4 Steps to Hire a Great Cat Sitter

4 Steps to Hire a Great Cat Sitter

Author: Nat Smith

Your cat is a member of your family, and entrusting her to someone else’s care poses a unique set of challenges. Whether you’ve hired sitters in the past or you’re a newer pet owner, you’re probably aware of everything that can go wrong—and anxious to make sure your cat is lovingly cared for while you’re away.

These 4 steps will ensure a successful stay with a great cat sitter!

#1: Search

There are many ways to find top-notch, experienced sitters. Word-of-mouth is highly effective. If you have friends with reliable sitters, you can start there. Numerous websites also connect owners and sitters. Be sure that you can check a sitter’s credentials and previous reviews; sites like Rover.com require background checks, and potential sitters list detailed information about past experience and capabilities. Start early to give yourself time to find the best candidate.

#2: Meet

Meet and Greets are job interviews for potential sitters. Be sure to schedule plenty of time to get to know the person, see them interact with your cat, and provide information about the stay. Most cats feel more comfortable in their own homes—and introducing them to a sitter’s other pets can be highly stressful—so ask sitters to come to you if possible.

#3: Communicate

Great sitters are wonderful, responsive companions who will monitor your cat’s food intake, litter box, body language, and other signs of well-being. They can diffuse difficult situations, calm an anxious cat, and provide love and support in your stead. At the Meet and Greet, look for sitters who are curious and engaged with you and your cat. Ask about their experience as it relates to your cat’s age, breed, personality, and medical needs—especially if you have an escapee cat or other unique requirements.

#4: Prepare—and Relax!

Spend time bonding with your cat before you leave on your trip, helping them stay calm as they notice the bustle of packing. Prepare a list of instructions and information so that your sitter has everything they need at their fingertips. Who do they call in case of an emergency? What should they do if your cat needs urgent care and you can’t be reached? Thinking through worst-case scenarios will ease your anxiety. Ask the sitter for regular updates and let them know how to contact you. Finally, make sure your cat is fully comfortable with the sitter before you leave the house. Ideally, the sitter should be able to approach your cat, pet her, and pick her up. Say your goodbyes, and consider leaving behind a new toy for your cat to enjoy while you’re away!

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5 thoughts on “4 Steps to Hire a Great Cat Sitter

  1. For the divas, none will do but our dear friends who now have six rescue felines of their own. This human has guarded their precious babies a number of times. We know each others cats well and know they are a literary lot who beyond food and cuddles need lap-time with a book. The so love to read, telepathically that is… It is an extended feline family having come from the same rescue shelters.

  2. I searched high and low fr a good sitter after my trustworthy friend moved away. There were many out there but thankfully Wilma was still taking clients when I found her. She had a very complete website and wanted to meet me and see the house before she took us on. That told me she was professional. She has cats of her own and knows how to gain their confidence. She even got my feral foster to let her do some petting.

  3. I usually pet/house sit for my aunt. Otherwise I stay home and watch my cat when the parents go away. The only person I would personally trust my cat with is my aunt. (She’s had a couple dogs, a few cats currently has 4 and volunteers at the local shelter. I would never ‘hire’ a sitter I have to know the person a friend or family member. If I can’t see how you treat your pets. I just can’t trust you with my own.

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