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Pet Sitter Service versus Boarding for 1 week-Ft. Laud, FL?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Jack and I are going out of town for a whole week (actually 10 days) between Christmas and New Years. Because it's a holiday, we are having trouble finding someone we know to come pet-sit Carl. Our usual people are also out of town.

So I am left to decide whether we want to take Carl to a boarding place (there are a few that are only cat, no dogs here in Ft. Laud) or hire a pet sitting service (in-home). I am really hesitant leaving some stranger a key to my home and access to my cat (and all other possesions) for a week, but I guess it's the same as hiring a maid service...

BUT, I would rather Carl be at home where he is comfortable, and I would hate to have him think we are returning him to the rescue, but at the same time I don't want to leave him alone at home with someone looking in on him only once or twice (10 days is too long for that). I want him to be played with and loved on at least every other day (every day ideally), and I don't know for sure if the boarding places would do anything more than put him in a kennel.

If there is anyone who is in the Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood area who knows a good pet sitter, that would be perfect! Are there any local cat sites that anyone knows of? I just want to plan ahead for this so that Carl is taken care of while we are gone.
post #2 of 8
Oh Adrianne, I wish I was closer, I'd definately come by every other evening and spend some time with Carl. Do you know any responsible teenagers in your neighborhood that could maybe do their homework at your place every other day, and stop in each morning to feed him? That would be ideal. Or maybe at church, do you know anyone from any place like that? I'm thinking of it like baby sitting, you have to find someone that loves animals like you do. And even so, I'd still lock up your valubles while your gone. I do even when no one will be home! Good luck, it's a sin you can't bring Carl with you!
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
That's the bad part of being new to a town. We have only lived in Hollywood for 6 months, and so I don't really know anyone other than work friends.

We have two absolutely great people who have come in for us before and spent a long time lovin' on Carl-they are both cat lovers and owners. But they both work for the studio, which is closed for that week, and they are both taking the week for vacation.

Ugh, see this is why I should start riding horses again--when I was riding for a barn, there were always at least 3 responsible teenagers willing to pet sit!

I am really trying to hard not to have to take him to a boarding place, and I absolutely won't leave him in a kennel for 10 days (no way!). I have seen some pet sitting services online (mostly dog walkers, etc) that look promising, but I am uncomfortable letting someone in my home a whole lot. Good thing is I have two months to figure it out!

We won't be gone the whole 10 days-we are driving down to my parents' house in the keys for Christmas then up to SC for New Years, so we will be home in between for maybe a day or two. It sucks that my parents won't let us bring him!!! I talked to my Dad about it, and their house is on the market and he is 100% against us bringing Carl(he is so not a pet person, gave my dog away (to a great family but still) when I went to college, prefers nice furniture to pets). I am going to call and talk to my step-mom to see if I can't bargain something like bringing him and keeping him in the spare guest room or something, Soft Claws on all four, etc...
post #4 of 8
Just research a pet-sitter. Many of them are willing and happy to spend quality time your pet. Most are also insured (if not, don't use them!) which means that they pay if anything gets stolen.
post #5 of 8
ok I am no where near your area but I can tell you that I always use a cat only pet sitter called the cat nanny in my area. she comes every day for at least an hour gauranteed and its $18 dollars a day she feeds changes litter brushes gives treats plays with them and even brings in mail alternates curtains switches lights on and off and all that stuff. I was kind of nervous about using her at first too but I got married out of state and with that and the honeymoon we were gone for 3 weeks then we were home for two weeks then we left for 10 days to go to maine and she came then too.

I dont know what I would have done without my cat nanny so I highly highly reccomend services like this. You should check angies list and any cat nanny should provide references if you call her. I would start checking into the different cat sitters in your area. if they wont give you any references then they arent worth your time!
post #6 of 8
I can't speak for the pet sitting services in your area, of course, but that is how we deal with absences now. We used to get my stepson to come in, but he's pretty busy, and out of town some, so it's been harder the last few times to make it work. So when we hit a particularly awkward one last spring, we researched pet sitters, and have been delighted with the woman we found.

You need to make sure that they are bonded, licensed and insured and have pet first aid certification, and then you should be OK in terms of safety and security. Ours charges $18 for a half hour visit, and $5 for each additional 15 minutes. She'll take in mail, water plants, turn lights on and off to make the place look more lived in, etc, in addition to all the pet care stuff: feeding, litter, playtime, meds if required, hustle them off to the vet if there's a need. She leaves us a little diary of her visits, and checks in after we're home. And the kids are in their home. We've had a totally unprecedented 4 trips this year more than just overnight, one of them 10 days, and Cindy's even stopped hiding from her. That's an accomplishment.

Before the first time, she came over of an evening, and we had quite a long conversation about our needs and how she operates, and were content to leave the girls in her care. It takes a little research, and some time interviewing, but it's worth it in the end, and now when I go away, I still miss my kids terribly, but I don't worry about them.

post #7 of 8
I used a pet sitter for the first time in sept. she was recommended by a coworker, and was great! I needed he because my cat needs to be pilled and I didn't want to ask my friend to do it. She is too nervous about things like that. So she came in the afternoon to feed and scoop, and the pet sitter came first thing in the morning. She left notes on what they ate and the urine volume for Spike. she was great for $15 aday. I was going to take Spike (pills) with me, but I think a three hour ride and a week in a strnge place would have been too stresful for him. The petsitter is a much better option. since you have a lot of time just start asking everyone you come into contact with if they can recommend anyone. If you get the same name twice, you are set.
post #8 of 8
I'm leaning more and more toward a pet sitter for the rare occasions that we're gone longer than a few days. I have family I could have check on my kits (except for the wedding) but I don't feel right asking non-cat people to scoop a litter box. Heck, the cats are technically mine so I don't even ask my fiance to do it.
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