How to Choose the Best Cat Sitter and Ensure Happiness

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If you’re planning to be away and worried about your cat’s care, cat sitting might be the perfect solution. I understand the importance of ensuring your feline friend is happy and stress-free in your absence.

Cat sitting offers numerous benefits, such as allowing your cat to stay in the comfort of their own home and receive personalised attention. This guide will delve into what cat sitting involves and how to choose the right service to keep your beloved pet safe and well-cared for while you’re away.

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Cat Sitting

Cat sitting refers to the service provided by professional caretakers who take care of cats in their owners’ absence. It involves visiting the cat’s home to provide food, water, companionship, and other necessary tasks to ensure the cat’s well-being.

Cat sitters are trained individuals who understand feline behavior and are skilled in handling various situations that may arise during their time with your cat.

Why Choose Cat Sitting Services?

When you have to be away from home for an extended period, cat-sitting services offer numerous advantages over other alternatives like boarding or asking a neighbor to look after your cat.

Here are some reasons why cat sitting may be the ideal choice for your furry friend;

AdvantageWhy its an ideal choice

Familiar Environment

Cats are creatures of habit and thrive in familiar surroundings. Cat sitting allows your cat to stay in the comfort of their own home, reducing stress and anxiety.

Personalised Care

Professional cat sitters provide individualized attention to your cat’s unique needs. They can follow your specific instructions regarding feeding, playtime, medication, and any other requirements.

Reduced Exposure to Illness

Boarding facilities can expose your cat to various diseases and stress due to being in close proximity to other cats. Cat sitting eliminates this risk by keeping your cat in their own environment.

Minimal Disruption

Cats are territorial, and sudden changes in their environment can cause distress. With cat sitting, your cat can maintain their regular routine, reducing anxiety and ensuring a smooth transition.

By entrusting our cats to the hands of professional pet sitters, we can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that their well-being is in excellent care.

Finding Reliable Pet Sitters

Finding Reliable Pet Sitters

When it comes to entrusting the care of your beloved cat to someone else, finding reliable pet sitters is of utmost importance. The well-being and happiness of your furry friend depend on the expertise and trustworthiness of the individuals responsible for their care.

Here are some valuable tips to help you find reliable pet sitters who will provide the quality care your cat deserves:

recommendations and referrals

Start your search for pet sitters by seeking recommendations and referrals from trusted sources. Ask friends, family members, neighbors, or even your veterinarian for referrals to reliable pet sitters they have had positive experiences with.

Hearing firsthand recommendations can give you peace of mind and a starting point for further research.

online platforms and directories

Explore reputable online pet sitting platforms and directories that connect pet owners with professional pet sitters. Look for platforms that provide detailed profiles, reviews, and ratings of pet sitters. Read through the feedback from other pet owners to get a sense of their experiences and the quality of care provided.

This can help you narrow down your choices and find reliable candidates.

interview potential pet sitters

Once you have a list of potential pet sitters, schedule interviews or meet-and-greet sessions. Use this opportunity to ask relevant questions and assess the compatibility between the sitter and your cat. Inquire about their experience with cat care, their knowledge of feline behavior, and any special certifications or training they possess.

Additionally, discuss their availability, services offered, and their approach to maintaining your cat’s routine.

background checks and references

Perform background checks on potential pet sitters to ensure their credibility and reliability. Ask for references from previous clients and contact them to inquire about their experiences with the sitter. Seek feedback regarding the quality of care, communication, and any concerns they may have had.

This step will help you gain a better understanding of the sitter’s track record and reliability.

meet and observe interaction

If possible, arrange for a trial session where the potential pet sitter can interact with your cat while you observe. This will allow you to assess how the sitter engages with your cat, their level of comfort, and their ability to handle any specific needs or behaviors.

Observe how the sitter interacts with your cat and evaluate their approach and attentiveness.

clear communication and expectations

Ensure clear communication with the selected pet sitter. Provide detailed instructions regarding your cat’s routine, feeding schedule, any medication requirements, and emergency contacts. Discuss your expectations regarding updates and communication during your absence.

A reliable pet sitter should be responsive, provide regular updates, and address any concerns or questions promptly.

trial period

Consider starting with a trial period to assess the compatibility and quality of care provided by the selected pet sitter. During this period, closely monitor the care and attention your cat receives and evaluate the overall experience.

If you are satisfied with the sitter’s performance, you can proceed with longer-term arrangements.

Remember, finding reliable pet sitters requires thorough research, careful consideration, and trust-building. By following these tips, you can increase the likelihood of finding a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter who will provide the best care for your cherished cat when you’re away.

Preparing Instructions for Your Cat Sitter

When entrusting the care of your cat to a pet sitter, it’s important to provide clear and detailed instructions to ensure the well-being and happiness of your furry friend.

By preparing comprehensive instructions, you can help the cat sitter understand your cat’s routine, preferences, and specific needs.

Here are some essential points to include when preparing instructions for your cat sitter;


Feeding Instructions

Specify your cat’s feeding schedule, including the frequency and portion sizes. Provide information about the type of food your cat eats, any dietary restrictions, and whether any special preparation is needed.

If there are specific treats or snacks your cat enjoys, mention those as well. Include any instructions regarding food allergies or sensitivities.

Medication Administration

If your cat requires medication, provide clear instructions on how to administer it. Include the medication name, dosage, and frequency, as prescribed by your veterinarian. Explain the preferred method of administration, such as hiding it in food or using a pill dispenser.

Demonstrate the proper technique if necessary and leave contact information for your veterinarian in case of any questions or emergencies.

Litter Box Maintenance

Detail the expectations for litter box maintenance. Include how often it should be scooped, when and how to completely change the litter, and any specific products or cleaning routines to follow.

Provide information on where to find additional litter supplies in case they are needed during the pet sitter’s visits.

Playtime and Exercise

Inform the cat sitter about your cat’s preferred playtime activities and toys. Describe any specific games or interactions that your cat enjoys, as well as any limitations or sensitivities to be aware of.

If there are particular areas of the house where your cat prefers to play, mention those as well.

Behavior and Training

Share any important information about your cat’s behavior, personality traits, and any training cues they respond to. This can include favorite hiding spots, scratching preferences, or specific commands your cat understands.

If there are any behavioral concerns or triggers to be mindful of, communicate those to the sitter.

Emergency Contacts

Provide a list of emergency contacts, including your contact information, a backup contact person, and your veterinarian’s contact details. Ensure that the cat sitter is aware of any specific protocols to follow in case of an emergency or if your cat requires immediate medical attention.

Home Access and Security

Clearly explain how the cat sitter can access your home, including instructions for keys, alarms, or security codes.

If there are specific areas of the house that are off-limits or if certain doors should remain closed, make that known. Provide instructions on how to secure the house when leaving, including any specific routines or security measures.

Contact and Communication

Share your preferred method of communication during your absence. Provide your contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, and specify the frequency and preferred timing for updates.

Encourage the cat sitter to reach out with any questions, concerns, or updates regarding your cat’s well-being.

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Preparing Your Home for Cat Sitting

Before the cat sitter arrives, it’s important to prepare your home to ensure a smooth experience for both your cat and the caretaker. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Create a Safe Space: Set up a designated area where your cat can retreat and feel secure. Provide a cozy bed, toys, and scratching posts to keep them entertained.

  2. Secure Hazardous Items: Remove any potentially dangerous objects or substances that could harm your cat. This includes toxic plants, cleaning supplies, and small items that could be swallowed.

  3. Organize Supplies: Ensure you have an ample supply of food, water, litter, and any necessary medications. Leave clear instructions on where to find these items and how to use them.

  4. Test Electronics: If your cat has access to electronic devices, ensure they are in good working order and safe to use. Hide cords or secure them to prevent any accidents.

  5. Emergency Contact Information: Provide the cat sitter with your contact information, as well as the contact details of your veterinarian and a trusted emergency contact.

By taking these precautions, you can create a safe and comfortable environment for your cat and the cat sitter.

Feeding and Watering your cat

Proper nutrition and hydration are vital for your cat’s health. The cat sitter should follow your feeding schedule and provide fresh water daily. Here are some tips to ensure your cat’s dietary needs are met:

  1. Meal Plan: Prepare a detailed meal plan for the cat sitter, specifying the type of food, portion sizes, and feeding times. Include any dietary restrictions or allergies your cat may have.

  2. Quality Food: Opt for high-quality cat food that meets your cat’s nutritional requirements. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations based on your cat’s age, breed, and health condition.

  3. Fresh Water: Cats require access to fresh water at all times. Instruct the cat sitter to change the water bowl daily and refill it as needed.

  4. Treats: If your cat enjoys treats, provide a small supply for the cat sitter to offer as rewards or for enrichment activities.

Remember, maintaining a consistent feeding routine is essential for your cat’s well-being and can help prevent digestive issues.

Playtime and Exercise

Playtime and exercise are crucial for keeping your cat physically and mentally stimulated. The cat sitter should engage in interactive play sessions to promote a healthy lifestyle. Here are some ideas for playtime and exercise:

  1. Interactive Toys: Provide a variety of interactive toys for the cat sitter to use during play sessions. Toys that mimic prey, such as feather wands or laser pointers, can be especially engaging for cats.

  2. Puzzle Feeders: Consider using puzzle feeders to provide mental stimulation while feeding. These toys require cats to work for their food, satisfying their natural hunting instincts.

  3. Climbing Opportunities: If your cat enjoys climbing, provide a cat tree or other vertical spaces for them to explore. This allows them to exercise their muscles and satisfy their curiosity.

  4. Rotating Toys: To prevent boredom, suggest rotating the selection of toys available to the cat sitter. This keeps playtime interesting and prevents your cat from losing interest in its toys.

Encouraging regular play and exercise sessions with the cat sitter can help keep your cat active, happy, and mentally stimulated.

Grooming and Hygiene

Maintaining proper grooming and hygiene is essential for your cat’s health and well-being.

While the cat sitter may not provide full grooming sessions, they should attend to basic grooming tasks.

Here are some grooming tips to share with the cat sitter;

  1. Brushing: Depending on your cat’s coat type, instruct the cat sitter to brush them regularly to prevent matting and remove loose hair. This can also help reduce hairballs.

  2. Nail Trimming: If your cat’s nails require regular trimming, demonstrate the correct technique to the cat sitter. Alternatively, provide them with information on professional groomers who can assist if necessary.

  3. Oral Care: Dental health is important for cats. If your cat allows it, show the cat sitter how to brush their teeth or recommend dental treats or water additives.

  4. Litter Box Maintenance: Instruct the cat sitter on how to clean the litter box properly. Provide an extra supply of litter and bags for easy disposal.

By maintaining good grooming habits, you can help prevent discomfort and health issues for your cat.

Medication Administration

If your cat requires medication, it’s crucial to ensure the cat sitter is comfortable and capable of administering it correctly.

Here are some guidelines for medication administration;

  1. Clear Instructions: Provide detailed instructions on the medication dosage, frequency, and administration method. Include any special instructions, such as administering with food.

  2. Demonstration: If possible, demonstrate the medication administration technique to the cat sitter. Allow them to practice under your supervision until they are confident.

  3. Proper Storage: Ensure the cat sitter knows how to store the medication correctly, following any temperature or light requirements. Provide a secure location for medication storage.

  4. Communication: Maintain open communication with the cat sitter regarding your cat’s response to the medication. Inform them of any changes in behavior or side effects that may require attention.

It’s crucial to entrust medication administration only to individuals who are comfortable and experienced in handling such tasks.

Monitoring Health and Behaviour

During cat sitting, the cat sitter should closely monitor your cat’s health and behavior. This allows them to detect any potential issues and seek veterinary care if necessary.

Here are some signs to watch for;

  1. Eating Habits: Monitor your cat’s appetite and ensure they are eating as usual. Sudden changes in eating habits may indicate underlying health problems.

  2. Litter Box Habits: Pay attention to your cat’s litter box habits. Changes in frequency, consistency, or appearance of urine or feces may indicate urinary or digestive issues.

  3. Activity Level: Note any changes in your cat’s activity level. Excessive lethargy or hyperactivity can be signs of discomfort or illness.

  4. Behavior and Mood: Observe your cat’s behavior and mood. Changes in temperament, excessive vocalization, aggression, or withdrawal may indicate stress or health issues.

If the cat sitter notices any concerning signs or behaviors, they should reach out to you immediately for further guidance or to seek veterinary care if necessary.

Emergency Situations

Even with the best preparations, emergencies can arise. It’s essential for the cat sitter to be prepared and have a plan in place.

Provide them with the following information;

  1. Emergency Contacts: Provide the cat sitter with your contact information, as well as the contact details of a trusted emergency contact who can assist if you are unavailable.

  2. Veterinary Information: Share the contact information of your veterinarian, including their address and phone number. Inform the cat sitter of any specific instructions from the veterinarian.

  3. Pet Insurance: If your cat has pet insurance, provide the relevant information to the cat sitter. This ensures a smooth process if veterinary care is required. Click here to read our pet insurance comparison on the top providers in Australia.

  4. Evacuation Plan: In the event of a natural disaster or emergency evacuation, provide the cat sitter with an evacuation plan. Include a designated safe location and instructions for transporting your cat.

By being proactive and sharing emergency information, you can help ensure the cat sitter is prepared to handle unexpected situations.

Cat Sitting vs. Boarding

Cat sitting and boarding are two popular options for pet care during your absence. While both have their advantages, cat sitting offers unique benefits.

Here’s a comparison between the two;

  1. Familiar Environment: Cat sitting allows your cat to stay in their familiar environment, reducing stress and providing comfort. Boarding exposes cats to a new and unfamiliar setting.

  2. Personalised Attention: Cat sitting provides individualized care, following your specific instructions and meeting your cat’s unique needs. Boarding facilities may have multiple cats to care for, resulting in less personalized attention.

  3. Reduced Exposure to Illness: Cats in boarding facilities are in close proximity to other cats, increasing the risk of exposure to illnesses. Cat sitting eliminates this risk by keeping your cat at home.

  4. Maintaining Routine: Cat sitting allows your cat to maintain their regular routine, including feeding, playtime, and sleep patterns. Boarding disrupts their routine and may cause anxiety.

Consider your cat’s personality and specific needs when deciding between cat sitting and boarding. Choose the option that will provide the most comfort and least disruption for your feline friend.

Common Challenges of Cat Sitting

While cat sitting can be a wonderful option, it may come with its own set of challenges.

Here are some common challenges cat sitters may face;

  1. Shy or Fearful Cats: Some cats may be timid or fearful around strangers. The cat sitter should be patient and allow the cat to warm up at their own pace.

  2. Hiding Behavior: Cats may hide in unfamiliar situations or when they feel stressed. The cat sitter should be aware of common hiding spots and take steps to ensure the cat’s safety.

  3. Escape Attempts: Cats are agile and curious, and they may attempt to escape when given the opportunity. The cat sitter should be vigilant and ensure all doors and windows are secure.

  4. Medical Emergencies: Despite precautions, medical emergencies can occur. The cat sitter should be prepared to handle such situations by following your instructions and seeking immediate veterinary care if needed.

By communicating openly with the cat sitter and providing as much information as possible, you can help them overcome these challenges and ensure a positive experience for your cat.

Cat Sitting

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To ensure that nothing is overlooked during cat sitting, it’s helpful to create a checklist for the cat sitter. Here are some items you may include;


Feeding Instructions

Specify the type of food, portion sizes, and feeding times.

Watering Instructions

Instruct the cat sitter to provide fresh water daily.

Medication Administration

Provide clear instructions on the dosage, frequency, and administration method if medication is required.

Playtime and Exercise

Specify the recommended duration and type of play sessions.

Grooming Requirements

Detail any specific grooming tasks, such as brushing or nail trimming.

Litter Box Maintenance

Instruct the cat sitter on how often to clean the litter box and how to dispose of waste.

Emergency Contacts

Provide your contact information, emergency contact details, and veterinary information.

Home Security

Remind the cat sitter to ensure all doors and windows are secure before leaving.

Special Instructions

Include any additional instructions or preferences specific to your cat.

By providing a comprehensive checklist, you can help the cat sitter confidently care for your cat and minimise the chances of any oversights.

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FREE Cat Sitting checklist

Cat sitting provides a valuable service for cat owners

Cat sitting provides a valuable service for cat owners who need to be away from home. By following the tips and guidelines mentioned in this article, you can ensure a positive and stress-free experience for both your cat and the cat sitter.

Remember to plan ahead, communicate effectively, and choose a reliable cat sitter who will provide the care and attention your feline friend deserves.

Need to setup your home with the cat essentials? Take a look at our essential cat accessories and ensure your furry friend and cat sitter have fun together at home.

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