Going away can be a stressful and upsetting situation for you and your cat. Taking your cat to a cattery or trusting your neighbour to feed and water them can be daunting. Is there a better solution? Yes! Hire a professional cat sitter.
What are the advantages?
There are many advantages to using a qualified cat sitter. Cats are creatures of habit and are very sensitive to change. Using a cat sitter enables your pet to stay in their own home, in the environment that they know best. They will be able to eat their favourite cat food and keep to their daily routine.
Using a sitting service avoids using catteries.
The journey to the cattery, with all the yowling and the obligatory poo in the carrier, can be distressing for all. Due to higher populations at catteries your cat can be at risk of being exposed to potential diseases and parasites. Cats are extremely territorial and being in such close proximity can be very emotionally upsetting for them.
And the advantages don’t stop there.
By using a sitter you will have happier friends or neighbours, who don’t feel burdened, with the responsibility of looking after your house and your much-loved pet. You will also have peace of mind knowing that a qualified professional with feline expertise and experience is caring for your pet.
Cat sitters provide protection.
Your home can be vulnerable to brake-ins while you are away and a sitter provides excellent protection. Most cat sitters will bring in mail out of sight, alternate your lights and curtains so potential burglars won’t even know your away.
And let's not forget the plants.
Any sitter worth their salt will keep your house plants nice and hydrated.
So now you have decided to use a pet sitter, how do you find the right sitter for both you and your companion? Here are some key elements to look for!
Cats are very particular and you should look for a sitter that has a wealth of experience in caring for cats. I would recommend that you hire a cat sitter instead of a pet sitter. This is to insure you find a sitter that has an understanding of feline behaviour and health.
Ask the cat sitter if they have any formal qualification that not only reinforce their experience but also prove their competence in feline welfare. Don’t be afraid to ask to see certification.
3. Meet and Greet
All pet sitters should offer a free meet and greet. The aim is to see if the sitter is compatible with both you and your pet. This should be approached as an interview. The sitter should be friendly and professional. Observing the interactions between your cat and the sitter is a great way to gauge their experience.
You should be completely confident in your sitter’s competency. Unfortunately, the unforeseeable can sometimes happen. The cat sitter should be fully insured with public liability insurance and pet insurance for when the pet is in their care. Ask to see the pet sitters policy so you know exactly what is covered.
You will be allowing the sitter into your home to look after your beloved pet. This requires an element of trust. Use the ‘meet and greet’ to gauge how you feel about the cat sitter. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t use them. There are other more quantifiable measures of trust than pure gut feeling. The sitter should be able to provide a basic disclosure certificate detailing any previous convictions if the sitter has any. They should also be able to provide references if required.
6. Service Agreement
A professional sitter should provide a service agreement that protects both you and the sitter. The agreement should state the service, the dates and the price you are going to pay. Always be sure to read the small print!