The Meowtel Blog

For your regular feline mews

MAY 17, 2016

Win tickets to CatConLA 2016!

What's better than a 2-day party all about cats?


We're giving away 1 Saturday pass (June 25) and 1 Sunday pass (June 26) which will get you access into the kitty-tastic expo that takes place at The Reef in Los Angeles. The Meowtel team will be wandering around the convention too so make sure you say meow when you see us!

To enter the giveaway, head on over to Meowtel on Facebook and show us:

  • A great, hilarious, or otherwise amazing photo of one of your very own cats
  • or
  • A photo of your favorite cat, cat meme, or cat accessory!

We will judge each photo based on the image quality, the kitty pose, and the creativity! Winners will be announced on Friday, June 10.

Happy CatConLA 2016 and we can't wait to see you in LA!

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APRIL 5, 2016

Meowtel Fees (hint: there are none) and sitter commissions

So what's new?

We're very pleased to announce that there are zero booking fees for owners when they make a cat sitting reservation through Meowtel! We made this change to make it even easier, and more affordable, for cat owners across the country to make a Meowtel reservation with our many trusted sitters.

No hidden fees, ever.

So how does Meowtel make money in order to keep the site operational?

We will continue to take a minimum 12% commission from each sitter when a reservation is made. For exmaple, if Joe Sitter is booked for a 5-day reservation at $20 per day, his gross proceeds are $100, Meowtel takes 12% of the $100 ($12) and his net proceeds from this reservation would be $88 - transferred to him within 2 business days via the Stripe platform.

How do the higher commissions work?

Meowtel offers an "auction" style bidding process for your sitter profile to show up higher in search results, with the highest commission we take capping out at 20%.

When you see a "Sponsored" sitter listing, this means the sitter is offering Meowtel a commission of between 13% - 20% to have a higher ranking in search results.

Have additional questions about Meowtel fees? Feel free to contact us.

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MARCH 29, 2016

Meowtel Sitter Achievement Badges

Meowtel is all about making cat sitting easy, affordable, and fun. With that comes Achievement Badges you can earn to give some added "flair" to your profile!

You can always read up on all Sitter Achievement Badges in our FAQ, but we also wanted to spend some time giving you the low-down on these nifty achievements!

All badges are systematically awarded to Meowtel sitters, with the exception of the Verified Badge which is handled by the Bellhop team.

If you'd like to earn a Verified Badge, please include 2 References in your Sitter Profile account dashboard. The Bellhop will be in touch with them to verify you are an exceptional sitter and will contact you once a Verified Badge has been awarded.

Do note: phone reference checks tend to take 7-14 business days to complete whereas email reference checks can be completed within 2-5 business days.

Below is a list of all the Badges you can earn:

1 year: the user has been a Meowtel sitter for a year.

2 year: the user has been a Meowtel sitter for 2 years.

Community Choice awarded each month to the sitter(s) that had the most 5 star ratings and at least a 4 star average. These are the Meowtel superstar sitters!

Beloved: the sitter has at least 5 ratings over 4-stars. This sitter would be totally great with your furbabies.

Crowd Pleaser: the sitter has at least 3 ratings over 4-stars. A great sitter - give them a whirl.

Established: the sitter has completed 1-3 reservations. They're on their way to being a a superstar sitter.

Empire: the sitter has completed over 20 reservations. These are you Meowtel masters!

Fresh: the sitter has been on Meowtel for over 3 months but less than a year. You'll see a lot of "fresh" sitters since Meowtel launched in August 2015.

Newbie: the sitter has been on Meowtel for less than 90 days. Even if they're new, what are their credentials? Are they Verified? Invite them for a Meet & Greet to see if they'd be a great match for your cat!

Growing: the sitter has completed 3-5 reservations.

Popular: the sitter has completed 5-10 reservations.

#1 Host: the user has been a Meowtel sitter for a year. Expect to see a lot of our sitters begin to receive this badge after August 2016.

Talk of the Town: the sitter has completed 10-20 reservations. These are the Meowtel heavyweights.

Verified: the sitter has passed their reference checks with rave reviews. There are dozens of Verified sitters on Meowtel so if you want an extra layer of trust, look for the Verified Badge.

You can locate the Badges you have earned in the bottom left of your public Sitter Profile or in Sitter search results!

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MARCH 23, 2016

5 plants you & your cat will love this spring

Spring has sprung: the sun is shining and you're spending more time outdoors...maybe even with your frisky feline! Even if you only have a small indoor garden, here are 5 plants that will add cheer to your home and are beneficial for your cats to nibble on!

1. Lemongrass

Cats AND humans love lemongrass. It's fresh, citrusy aroma is widely used in Asian cuisine but can also add flavor to teas and soups. For kitties, it has effects similar to catnip. Just be sure to not let your feline have lemongrass essential oil as it can be toxic!

2. Thyme

Thyme can be easily grown in a sunny windowsill and this herb has beneficial properties for both cats and their owners. "Thymol" is the herb's active ingredient that can help treat certain worm parasites, improve the cat's digestive health, and prevent hairballs. Thyme has many antibacterial properties, making it great for treating acne, lowering blood pressure, and building your immune system's strength. For human consumption, thyme can spice up any roast, egg scramble, or spread. Check out this scrumptious garlic thyme butter recipe!

3. Mint

Simply put, who doesn't love mint? This plant is a member of the catnip family so cats love to nibble on the flavorful leaves - just don't let them eat a whole bunch as it may cause an upset stomach! Mint is incredibly easy to grow in any garden. For a great way to relax at the end of the day, crush up some fresh mint leaves and use the oils on a washcloth to gently exfoliate.

4. Wheat Grass

Is this the green thing you dread at Jamba Juice? While cats are natural carnivores, nibbling or eating delicious plants helps with their digestion and aids with ridding toxins out of the body. You may notice, to your dismay, your kitty regurgitating this grass once eaten. Don't fret - this is just their way of cleaning out their system! For humans, wheat grass is an amazing superfood loaded with antioxidants. It can give you a great start to your morning as a shot of juice!

5. Lavender

Lavender, in our humble opinion, is the queen of relaxation. It can act as a mild sedative if a cat nibbles on its leaves or flowers. We recommend picking some fresh lavender stems, crushing them up, and displaying them in a bowl. When you need a moment of relaxation, take a pinch of the crushed lavender and inhale the wonderful smell it emits. You'll probably have some leftover lavender oil on your skin after doing so, too!

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MARCH 10, 2016

9 ways to rule your spring break 2016

Spring break is right around the corner and whether you're headed to Cancun with friends or your parent's house for free food, we hope your break is purrfection!

1. Don't be worried about tanlines

Photo: MelisBuzzFeed / Buzzfeed

You've been stuck inside all winter that even if it's only 60 degrees on the beach, you're ready to soak up the sun.

2. Wake up on an unknown sofa...

Photo: Camila Vallejo / Blogspot

...with an epic story. This poor cat had a rough night and will probably have an even rougher morning. Yup, we've all been there.

3. Indulge in some bunny ears

Photo: Unknown

Take the level of hilarity up a notch by buying a matching pair for your feline.

4. Sunday brunch = mimosas

Photo: @Rancholulu_kitty / Instagram

When noon rolls around on Easter Sunday and the champagne hasn't been brought out, then we all feel the same way as this furball.

5. Be dapper [af]

Photo: @Winston_Quincy / Instagram

Get your 'stache groomed and the fresh flowers going to attract the babes!

6. Dance your paws off!

Photo: @animalyearbookpics / Instagram

Because who doesn't enjoy getting nice and sweaty at a crazy disco party?

7. Buy a bottle for every day of spring break

Photo: @m.molo / Instagram

No shame in your game. You deserve a break!


Photo: @lkm_yeg / Instagram

You may remember that you have work to finish up before spring break is over... buuuuut you don't really care. Pass another croissant, please.

9. Enjoy the moment

Photo: @sarahinasia / Instagram

Live it up. And by living it up, we mean take a ridiculous amount of cat naps.

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MARCH 3, 3016

5 of our favorite polydactyl facts in honor of "If cats & dogs had opposable thumbs day"

Isn't it great to have such special days like one focused solely on if cats and dogs had opposable thumbs? We thought it was only fitting to feature some of our favorite polydactyl cats who really do have opposable thumbs (well, almost)!

1. Dozens of polydactyl cats live at Ernest Hemingway's former home

The 40-50 cats that roam Hemingway's home (which is now a museum) are descendants of his original polydactyl kitten, Snow White. Hemingway had received Snow White from a sailor and fell so in love with felines that he nicknamed them "purr sponges."

2. 28 toes is the polydactyl Guinness Record

Photo: brownpau / Flickr

For some perspective, normal cats have 18 toes.

3. Sailors love mermaids, rum, and...polydactyls?

Photo: LoudNProud93 / Imgur

These cats are agile, great hunters, and can keep ship rodent populations in check. They're also considered lucky to have on board!

4. Polydactyls were considered supernatural entities in Medieval Europe

Sources say few polydactyls exist throughout Europe because these cats were considered witches' assistants and killed as a result. While having extra toes sure is magical, we're not sure how helpful they'd be in spell casting.

5. Polydactylism is a genetic anomaly

Photo: Lilnoo / Reddit

But "boxing cats" and "mittens cats" make for adorable nicknames.

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