legged friend can be a lot of fun, but it can also introduce some extra stress. Cats can be cunning escape artists and sometimes slip out of open doors or windows when we’re not looking. If you’re traveling far from home, this is a scary situation because your cat could get lost or hurt. This has led many cat owners to wonder how to keep cats from escaping RV campers. 

Luckily, there are a few methods you can try. Prevention is always the best strategy, but if your cat does get loose, there’s still hope to get them back! Let’s go over some good ways to prevent your cats from escaping your RV. 

Close doors and windows

If you want to know how to keep cats from escaping RV campers, the first thing you need to do is seal off their escape routes. The first step to doing this is pretty obvious.

Cats are good at squeezing through tight spaces and they can easily get out through an open door or a cracked window. To prevent this from happening, you should ensure that the doors are kept closed at all times and that windows are equipped with sturdy screens. 

Use a carrier

Next, a pet carrier is a necessity for every RV owner who wants to travel with a cat. This carrier will give your cat a familiar space to retreat to, and it also gives you a way to keep the cat contained while you’re driving.

If you need to make vet stops along the way, a carrier is also important! Carrying your cat without a backpack or carrier puts you at risk of scratches and makes it easier for your cat to wriggle loose and escape. 

When you know there will be a lot of people going in and out of your camper, consider putting your cat in their carrier so they can’t slip out. If you’ll be leaving the RV for short periods of time (like for grocery shopping), place your cat in their carrier so they won’t escape when you enter or exit the vehicle.

Close off back rooms

If you don’t have a carrier or have a hard time getting your cat inside of one, you can also use a separate room to hold them. Closing them in a bedroom, large closet, or even a bathroom can be a good short-term solution if you have an escape artist cat. 

Just make sure there is enough airflow in the rooms you choose. Also, don’t keep them shut up for too long because they’ll get hungry, thirsty, and will need to use the litterbox. 

Place aluminum foil by exits

Some cats just don’t get the message and will continue to hang out around doorways. This is inconvenient for the people entering and exiting and can lead to falls and trampled tails. Nobody wants that!

One way to convince your cat to leave the area alone is to lay down some aluminum foil. Most cats hate the texture and sound of this material, so they will avoid stepping on it. If you’re concerned about your countertops and windowsills, try putting foil there as well! This is a handy material that is great for preventing feline mischief. 

Install SSSCAT Device Near Doorway

Sometimes you need something a bit more aggressive if you’re learning how to keep cats from escaping RV confines. Of course, you don’t want anything harmful or dangerous! The SSSCAT is a great little device that can be installed near doorways or other areas you want cats to avoid.

This product is equipped with motion detectors that will notice when an animal or person gets too close. In response, it will emit a harmless and odorless spray that will usually annoy the intruder. You can place these devices near doorways, on countertops, or anywhere else you would like your cat to avoid. 

If you’re interested in this device, you can purchase one on Amazon here

Provide stimulation

Another way to prevent your cat from escaping is to fulfill their need for entertainment and stimulation. Cats often get into trouble if they’re bored and restless. Make sure to engage with your cat often. Give them attention, treats, and plenty of toys to occupy them. 

Sometimes the appeal of the outside world is hard to overcome. If you want a safe way for your cat to get some outside time, try buying them a harness and leash. This way you can sit with them and let them explore their surroundings without the risk of losing them. 

A catio or a cat tent is another good option! An outdoor cat tent like this one will let your cat get some fresh air but prevent them from getting dirty or eating anything dangerous.

There are ways for your cat to experience the outside world in a safe way. Once this need has been met, they will probably calm down in their effort to escape.

What to do if the cat gets out

We all want to know how to keep cats from escaping RV campers, but sometimes it happens anyway. If worst comes to worst and your cat gets loose, there’s still hope to get them back! You just need to stay calm and avoid any actions that might scare them further away. 

Begin by organizing a search party. If you have neighbors or friends in the RV park, ask them to help you look, or at least keep their eyes open for your furry friend. Try to give everyone a couple of your cat’s favorite treats so they can lure them out of hiding. Have someone stay outside your RV with a can of your cat’s favorite food in case they return. 

Check underneath vehicles, in bushes, and other places where a cat might hide. Move slowly so you don’t startle the cat and make it run further away.

Try searching multiple times throughout the day if the first mission doesn’t work. Cats will move around a bit and might be more active at other times of the day. If you still can’t find them by nightfall, leave an item with their scent on it outside your RV as well as some food and water. 

Cats are fairly smart animals and they can usually find their way back if they have something to follow. Don’t give up hope and keep looking for them as long as you can!


Now you know how to keep cats from escaping RV campers. If you have any additional tips on keeping cats from getting out, please leave your suggestions in the comments below!

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

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