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6 Important Things to Consider When Booking a Cat Sitter for a Few Weeks

17 May 2024.

Planning a multi-week trip can be stressful, especially if you’re worried about your kitty’s care while you’re away. However, booking a cat sitter needn’t be a nerve-wracking experience. Not sure what to take into consideration when booking a cat sitter for multiple weeks? Below, Cat in a Flat explains 6 important things to consider when booking and preparing for your pet sitter. 

1. Book overnight cat sitter visits

Whether or not you book your cat sitter for overnight visits will depend on your kitty’s age, personality, and health. A kitten will require more care than an older cat, and benefit from full time housesitting instead of once-a-day visits. Or, if your fur friend is a high-energy or social breed that doesn’t do well on their own (such as the Bengal or Siamese), overnight stays might be the best option. 

However, even if your feline is relatively independent, it’s still not healthy for them to spend too much time alone. While overnight stays are ideal if you’re away for an extended period, booking a cat sitter who can commit to a few weeks of house sitting can be tricky. A good balance can be to book a combination of once or twice daily visits with the occasional overnight stay. Start your search by looking for daily visits, then ask your potential sitter if they’re available to do the occasional overnight stay too. This might be an attractive alternative for both you and your cat carer.

Luckily, you can customize cat sitting services through Cat in a Flat! Here are a few tips to help you find the right pet sitter for Mr Whiskers: 

  • Start your search early. Don’t leave booking a cat sitter until the last minute! Start looking a month beforehand so you can adjust if your preferred sitter isn’t available, or your kitty and sitter don’t vibe during the initial meet and greet. 
  • Mention overnight stays up front. If you are planning a combination of overnight and daily visits, tell your potential pet carer as soon as possible! While all our cat sitters can provide customised care for your feline, not everyone offers the same services. 

The Cat in a Flat booking system is easy to use and provides flexible booking options so you can find the at-home care that best suits you and your fur friend! 

2. Do I need to provide food and litter for my cat sitter? 

Is it necessary to provide food and litter for your cat sitter? Part of preparing your home for your pet sitter is making sure they have all the supplies they need to look after your kitty. Your sitter won’t provide food or litter for your feline as part of their services. So, when booking a cat sitter make sure you have plenty of supplies for a few weeks, plus a little extra in case there’s an emergency or you’re delayed getting back home. 

When you meet your cat sitter, walk them through how to feed your cat and how to clean the litter box. If you’re only gone a short time (a week or less), scooping the litter boxes out once a day should be fine. However, if you’re gone for a few weeks or more, your sitter may need to completely empty out, clean, and replace the litter in the trays at some point. Be sure to discuss this with them beforehand to make sure they’re comfortable with the task.

You should also alert your sitter to any food allergies, dietary requirements, or health issues your fur friend might have. Take them through each step of your kitty’s care in person, but also leave written instructions behind so everything is clear. This is especially important with medication—written instructions will help avoid any confusion with dosages and how to give your cat medicine

3. What are cat sitter DOs and DON’Ts? 

Every kitty is unique, so care will vary from one feline to another. Make sure to talk to your cat sitter about the major DOs and DON’Ts for your cat and your home. These can include: 

  • The best way to approach your feline. Does your kitty like to be petted, or do they prefer to be left alone? Make sure your sitter knows how to approach Mr Whiskers, and when to give them some space. 
  • Your kitty’s favourite toys and way to play. Playtime is an important part of daily at-home cat care. Your sitter should make playtime a priority during each visit, so make sure they know where your feline’s toys are and how to play with them. 
  • What to expect if you have an outdoor-indoor cat. For safety, we always recommend keeping your kitty indoors while you’re away. If this isn’t a possibility, walk your cat sitter through feline’s usual outdoor-indoor routine. 
  • Open windows or doors. Make sure your pet carer understands potential safety hazards around your home. Can they open a window to air out your house? Is your kitty an escape artist who will try to sneak out the front door? This is all useful information for your sitter.

4. What emergency information should I leave my pet sitter? 

What emergency information should I leave my cat sitter? When booking a cat sitter, always ensure they feel confident that they can provide the best care possible for your pet. This includes having the proper emergency information at hand in case something goes wrong. Include the name and number of your kitty’s vet in your written instructions. If your usual vet isn’t available outside regular office hours, make sure to add a number for an emergency 24/7 vet clinic

You should also provide a secondary emergency number for yourself—just in case your sitter can’t contact you by the usual means. If possible, include the numbers of one or two local friends or family members who can pop in to help in an emergency. And don’t forget to make sure your kitty’s vaccinations and microchip are up to date

5. Leave a second key for your cat sitter

After booking your cat sitter you will provide them with a key to access your home. But it never hurts to have a back-up just in case, so aim to leave a second key somewhere safe. While your pet carer aims to be responsible, accidents can happen. They might lock themselves out and leave the key inside. Or they could experience a personal emergency and not be available to continue your feline’s care. Having a second key in a secure spot (such as an external combination lockbox) will add an extra buffer in case anything goes wrong. 

6. Will a pet sitter handle my mail and care for my plants? 

Before you head off on your trip, make sure to clarify with your sitter which additional services they can offer. A cat sitter can provide the added security benefit of doing tasks to make your house look lived in while you’re gone. This can include collecting your mail, turning lights off and on, and generally making your property appear occupied. While many are also happy to provide plant care, you should always check before booking a cat sitter, especially if it’s for a few weeks. Some sitters might not be comfortable with caring for your plants too, or there may be an added fee involved for this service. Always make sure to have a plan in place for these additional household tasks before you leave! 

Not sure if hiring a cat sitter is the right step? Check out our blog posts on why boarding can be bad for cats, and why the Cat in a Flat cat sitting service is the best option for you and your kitty. 

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