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What is cat sitting, and how do I find a trustworthy 5-star cat sitter?

5 Nov 2023.

Are you wondering who will take care of your beloved cat when you next go on holiday? If you’re looking for a trustworthy and reliable solution to cat care, cat sitting is a good option. But what is cat sitting, and how does it work? Should you use a Cat in a Flat cat sitter?

What is cat sitting?

Cat sitting is a service where you pay a trusted person to care for your cat in your home while you are away on holiday or business. This service is stress-free as your feline will remain safe and happy in the comfort of their own home. At-home visits help eliminate the stress of getting your cat into their carrier and taking them on a long car drive to board at a cattery. Booking a cat sitter is also more affordable than boarding your cat at a cattery.

There are two types of cat sitting services available:

1. Cat visits at home:

A daily drop-in visit is when a cat sitter visits your kitty either once or twice a day. The cat carer will replenish your pet’s food and water, clean the cat litter tray and provide love, company, snuggles and playtime.

Each visit can last between 20 – 40min depending on your cat’s needs and personality. The service is flexible, so discuss your and your cat’s requirements with your sitter.

2. Overnight stays / House sitting:

Many cat sitters will also stay overnight at your house if required. Overnight stays can be beneficial for older, needier, anxious, and infirm cats who need extra time and attention.

During a house-sitting service, your cat carer can provide other helpful services including watering the plants and collecting the post. Having a cat sitter stay the night also helps with security as it makes your house look occupied.

Cat sitting services are suitable for cats of all ages and health conditions, including kittens and senior cats.

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How do I find a trusted cat sitter?

The best way to find a trusted cat sitter is via a platform such as Cat in a Flat. All Cat in a Flat cat sitters agree to a Code of Conduct to ensure your furry family member gets the best cat care. Cat in a Flat also provides a guarantee to help sitters and owners should anything go wrong during the cat sitting period. This kind of support is only available from a professional, reliable cat sitting service that wants to keep its cat-loving community safe.

Being a community means that Cat in a Flat encourages its members to rate and review each other honestly. You can read cat sitter reviews on their profile pages to make sure other cat owners like and trust them. 

Meeting your potential cat minder before the cat sitting service occurs is essential in making sure you find them trustworthy. Cat owners should always meet and personally vet a pet sitter before inviting them to look after their kitty. Don’t be afraid to ask your cat sitter lots of questions about anything you and your pet find meaningful. Speak to a few potential cat sitters before making your decision to make sure you feel comfortable with your choice.

Why use a Cat in a Flat cat sitter:

  • Free access to vetted and reviewed cat sitters near you
  • Affordable, personalised cat sitting services – choose from daily cat visits at home or overnight stays.
  • Cat sitters offer a free meet and greet
  • Safe, secure, and convenient online bookings and payments
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • All confirmed bookings are covered by the Cat in a Flat Guarantee
  • Daily photos updates while you’re away

Hiring a reliable cat sitter is a popular choice for cat owners who want an alternative to traditional catteries.

How does cat sitting work?

Finding a cat sitter with Cat in a Flat is quick, easy and safe. To get a complete introduction to how cat sitting works, read our How-To Guide by clicking here. There are three main stages:

1. Find a trustworthy cat sitter near you

Cat owners can search for a local cat sitter who is available for the required dates. You can then filter to find a sitter who fits your requirements. Do you need a cat sitter at your home once or twice a day? Or a cat sitter who will stay overnight? Perhaps you’re looking for a cat carer who can administer medication or injections? You might only want to book a cat minder who is police checked. 

Once you’ve read through some cat sitter profiles and have selected someone you think looks good, you should contact them to check if they are free.

2. Meet the cat sitter

Before leaving your feline friend in their hands, you should always meet your cat sitter. They should come to your house to get to know your cat, their routine and preferences. The free meet and greet is an opportunity to make sure the chemistry is right and to share cat care, feeding and litter tray instructions with your sitter.

3. Leave your cat in the capable hands of a cat sitter

You can leave Mr Whiskers in the safe, trustworthy and loving care of its cat sitter. As well as taking care of the basics including food, water and litter tray cleaning, your cat minder will take time each day to play, snuggle or simply hang out with your cat. For peace of mind, you’ll also get daily updates from your sitter, including photos.

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How much does cat sitting cost?

The price of cat sitting depends on the level of service and the cat sitter. More experienced cat sitters who can offer services such as administering medication will charge more. For a daily drop-in service at home, a cat sitter can charge from around £8 to £15. Twice daily drop-ins can cost from around £12 to £25. Overnight stays can cost from £15 to £50. Cat sitters provide a personalised service, so you can ask to add additional services for a fee. Extra services can include collecting the post or watering the plants. Think carefully about the level of experience and care your cat needs from a sitter. As with most things, when it comes to cat sitting the least expensive option isn’t always the best.

cat sitter

Cat sitting FAQs

How long can I leave my cat alone?

The length of time you can leave an adult cat alone depends on the cat, his diet and your environment. In general, vets say it’s okay to leave your cat alone for up to 24 hours at a time. As long as they have access to fresh food and water and a clean litter, they should be fine for a day.

If you have to leave your cat alone for more than one night, it’s advisable to get a friend or trusted cat sitter to visit your cat at home once or twice a day. That way your kitty will be in safe hands and no unforeseen problems would go unattended such as sudden illness or injury, or a broken automatic feeder. Human contact is also reassuring and will lower your cat’s anxiety.

How do I stop my cat from missing me while I am away

Cats may seem independent but can suffer from separation anxiety when their owner goes away. The best way to help reduce the stress of your absence is to make sure another person spends time with them while you’re on holiday. Time spent playing, snuggling or just hanging out with a cat-loving sitter will help keep kitties happy and calm. As well as cat sitting visits at your home, make sure your cat’s favourite toys and scratching posts are available to them in your absence. Leave your cat with something that smells like you, such as a piece of your clothing to cuddle. Your scent will reassure your furry friend that you’re coming back.

Do cats miss their owners when they go on holiday?

Studies have repeatedly shown that cats will choose human company over food. So they certainly miss their owners. Some cats demand more affection than others, but even kitties who enjoy a bit of alone time form a special bond with their owner.

As a caring cat owner, you should make sure your cat has company while you’re away to help keep Mr Whiskers calm and happy. Ask a friend or cat sitter to do a pop-in visit once or twice a day.

Is cat sitting the right option for my cat?

Every cat is different, and you know what’s right for your beloved pet. The beauty of cat sitting at your home is that it’s a flexible, reliable and trustworthy service. So if your cat is fussy, can be difficult or needs medication, chances are you can find a cat sitter who can provide the caring service and support you and your cat need.
Most cats find going to a cattery very stressful, hence hiring a trusted cat sitter is a great alternative. All cat carers love kitties and look forward to spending time with them, so it’s a reliable way of providing conscientious, affectionate and practical in-home cat care while you are away. 

Cat sitters booked through a platform such as Cat in a Flat are approved, vetted and reviewed, so it’s care you can trust too.

What should I expect from a drop-in or overnight cat sitting service?

A drop-in cat sitting service is when your cat carer looks in on your kitty at home once or twice a day. Pop-in cat sitters will feed your cat, replenish their water, clean the litter tray, and spend time petting, playing or just hanging out with Mr Whiskers during their daily visits. They will also send you updates on how your cat is doing, including photographs.

An overnight sitter will do all of the above and also spend the night at your property. An overnight sitter provides more company and attention for your cat. They also make your property looked lived in, which is better for home security. They are ideal for very young kittens that are still in their socialisation phase or older cats that might need time specific medications.

Is boarding stressful for a cat?

Most cats find boarding houses or catteries stressful. Cats are territorial and creatures of habit and prefer to stay in their home surroundings. The smells, sounds and other cats in a boarding house can be overwhelming to kitties. Some gregarious cats won’t mind the cattery environment, but most kitties will tolerate it at best and be completely stressed and miserable at worst. Cat sitting is a great alternative to cat boarding and catteries.

Is boarding your cat in a cattery bad for them?

The majority of cat boarding facilities and catteries are professionally run and provide round-the-clock supervision and care. Your cat is very unlikely to face any physical harm. But the unfamiliar environment, presence of lots of cats in one place, strange sounds and smells can be very stressful for kitties. It is better to care for cats in their home environment to keep them calm and anxiety-free. For a happy and relaxed cat, use a cat sitting service at home instead.

My cat needs medication; can I still use a cat sitter?

Yes! Cat sitting is an excellent solution for cats that require medication. You can filter Cat in a Flat cat sitter profiles according to their experience in administering medication, including giving injections.

Read more great advice about why you might need a trustworthy cat sitting service and how to prepare for going away on the Cat in a Flat blog.

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