When you leave your cats for a long period of time, you want to know that those
charged with caring for them will do their job to the best of their abilities. The last thing any cat
owner wants is a horrible shock upon their return home. While emergencies cannot necessarily be avoided,
carefully selecting a pet sitter that will put your cats, and your mind, at ease is the best way to
Personal Vs. Professional
Personal pet sitters are your neighbor's kids, relatives, friends or even your children
home from school on a vacation. They can live in your home and have the benefit of often already knowing
the cats and their routines. They all know each other so your pet doesn't have the upset of having to
meet and learn a new person. There is less stress in administering medication because they already know
one another, and you feel comfortable with the person staying in your house because you know they are
Professional pet sitters often deal with multiple animals in a single day. They are bonded
and insured, but many are not comfortable with a stranger in their house. They should have a minimum of
three references and be willing to go through an introduction period with your pets so that you can be
sure that everyone will get along. Some pet sitters will even stay in your home, but it is important that
you realize that they will have other pets to tend to as well and so there will be periods throughout the
day that your pets will be alone.
It is up to you to choose what is best for your situation. If you have friends and family
that are willing to step up and help you then you should consider a personal pet sitter. For those that
would not want to impose or who would prefer to have a professional dealing with their animals, then a
professional pet sitter is for you.
Conduct the interview in your home around your pets. This will give you a chance to see
how the pet sitter and your cats interact with one another. This is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT aspect of
picking a pet sitter. If your cat is comfortable with their sitter then the chance of accidents from erratic
Here is a list of basic questions to ask:
1. How long have you been pet sitting?
2. How many other pets are you currently caring for?
3. How much time can you spend with my pets each day? Can you stay in my home?
4. What experience with cats do you have?
5. Do you have any references?
6. Are you bonded and insured (professional)?
7. How much do you charge based on my needs?
8. Can you handle any special medical needs my cat may have?
9. Do they have any questions?
Feel free to add to this list if anything comes up. This is about You finding the best fit
for Your pet. You want to be happy with them and make sure all bases are covered.
Providing Important Information
Just like when you leave your kids with a babysitter, you want to make sure that you
provide your pet sitter with any important information.
Be Sure You Provide:
A copy of medical history
A list of common habits
List of medication and times to give them
Schedule- when do you feed, etc.
Emergency contact information for You and your Vet
Be sure your pet is wearing a collar with tags
List rooms that are to remain off-limits
Emergency Medical money or arrangements
Most Important Thing to Look For
How does your cat interact with the pet sitter candidate? If they are comfortable and
relaxed, visiting freely and content, then you have probably found the right sitter for you.
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