For what it’s worth, having a pet is hard work.
Love is easy enough to provide while on the road – but food, water, space, and entertainment are all needs too, and sometimes hard to come up with.
In the case of dogs especially, playtime is the hardest need to fill for truckers. After several hour-long walks, a game of tug-of-war, and an afternoon in the sun spent playing fetch, who wouldn’t be tired? But for truckers this can be time consuming and delay important deliveries!
That’s why many truckers have turned to cats as the solution for those lonely road trips.
With most of their time spent on the road in a little truck cab, cats are the perfect companion for truckers– and here’s some of the best reasons why according to one trucker’s resource:
- Cats are low-maintenance: they eat less than their canine counterparts, take up less room, and don’t need as much playtime.
- They’re loving and affectionate: cats are just as sweet as any other animal, once they have a chance to warm up to you.
- They’re obedient, and trainable: cats can do tricks and walk on leashes, with the proper time and training!
- They’re protective: though not as scary as a dog, cats are perfectly capable of altering truckers if something looks, sounds, or even smells off.
Other reasons topping truckers’ lists include cleanliness, cuteness, and the fact that having a cat in a truck is a pretty good conversation starters. Some even say that having a feline friend is a constant reminder to drive and act safely during the long haul.
With the rise of cats in trucks, there’s been an equally heartwarming set of stories to match: cats have been rescued from roads, lovingly nursed back to health, and even adopted in some awesome cases.
When one Internet-famous cat, Waylon, ran away from his owner, the Internet came to the rescue, and the cat was found – and returned, uninjured! – not even a day later.
From trucking forums to subreddits, these road-bound felines have contributed to the Internet’s unending obsession with all things cat.
Some Pretty Awesome Trucker Cats
We found some really cool cats out there that have an amazing trucker life!
Here are a few of our favorites if you are looking for a few trucker cats to see how they live and love life on the road. Peanut, Maverick and Percy are all well loved companions to some pretty cool truckers!
Truckers Helping Animals
But, beyond that, cats and their truckers have gone on to influence the world of animal rescue, too.
The Texas nonprofit Operation Roger, for example, helps transport rescued animals to their new forever homes. Though they mostly transport cats and dogs and the occasional mouse, Operation Roger lets pets hitch a ride with willing truck drivers, to take them cross-country to wherever they need to be.
Founder Sue Wiese told NBC, “We’re a ragtag group of pet lovers who want to help pets who already have a home to go to, give them some T.L.C., and a hitchhike to get there.”
And, thankfully, they aren’t alone in their charity.
Other groups like the Pilot.dog Foundation, founded by Pam and Steve Rhode in 2015, accept requests from non-profit dog rescues to “assist them with flights of dogs for medical care or relocation from kill shelters”. Sometimes, they even get to fly these dogs to their forever homes!
Pilots N Paws is a similar non-profit, which aims to engage volunteer pilots with the world of animal rescuing, sheltering, and adopting. Through their Pilots N Paws discussion board, volunteers can “exchange information regarding animal transports, coordinate and schedule transports, share rescue stories and recruit volunteers”.
By dedicating their time and skills to animal rescue, these non-profits and truckers are helping to change the world, one animal at a time– and for that, we thank them!
Are You A Trucker Who Wants To Have A Cat Ride Shotgun?
We LOVE this idea and think a cat can make a great companion for those long haul trips that get lonely. If you already have a cat – then you will want to make sure they have the outgoing laid back attitude to be a great partner – not every cat is a great match for long haul rides.
If you are looking to adopt a cat as a road trip companion, make sure you tell the rescue or shelter so they can help you find the perfect side-kick! They will know the personalities of their available cats the best and will help you find the most chill cat possible.
We would deter you from having a kitten on board – and would highly recommend a middle age or older cat as they are calmer and will cause less turmoil while driving!
Other things you need to think about:
Feeding/Water Bowls – we highly recommend a non-skid bowl combination that will prevent too much sliding around in the truck. Also making sure the bowls are deep enough so you can add a little water and food and it will not slosh around. You can of course add more food and water during those sleeping hours when the truck is parked. Another option is to add velcro to the bottom of the bowls to help them stay put!
Litter Box – of course the cat should always have access to do their business! You can use poop bags or sandwich bags to clean their box daily. Depending on how much space your track has will depend on the type of box you get. A little sprinkle of baking soda every day can also keep the smell away.
Toys – you will need to have a few things for your kitty to do on those extra long trips! While napping and enjoying the scenery will be fun for a bit – a few toys will help keep them frisky and fun.
Scratching Post – there are a few small options like scratching boards instead of big trees that will help them have a safe place to scratch.
Bed – this is critical! Make sure your travel buddy has a soft space to lay their head so they can feel safe and secure.
Training Your Cat For Trucking Travel
If you have a cat that you want to start traveling with – or are in the process of adopting one, then training your cat to get used to life in a cab is critical to making a happy healthy transition to becoming a trucker cat.
First you will want to take your cat into the cab of your truck just to get them used to it. Do not start the engine, just let them explore it on their own. Bring a few treats or favorite blanket to help them feel more secure. You want to make the cab a POSITIVE environment for them.
If you feel that your cat is pretty comfortable at this point – then go ahead and start the truck. Now let them explore on their own again with the engine running. They may be frightened at first – so be sure to talk to them, give them treats and help them feel secure!
If you got past the 1st steps above now is the time to go for a short ride around town and see how your buddy does. If they are terrified, then your cat may not do well on the road and you should consider getting a more laid back cat! If they seem to be OK and just a little nervous – do a few more trips around town before you head off on your big trip so they have more time to gain the confidence they need!