Skip to main content

Gene and Shay’s 6 Must-Have Cat Accessories For Your Adventurous Kitty

The van-life cat accessories influencers Gene and Shay cannot live without.

by Avery Felman
October 25, 2022
Gene and Shay sitting int he open side of their van home while holding both of their cats
Courtesy of Gene & Shay

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

For most people, traveling in a 1984 van with two cats sounds like a nightmare scenario, but it’s the preferred lifestyle of van-life aficionados, Gene and Shay. Offering their followers glimpses into their daily adventures, including tips on how to afford full-time travel and even how to shower while living on the road, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring nomadic content.

Maybe the most compelling snippets of Gene and Shay’s van life is how their cats, Bean and Sprout, fit into it. Whether taking a stroll through the desert in Utah or taking in the view of the landscape while playing in a collapsable tent, a day in the life of these cats is truly like no other. The Wildest got the scoop from Gene and Shay on their favorite accessories for Bean and Sprout, many of which are ideal no-muss no-fuss options for gifting at the holidays.

black cat carrier

“Whether we’re going for a longer hike, jumping on a flight, or spending the afternoon at the mechanic, having a backpack where the cats can easily be transported around was key for our nomadic lifestyle. The thing we love so much about the Texsens expandable cat carrier is that it can either be worn as a typical backpack, or unzipped and allow them to have a large amount of space to stretch out and relax. While zipped, these carriers fit airline carry-on requirements, and the mesh detail allows them to get all the fresh air they could want.”

$34 at Amazon
cat tent in black

“You may notice a trend here. Just because our home on wheels is 50 square feet, our cats’ ability to have nature as their backyard is our top priority. Another priority is saving storage space, so this collapsible cat playpen by Rest-Eazzy is the perfect addition for any nomadic adventure cat. It comes with a small carrier that easily stores away in our van, and pops out to give our cats a large area to stand, sunbathe, and birdwatch. It’s also waterproof and scratch/bite resistant for those more ‘wild’ cats in your life.”

$22 at Amazon
cat tunnel in green and orange

“On the subject of collapsible cat playpens, we recently upgraded our cat accessories to make room for this six-in-one enclosed mesh obstacle course for our cats to be able to get energy out during the day at our favorite campsites. It folds up super small but expands out to give them multiple feet of tunnels and enclosed space to run and play. After a few hours playing in this, the cats come in for dinner and fall right asleep, which tells us it was a purchase worth making.”

$110 at Amazon
white water fountain

“When your entire home is a vehicle, that typically means you’re traveling around a lot. With bumpy forest roads and windy country alleys, our cat’s water dish was always falling over and spilling everywhere. Not to mention how dirty it would get because it was still-water. We upgraded to this Veken Cat Water Fountain last year and haven’t looked back since.

With constant running water and a large base, this thing has never fallen over during any drive, and through the use of changeable filters, the water stays running and clean always. Cats love running water (the kitchen faucet, for example), and this is the perfect product to reenact that and to keep them mentally stimulated and hydrated.”

$27 at Amazon
cat rinse in brown bottle with green top

“If you have your own nomadic adventure cat, you will quickly see how quickly they come in for the day covered in a layer of dirt. While cats are self-cleaning, we didn’t want their active lifestyle to make them have to ingest too much dirt and dust (not to mention our home ingesting it too), but we also knew giving them baths was not their favorite thing in the world. We started carrying this Furminator Rinse-Free Foaming Cat Shampoo when we moved into our van, and the process has been seamless. All we do is put a dollop or two of the foam on the cats fur, rub it in, and then rub them over one final time with a towel once their coats are looking shiny and clean. It’s safe for them to lick, stain-free for our clothes and bedding, and also helps with over — shedding that leads to hairballs!”

$11 at Amazon

Related articles

Avery, editor at The Wildest, and her cat, Chicken

Avery Felman

Avery is an editor at The Wildest. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her fiancé and cat, Chicken, and has high hopes that one of them will let her adopt a dog.