There could be multiple reasons why you may need a cat sitter. Pet Sitter International conducted an online survey in 2017 on more than 1,000 pet owners. The result that 98% of the surveyed pet owners will need a pet sitter when they need to go out of town on a personal trip or vacation.
When you need someone to look after your cat, you need to be sure that you’re trusting someone who not only would care for your cat well, but also someone who is reliable and trustworthy. This is important because you’ll be letting this person in your home.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the right cat sitter, we’ve got you covered! Here, we’ll share 8 ways to help you choose a reliable cat sitter.
1. Not all cat sitters will provide the same services
It’s important that you understand that not all cat sitters are necessarily experienced with cats or knowledgeable of their habits and needs. Some cat sitters will only come to your home to feed and make sure your cat is okay. They may not extend their services to bringing in the mail and parcels, taking out the bins, watering your plants and cleaning up any messes.
They may not have the expertise to observe possible signs of deterioration in your cat’s general health and demeanour. They may not take the time to allow your timid cat to become familiar with them or to cuddle and play with your more sociable cat.
2. If you hire a professional, choose a service company that has already established a good reputation
There are already well-established pet sitting companies out there that you my contact to find a cat sitter that you can trust. It won’t hurt to ask your vet if they can refer you to a good place. Pet Friends is a Perth business established in 1995 which comes recommended by many Perth vets.
Word of mouth is very important so aside from your vet, you can also ask your friends or relatives who have pets if they know a business that you could rely on while you’re away.
3. When hiring a non-professional, ask about their previous experiences on cat sitting and what they know about cats
Sometimes, when you just can’t find a professional cat sitter, you can turn to a friend or relative who could look after your cat.
Ask if that person has done this before. Knowing that a cat sitter already has a previous experience on cat sitting can help you feel better about your choice.
If the available person who could help you look after your cat doesn’t have any experience when it comes to cat sitting, creating a list of instructions of what you expect them to do will help a lot. Your list should include how often your cat should be fed to make sure that your cat sitter will follow the cat’s feeding schedule.
4. Run a background check
This may sound like too much when it comes to finding the perfect cat sitter, but this is something you should do to ensure your cat and your home’s safety. It is easier if you engage a professional service since it will most likely provide you the information you need about the cat sitter. But you can also check on the business itself. Reviews on a business can be found on their Website, on their Facebook page and on their Google listing.
Remember that your cat sitter will have access to your home so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Check if the service is insured
You can ask the cat sitter if they have insurance. This means that their insurance will cover any damage in your home or injuries to your pet during cat sitting.
Insurance is essential and something all professional pet sitters should have. Take note that this is something that only most professionals have. So if you are planning on just getting a friend, a neighbour or a relative to cat sit, then this is something you can’t expect.
6. Meet with the sitter
It’s advisable to book an appointment way ahead of the time you need the cat sitter to be there. This will allow you to schedule a meeting or a house visit so that you can get to know the sitter better and see for yourself as to how the person will get along with your cat.
During your meeting, you can ask the cat sitter about the experience they have had and how well they are educated when it comes to pet care and first aid.
7. Ask if there’s a back-up or secondary sitter
It’s best to always be prepared so you need to know if the person you hire will have a back-up in case they can’t carry out their daily visits to care for your cat because of emergencies. Some cat sitters will automatically assure you about this matter.
For some cat sitters, they may not have a backup person. However, they could assure you by saying that they have a place where they can board your cat in case of any emergencies.
8. Ask the sitter to spend some time with your pet
This is another perk of booking an appointment ahead of time. You can schedule visits and even a cat sitting demo under your supervision if this is something the sitter will allow.
Having these appointments can also let your cat get to know the cat sitter. Your cat will then be comfortable in your sitter’s care by the time you need to leave.
Remember to keep an open line of communication between you and your sitter so that you can do what you need to do without worrying about your fur baby.