Meet Rigsby The Travelling Cat
When we found out that someone in the TentBox Community routinely travels with their pet cat, we had to find out more. People always talk about travelling with their dogs in the TentBox Community Group, but we never normally hear about people taking their cats on adventures!
This changed when we met Rigsby the cat and his owner Klare. Rigsby absolutely loves going on adventures with his mum, and has travelled all over the UK with her. We wanted to share more of their story to inspire Tentbox Community members to consider taking their cat away with them.
How did you start travelling with Rigsby?
I started travelling with Rigsby from day 1 when I picked him up. He was naturally inquisitive and loved the car. At the time because he was so young and my other cat didn’t like him, I felt bad leaving him at home so used to take him wherever I went. He loved it! Whenever I grabbed my keys he was right there at the door asking to come. So I got him and harness and a seatbelt clip and off we went – everyday beside me since he was 14 wks old and that was 6 years ago.
Where have you been with Rigsby?
Rigsby has travelled around the whole of the UK with me from local places like The New Forest right up to the tip of Scotland, my most favourite places being the Cairngorms and The Lake District, Wales too sneaks in. The UK has some simply breathtaking places especially when you’re traveling with your best mate and good company and the friends you make along the way.
Would you recommend taking a cat on adventures?
Traveling with a cat – especially a Bengal – isn’t much different to travelling with a dog. Here in the UK they have to be restrained so he with travels in his crate where he has his bed, litter tray and water. Or he rides shotgun and wears his harness and safety belt clipped to the seat belt.
This is his preferred method as he loves to nose around and look out the window, but more than often than not he falls asleep while I’m driving. Whether we’re driving from home to the shops or a long drive from the south coast to the Scottish Highlands, Rigsby normally sleeps as we drive. He’s got quite proficient in using his litter tray on the move too; It’s quite an art
Do you travel with your other cat too?
Yep! But my older cat didn’t start traveling until she was around 2 and long haul around the age of 5, so she’s not as much of a traveller but she doesn’t mind it. I give her the same set up but adapt little things to her needs, like a bed and a blanky. At one point I travelled with 2 dogs and 3 cats. All different ages and needs, but as long as you treat each individually with their own set ups it works well.
Getting to know Scotland
Have you faced any challenges?
Fortunately not many.
Rigsby absolutely loves being out, hiking, travelling and seeing different places as much as I do. Cats are very stubborn and if they don’t want to do something they won’t.
The main challenge is other people judging us! It’s usually dog owners especially if they’re nervous, but over the years I’ve learnt to read the humans over the dogs and can pretty much gauge people’s reactions. Nowadays the challenges are few and far between.
What are your top tips for taking your cat away with you?
If you’ve never traveled with your animal especially a cat – give them time. Practice makes perfect and the more they do it, the less of a big deal it will be. So if you want to travel camp or van life it with your cat, dog or chicken start as soon as you can. Even if that’s just sitting in your van or TentBox on the driveway – they’ll get used to it and it’s familiar territory. Then you can start to move farther afield.
A crate with their bed, food and litter tray is great for a cat. It gives them their own space and acts as a safe place that they know is theirs. Bubble wrap has been my biggest life saver. Sometimes my Russian blue called Khan used to get car sickness. But bubble wrap is an amazing way to eliminate movement and vibrations. If you place bubble wrap around the crate it minimises movement.
Give it a go and don’t be scared – cats love getting out and about!