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!
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.
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.
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!