Whether you are new to cat sitting or just interested in learning more, I’m glad you are here. When it comes to cat sitting, no two businesses are alike. And with technology and apps adding a new layer of convenience to the equation, it also adds to the level of confusion on the best fit for your needs.
Recently I sifted through some of the most popular questions I get asked. Here they are with my answers. Hope this alleviates a little anxiety and sheds light on your best choice.
Are you a cat sitter or a pet sitter? What is the difference?
Great question! I am a cat sitter. I specialize in the comfort and care of cats. This way my time is solely focused on really understanding them, and I customize my service to their individual needs. While this sounds simple and self evident, one of the interesting things about cats is that — like kids — they all have little idiosyncrasies that require special attention. For example, Mike, a flame point Siamese is a real people lover and craves a lot of attention, while my own cat Weezy is very shy and prefers to be left alone. This is important because while you (their owners) know of these personality traits and how best to cater to them, the same holds true for whomever you trust with their care. Only I have come to find that most sitters still don’t make this a priority like I do, so your cat is left without some of the one on one time it really needs! It is my intent to be consistent with the care you give and that means how much (or little) attention to give, or whatever other little ways I can make them happy.
The majority of folks in this business are pet sitters. They primarily take care of dogs, but also will take care of cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and other pets. Because they care for a variety of animals, the services tend to focus on the basics: feeding, watering, walking, removing waste. Because I spend all of my time with cats, the basics are only a small part of what I do. I also don’t carry the scent of dogs other animals when I visit my cat clients which I can tell they really appreciate!
Do you bring the cats to your house? Where do you care for them?
No. First of all, I have three of my own at home but more importantly cats are territorial and prefer the comfort of their home, so that’s where I care for them. Not only is this more convenient for you (no dropping off / picking up) but it is safer. When you think about just how nice it is that your cat will be able to sleep in his own bed while you are away, it really doesn’t make sense to move them and have them confused about where they are not to mention having to deal with you not being there.
Let’s say I am thinking about hiring you to care for my cat. How can I be sure my cat will be getting the care I want it to?
Wait till you get home and see how happy he is! ; ) Honestly, I love this question because I seriously felt this way when I was looking for help with my own cats. I totally get that a lot of businesses don’t practice what they preach, so I invite you to include Alexa, Siri or whatever recording device will verify that everything is being tended to.
The whole point of my work is to mimic the environment and care your cat is used to and familiar with, down to the tiniest detail. Before I even get started, I always meet with each new client so you can get to know me. I want you to be comfortable, and it is also a great way for me to meet your cat and make sure he / she is comfortable, too! During this time, we will review what is most important in caring for your cat, along with the details of how they are fed, who their veterinarian is and general things about your home. I take very thorough notes and can provide references from happy cat clients. I am also always asking for feedback so I know you are 1000% satisfied! I love doing what I do but it only works if you and your cat are happy.
Some of my friends use pet sitter apps and swear by how easy and convenient they are. Are you going to have an app?
The pet sitter apps are convenient — I, too have friends that use them. Most of them have dogs and the app lets them know where the dog is being walked and when it does its ‘business’. The apps work much like Uber: once a pet owner needs the service, they notify the app, which in turn notifies random, available pet sitters in the area. The pet owner leaves a house key in a key box on their front door. The pet sitter picks up the pet / walks it and drops back off, communicating exclusively through the app. This is where, for me at least, the convenience is not worth it because most often the pet owner and pet sitter never meet. Although the pet sitters are vetted, I think we have all heard of stories where the sitter didn’t properly care for the pet / snooped through the house / invited a friend over & so forth. Either way, I need to know who is caring for my pet, that they are bonded & insured and are capable and trustworthy.
I meet every one of my clients often more than once. After the initial meeting, I have never run into a situation where it has been inconvenient for someone to get a hold of me even on short notice. Clients email / call / text and it works just as effortlessly, so I don’t see a reason to have an app at this time.
Aside from just care for cats, what else makes you different from other pet sitters?
I value each relationship I have with both client & cat, so I work to make the experience as effortless and rewarding as possible. With that in mind, I don’t tack on fees for our initial meeting and things like dropping off and picking up keys. I feel charges for things like that are awkward, and an inconvenience. I also offer a variety of ways I can pamper your cat (more on that in a minute) and often spend extra time if needed.
In addition to care for cats, I work really hard to provide my clients with an engaging and interactive community experience so they can learn and share everything cat. I feature a ‘kitto blog’ on my website, and you can find me on Facebook and Instagram.
Finally, I am very keen on noticing changes in cat behavior. Cats can be very tricky when it comes to hiding their own troubles, but for someone who spends as much time around cats as I do, they can’t easily hide things from me!
So how do you pamper cats?
I start by getting as much information as I can from their moms & dads. Anything and everything the cat loves is important in providing the best possible experience. Often, younger cats like lots of playtime whether with paper balls, toys or games and older cats like to be brushed or cuddled in a lap and petted. So, brushing, reading stories, special treats, rubbing bellies and cuddling are all ways to spoil a cat.
I really would love your help. What is the best way to get started?
Fantastic! Fill out the form on my ‘Let’s Talk’ page on my website, or email me with your name, phone number and some detailed information about your needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.