Posts tagged ‘pets’

Training for the Trip…

Welcome to our new Blog all about Molly the caravanning cat and our travels around Australia. For those of you who used to follow my Tracie Louise Photography Blog and are still on the mailing list, I do hope you will stay tuned. The main purpose of our travels around Australia is for me to take many more pics to share with you… but since my fur baby Molly will be accompanying us on our travels, we decided to give her the spotlight…. (she insisted).

When we ordered our gorgeous new caravan (still in the build stage), I began to research what would be involved in taking a cat on our extended road trip. As you can imagine there is a lot out there with regard to our canine friends, but not so much for our feline companions. And given how long it has been since I have done any serious blogging, Molly Makes 3 was born.

Given that cats are not natural travellers, I am using this waiting time (as our van is being built) to prepare Miss Molly for what’s ahead. Being a rescue cat and not adept to change, I’m hoping that our efforts in these few weeks will ease her into the concept of life on the road.

Fortunately I did teach Molly to walk on a leash from a young age. It had been some time since she had done this but like riding a bike, she had not forgotten the basics. The challenging part has been taking her from the relative safety of walking in our backyard to walking out in public. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Next was car training. Cat’s don’t naturally appreciate the value of a good car ride. And having previously only ever associated the car with visits to the vet or the cattery, Molly was not too keen to go for a drive. Since her current cat carrier has also been associated with those activities I made the investment of purchasing a new soft car carrier that I hoped she would see more as her play house and safe space. It’s far larger than the typical cat carrier. Actually being purpose built for dogs, but it’s spacious enough to hold her new bed and even a litter tray (the jury is still out on that one). Wanting her to get used to the new space prior to going for a drive, I just left the carrier in the lounge room for a good few weeks to just let her get a feel for it first. I even placed her food in there and for a time it became her own personal feeding house.

Loving her new bed

Molly has never had a dedicated cat bed before. Given that she usually sleeps on top of me and has the run of the entire house, including all the couches and spare beds, I never saw the need. Plus I was always afraid of purchasing one that she would then just ignore completely. Boy was I wrong. We got her a cosy little bed for the car carrier and like everything else for the trip I wanted to give her time to acclimate before we leave. And as you can see she took to it like a duck to water. She LOVES it. Now my fear is she will have worn the thing out before we even leave.

My biggest concern is having her “escape” the van without our knowing and having her run off. This is such a concern to me that it has prevented us from even attempting this trip until now. Molly has never been comfortable with a cat collar. She only tolerates her cat jacket cause it means that she can go outside for a walk. Molly is 99.9% an indoor cat. I’m not sure yet whether this is going to be a positive or a negative out on the road, but I’m hoping her natural fear of the unknown will work in our favour. Like the other aspects of her new “travelling cat” status, I wanted her to have time to adjust to the idea of a permanent fixture around her neck. And I was actually pleasantly surprised. I really did expect her to put up much more of an argument. At present she is only wearing it during daylight hours, but I think the plan will be to have it on her 24/7 just in case.. once we hit the road. The little fishy is engraved with her name and my number just in case she wanders off, and whilst I don’t really think it will happen, being a very nervous kitty mumma, I think that thing is more for my peace of mind than anything else.

With the big trip not starting until end of next month, we still have plenty of time to prepare. I firmly believe that when it comes to travelling cats, having this prep-time is vital. I do hope you will follow along as we get Molly (and ourselves) ready to take on this big country of ours. There will plenty of adventures. Loads of photography. Maybe even some technical caravanning tips from hubby Jack (the engineer). So stay tuned and don’t forget to follow along on social media.

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