Tips And Tricks On Getting A Cat Sitter

Hiring a cat sitter for your beloved furball means you’ll have the luxury of knowing somebody is taking good care of your cat while you’re traveling, without the need to bother your friends or family with looking after it.

The cat sitter will spare you the troubles of having to travel with the cat. On top of that, he/ she will provide food, attention, playtime, and if necessary, an emergency trip to the vet’s office. In other words, your fluffy friend will be taken care of despite the fact that you’re not there. But how can you be 100% sure that you’ve hired the perfect cat sitter?

Getting a pet camera or a standard security surveillance camera doesn’t automatically guarantee your cat will be in good hands.

What’s more, unless you already know a professional, chances are you’ll be playing hit or miss with potential candidates. Fortunately, there are some ways to find a reputable sitter and to make sure your pet will be taken care of. So, without further ado, here are the essential tips and tricks to getting a trustworthy cat sitter.

Where should you be looking for?

You can’t just Google cat sitters and hire the first person who responds to your request. Moreover, if you’re residing in a secluded suburban area or a tiny town, there won’t be any sitters nearby.

Ask your neighbors, friends, and veterinarian for any recommendations. If you’ve ever worked with a behaviorist or a trainer, ask them too. Your local Humane Society or organizations like Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters will help you sort through some candidates.

Keep in mind that before you hire a sitter, you’ll need to interview the candidate in person. And you’ll also want to make sure he/ she is getting along with your furry pal prior to signing a contract.

What should you be looking for?

It’s of extreme importance to distinguish a cat lover wanting to babysit your pet from an experienced cat sitter. After all, the sitter will practically become your kitty’s new pet parent while you’re away. That’s why you should pay attention to the following details in order to make sure you’re hiring a proper sitter:

Qualifications and experience

If your kitty happens to be an exotic breed or a rather rare one and the sitter you’re hiring has never lived or worked with such a cat, that person is not qualified to be your cat’s sitter. Don’t be afraid to ask if he/ she has experience with feline breeds outside work.

Is the sitter trained to act in emergencies such as fire, burst pipes, and other stressful situations that could possibly affect his/ her ability to respond to your pet’s needs in a timely manner? Does the sitter have some sort of certification  from a reputable organization? Does the sitter have a step-by-step plan for emergency situations? Make sure you cover all of these basic aspects before hiring somebody.

Commercial and physical insurance

Commercial and physical insurances are obligatory. This means your sitter must be under a strict contract that he/ she will be held responsible for any type of emotional and physical damage caused to your home and pet while you’re away. Accidents could easily happen, especially with hyperactive breeds like the Oriental Shorthair.

What’s more, the sitter should provide commercial insurance in case of burglary and other threats to your house or apartment. If there’s a live-in clause in your contract, the sitter must agree to your live-in terms. This includes things like rooms that are off-limits, no guests, no smoking in your home, and so forth.

Fees

Don’t forget to research the average fees for hiring an experienced cat sitter. You can easily get tricked into paying for an overpriced service. You can also fall for the idea of saving some cash by hiring a low-rate sitter who lacks proper qualifications.

Credentials

Last but not definitely least, you must always research all of the candidates’ credentials. Do they have references from veterinarians, animal trainers, or behaviorists? Have they provided phone numbers of their previous clients whom you can contact for opinion? Do the references state the breeds the sitter has worked with? How about how long the sitter has worked with the owners?

What should you be providing?

Regardless of the fact that you’re hiring a sitter who will provide everything to your pet while you’re away, you actually need to provide the sitter with some things as well.

Phone numbers

Prepare a list of phone numbers of family or friends residing nearby, your vet’s numbers and working hours, as well as the contact information and address of the nearest vet clinic or office. Make sure the sitter is up to date with your traveling schedule. Give him/ her all of your phone numbers, if you have more than one.

Food, medication and playtime schedule

Every sitter knows that cat food and fresh supplies of water are crucial. However, the cat sitter should also know the designated schedule for playtime, as well as which are your pet’s favorite toys.

If the cat is taking any medication or supplements, you should provide the exact dosages and the proper schedule. Needless to say, if the cat is overweight, you must explain the diet and exercising routine.

Living conditions

Even if you’re not looking for a live-in sitter, you must still take care of your home’s living conditions. Don’t hand over the keys to a messy house or apartment. Hide away any valuables and fragile objects. Lock some rooms if necessary.

If the sitter is allergic to some plants, detergents, or something else you have in your home, store it away. And if necessary, provide a parking spot.

By following these tips and tricks on getting a pet sitter you’ll lower the chances of hiring an unsuitable sitter or paying for an overpriced service. Keep in mind that by hiring someone, you’re leaving your home and your pet’s safety in their hands, so choose wisely. There’s nothing shameful in asking too many questions or being an overprotective pet parent.

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  • Updated December 4, 2017
  • Travel
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