As a cat-lover, I hate the idea of putting my kitties in a kennel when I go away. Thankfully, technology has come up with a way to make being away from their pets a little less painful for travellers.
Cat in a Flat is a crowd-sourced website that helps you find local cat sitters who’ll pop in daily to feed them. You could also sign up as a sitter yourself to earn a little extra spending money. Another option for finding full-time home care is Petsnflats.
It works a bit like Airbnb, where people post details of their property and pets, asking for guests to stay free of charge in return for caring for them. For those who just can’t bear to be parted from seeing their pets, why not install a pet cam like the ones available at Petcube. There are a couple of different versions that let you play with your cat using a laser pointer, or talk to your dog and throw treats to be caught as you watch the video feed. They’re on the expensive side at over $200 (£150), but the latest update adds artificial intelligence to recognise your pets, triggering a video feed that effectively lets them snap selfies and start a video call with you.
If you want to go really over the top, the PupPod adds training and exercise for pampered pooches, using a self-righting wobble-toy they need to push across the room and knock over before a treat is released.
It’s not for the faint-hearted, as the full training package will set you back almost $500 (£380) — a price that might give some owners paws for thought.
Published in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)