Unlike dogs, cats are solitary in nature and do not get excited about change. Some cats adjust well to the environment of a boarding facility, but many cats fare better when they can remain in their familiar home setting during their owner’s absence. Employing a cat sitter will provide your cat with human contact and ease your concerns about leaving your feline friend home alone when you travel. What to do with your Pet when you Travel?
Advantages of Hiring a Sitter
By hiring a cat sitter, your cat will be able to avoid the stress and anxiety of traveling to a boarding facility and being in a cage within an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar cats. A sitter will visit your home as often as you request. During these visits, he or she will take care of feeding your cat, attending to the litter box, playing with your cat and providing human interaction and affection. Some sitters also offer to perform additional services, such as watering your houseplants and bringing in your mail, and some sitters will take up residence in your home if you prefer to keep your house looking inhabited while you are away.
Finding Pet Sitters
Although the teenaged girl next door may offer to perform cat sitting duties, you may be more comfortable hiring a professional who is experienced with caring for cats and recognizing potential signs of a problem should a health issue arise in your cat. There are a few options for finding a pet sitter for your cat. Contact your cat’s veterinarian and ask if any members of his or her staff perform cat sitting services. You can ask neighbors, coworkers and friends who own cats for recommendations of any sitters that they have used. Another source to contact for cat sitting services is the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
Interviewing a Sitter
A sitter will be entering your home and will be entrusted with your cat’s care. You must be comfortable with trusting this individual. A professional pet sitter should be prepared to show proof that he or she is bonded and insured. You should also request several references from the pet sitter, and be sure to follow up by verifying these references. Ask the sitter what he or she will provide in the way of care for your cat, and be sure to obtain a written contract that states the terms of services. Ask the pet sitter how cat sitting care is provided for your cat in the event that he or she becomes ill or has car trouble and cannot report to your home. If your cat requires daily medications or other health treatments, confirm that the sitter is experienced with providing such medical care to cats. Your sitter should be willing to contact you as often as you request to discuss how your cat is faring. Be sure to exchange contact numbers and to provide instructions in case your cat should require veterinary attention.
Arrange a Meeting
Once you are satisfied with the interview and have received positive feedback from the references provided, you should arrange for the sitter to come to your home to meet your cat. It is important that your cat is comfortable and willing to interact with this person. If the two of them interact favorably, then proceed to walk the person through the duties that you will expect from him or her. This is the time to show the sitter where supplies for your cat will be kept, where important telephone numbers will be posted, where and how to engage and disengage the home alarm system, where the circuit breaker to your home is located and where to find emergency supplies.
Once you have hired a cat sitter, consider enlisting the service for a weekend trip. This will serve as a test run to confirm that the sitter is a good match for your cat’s needs. As your trust and relationship with the sitter builds, you can take longer vacations with the relief that your cherished kitty is in good hands.
If you are a dog owner too, find here How to Find a Good Dog Walker!