An advantage of having a cat rule your life instead of a dog, is the we don’t use the euphemism of ‘lets go for a walk’ to really mean ‘I need to pee or poop all over things’.
We cats are much more civilized.
We do our business in a box full of sand and don’t have to wait for the humans to get off their lazy butts to take us outside. We’re calm when our humans go do human things for the day – we’re pretty content just taking a nap, shredding whatever important papers they left out, figuring out how to blast music out the speakers, and pooping when we want.
And then we have our humans trained to keep our potties clean for us.
But we do like our privacy. Sharing an RV with any number of humans doesn’t always leave room for places to keep the litter box without our business becoming stinky performance art.
My Litter Box History
When I adopted Chris & Cherie in 2008, we lived in a super small 17′ travel trailer.
We kept a hooded litter box in the wet bathroom (the human’s shower was also the sink area) with the door always propped open so I could open it myself.
That meant for them to use their litter box, mine often became a footrest. And they had to move it out of the bathroom to shower. It also meant if I kicked litter out of the box (which, of course, I’d *never* do), it risked clogging up the shower drain.
Apparently, a lot of RVing kitties poop in the shower. It’s a common RVing setup. Others have created cat chambers similar to what I have now (perhaps under dinettes, in cabinets or even with access tunnels to a basement bay), or found inventive solutions under the entry steps.
When we got the bus, Chris & Cherie were so excited to finally have their own dedicated shower that they decided to not share with me.
Instead, when we were stopped, my (now un-hooded) box got put under the steering wheel, and had to be moved before driving. Despite tying a curtain to the wheel to give me privacy – that pretty much meant my powder room was right at the top of the steps and all those litter box smells were not a welcome greeting.
Suffice it to say, it was supposed to be a temporary solution that turned into 4 years, but at least it encouraged more frequent cleaning.
It also turned out to be a really bad idea, because litter would end up spilling down in the throttle pedal area, and actually caused our bus to not be able to accelerate one day! (It *WASN’T my fault.. remember, I don’t kick litter out of my box. Ahem.)
I had always had my eyes on this door in the hallway. It was perfectly cat height, and right across the hall from the human’s potty room. It seemed like a perfect place, but it held the hot water heater.
Humans seem to like hot water.
Chris and Cherie always told me that they had plans to turn that cabinet into my very own powder room.
And summer 2015 was finally my time!
My New Kitty Room
Removing the hot water heater and replacing it with something else in a bus bay (don’t ask me the details.. I don’t care about this obsession with hot water) would mean the exterior hatch vent door would need to be replaced with something.
Since the bus was being repainted, it only made sense to also proceed with the cat powder room plans so that something could be painted at the same time.
With the hot water heater gone, that left a perfect sized room for my own private girl room.
The floor was lined with wooven vinyl floors (fancy!) for easy cleaning.
Since the room is not too far from the new fridge vent access, Chris ran a piece of aluminum tubing from the room, behind the dresser drawers in the compartment above and to the roof. He then installed a small silent computer fan at the top (my humans told me it has minimal power draw, and runs all the time). This creates enough pressure for a chimney effect, which means all the fumes go right out the top of the bus.
The folks at the shop told me I probably have the very first ever cat poop vent fan installed in an RV!
Cherie and Chris picked up a Lift N Sift litterbox, that is supposed to be easier to clean. It’s not turned out that way, so we use it as a standard pan. But more importantly, it was only 14″ wide – so narrow enough to fit in the room AND be able to come out the new exterior hatch for cleaning.
A hole was cut into the cabinet door, giving me easy access in and out.
We then installed a motion activated rechargeable battery powered light to give me just the right amount of illumination, and for the humans to do their cleaning by.
To top off the design, I picked out some nifty strickers on Redbubble.com to decorate the inside. Do you like them?
How’s it Working Out?
While the fantasy was a litter box that could be cleaned from the outside, it hasn’t worked out that way. The hatch opens to the top and is awkward to keep open while fiddling with the box – but a brace of some sort would probably fix that.
The humans seem to prefer cleaning on the inside anyway.. where they don’t have to worry about wind, rain and having the neighbors see how well trained they.
Overall, I really love my new room! I can poop in privacy, get some alone time, admire my idol Nyan Cat and namesake Kiki… and no one smells what I’m up to. And the litter stays in the room, which has greatly reducing tracking it around the bus.
Oh, and of course no more humans blaming ME for the bus not moving.
The only problem is, sometimes the humans forget to clean as often because ‘out of smell out of mind’.
I’m pretty adaptable, but they push me to my limits sometimes. I might need to set them a reminder on their calendar.
So there you have it – how to properly pamper your feline royalty and make them feel like the RV is their home too.
After all.. it is all about the cat.
More of my Witty Cat Perspectives:
For the master list of all the 2015 Bus Renovations: