When you go away on vacation, you’re left with a few options for your furry friend. While it’s possible to board your cat at a local kennel, you might also opt to have someone watch your fur-child within the comfort of their home. Depending on your cat, and depending on the local kennel options, this could be a calmer and familiar environment for your cat, giving them peace of mind while you’re away. There’s a lot to consider when picking the right cat sitter for you—this is your lovely baby we’re talking about here.
Finding a good fit
While we love the quirks of our fluffy friends, this sometimes means they’re particular about who they like and don’t like. For cats, it’s important to find someone that your pet is comfortable with and to find someone that’s familiar with them. Before picking your cat sitter, you’ll want to make sure they’re a good fit for your pet. Here’s some tips on how to make sure your cat will be happy.
Have a playdate
Before picking a sitter, try to arrange a playdate with the potential candidate and your cat. This way, your cat can become familiar with the person before your take off and you can make sure they like each other. Some cats can be very particular with whom they spend their time, so it’s best to have a test playdate beforehand to see how the two interact. If your cat is anxious or aggressive towards a person then it might not be a good fit.
Ask for references and experience
Since this person will be looking after your pet and in your home, it’s good to get a gauge on their character and who they are as a person. You should always use caution when welcoming someone that you don’t know into your home, especially for an extended period of time. Be sure to ask any possible cat sitters if they have experience with or have had cats in the past. Ask if they have any references you could call to verify, like a roommate or family member.
Setting your sitter up for success
Before you leave for your trip, you’ll want to make sure that your sitter is set up for success with all of the information that they need while you’re gone. This includes details about your cat like their typical feeding routine, how they like and don’t like to be played with, and even information they might need in an emergency, like the phone number of your primary vet. You’ll also want to make sure you’re stocked up on the necessary supplies, like food, treats, and litter.
Here are a few tips to help set your cat sitter up for success.
Stock up on the essentials
You’ll want to make sure you have enough of your cat’s favorite food, treats, and kitty litter on hand. It might sound obvious, but it’s always good to check your supply just to make sure before you depart. Be sure to tell your sitter where to find everything so everything goes off without a hitch.
Detail your kitty’s routine
Some cats like to eat first thing in the morning—and will let you know this at 5 AM—and some like to eat twice at night. You’ll want to write out the nitty gritty details of when your cat gets fed, how much, and how often so that your sitter has all of the details they need. You might also want to include some of the rules of the house for your cat, like if they’re allowed to go outside or if they’re only allowed in some parts of the house. While these details might seem common sense to you by now, you know your cat’s life inside and out. By writing down these details, you’ll give your sitter something to refer back to.
Leave your cat’s emergency info
While no one wants an emergency to happen while your cat is under the care of someone else, it’s better to be safe than sorry and give your sitter any information they might need. This includes details like the primary vet you use, how to contact them, and their location. You might also want to include details on the closest emergency animal hospital and relevant medical details for your cat. If your cat has any medical conditions, medications, or known allergies be sure to inform your sitter of these details just in case. If your cat takes any medications on a routine basis, you’ll want to make sure that’s available too and demonstrate how to give it to your cat.
Still having trouble finding a sitter?
There are a lot of steps to finding the right sitter, and it could be difficult if you’re new to an area or if your friends are busy. Luckily there’s services like Meowtel that make finding a sitter a breeze. All sitters on the site have already been vetted with background checks, and Meowtel’s service is bonded and insured when you book through the site. You can find badges, reviews, and qualifications on each sitter’s profile, so you can learn more about a sitter before you book.
This post was completed on July 16, 2019, by GigLoft student Veronica Head for hiring partner Meowtel. Get first access to our impressive, up-and-coming freelance students when you become a GigLoft partner!