Planning a last-minute trip away for the holidays while you got a few days left? Before you take off, make sure you’ve got someone looking after your furbaby. The question is who? You could have a quick search on the net and you’re sure to find some postings of cat sitters or carers for hire. Some would be offering their homes for pets but how do you know who to trust with your feline friend?
1. Decide where you want your cat and the sitter to stay
Letting your cat stay in a more familiar environment might sound more appealing and less stressful on your cat, especially if it’s the first time you’ve left them alone with anyone else for long periods of time. If you’re not comfortable with the possibility of coming home to a mess, then you might want your cat to stay in some other cat-friendly home for the time being.
If you choose the first option, would you want your cat carer to visit your cat daily or to live in your home while you’re gone? If you prefer the second, then decide whether you’d want them at a friend’s home or a boarding kennel. Take note that some cats prefer the private, quiet space they’re used to so putting them in a rowdy house or kennel could be an unpleasant experience for them.
2. Hire a professional or phone a friend?
When looking for a paid cat carer, hold an initial exchange over the phone or via email then arrange for an in-home discussion. Ask for a list of references and prepare a list of questions for them. A few good questions would be how often they’d be visiting the cat, how long each visit would be, what do they when they see the pet, how much they expect to be paid and how long they’ve been caring for kitties.
Someone you know would be a friendly face to the cat so that removes the uncertainty of introducing them to a stranger. There is the risk that your relationship would be affected by however the cat-caring turns out. Be sure to take into account their experience sitting for cats.
3. List down necessary information
Your cat might need special care, such as treatments, or have certain quirks and likes the carer would need to know about. Anything about your pet might be helpful. For house sitters, or carers who’d be visiting the home regularly, note down where different items are located, even if you’ve already shown them around.
Also make sure the carer has important contact information such as yours, the vet’s, and a trusted neighbour’s or relative’s in case of an emergency.
Whether you’re getting an experienced sitter or a reliable, cat-loving friend, there’s no guarantee everything will go exactly to plan. You can minimise any problems by following the mentioned steps and c being selective in getting a cat carer just as you would be for your own kids. Pay attention to your instincts and trust them.
Meow for now… Kristian