Where's the airbnb for cat owners who travel?
November 18, 2015 3:12 PM   Subscribe

We would love to rent out our condo in Vancouver—or participate in some kind of home exchange—but are reluctant to leave our cat with strangers. (And local cat sitters are quite expensive.) Is there a site, or a filter on an existing site, to find others in a similar situation?

To clarify, we don't want to travel with our cat. We want to leave him at home.
posted by motownie to Pets & Animals (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This is an anecdote - I don't think there's a specific filter for Airbnb, but I have definitely stayed with Airbnb hosts who, as part of their requirements for the stay, put up front that there is a cat in the house and you will be responsible for taking care of the cat during your stay. The host had left extensive instructions and notes - how much and when to feed, scooping, water issues, etc. It helped that the cat was chill with strangers as well.

I believe the host made it a point to screen that aspect in the booking confirmation notes to see if the person booking was willing (or happy) to take care of the cat, and had been renting the place for some time, so I think the owner had good results with it.
posted by Karaage at 3:17 PM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

I use TrustedHousesitters.com to find free house/pet sitters. They do not pay for the house though. I would rather that the people don't pay, so they feel their social contract obligation is more about taking care of my cat than about paying for staying at my house.
posted by ethidda at 3:32 PM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]

I took care of a cat during an AirBnB stay and it was just fine.
posted by jessamyn at 3:35 PM on November 18, 2015

FWIW, my dude and I _actively look_ for lodgings with cats; we'd probably pay extra for staying with a cat. We stopped fostering cats a while ago and don't have one of our own -- we're trying to focus on other parts of our lives, and cats are pretty distracting for us -- and we both really miss them.

We're great cat sitters! We've taught cats tricks, generally play with them every day, can notice a kitten being low-energy in time to prevent infections spreading to other kittens, given fluids to foster cats when needed necessary, driven to the emergency vet, made puzzles for them, talked to them, etc. We would totally dote on your cat.

Unfortunately, I also let my passport expire... it will be a while before I can go across the border...

Also unfortunately, Airbnb disabled keyword searching a while ago (so we can't search for "cat" in the descriptions). Please suggest to them that they re-enable it. They gave no explanation. Otherwise we'd be staying somewhere with cats this weekend, as well as Thanksgiving weekend, and the weekend after that, probably (not exaggerating -- lots of travel right now).
posted by amtho at 4:12 PM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]

posted by Capri at 5:45 PM on November 18, 2015

Memail me- I work remotely and would be interested in visiting Vancouver! But Trustedhousesitters.com is also good. I also have taken care of cats through Airbnb.
posted by three_red_balloons at 5:57 PM on November 18, 2015

I just had a horrible experience with TrustedSitters that resulted in $4k in vet bills and a dead cat. They were nice, had great references, met us first blah blah blah...

Seriously... Board at a reputable place or ask your vet for recommendations. Your vet may know someone who loves animals but doesn't want a pet and will work with your budget.
posted by jrobin276 at 9:17 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

if this doesn't exist, it totally should. kickstarter it!
posted by Jacqueline at 9:27 PM on November 18, 2015

What I'm saying is that if you don't want to leave your pets with a stranger... don't. What makes someone "not a stranger" is time and familiarity. The good people of trustedsitters, homeexchange, airbnb, etc. are strangers. The petsitter we used was super nice and had great references. The only thing that would have stopped us using her is if we'd known her longer (and known that "slightly scattered but very conscientious" was actually "likely has early signs of alzheimers or similar and means well but absolutely not showing good judgement, etc".
posted by jrobin276 at 9:52 PM on November 18, 2015

« Older Desperately want a family...but not with husband   |   Why is my Jeep unlocking itself every 30 seconds? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.