How to Choose & Prepare for a Cat Sitter
A perk of living in today’s world is that you can find a trustworthy pet sitter just by downloading an app on your phone. Pet sitting has become a massive industry, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s much less daunting to leave your cat when you know they are safe and in their home environment.
Cats love following a predictable routine. Even if you have to remove yourself from that routine for a period, keeping the other elements the same is reassuring.
Where to Find a Cat Sitter
If you’re lucky, you’ll already have a friend or family member who’s willing to watch your pet while you’re away. Besides being able to trust that person, there’s the added bonus that your cat already knows them.
However, if no one you know is up for the task, a Google search for cat sitters in your area will provide options. There are also popular apps and websites such as Rover, PetSitter.Com, and Care. Tools like these give insight into potential pet sitters by providing profiles. There’s less work for you to do when these organizations compile pet sitters. For example, with a system like Rover, applicants are hand-reviewed before being listed as approved sitters.
What to Ask a Potential Sitter
Regardless of how you find your sitter, you’ll want to ask some questions of your own to gain familiarity. Put any agreements in writing.
- Can I talk to your references?
- What previous experience do you have with cats?
- Are you bonded and insured?
- What services (e.g., grooming, medications) do you include?
- Do you provide daily visits or full-time care?
Ask the sitter to come over and get to know your cat. It’s much easier to explain your cat’s schedule and requirements in person. You can tell a great deal just by watching the person interact with your pet. If they are disinterested and ask no questions, steer clear. Look for someone with a good pet-sitting record, enthusiasm, and attention to detail.
Preparing for the Sitter
Once you’ve decided on the perfect sitter, it’s time to prepare your home. The number one thing to do is write down absolutely everything the sitter needs to know about daily care for your cat. Even if you’ve already verbally communicated this information, it’s important to give the sitter something to reference.
Write the numbers for your veterinarian, a local friend or family member, and emergency services. Let your veterinarian know the sitter is responsible for your cat while you’re away or leave a signed letter stating such.
Keep all food, toys, medication, and other supplies in an easy to find location. If your cat has a favorite hiding spot, show it to the sitter beforehand. If they are providing any other services, such as gardening, make sure they know where to find the items for that as well.
One way to ease your mind is to maintain open communication with your sitter. If anything unexpected pops up, you’ll feel better knowing a fix to the problem is just one text or call away.