On last night’s episode of My Cat From Hell, one segment featured Gracie, a cat that terrorized everyone that came into the house, including multiple cat sitters that quit in the middle of sitting assignments!
Pet sitting is a great option for many cats because it allows them to stay in their regular environment where they’re most comfortable. It’s important, though, to be sure you hire a sitter that will be a good fit. Here are some points to keep in mind when looking for a pet sitter:
- Ask the cat sitter why you should hire them. They will probably say, “Oh, because I just LOVE animals!!” This is fine, but they should have some specifics that show they can be trusted to care for your pet.
- You want to know what kind of EXPERIENCE this person has with animals. Do they know how to recognize signs of illness? Do they know what to do in case of an emergency? Loving animals is an important quality but it takes more skills than that.
- Get a list of references and contact other people that have used the pet sitter you are considering. Also make sure the pet sitter is insured and bonded. This protects you and your home against any potential damage or theft while you are away. Anyone you hire should be a member of a pet sitting industry group like the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
- If the company you’re considering has several pet sitters on staff, make sure you and your pet meet the person who actually will be coming to your house. When you get prices make sure you know what’s included. How many visits will your pet receive a day? Does that include walks, playtime, dispensing medications, getting the mail, etc.? There are even pet sitters that stay in your house overnight while you are away.
- The sitter should ask questions about your pet’s normal routine and any special behavioral patterns. The prospective sitter should ask where all your cat’s supplies and food are stored, time of day your cat eats and how much food he gets for each meal. In addition, the sitter should request contact information for you, an alternate contact and your cat’s vet contact information.
Finding a dependable pet sitter you trust can be very comforting. That way you know both your home and your pet are in good hands.