Being a cat parent is an experience filled with fun and joy until…life gets in the way and you can’t be with your cat! The magnitude of this heartache depends on how long you’ll be away. While you may be able to pull off an errand here and there without worrying about where you leave your cat, longer commitments like business meetings, vacations, or sudden emergencies will have you scouting for alternatives.
Yes, cat owners everywhere have been through, or are currently going through this struggle.
While taking your cat along, or cancelling those plans lets you keep your furry friend close, sometimes it just isn’t practical. In such situations, having your pawed buddy looked after by a reliable and purrfect cat sitter is your best bet.
With oceans of cat sitting and pet sitting companies available in today’s day and age, how do you go about finding the best cat sitter for your cat?
We’ve put together everything you need to know about cat sitters, the ideal qualities to look for in them, as well as how to find the right cat sitter.
What do cat sitters actually do?
Cat sitters are to cats, just as babysitters are to babies. These petcare professionals provide all the essential and specialised care your cat needs when you’re away and can’t tend to them. From providing food and water on time, changing litter boxes, to even providing playtime and just keeping them company – cat sitter’s take care of it all. If required, cat sitters will even administer medications on time or take your cat to the vet if there are emergencies.
Depending on how long you’re out and about, services can extend from just a few hours, to a few days on end, or even weeks!
Cat Sitting Services
Most pet sitting companies generally have different types of services such as in-home cat sitting, drop-in cat visits, and overnight cat sitting services. Some even offer in-home cat boarding services where you get to leave your cat in the trusted hands and home of the cat sitter. Regardless of which service you choose, you can completely steer clear of leaving your cat at boarding facilities.
From tried and tested experience, we know that cats would rather in-home cat boarding or cat sitting services than staying at boarding facilities.
For more on this, check out our blog on Cat Sitting Vs. Cat Boarding Facilities.
With that being said, let’s dive into some essential qualities to lookout for in your potential cat sitters.
After all, cat parents only want the best for their cat.
Qualities to Look Out for When Choosing a Cat Sitter
On your search for the best cat sitter from a pet/cat sitting company, make sure you look for someone who pays attention to the finest of details. Pet sitting involves closely following the instructions given by pet owners, which requires a knack for detail. On top of this, cat sitters need to always be alert and monitor for any abnormalities in your cat’s behaviour, food patterns, litter, and general health.
Being attentive also ensures the cat sitter won’t miss out on feeding your cat on time, or administering medications when required.
There’s no doubt that the curious nature of cats can often cause mayhem. Besides, that’s what makes them cute! Considering this, cat sitters need to be patient enough to handle your cat sensitively. Instead of yelling or getting upset with them, cat sitters should be able to navigate the situation calmly and make your cat feel comfortable.
Other cat care requirements such as medicine administration, litter box changes, or cleaning processes may take a bit of time. This also requires patience to get through.
3. Experience Level
Experienced cat sitters would have definitely handled different breeds of cats, cats with special needs, and cats under different conditions. This experience will deem them versatile, and you can rest assured knowing that your cat sitter can pretty much take care of whatever may come.
Also, experienced cat sitters have a stronger understanding of a cat’s behavioural patterns, and are quick to spot any signs of illness, change in food habits, playing patterns, and litter differences. They’ll know how to engage your pet.
It’s even been said that experienced cat sitters will go out of their way to gather details that you may not even consider relevant. They’ll take down all the relevant information, and make sure your cat has the best cat sitting experience.
To verify and validate the experience level of a cat sitter, you can ask for their credentials, certifications, or even years of experience.
Hiring a cat sitter from a reputed pet sitting company is always the better route to take. This is because the company would have already evaluated and verified the cat sitter’s level of expertise.
A certain amount of knowledge is required when it comes to handling cats. In any case, cat sitters with the right knowledge will be able to implement what they know to look after your cat. They’ll be able to call out any discomfort your cat shows and intimate you as soon as possible.
5. Problem-Solving Skills
Although this may be a surprise, problem-solving and decision-making skills are essential to make sure your cat sitter can smoothly handle situations that may arise. When you’re away, you may not always have the time to provide inputs when required. This is where problem-solving comes into play.
For instance, if there is an emergency situation where your cat is injured and you’re not reachable, cat sitters should promptly be able to decide on the next course of action without delaying medical intervention for your cat.
6. Trustworthy & Reliable
No one wants to deal with a cat sitter that shows up late for services. Believe it or not, some pet parents out there who’ve opted for pet sitting services will tell you that there have been instances when cat sitter’s don’t show up altogether.
To avoid all this, it’s better to look for a trustable and reliable pet sitter. This will also leave you feeling secure in knowing your cat is in the right hands. A trustable cat sitter is safer for when you are leaving your cat home alone with them.
Genuine care and passion in a cat sitter is what drives them to provide top-notch care for your cat. What’s more is that it’ll ensure your cat receives genuine care, which is essential for the well-being of your cat.
For the best cat sitters, it’s more than just a service – it’s about a bond. They’ll work to form a safe bond with your cat during the course of the cat sitting service.
8. Good Communication
Before, during, and after the service, there will be a two-way communication street that needs to be established between your cat sitter and you.
Before the service begins, the cat sitter should ask any questions they may have about the service. You’ll have to elaborate on your cat’s dietary requirements, where the cat’s food is kept, litter box placement, and litter change routines. You should also tell them about your cat’s favourite toys and play area.
On a general note, you as the cat owner should inform them about your cat’s traits, behaviours and special needs if necessary. Additionally, your cat sitter should send regular updates to keep you posted on your cat’s life.
Make sure you provide your cat sitter with your contact information and encourage them to reach out if they have any concerns or questions.
All of this can be discussed during the Meet & Greet session once you narrow in on the right cat sitter for you.
How do I go about choosing the right cat sitter?
Now that you know the qualities to look for in a cat sitter, it’s time to start the hunt! For this, you can do the following:
- Get recommendations from friends, family, and neighbours who have availed services from specific cat sitting companies in the past
- Look for ads in newspapers or on the internet about cat sitting services
- Check with your vet for any trusted pet sitting/cat sitting companies that offer cat sitting services that they may know of in and around the area
- Check out forums online, as well as groups on social media for suggestions on professional and known cat sitting companies
To understand more on how to choose, check out our blog on How to Choose the Best Pet Sitter.
We also recommend starting your search on the internet. Look online for reliable pet sitting companies and make sure you read reviews and check references.
After shortlisting the pet sitting companies you want cat sitting services from, you can connect for discussion to see if they’re the right fit. After this, it’s time to book your service and arrange for a Meet & Greet session with your cat sitter. This will give you an opportunity to interact with the cat sitter and get to know them before you entrust your beloved feline with them.
During this session, you can observe their qualities, ask about their experience and expertise, as well as monitor how they interact with your cat. It’s important that they treat your cat with love just like you do. At this time, you can also state your specific guidelines and care instructions. This will ensure the cat sitter can provide maximum care for your cat.
Pawland offers all sorts of sitting and in-home boarding services for cats. All our cat sitters are highly trained experts who know the ins and outs of professional care for your cat.
If you still have questions on selecting the purrfect cat sitter, check out our FAQ section.
You can also read our blog on the Things to Consider Before Choosing a Pet Sitter.
Frequently Asked Questions
In most cases, individuals who recommend a cat sitting company are likely to have had first-hand experience with their services. Considering this, you can consult with them and then book the sitter they availed services from if you feel they are the right fit for you.
With recommended pet sitters, you can understand how reliable, trained, caring, and professional they are in terms of the services they provide.
Hiring a professional cat sitter gives you several advantages over relying on friends and families. When you hire a cat sitter, you get a trained pet care professional that is dedicated to looking after your cat. For family or friends, looking after your cat may just be a side task, due to which the amount of time and care they provide may not be sufficient.
Moreover, cat sitters will be trained to handle any situation that arises, which can guarantee your cat’s safety at all times.
Throughout your service, it’s obvious that you’ll want to know what your cat is up to when you’re away. You can request updates from your cat sitter for the specified frequency.
This can be communicated before the service begins. It can range from one update a day to one update every hour. It all depends on your requirements. Updates may generally be in the form of text, photos, or videos.
In some cases, updates can also be done in the form of video calls.
If you have concerns around the services your cat sitter offers, you can communicate with them to see if they can adjust their actions. This can help reach a mutual resolution.
If you are hiring a cat sitter through a company, you can reach out to them and request for another cat sitter.
After you onboard the cat sitter make sure you share the following information,
- Emergency Contact Details
- Veterinary Information
- Medical Authorization
- Emergency Funds
- Vaccination Booklet
- Cat Insurance
By sharing this information you can ensure that your cat sitter is prepared to handle emergencies effectively, even if you are busy or not able to respond.
Cat sitters from cat sitting companies are verified in terms of their expertise, safety, and background. The cat sitting company will take care of the background procedures to ensure that your cat gets nothing but the most safe & secure sitting experience.
To add on to this, cat sitters from these companies work full-time during the booked service to take care of your cat. This means your cat will have their undivided attention and care.
If your cat is not comfortable around strangers, you can take initiatives before the service to have the cat sitter engage with your cat. This will give your cat the time and space to properly get to know the cat sitter on their own terms.
One such option is having a Meet & Greet session, where you can assess how your cat sitter interacts with your cat. You can also discuss with the cat sitter on how to best take care of your cat, and ensure they are comfortable at all times.
Cat sitters from trusted pet sitting companies know how to handle cats in a sensitive manner to minimise any anxieties they experience.