With summer right around the corner, there is a good chance that you’re already planning a summer getaway. If those plans don’t include bringing along your feline friend, you may be thinking about hiring a cat sitter.
Why You Should Hire a Cat Sitter?
While it may be tempting to ask a neighbour or family member to check in on your cat while you’re away, hiring someone who is experienced in caring for cats can help ensure that your feline friend remains healthy, happy, and safe while you’re away.
An experienced cat sitter can provide care that is tailored to your cat’s specific needs, this may include things like:
- Companionship & comfort: Cats are social creatures and require attention and interaction with their owners. Leaving them alone for a long period can cause them anxiety and stress. A cat sitter can provide companionship and comfort to your cat, playing with them, giving them cuddles, and ensuring they’re happy and relaxed.
- Feeding & hydration: Cats need a regular feeding schedule, and their diet is essential for their health. A cat sitter can provide fresh food and water for your cat according to their dietary requirements and schedule. This ensures your cat is receiving the proper nutrition they need and reduces the risk of overfeeding or underfeeding.
- Managing medications: If your cat requires medication for any health issues, a cat sitter can administer the medication as prescribed by the veterinarian. This ensures that your cat is taking the medication at the right time and dosage, which is crucial for their health.
- Litter box maintenance: Cleaning the litter box is an essential part of maintaining a cat’s hygiene and health. A cat sitter can clean the litter box regularly, ensuring your cat has a clean and safe place to do their business.
- Keeping your cat indoors: Cats are notorious escape artists, especially in the warmer months, so it is important to leave your cat with a trustworthy caregiver who can mitigate the risk of an escape. This may include ensuring that screen doors remain shut and watching for your cat while coming or going.
Options for Cat Care
Pet care can come in many different forms, the 3 primary forms of cat sitters include:
- Drop-in visits
- Overnight cat sitting
- Cat boarding
A drop-in cat sitter will typically stop by your house for a short period of time (usually 30 minutes or more) once or twice a day to check on your cat. During a drop-in visit, your cat sitter can complete cat care tasks such as feeding your cat and cleaning their litter box, as well as socializing with your cat through cuddles or play.
Drop-in visits are typically more cost effective than full-time cat care and can be a good option for cats that do not have complex care needs and who do not mind being alone for long periods of time.
Overnight Cat Sitting
Cats are creatures of habit, so taking them out of their home environment can be a stressful experience. An overnight cat sitter can provide your cat with constant care and companionship, while allowing them to stay in the comfort of your home.
Overnight cat sitters can also provide house sitting services, like watering your plants and ensuring your home is secure while you’re away.
There are a number of cat boarding kennels in and around Calgary. These facilities typically offer individual or shared housing for cats, and can provide all of the necessities of cat care. Some boarding kennels also offer grooming and medical care for an additional fee.
What is the Best Option for My Cat?
When deciding which option of cat care to go with, consider things like your cat’s unique care needs and personality, as well as your budget. Some cats may be content with daily drop-in visits, while others may require the constant companionship and care of an overnight sitter.
Regardless of which option you go with, it is absolutely essential to ensure that your cat sitter has a comprehensive understanding of your cat’s needs. Consider leaving your cat sitter with a guide that includes:
- A list of your pet’s food and medications
- Your contact information
- Contact information of your primary vet clinic and the nearest emergency vet clinic
- Contact information for a friend or neighbour with a spare key to the house
- Emergency contacts for household repair like plumbers or electricians
Finding a Cat Sitter
An experienced cat sitter can provide you with peace of mind while you’re away from your cat companion. A good place to start the search for a cat sitter can be asking for recommendations from your vet, cat-owning friends or through community groups.
Some online services also allow you to search for a cat sitter that meets your specific needs, timeline, and budget and allow you to read reviews from previous clients.
When choosing a cat sitter, it is important to make sure they are:
- Have liability insurance
- Willing to have an in-person interview and offer references
- Criminal background check – especially if they are entering your home.
Your cat is an important part of your family. By arranging for an experienced and properly vetted cat sitter, you can help ensure your feline friend enjoys your time away just as much as you do.