Every time I go out of town, it feels like a mad dash to find someone to look after my cats. Even if it’s just for a couple of days, it’s somehow a seemingly impossible task, and if I happen to find a friend who will do it I always end up feeling like I owe them a kidney for their services. Well, I am thrilled to announce that the great cat-sitter search is finally over, because there is now a site called CatVacay which connects you to a huge network of sitters in your area.
CatVacay actually came from the creators of the wildly successful dog-sitter site, DogVacay, which basically does the same thing, only for dogs. Both sites (which are currently one and the same) are so well-constructed and user friendly it’s ridiculous. They make me want to take an impromptu trip right now just so I can try it out. And no, I’m not getting paid to review this. I just think it’s awesome. All you have to do is:
1) Select your dates and location. A list of sitters who are in your area will pop up with stars by their names, and a number of reviews you can read to make sure they’ll be a good match for your pet(s).
2) Choose between someone who will come to your house, and someone who actually offers their own house as a more homey place to board your pet.
Bonus: Cat owners have the option of a sitter just coming by to feed and check in on your cats, or one who will stay overnight with them, depending on your needs. CatVacay gives this option, because cats, unlike dogs, don’t mind being alone for long stretches of time; in fact they often prefer it. Nicole Ellis, Product Manager at DogVacay told Bustle, “Generally, it’s better for cats to be watched in their own home as they usually do not adapt as readily as dogs to a new environment. Cats can also go longer on their own than dogs, but they should be checked on at least once every 24 hours.”
Prices vary on CatVacay depending on whether you want an overnight sitter, just a check-in sitter, or a boarder. An overnight sitter’s average cost is around $50 a night, while in-home check-ins run a bit lower (around $25 a day). Boarding rates are similar to those of an an overnight host.
If you’re like me, and are super paranoid about letting a stranger watch your pet, rest assured. CatVacay and DogVacay perform strict screenings on all their sitters. If that doesn’t convince you, the glowing reviews from actual customers will. On top of that, they provide 24/7 customer support in case there’s an emergency or anything goes wrong with the booking process, premium pet insurance and, best of all, photo updates of your pet so you can see what a great time they’re having in your absence.
Now hopefully cat (and dog) owners all over the country can take a huge sigh of relief knowing that at least their future pet-sitting needs are totally covered.