What to Look for When Hiring a Pet Sitter
Whether you’re gearing up for a weekend getaway or an epic extended vacation, making plans for your cat’s care while you’re away is a top priority. Boarding your cat is one option, but if you feel that your furry feline would enjoy a “staycation” at home, you might want to hire a pet sitter.
At Cat Care of Vinings, we know it isn’t easy leaving your pet in the hands of a stranger, so we’ve put together some tips to help you choose wisely when hiring a sitter to care for your cat.
Why Are Pet Sitters Important?
Professional pet sitters provide a vital service for families who can’t travel with their pets and truly feel that their pets would be happiest at home. Some cats have severe anxiety issues and have difficulty adjusting to new surroundings.
But it’s not enough for someone to call themselves a pet sitter. You must still do your own due diligence. Read on for things to look for when choosing a reputable pet sitter.
How to Find the Right Pet Sitter for Your Cat
You want a pet sitter you can trust to care for your cat the way you do. Look for these traits when screening potential pet sitters:
- They belong to an organization like Pet Sitters International or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. These groups typically do background checks and promote pet sitter safety guidelines to keep the pets and the sitters safe.
- They have a level of experience you are comfortable with. Always ask for references/testimonials, too.
- They are willing to accommodate your pet’s needs, including frequency (and duration) of visits, administration of medication (if necessary), and special instructions for feeding, exercise, or other duties.
- They have a backup plan for the unexpected. What if illness or another emergency prevents your pet sitter from coming to your house? How will your pet receive care?
- They discuss their emergency plan with you. You can help by assembling a “pet sitter safety kit” with animal first aid supplies, veterinarian’s contact information, and number of the nearest veterinary emergency center.
- They provide proof of insurance.
- They are confident and at ease when interacting with your cat. Some pets don’t know a stranger, and some prefer to observe from a safe distance. Is the sitter understanding and respectful of your pet’s individual personality? Watch your cat’s body language for signs that he or she approves!
Here are some more tips for success:
- Start the interview/screening process far in advance. This is not a decision you want to rush.
- Be honest about your cat’s behavioral issues, such as biting or scratching or unusual litter box habits.
- Discuss your home’s security system and any cameras.
When you’re away, it’s important to make sure your pet is in capable hands. Cat Care of Vinings offers comfortable condominium boarding, and we’re always happy to discuss our accommodations. Contact us at (404) 792-0700.
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