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What to look out for when choosing a cat sitter

4 May 2021.

If you’ve made the considered choice to use an in-home cat sitter, you might be wondering how to find a good one. Understandably, cat owners want to find a reliable pet sitter they can trust. Here are Cat in a Flat’s three essential tips to help you make the right choice in finding a trustworthy cat sitter near you.

Find out the top things to look for when finding a cat sitter:

1. Find a local cat sitter you can trust

Cat in a Flat has designed a service to make sure you can find a cat sitter you can trust. Follow the steps below to select a carer you know will be a safe pair of hands.

Read cat sitter’s profiles carefully

Each cat sitter has a personal profile description. Read each sitter’s profile carefully to get an idea of who they are and what cat sitting services they offer. Cat carers set their rates and availability, and each profile features reviews from previous jobs. Every piece of information is there to help you make an informed decision on who you would like to contact.

Engage with the cat sitter in an online conversation

When you are in the process of finding the best cat sitter, we would advise contacting two or three candidates. That way, you can see who replies the quickest and compare their responses. Note that cat sitters should reply within 24hrs, be polite, enthusiastic and have constructive questions or replies to your queries.

Invite your favourite cat carer for a free meet and greet

Once you have decided on your preferred cat sitter, you should invite them for an interview. Sitters should come and meet you and Mr Whiskers to make sure you feel that you can trust them implicitly. Always go with your gut when interviewing possible cat nannies. Your impression of your initial online conversation should be reflected in their behaviour when you meet them. Cat sitters should be interested in your kitty and be proactive in asking questions about their routine, likes and dislikes. If they seem uninterested, you might need to find an alternative sitter.

Find out why you should book a trusted local cat sitter rather than use a cat boarding facility or cattery in this Cat in a Flat blog.

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2. How do I find a cat sitter who is reliable, competent and experienced?

Cat owners need to know that they can rely on their cat minder to do more than refill bowls and clean the litter box.

What qualities should a cat sitter have?

  • See if your cat carer has owned a kitty of their own. Most of the cat sitters that are part of the Cat in a Flat community have personal experience in caring for a kitty. By speaking to them about their background, you will get a good idea of how they will care for your cat.
  • Ask your prospective cat minder if they have any qualifications. Qualifications are not essential but might be important if your cat has a complex medical problem. You can find a cat sitter competent in administering medication and who will be quick to detect problems and changes in behaviour.
  • When they visit, try asking your cat sitter what they do for a living. Their daily routine gives you an insight into their roles and responsibilities. And you can tell if their daily rhythm works within your requirements or not. You will want a carer who has enough time to spend with your kitty.
  • Find out whether your cat sitter knows what to do in an emergency. Your carer should be aware of what steps to take if something goes wrong. And they should be relied upon to act in your cat’s best interests at all times. 
  • Ask your prospective cat sitter whether they are familiar with different breeds and the care they require. If you own a particular breed that requires grooming or special attention, you need to know your cat carer is comfortable with the responsibility of looking after them.

3. Will my cat like the cat sitter?

You should get to know your cat sitter to see if they are a good fit for you and your fur family. Going away and leaving your cat will feel much more comfortable if you know your pet sitter and a good relationship means you can communicate clearly and honestly with them.

Arrange a free Meet & Greet with your cat sitter at home

Firstly, find a good cat sitter and have an initial chat. After that, the next stage is to arrange an in-person meet and greet. A meeting should occur in the cat owner’s home to show the cat sitter everything they need to know. The details of food, water, cat litter tray, toys, keys, windows and doors should be discussed in a cat sitting meet and greet. It’s a chance to show a potential cat sitter around your home and make sure you have a good feeling about them.

A good cat sitter should ask you lots of questions. They will want to know what you expect from a professional cat sitting service and everything about your cat.

The meet and greet is your chance to see how your cat sitter interacts with your cat. Furthermore, you can make sure the cat sitter behaves sensitively to your beloved pet. A good cat carer will approach gently if your cat is shy and enthusiastically if your kitty engages quickly and asks for a stroke. An experienced cat minder will also know to extend their hand for an introductory sniff and intuitively moderate their behaviour to respond to your cat’s reaction. Furthermore, a good rapport between your cat sitter and cat also bodes well for when you go away.

Arrange a trial booking with your cat sitter

If you are planning a long trip, it’s a good idea to book a trial cat sitting day a few weeks before you leave. A trial booking has several advantages and these include:

  • You will have the chance to assess how they get along with your cat.
  • You can also check how your kitty reacts to being cared for by a new person.
  • It will give your cat sitter the chance to familiarise and orientate themselves within your home.
  • You can go through your cat’s routine with your cat sitter, and therefore discuss any medication your pet requires.
  • You will have the chance to introduce your cat sitter to your neighbours so they will be familiar with the new person visiting your home.

IMPORTANT: To avoid any misunderstanding, always confirm your booking through Cat in a Flat and leave clear instructions for your cat sitter.

Cat Sitting FAQ’s

What is cat sitting?

Cat sitting is when you pay someone to look after your cat in your own home while you’re away. A trusted cat lover will come and care for your cat every day, either with drop-in visits or by cat sitting overnight. A cat sitting visit includes feeding your cat, changing the water, cleaning the litter tray, playtime and cuddles. A cat sitter will also send you regular updates about your pet.
Cat in a Flat’s 5-star sitters offer a personalised cat sitting service that is suitable for cats of all ages and health. Cat sitting is a great alternative to a cattery.

How can I judge whether someone is a good cat sitter?

If it’s your first time booking a cat sitter, the best way to find a good one is to read reviews. If other cat owners like your sitter, chances are you will too! When you meet them, they should want to know every detail about your cat’s routine. While you’re away, a good cat sitter will send you regular updates, including photos, of your cat. When you return, you’ll know if you’ve found a good cat sitter if your kitty is happy and calm.

How do I find a trustworthy cat sitter?

The best way to find a good, trustworthy cat sitter is via a platform like Cat in a Flat. All of our sitters agree to a Code of Conduct to offer the best care to your cat. All cat sitters are covered by the Cat in a Flat Guarantee providing an extra peace of mind for cat owners. Cat in a Flat is a cat-loving community – our sitters really care about cats. We encourage our members to rate and review cat sitters honestly. Read more on how to find a trusted cat sitter here.

When should I start looking for a sitter?

Earlier is better when looking for a cat sitter, especially if it’s the first time you’re booking them. Cat in a Flat would recommend leaving at least a few weeks to find a trustworthy cat sitter. At busy times such as around summer and public holidays, it’s wise to start looking at least a month before.

Will my cat be ok with a cat sitter?

Cats much prefer to be cared for in their own home – and by someone who loves cats! Cat in a Flat has years of experience in running a cat-sitting community. We know that the vast majority of cats are more than ok with a cat sitter; they enjoy the experience and attention. We also know how important it is to provide cover and reassurance if something goes wrong while you’re away. That is why cat sitters are covered with our Cat in a Flat Guarantee. Cat sitting is a safe, reliable and trustworthy service providing love and care for your cat while you’re away. It’s a great alternative to cat boarding or a cattery.

How long should a cat sitter stay?

If a cat sitter is visiting once or twice a day, they should stay for around 20-40minutes per visit. The length of time of each visit will depend on your cat’s needs and personality. You can also book a cat sitter to stay overnight if your kitty needs extra care or attention. Overnight cat sitters will stay for at least eight hours from the evening to morning in your home.

How much should I pay for cat sitting?

The price of a cat sitter depends on the cat minder and the level of service. Cat sitters who have experience in more complicated aspects of cat care, such as administering medication, will charge more. For a once-daily drop-in service at home, a cat sitter can charge £10 to £15. Twice daily drop-ins can cost from around £12 to £25. Overnight stays can cost from £15 to £50. Cat sitting is a flexible, bespoke service so ask if you’d like your sitter to complete some additional tasks for a fee. As with most services, when finding a good cat sitter, the least expensive option isn’t always the best, especially if your cat needs extra care and attention.

Is booking a cat sitter better than placing my cat in a cattery?

Every cat and family is different, so cat sitting might not always be a better solution than a cattery. However, we know that cats prefer to stay at home, hate getting in a cat carrier, don’t like being taken anywhere in the car, and don’t usually like the presence of other cats. The unfamiliar sounds and smells of a cattery can be traumatic for a cat. Unfamiliar surroundings are particularly stressful for shy, infirm, old, young, recently rehomed or anxiety-prone cats. Booking a sitter to care for your cat in their own home is less stressful for you and your pet. Cat sitting is also less expensive than booking a cattery.

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