Nice, caring place in West LA to board my cats for a few weeks?
August 21, 2008 12:59 PM   Subscribe

I'll be out of town for two weeks over the holidays and I'm already starting to worry about care for my two cats.

Can anyone recommend a great kennel (not the right word, is it?) where my cats can stay? We live in Westwood so anywhere in the area would be great... however I am most concerned that I find somewhere that will best care for the kitties while I'm gone.
posted by eric1200 to Pets & Animals (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Get them vaccinated now, because many pet kennels/boarders will not even consider admitting your pets unless they have all their shots, including FLV.
posted by yellowcandy at 1:07 PM on August 21, 2008

Can you hire someone to come to THEM to feed/scoop/play? I've found that cats do better in their own homes when the people are away.
posted by tristeza at 1:08 PM on August 21, 2008

Cats are not like dogs - they don't like to be taken out of their environment, and thus, often don't kennel well (mine never have). I'd really recommend getting someone to pop into your place daily to feed them/check them.
posted by meerkatty at 1:10 PM on August 21, 2008

I agree - cats don't usually kennel well. I think you should start asking around your workplace about petsitters. Someone you work with knows a good one. Then, set up a few webcams near their favorite spots and at their food & water dishes so you can check in on your kitties while you're away - it'll set your mind at ease.

Can't hurt to get them vaccinated now, too, just in case you have to board them, but that should be your last-ditch option.
posted by workerant at 1:16 PM on August 21, 2008

Can you hire someone to come to THEM to feed/scoop/play?

Yeah. I hate to be one of those "you asked where to do X, but how about doing Y instead?" people, but it will be more comfortable for the cats (and probably cheaper) to hire a professional cat sitter. If you lived here, I could recommend one and there would be lots to choose from. I'll bet there are many where you live as well.

(I'm not saying that you musn't board them-- they'll be fine. But you might not have considered this other option.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:16 PM on August 21, 2008

Definitely get a cat sitter. One of the best we had was $15 per stop. We had her come every other day for food, water and litter cleanup. She left a little cat journal about what they did and how they played while she was there and even emailed us a few pictures every day. Pretty nice little service.
posted by sanka at 1:20 PM on August 21, 2008

It is not in West LA, but we have had great results with The Best Little Cat House. It is expensive but worth the money if you can't leave them at home. Food, water, tons of places to play, etc.

We have two cats: a "greeter" and a "hider." Once we put them there, though, the "greeter" became reclusive, hiding on top of the big cat apartment. The "hider" became a social butterfly, playing with all the cats and generally acting way more outgoing than normal. They reverted instantly to their regular roles when they came back home.

Usually these days we have a friend stop by every couple of days to check on the cats and play with them.
posted by charlesv at 1:26 PM on August 21, 2008

Response by poster: In that case... anyone have further advice about finding a great petsitter? (I work from home so co-workers are not really a resource for me!)

I hate the idea of a stranger coming into my house while I'm away but maybe someone can recommend a business that specializes in this?
posted by eric1200 at 1:27 PM on August 21, 2008

Pet Sitting Service in your area.
posted by essexjan at 1:27 PM on August 21, 2008

I've had luck with Craigslist then checking at least 3 references (this is a good job for teens/students)
posted by tristeza at 1:35 PM on August 21, 2008

Yep, Craigslist is where we found ours.
posted by sanka at 1:36 PM on August 21, 2008

Do you like your vet? Sometimes they can recommend reputable pet sitting services. I found that a couple of the techs at the practice where I went were occasional pet sitters too.

Recommendations from neighbors combined with references might help to ease your mind too.
posted by gladly at 1:49 PM on August 21, 2008

Yelp has good reviews of local pet sitters, at least in the Chicago area.
posted by nitsuj at 1:52 PM on August 21, 2008

You can always try sittercity
posted by sondrialiac at 2:07 PM on August 21, 2008

Craigslist has classifieds for pet services and also the petfo (filtered to just la) for discussion. The forums are a little hit or miss but if you are looking for a sitter you might find corroboration of your choices there.
posted by jessamyn at 2:12 PM on August 21, 2008

Definitely look for a professional company if the idea of a stranger being in your home bothers you. They tend to have very clear guidelines and go over them with new clients. I'm a repeat client of a service in my area. It's a little pricey, but it keeps me and the cat both sane when I'm gone for long periods.
posted by Tehanu at 3:41 PM on August 21, 2008

Also it's not totally crazy to get a pet sitter who is bonded and insured, meaning they carry insurance in case something should happen while they are on the job. Here's a little more about those terms also including that the term "licensed pet sitter" doesn't really mean anything special. If you are cautious, you can look for sitters who are insured/bonded and this is usually a sign of someone who takes the job seriously. I'd go with word of mouth from friends/vet first obviously, but this is something else good to know.
posted by jessamyn at 3:47 PM on August 21, 2008

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