This week — March 3rd through 9th — celebrates the 25th Annual Professional Pet Sitters week. According to Patti J. Moran, founder of Pet Sitters International, “This week provides the opportunity to celebrate the value of professional pet sitters who work year around to offer the highest quality pet care…”
For sure we are all familiar with the general idea of pet sitters. But if you have been on the fence wondering if it is really worth it, let me help. Professional Pet Sitting is much more than just feeding your pet and cleaning her litter box. Often there are several aspects of what goes into the overall service that most fail to notice, so let’s take a closer look at the real benefits of what you are getting.
Reliability. Everyone has a story about their ‘great’ neighbor that will check on the cats, but in all honesty, neighbors are unreliable. Just ask my sister, Karen. She was in Italy on vacation with her husband when she got a call from Wendy, her good friend and neighbor across the street. Wendy knew of Karen’s vacation plans and couldn’t understand why she hadn’t seen anyone coming to take care of Karen’s three cats. Basically, she was alerting Karen to the fact that no one had been to her house and wondered if she should check on things. Turns out, another neighbor, who agreed to help with cat duty got the dates mixed up.
Imagine getting a call like that — sure, it sounds like the exception to the rule but is that really something you want to gamble with? Even if neighbors mean well — and I’m sure they do — do you really think they are as vested in taking care of all the needs of your kittos? What happens if they get hurt while on your property? Or move away? None of this is out of the realm of possibility, and although using a neighbor seems convenient and cheap you may be paying a much higher price in the long run.
Expertise. And lots of extras. It’s more than just feeding and cleaning boxes – much more. First of all, you are getting help from someone who spends all their time around cats. That alone is invaluable when you consider how cat behavior is so unreliable. Someone who knows this will be able to connect with yours much more easily. In addition to general cat care, I make sure my clients get video and text updates. When you can’t be with your kitto, to know that your cat is having fun and is well taken care of let’s you have fun, too. I also keep your trash pickup on schedule, retrieve mail and take care of basic home needs. The daily visit simulates someone at home and prevents vandalism and burglary. Alarm systems or not, potential threats are much less likely. I also keep daily notes for when you return so you get a full picture of how everything went. And finally, let’s not forget about this blog and social media, which lets you connect to valuable information. Great, convenient resources for now or later.
Attention. Playtime. Interaction. Your cat misses you! The longer you are away, the harder it becomes for them – they need their human to manage! : ) There is a misconception about cats being less needy than dogs, but trust me on this one — they are not less needy they just express it differently. When it comes to your cats, playtime is a priority, and the one thing I wanted to make sure each of my services included. Keeping your cats engaged and active also means they will keep up with routines such as eating properly and litter box usage. It is usually around day 2 or 3 of an owner being gone — or a disruption to their usual routine — when they can start to become despondent and reclusive. The one on one interaction is important to preventing this, and because I keep notes on all daily activities any change in behavior won’t go unnoticed or unattended to.
Help when you need it. Things can go wrong. Cats get sick. Air conditioners stop working. Furnaces go out. Storms can cause power outages. Sure, there are apps, Alexa and gadgets to notify us of interruptions to service and ways to get help. But is that reliable enough?
When we first meet, I gather information about your cats such as their eating habits, playtime preferences and personality traits. I also note their vet, an emergency contact and anything about the house that may be significant: doors that don’t close properly, places the cats aren’t allowed and where the thermostat and mechanicals are located. Nobody – nobody – wants to come home to a major problem. An app may be able to alert you to a power outage, but I can make sure your kittos are safe during the interim. And by the way — ever get stuck trying to get home from a trip? If your travel plans are delayed I will continue to care for your cats until your safe return.
Peace of mind. Let’s face it, once you have a routine established with quality care, there is next to nothing you have to concern yourself with. If something pops up and you need help on short notice, I will make every effort to accommodate that. When you plan being away, you know everything will be tended to. Cat sitting is not just reliable, as you can see it is logical. At the very least, give it a try. From some of the testimonials of my clients, it is evident that others were a little hesitant at first but are very, very thankful now. It’s seamless, I promise. And one less thing you have to worry about when you are in, say, Italy. ; )