From the Forum – Places to walk your… cat? and Looking for a Cat Sitter

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Places to walk your… cat?:

“This is sort of a ridiculous question but does anyone know of a good place to walk your cat?

I’m from NC and my cat is used to being an indoor/outdoor cat and doing whatever he wants. Now he is stuck inside all day and is going CRAZY. I’ve gotten him a million awesome toys and structures but he just wants the real deal.

I got one of those cat leashes but i don’t have a backyard or anything to walk him around in. Anyone know of a place where there would be little to no dogs that I could walk this guy at? Has anyone else wanted to walk their cat?”


“Can anyone recommend a cat sitter who does house calls, specifically in Petworth? I have a 2 week vacation coming up and would rather just pay a reliable pet sitter and not have to worry about it than beg friends of mine to pop in every couple of days.”

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43 Comment

  • Brighter Days has a house visiting option. I have used Brighter Days for dog walking for years and have loved them

  • Ally

    Yeah, it’s a little tricky with all the dogs around. If you don’t end up find a good, dog-free spot — a weird but decent alternative is a large houseplant (non-poisonous) or two; I had a cat that would just curl up in the pot — on top of the dirt — and she was pretty much in heaven. One of my two cats also insists on some outdoor time (he used to be an alley cat before I adopted him from the pound). I had ZERO luck with the harness, but am lucky to have a fenced in backyard. Maybe if you have a friend or two with a fenced in yard you could do field trips to those? Either way, neat that you’re looking out for your cat so much. I’m sure he’s very happy.

    • “I’m sure he’s very happy.”
      You really have no basis for this statement. Cats are not known for their adaptability, and one that was used to life outdoors, one whom the owner states is “going crazy” is almost certainly NOT “very happy.” But you’re happy, right? That the cat is living according to your rules? So that’s good.
      OP, at Meridian Hill park, there’s enough open space that you can usually see the dogs coming. Lots to smell there.

    • I had the same problem with my two cats. Something that calmed them both down easily was planting catgrass (you can get packets of the seeds from a petstore) in a big disposable turkey pan! I had to give it a week to really grow in, but once I took the plastic turkey lid off and put it in the sun they both went nuts! They’ll eat it, roll in it, and nap in it, and the desire to go “out” has significantly lessened.

  • I would say walk your cat wherever there is a green space. I have seen lots of people in Adams Morgan out with their cats.

    For a Cat Sitter I would go with Brighter Days Collective. I use them and they always do a great job. My pets are always content when we come back.

    • “I have seen lots of people in Adams Morgan out with their cats.”
      You and I must live in different parts of the neighborhood, friend.

      • I live in Admo and although I wouldnt say lots – I do see a few people walking cats…I mostly see a lady with her cute grey cat.

    • I have seen 3 different people walking their cats in Adams Morgan. And I see a few others up in MalcolmX/Meridian Hill Park.

      Good luck to you – hope you find a way to help calm your kitty.

  • What’s your area like specifically? If it’s not immediately adjacent to any major arteries, I say let the cat out and monitor him. Then gradually increase this freedom to a level your comfortable with. Sometimes they just want to sun themselves on the stoop or go into the bushes. You can coax him back in by shaking his favorite bag of treats.

    • Ally

      I’d really, really advise strongly against this. Both of my cats (adopted from the shelter..picked the first two who were scheduled to be put down) came infected with FIV. It’s like AIDS, but for cats — and they got it because people let them outdoors and they caught it from other infected cats. It makes them very, very prone to lots of horrible illnesses (one of mine now has terminal cancer) and their lifespan gets severely shortened. FIV is very contagious between cats; all it takes is a bite from another infected cat.

      Not to mention all the songbirds that get killed by outdoor cats.

      Anywho, sorry to soapbox, but letting your cat outdoors would be a very bad idea unless (as the OP mentioned), a leash was involved or you could monitor him very closely the whole time (it was the “increasing his freedom” part that had me concerned we were looking to let him out unsupervised).

      • I have to second this. Most of the alley cats in DC have FIV, and the FIV vaccine for your inside cat is only 80% effective. You do not want your indoor kitty mixing with alley cats. (Which is not to say that you can’t love and care for DC’s community cats – just that you have to keep them separate from your inside kitty!)

      • Please spare all the real cat lovers from having to see a flattened cat carcass in the street at least once a week; besides the many near car crashes as traumatized drivers try to avoid hitting said cats, as well as dog owners who narrowly escape all of the above when loose cats dart out.

        But if your cat adjusts to the harness, anyplace outside will be fine as long as you keep an eye out. Just remember that it isn’t just dogs that might be a threat – all kinds of noise or sudden movement – a blowing newspaper etc. might panic the cat. Just get a harness s/he can’t escape.

    • also illegal in the District

  • Patrick’s Pet Care is AMAZING! I use them for both my dog and my cat.

  • I’d be happy to petsit your kitty! I live nearby in Lanier Heights and have a car. I don’t know how to prove to you I’m not a psycho without revealing my info publicly though?

  • I use Tails of the City for all my cat sitting needs. They are awesome, reliable, flexible, and cheap, and my cat has always been a happy camper when I return.

    Good luck with the cat walking.

  • I use for pet sitting. They background check their sitters and so far, all has been good. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

  • I have been using FurPals Pet Care for the past few years and have nothing but positive things to say. Yvette came and met with me and my cat for an hour, she asks for information about your pet and preferences, contact info for the vet, and every time someone stops by they leave a “Staycation” note about what they did and how your cat was. They do both cat and dog visits!

  • I use rover dot com for pet-sitting. They offer background checked people who can either stay at your place or take your pets to theirs. So far, it’s been great.

  • I use Dog Paws and Cat Claws. They have been good to deal with. They have a new person named Maureen that has checked in on my cats recently. She’s amazing!

    I saw a recommendation for Tails of the City, but I used them in the past and they did damage to my unit. They and their insurance company stuck me with the bill for the damage. I don’t recommend them at all!

  • I use HomeBuddiesDC for cat-sitting. They’re super-responsible and responsive, and they send you a daily email or text letting you know how your pets are doing (with pictures, if you want!). I cannot recommend them highly enough.

  • I’ve used Jules’s Petsitting for coverage for 5 years for our 2 cats. They’re reliable and the cats like Peggy in particular.

  • I’m a fourth year veterinary student coming to DC to work at the National Zoo from 2/23 to 4/3. I’m looking for places close to there to stay and am available as an in house pet sitter during that time If anyone is looking for help!

  • I’m a fourth year veterinary student coming to DC to work at the National Zoo from 2/23 to 4/3. I’m looking for places close to there to stay and am available as an in house pet sitter during that time If anyone is looking for help! Jackie Paritte, jmparitte at gmail dot com

  • I know someone whose cat was mauled by two pit bulls while she was walking it on a leash (Falls Church, not DC, but still…). I wonder if the cat would have had a better chance of escape if it wasn’t constrained by the leash, or if it would have happened regardless.


    Mindful Pet Services is amazing! Doralee was previously a vet tech in DC for many years and now has her own business. We’ve used her many times for our cats while away, and several of my friends and coworkers have as well.

  • I use and recommend Robin Brock for cat sitting. Her site is She’s conscientious, and our cats seem to like her. She’s also the Monday night bartender at Bravo Bar.

  • I second Robin with Woofpack, my cat absolutely loves her! Robin is also great with dogs.

  • I see cats out and about on leashes in Meridian Hill Park quite often.

  • I recommend Sit A Pet, I’ve been a customer 3-4 years and am quite happy with my sitter.

  • I’ve seen people walk cats in Malcom x park ( I’m jealous, our cat refuses to get on a leash!)

    Devin from Brighter Days Collectuve came to our home over the holidays to watch our cat and he was wonderful

  • When I’ve had strictly indoor cats, I’ve found it’s best if the have a companion. Two is definitely better than one.

  • My cat doesn’t walk on a leash but he does love fresh air and being outside (even thought he’s strictly an indoor only cat). I’ve had good results using a cat stroller. If you don’t mind a few weird looks from strangers it really is a great way to let your kitty enjoy the outdoors with you.
    Look up “pet stroller” online and you will see lots of different styles in all different price ranges. I got a very cheap one on eBay a few years ago for about $45. It was one where the carriage part zipped up completely (to provide security) but had mesh side windows covered with flaps that I could roll up so he could see out. It was also collapsible for easy storage! That stroller lasted a really long time.
    Good luck!

    • Liz, you and your cat in a stroller sound adorable! I’d have probably given you a weird or confused look but now that I know it’s a thing, I’ll be sure to smile if I see this around.

  • Check out this article on walking your cat on a leash (in NYC). I got our cat’s harness based on this article. It is less fiddly to get on than the criss cross ones, plus it feels very secure. The article is funny but will also give you some good tips. Good luck!

  • i would recommend checking out sit-a-pet. They are very professional and really great about staying in touch by text or email just to let you know things are all ok. Really happy with them.

  • We use Sit-A-Pet and LOVE THEM. Our cats are always so happy and calm when we come back after a vacation!

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