When you go away on holiday or even just for a few days, getting your cat looked after can be a big concern. Cats don’t particularly enjoy being out of their home environment so for many a cattery can be stressful and traumatic, especially if the cat isn’t used to going to one.
Getting a friend or neighbour to pop in and feed your cat and clean the litter tray can be an option if you are away overnight, but for longer periods it’s not really ideal. Cats are social animals and while they can seem aloof, this is only because they are often compared to dogs. Cats behave very differently and show friendliness and affection in a different way.
It is a common misconception that cats don’t need as much companionship as dogs. They can go through separation anxiety[i] if left alone for too long just like dogs. This can cause behavioural issues and cause them to suffer both physically and emotionally.
The problem is that often the signs of separation anxiety go unnoticed or are blamed on something else. It’s common knowledge dogs can suffer separation anxiety and people usually recognise the signs, but not as many know that cats can also suffer and wouldn’t know what to look for.
Symptoms include excessive meowing and going to the toilet outside of the litter tray or their usual place, such as urinated or defecating on your bed or clothing. Cat behaviourists say this is a sign that your cat is trying to sooth themselves by mixing their scent with yours[ii].
Leaving cats for long periods on their own could also cause them to run away as they may be confused as to where their owners have gone. There is also the added worry that injuries or illnesses will go unnoticed if someone only pops in once a day. They may not be there long enough to recognise any symptoms, so something could go unchecked for several days or weeks.
There is a solution that more cat owners are turning to and that’s employing a professional live-in home and pet sitter. This is someone who comes to stay in your home and takes care of your cat while you’re away. Not only does your cat have the same care and attention as they would if you were there, but your home looks occupied and is less likely to be a target for an opportunist thief.
One of the UK’s leading home and pet sitting companies is Homesitters Ltd who has been in business for over 35 years taking care of people’s homes and pets. They have professional and reliable people available throughout the UK who have gone through a rigorous vetting process and are fully insured. Unlike some other agencies all homesitters are employed and paid directly by the company.
Most homesitters are retired people in their 50s, 60s and 70s who love animals. They enjoy the role as they get out and about visiting different parts of the country, but the main reason most of them do it is to spend time with pets. The majority of pets they look after are cats and dogs, so they have a great deal of experience taking care of different types of cats.
Many are also comfortable giving medication or injections, which can be something they are asked to do if a cat is elderly or isn’t very well. Cat owners can be especially concerned about leaving a sick or elderly cat but using a homesitter can be the best solution if you need to go away.
The company prides itself on the excellent service it provides. This includes taking a full brief from the client and matching them with a suitable homesitter, organising a preliminary meeting so the client and homesitter can meet to discuss the home and the cat’s routine prior to the start of the assignment, and providing 24/7 support to their homesitters on assignment.
Many homesitters end up with regular clients too which means they get to know your cat and your cat gets to know them, which makes the whole experience of you going away far less of a trauma for both you and your cat.
If you want that extra peace of mind that your cat and home is being looked after by a caring professional then get in touch with Homesitters to find out more.
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