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Old 01-17-2018, 05:02 PM   #1
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Pet flap in stairwell?

Hey yall!

So as my post title says, what do you think of a pet flap in the stairwell?

I have a cat, Nala, and I'm thinking of taking her with me in the bus once I get it going. (I say 'thinking' because I'm honestly not sure she'd be happy cooped up in the bus. When I have it, I'll be able to test her and see how she really feels.)

Which is why I'm considering a pet flap, in the stairwell, where I could keep potential cold air kinda closed off, but Nala could still come and go at her will. On the road, I'd keep it closed off so she doesnt hop out while the bus is driving, but mostly I pose this question to the forum to ask, if there's even enough space to make in the side of the stairwell of a typical bus for a cat on the large side of medium to get through? She can do with MB 6-8 inches wide of space to squeeze through.

Would there be something on the outside/underside of the bus that might interfere with a pet flap in the stair well? (I was thinking left side of stairwell from the outside of the bus POV...)

Whatcha think? Anyone else done something like this?

*Incidentally, I was also considering having her micro-chipped in case she got lost in a new place and wouldn't come back to my call or the sound of a treat bag shaking.

Pet suggestions heartily welcome! <3
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:22 PM   #2
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I'd say the biggest concern is where you'd be parking your bus. Lots of people lose their pet cats when they camp in a park, they get interested in a bird and then something bigger gets interested in them. Lots of people will have off-leash dogs looking for a yummy kitty snack. You get the idea.

Mechanically I think that would work fine. My cat loves her bus house!
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:31 PM   #3
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Would you consider making a floor hatch to allow a cat to sneak out easily?
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:56 PM   #4
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My guess is I'd be parking in a lot for rent at first, I need to pay off student loans before I start traveling. So she'd have a natural stomping ground at first...

I'm concerned about loosing her too, which is why I intend to have a test period before I really hit the road... Gonna try to train her to coming back home with a treat box being shaked, considering a microchip or a pet tracking app or something, see how it goes first...

Glad your cat loves her bus life, brokedown! <3

Robin, sure I'd consider it! But what do you mean by a floor hatch? Like an emergency roof exit but in the floor?

I'm mostly considering this for her comfort and ease, she's pretty independent...
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:21 PM   #5
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Put it on the back side of the stairwell facing rearward or it will get drowned by water while driving in bad weather. Make doubly sure you have a positive way to block or secure the door to keep kitty from sneaking out. You could also get a body harness and retractable leash for her. I know people that use them for their cats when they are parked and just hang the leash on the awning brace with a nice tied piece of rope. Cats don't usually run to the end of their leash and jump like a dawg. I'm not fond of leashes. We tried one on our cat. It was a big fight. Gotta find what you're comfy with. Our cat doesn't wander far and she comes when we shake her favorite rattle toy or whistle for her. Just make sure kitty has a place kind of high to get to in case a dog or other animal wanders into camp.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:34 PM   #6
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Our cat has the harness and leash. The harness has a picture of a cat on it in case you forget it's on a cat.

She acts all fearless hunter when she sees a bird from inside the bus. You put her outside and it's like the birds are invisible.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:02 PM   #7
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Yeah I figured it would need to be on the left so the wheel doesn't spin water and mud into my stair well. I plan on having a floor hatch that can flip up or down over the stairwell, along with a passenger seat installed there, so the stairwell becomes floorspace/passenger seat. When the passenger seat isn't in use, I can just put the floor hatch down to keep Nala from getting out when I don't want her to. Think that would do?

I also considered having a window cage in one of the windows so she could sit outside when she felt too penned in. Like I said, we're not there yet but I just wanna have ideas and considerations handy for when we get to that bridge.

That's awesome! I actually DO have a body harness for her, haven't trained her to it yet tho. (She also currently has a reflective breakaway collar) Right now she's an outside cat, not my choice, I live with my grandparents and grampa will NOT have her in the house so I can't do anything. I'm pretty sure she won't like a harness, but she'll learn to love it if the alternative is being cooped up indoors.

Brokedown: lol your cat is beautiful, good thing the harness has a picture of a cat on it or you might put it on for your sunday best eh? LOL!

P.S. Nala is a HUNTER man! She has PLENTY of cat food but she has the NEED to hunt, took out ALL the moles in our yard, made her very popular with gramma and grampa lol
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:33 PM   #8
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With the harness, just put it on her and leave it on for a week. She will not like it at first but she will adapt quickly! Our cat gets mellow when she has her fancy vest on, like a dog in a thunder vest.

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Old 01-17-2018, 08:45 PM   #9
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Oh, you guys with cat harnesses make me laugh. Grown cats aren't going to put up with that.

Beyond that I can visualize an arctic cat sled team all pulling with their harnesses.

On the cat door, I was thinking of a simple hatch in the floor big enough for a cat, but not raccoon size. I'd set it up with a double door, one light weight easily opened and a heavier door that can be latched. Beneath the hatch there would need to be some type of expanded metal cat ramp for easy access.

I have seen traveling cats, but it often ends in cat-tastrophy. Cats are food to most wild animals.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:13 PM   #10
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I've had cats all my life--independent creatures they are. The only way I'd consider traveling with a cat would be to have it leash trained. Nala would be MIA long before you got back from your potty break at a roadside rest area. The same would be true in a camp site.

By the way, BD, that is a great looking cat what with the stylish harness and all.

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Old 01-17-2018, 09:34 PM   #11
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Spooky is a leash trained Forest Cat and loves her "Kitty Holster" harness. At home she has a 3x5x7 foot catio she enters via a through-the -wall cat door. On the road she hangs out in her small version that hangs on an open window (when parked only) and features a Lexan partition and cat door.



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Old 01-17-2018, 09:42 PM   #12
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Brilliant! Bet that cat loves having her own secure boxseat view of the world.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:46 PM   #13
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Brilliant! Bet that cat loves having her own secure boxseat view of the world.
Big hit with her and she always becomes the campground favorite. Ppl walk by and can't resist talking to her, she loves the attn.

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Old 01-17-2018, 10:18 PM   #14
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Oh, you guys with cat harnesses make me laugh. Grown cats aren't going to put up with that.

Beyond that I can visualize an arctic cat sled team all pulling with their harnesses.

On the cat door, I was thinking of a simple hatch in the floor big enough for a cat, but not raccoon size. I'd set it up with a double door, one light weight easily opened and a heavier door that can be latched. Beneath the hatch there would need to be some type of expanded metal cat ramp for easy access.

I have seen traveling cats, but it often ends in cat-tastrophy. Cats are food to most wild animals.
I don't think they make a cat door small enough to keep the raccoons out. I have 5 cats I left home when I went to Fla. for 5 months last year. Had a girl come in every other day to make sure they were fed and ok. after the 4th month (didn't plan on being more than 3) the raccoons figured out no one was home and there was fresh food to be had. They tore my kitchen up. Took me 3 days to clean it up.
Most of the cat doors have a provision to lock them, closed, out only, or in only.
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:18 PM   #15
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That's really cool. I couldn't do that with my little dog or he would just bark at everyone..
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:11 AM   #16
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Our cat doors only go to an enclosure. Too many Javelina here to leave anything alive out that you care about. And the skunks...................


Get a RC cat door. The cat wears a tiny transmitter.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:24 PM   #17
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Our cat doors only go to an enclosure. Too many Javelina here to leave anything alive out that you care about. And the skunks...................


Get a RC cat door. The cat wears a tiny transmitter.
I've seen those, but have been advised to not have a collar on a cat that spends time outdoors. To many hazards for them to hang them selves on.
Unrelated cat story. One of my cats for awhile would leave and be gone for days and then just show up to say Hi and eat and then back out the door for days. She always snuck out behind me so I never could watch and see where she was going. I wasn't worried about her, just curious where she was hanging out. Then one day I saw an ad for a doggone shaped collar name tag that I could get 3 lines on each side engraved up to 17 digits each line. On one side I put her name, address and phone number. On the other side I put :
"Wandered off again
Please call dad and
tell him where I am"
Figuring whomever she was hanging at would call and tell me where she's been playing. The tag was on a double split ring on her collar. A few days later she comes home and has the collar and split ring, but no tag, WTF. There's no way that cat could pull that tag off the ring. You or I couldn't pull it off. Someone actually took the tag off, pissed me off. Were they trying to steal my cat? Good luck with that, she knows where home is and the only way you'd keep her is if you never let her out of your house. it bothers me to this day that someone in my neighborhood would do this.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:52 PM   #18
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My friend had a cat that would be home for 3 days and gone for 3 days and repeated that cycle. Turns out the cat had a second family a block away who thought they owned him too. Funny story, the other family called him Pretty Girl, not realizing that he was a neutered male.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:52 PM   #19
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Our kitty is collared and tagged. Unfortunately, our vet doesn't do the microchip deal.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:33 PM   #20
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I'm not interested in tagging. A GPS locator would be interesting though. Maybe a little cat cam?
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