Keep You Cat Happy at Home
How to Choose a cat sitter who’s right for your cat
In part 1 of this series, Do Cats Get Lonely, we answered that question with a resounding Yes! Cats most certainly do get lonely. They actually do miss you while you’re away, and they often get very bored, too.
Does that mean you are supposed to just stay home and never travel again?
Of course not! Here we’ll help you choose the right cat sitter, so you can travel with peace of mind and enjoy your trip.
by Linda Hall and Rita Reimers, Cat Behavior Experts
Choosing the Right Cat Sitter
Choosing a Cat Sitter can be a daunting task. But never fear; we’ll explain how to hire a cat sitter so you won’t have to worry while you’re away. When choosing a cat sitter, there are things you should ask, decisions to make, and information you should share with your sitter.
As former owners of Just For Cats Pet Sitting (now owned by Meowtel), we will share with you the things we believe you need to know in order to have a successful relationship with your cat sitter.
Where do I find a professional cat sitter?
The number one place to find a professional cat sitter is Google, of course! Search for cat sitters in your area, read the information and check the reviews!
Call the companies you are considering and ask them about their service. They know you need to be comfortable leaving your fur baby with them and should be happy to discuss any questions and concerns you have.
Definitely request a meet and greet so you can communicate necessary information, in person, and observe the sitter’s interactions with your cat. If kitty gets medications, we suggest the sitter attempt this at that time. The sitter can learn your method, and you can be sure the sitter is successful before you leave. This is also the time to give your sitter the keys they need. Have them test it out just to be safe!
What does my cat caregiver need to know?
Be specific about what food, treats and water should be given as well as the amount and how often. How often do you want water changed and bowls washed? Are there foods or treats that aren’t allowed due to allergies or weight concerns?
Where are the litter boxes, scoops and bags? Where do you dispose of the soiled litter?
Is your sitter allowed to adjust temperature or turn on radio or TV? Some clients want nothing turned on that will run up their electric bills and others want a radio running constantly. What is your preference?
Does kitty have a favorite toy or blanket? Is she shy or super friendly? Maybe she loves brushing and playing or does she nip when brushed and prefer snuggling to playing. All of these details will help them become friends!
If there was a need to evacuate, like a fire or flood, you sitter will need to know where the carrier is, where to go, and who they should call.
What should your sitter do if kitty becomes ill? We tell our sitters to call us first if it’s not serious or if they are unsure what to do. However, if it’s urgent, they are to go straight to the vet and call us after. Let your sitter know how you prefer this to be handled before it ever comes up.
How will your cat sitter communicate with you?
Does your sitter take pictures? We advised our sitters take photos when they arrive, midway through the sit, and before leaving (at the very least) and text them to our clients, along with little stories about what their cats have been up to. This protects the sitters by showing the time of arrival and departure, plus it’s reassuring for clients to see their baby is being cared for properly.
It’s amazing to see the kitty babies are happy and loved while you are away and missing them! (yes, we use cat sitters too, and those photos are everything!)
Speaking of the vet…
It’s a good idea to call your veterinarian’s office before you leave town. Many vets will not treat a cat without your permission. We let our vet’s office know the dates we will be gone, the name of the person caring for our cats, and give consent for any necessary treatment in an emergency.
Also make sure they have an updated card on file to pay for these expenses.
So now you know how to successfully choose a cat sitter who is the right fit for you. There are plenty of companies to choose from who care for cats. Our purrr-sonal choice is someone who specializes in cats specifically. When we decided to sell Rita’s cat sitting business to focus on behavior issues, we did a lot of research. We wanted to know how they vetted their sitters, how the business was run, their policies, etc.
We chose Meowtel to acquire Just For Cats, because their ideas about cat care were very similar to ours. (Rita is now on the board.) Meowtel has sitters in 31 states plus Washington DC. To see if they have someone in your area, you can check them out here!
With a Cat Sitter on your cat care team, you can now travel and actually enjoy your trip, knowing your cat is at home getting pampered and spoiled by the cat sitter you chose especially for them.
Hey, let’s hit the beach!