Pet Sitters
Use A Professional To Look After Your Cat 

Choosing pet sitters to look after your furry friend while you're away on holiday can be quite a difficult decision and one that can cause pet owners to worry the whole time they are away. 

So choosing one that you can trust is very important to ensure both you and your pet have a happy holiday.

The cat sitters industry is a relatively new one due to the fact that the cost of travel has decreased so dramatically over the last thirty years or so, making it much easier to take holidays abroad.

Add to this the increase in pet ownership during the same time period and we have a growing industry for people who want to earn money looking after other peoples pets.

Of course if you are lucky enough to have a good neighbour or a family member that is willing to look after your cats while you are away, then your pets well-being is not something you will have to worry too much about. Just make sure you bring home a nice big gift for your friends as a thank you! 

On this page:

  • The Benefits of Using A Professional Animal Sitter?
  • How To Find Pet Sitting Services
  • Questions To Ask Your Cat Sitter
  • Instructing Your Animal Sitter
  • What To Do Before You Leave
  • Our Experiences With Cat Sitting Companies

What Are The Benefits of Using Professional Pet Sitters? 

Deciding to hire someone to look after your cat while you are away has benefits for not only you but also your pet:

  • Your pet will remain in familiar surroundings and have all their own things around them

  • Your pet will have regular human contact, including some playtime

  • Any medications can still be given

  • Someone is available to take care of your cat during an emergency

  • There is no need for the pet to travel - which means less stress

  • Your home is regularly visited while you are away which can help with home security

  • You will not feel that you are imposing on your neighbours or family.

All of the above are good reasons in themselves to make sure that the pet sitters you hire are professional and fully qualified in cat care, as the responsibility placed on them is a large one considering that they are strangers to you.

How To Find Pet Sitters

The first place to start looking for a good cat sitting service is to ask at your local veterinary surgery if they can recommend anyone locally.

"Personal recommendation is one of the best ways to find someone you can trust"

Never use people who simply stick postcard adverts in shop windows as you have no way of knowing who they are!

The next option is to check your local yellow pages directory, to see if there are any pet sitting companies local to your area.

Lastly you can check the Internet. There have been many pet sitting services starting up over the last few years and some of the larger ones require every one of their sitters to have a qualification in dog and cat care and looking after other animals.

It is also worth checking out animal forums to see what other people are saying about particular dog and cat sitting companies.

Questions To Ask Your Pet Sitter

It is important that before you hire someone to look after your pet, you ask them some questions to check their suitability:

  • Always ask for references and contact their previous customers to check them out

  • Ask for any qualifications in animal and cat care that they they may have

  • Ask if they are insured for liability and ask to see their certificates

  • Make sure you have their full contact details

  • Ask them how long they have been pet sitting and why they like doing it. This will give you an indication if they are a true animal lover and are enthusiastic about the job.

Instructing Your Pet Sitters

Before going away on vacation it is important that you have good communication with your chosen pet sitter and make sure that they have all the information required to look after your pet to the best of their ability. Make sure:

  • You give the details of your local vet to the sitter

  • The sitter has met your pet and is familiar with their likes and dislikes, their feeding schedule, play toys and of any medical conditions they may have.

  • Make sure the sitter knows of any medications that need to be given and when.

  • Give the sitter all your vacation contact details and the telephone numbers of local relatives in case of an emergency.

  • Make sure the sitter has all the animals' medical certificates and vaccination records.

  • Ensure that your pet is either micro-chipped or is carrying an identification tag in case they go missing.

What To Do Before You Leave

Making sure that you have prepared everything for both your pet and the sitter before you go away will ensure that the whole process of looking after your furry friend will run smoothly.

  • Buy extra cat food and litter and leave it out in an obvious place

  • Close doors to rooms you do not wish your pet to enter and make sure your sitter knows this as well

  • Make sure your sitter knows where the cleaning materials and equipment are

  • Make sure all the pets' favourite toys are available to them

  • Leave some of your clothes around the house as your scent will help comfort your pet

  • Leave a small lamp on, again this will comfort the pet during night time

  • Let a neighbour know that a pet sitting service will be visiting the house and give them a spare key in case of emergencies

  • Make sure you keep anything valuable securely locked away and out of sight.

Our Experiences With Cat Sitting Services

We thought it would be a good idea to let you know of some of the experiences we have had in the past when leaving Little Mo in the care of someone else.

They were three very different experiences and certainly highlight the importance of trusting your pet sitters.

First year - We asked our new neighbour who we liked and who really liked Little Mo. We felt confident that everything would be okay.

However on our return, we noticed that a lot of the cat food we left was still remaining and that they had only been feeding Little Mo small meals. We also found cat faeces in several areas of the house, one of which was plain to see in the main entrance hall.

We couldn't believe it; it looked very much like they had not looked after her or our home very well at all. Luckily we had only been a way for a few days, so Little Mo was fine.

Second year - We used a cat sitter who had placed a small card in our local veterinary surgery. The vet did not actually recommend them but we thought that they looked professional and sounded trustworthy.

Wrong! While we were away our neighbour rang us three times to say that she did not think the pet sitter was visiting the house very often. It turned out that she was visiting, but at all sorts of different times of day, which is not what we had agreed. We were not happy, but luckily Little Mo was fine, thanks to our neighbour.

Third year - We found a cat sitting service that was recommended to us by a friend. They visited us before hand and we went through everything with them. They were very experienced in cat care and they asked lots of questions about Little Mo and how often we wanted them to visit the house to look after her.

They were great. We went away for a week and when we returned, Little Mo seemed to have hardly noticed that we had been away. She was well fed and contented, which is the best sign that she was looked after properly.

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