Being a pet owner is fun… but so is travel! Unfortunately combining the two can be a bit of a hassle sometimes. As much as I would like to take my cats on a first class adventure around the world; I’m sure they’d think differently about it.

Louis (Vuitton), coincidentally very snobby.
Gusto (named after our favourite gelato shop, coincidentally overweight)

I get asked the question a lot; what do you do with your cats when you’re away? Here are the 3 services we use the most; they are all excellent if you don’t want to hassle your friends and family each time you jet off!

Mad Paws Review

Mad Paws is a mobile app and online platform which lets you connect to vetted pet sitters around Australia. Alexis Soulopoulos co-founded the company while pet-sitting in his uni days. He’s also a fellow Belgian here in Australia! The service comes with free liability insurance and phone support. Every pet sitter on the platform must go through a vetting process and will also receive reviews from completed jobs.

Mad Paws review
Mad Paws Website

Pet sitters set their own pricing for a variety of options (feeding animals, walking them, taking them home etc.). We always go with the at home option and get our pet sitter to feed and play with the cats each day. If we go away a bit longer, we may even book 2 visits a day which most offer as an option. Our typical pet sitter will charge between 15-20$ per visit.

Mad Paws covers pretty much every single animal you can think of, so it’s by no means exclusive to dogs and cats. Pet tarantula, no problem!

Mad Paws App
Mad Paws App

As a points collector, we have to give Mad Paws extra credit for their partnership with Qantas. Right now you can earn 1 QF point per dollar spend on pet sitting.

The Mad Paws app also has a built-in message service so you can contact your pet sitter through there and they can send you pictures of your furry family while you’re away.

Payments are made through the app, and of course, all major credit cards are accepted Amex, Visa & Mastercard.

Free $30 Credit:

If you’re new to the service and want to give it a try, we have secured a $30 free credit for Flight Hacks readers when you sign up via this link.

Pawshake Review

Pawshake is another excellent app/website which offers the same services as Mad Paws. You may think this is a conspiracy but the co-founder of this site is also a damn Belgian! What’s going on?!

Pawshake review
Pawshake Website

We use both Pawshake and Mad Paws, especially when our regular sitters are unavailable. It enables us to find potentially more people that aren’t signed up to both platforms.

Just like Mad Paws, the app has got everything you need to find and connect with your pet sitter.

Pawshake app review
Pawshake App Setup

Pawshake payments are made through the app and every popular payment method is accepted; Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Paypal.

Pawshake Services Review
Pawshake Services Overview

You can check out the site here: https://www.pawshake.com.au/home-en-au

Trusted Housesitters

We use this website when we go away for an extended period (multiple weeks). Trusted Housesitters is a global platform that connects you to people that want to house sit during the dates you’re away.

Trusted Housesitters review 2018
Trusted Housesitters Website

The service comes with a yearly annual fee of $130, but the great thing is that neither the pet sitter or the pet owner pay each other anything.

You agree that the pet sitter will live in your house while you’re away and in exchange, they will look after your pets. It’s a win-win.

We’ve used the service for 2 years now and have always managed to find great sitters who did a fantastic job looking after our cats and our apartment.

Understandably, most people don’t like the idea of a stranger living in your house, but all sitters are rated on past experiences and write a profile description about themselves and why they are looking for a place to stay.

I’ve found most people on there are travelling around and use the site as a means to save on accommodation. We generally look for a solo traveller and let them have our guest room while our bedroom and bathroom are off limits.

I think the service is excellent because #1 it saves you a lot of money on cat/dog boarding and #2 your pets won’t be stressed out about having to move to a new environment.

If you’re interested in giving this service a try, you can sign up via this link for a 20% discount on your first year.