What does a cat sitter do? If you’re heading away on vacation, a cat sitter might be something you’re considering.
A cat sitter will stay in your home and take care of your cat whilst you’re gone, providing company and daily care for your cat, and peace of mind for you!
The cost of cat sitters will vary depending on your location, the time of year, and the experience of an individual sitter. But, our guide will help you learn how to choose the best sitter, as well as more information on exactly what responsibilities cat sitters have.
What Does a Cat Sitter Do?
The exact responsibilities of a cat sitter will vary depending on the specific care needs of your cat.
But, as a vague description of a cat sitter’s job role, they will look after your cat whilst you’re away from the home.
The time period of this can vary from a few days to a couple of weeks!
Most cat sitters will spend this time in your home, giving your cat dedicated care and company.
But, some cat sitters will carry out drop in visits, such as a few hours in the morning and afternoon. It’s important to learn exactly what type you’re hiring before committing, to ensure you’re happy with the amount of care your cat will receive!
In simple terms, they’re a babysitter for your cat! Most will keep in touch with you whilst you’re away, sending updates, and potentially even pictures of your kitty to give you peace of mind.
Cat Sitting Responsibilities
So what do cat sitters do on a day to day basis?
The responsibilities of a cat sitter are quite varied. Especially if your cat has any special, uncommon care needs.
No matter whether they are staying at your home, or just performing drop in visits, here are some general tasks that a cat sitter will do whilst you’re away on vacation:
- Feed your cat and ensure they have fresh water every day.
- Play with your cat, and provide daily company.
- Groom your cat, if necessary.
- Give your cat any medication that they need to take.
- Clean out your cat’s litter tray.
- Send you regular updates.
Many cat sitters will also perform regular housekeeping duties, such as collecting your mail and watering your plants. But, you may need to specify these extra tasks when hiring your sitter.
Will Cat Sitters Look After Multiple Cats?
The answer to this question may vary depending on the sitter and the type of cat sitting they perform.
If they are a drop in cat sitter, it’s entirely possible that they will have two or three houses to drop in on each day.
This won’t impact the amount of time they spend with your cat, as the drop in session lengths are usually determined before you commit to the sitter.
If they are the type of sitter that stays at your house to care for your cat, they won’t go off to drop in on other cats.
But, they would usually be more than happy to care for multiple cats in the same household.
Will Cat Sitters Look After Other Animals?
More often than not, cat sitters will not be happy to look after other animals in your household, or instead of a cat.
This is because they are usually much more knowledgeable about cat care.
If you have other animals in your household, you may be better off finding a pet sitter.
Pet sitters are usually more broad in their scope, and will be happier to look after any animals you have, not just cats!
How Much Do Cat Sitters Cost?
This is another question that is actually quite hard to answer, because it will vary so much.
There are a number of factors that can influence the price of a cat sitter. This includes:
- Whether they are staying at your house or performing drop in visits.
- The length of time you are away for.
- The number of cats you are expecting them to look after
- Any medical needs your cat has
- Any specialist care needs your cat has, such as grooming, etc.
- The time of year (is it peak holiday time?).
- Any additional responsibilities you’re expecting the cat sitter to carry out, such as watering plants.
- Location and demand for cat sitters.
- And, the experience of the cat sitter in question.
Because there’s so much that can impact the overall cost of a cat sitter, it’s best to speak to a sitter first, and find out what their pricing scheme is.
You can always compare this to other sitters in your area, if cost is a concern for you!
Where to Find a Cat Sitter
If you’re going away and need someone to take care of your cat, a cat sitter could be ideal. But, now you need to find one!
A great place to start is by looking at various cat and pet sitting organizations, such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
These groups will often have tools and resources to help you find a reputable cat sitter near you.
Alternatively, you can speak to your veterinarian. They may be able to pass on the details of reputable or popular pet sitters that have reached out to them to advertise their services.
How to Choose the Best Cat Sitter
Finding a cat sitter is one thing. Finding a good cat sitter is a whole new problem!
With a quick look, it’s likely that you’ll find a lot of pet sitters near you. So how do you sort through them all to find the best ones?
There is no official training that a cat sitter will need to do to qualify for the job. So, anyone can do it.
However, there are some things you can look for in a professional, reputable pet sitter. Including:
- Certification with a national or official pet sitting organization.
- Prior experience cat sitting, including good reviews.
- Plenty of accessible information about their services and skills.
- Someone that is passionate and knowledgeable about cats.
- Proof of liability cover.
- A clear service agreement contract.
Many will also have a business licence, and even their own website detailing availability, pricing, and more.
Meet and Greet Sessions
Most professional cat sitters will be happy to meet you before you commit to them.
This initial session will be an opportunity for you to both find out a little more about one another.
You can ask questions about the sitter’s previous experience and skills. And, you can find out about pricing and availability.
The cat sitter can also find out more about your cat’s specific needs, and any other responsibilities you might expect them to have, like taking out the bins!
Can I Be a Cat Sitter?
It sounds like quite a dreamy job, right? Getting paid to take care of adorable cats!
But, cat sitting can be a lot harder than people first think. It requires a lot of knowledge on cat care and health.
Cat sitters are entirely responsible for anything that could happen to your cat when they’re taking care of it. So, if your cat gets sick, they’ll have to be ready to take it to your veterinarian, or even an emergency veterinarian.
They will have to make sure any medication is administered at the right time, in the right amounts, that your cat doesn’t eat anything it shouldn’t, and that indoor cats don’t escape.
It’s a lot more work than simply sitting in someone’s house and giving their cat a cuddle.
If you’re keen to learn more about whether you would suit a cat sitting role, it’s a great idea to look at local pet sitting organizations near you, and find out more.
Should I Get a Cat Sitter if I’m Going on Vacation?
Whilst it’s generally okay to leave a cat alone for a day, any longer than that and owners should think about other solutions. Such as a cat sitter.
Of course, this isn’t your only option. You could ask friends and family if they would be happy to cat sit for you, or to drop in a few times each day.
However, friends and family usually won’t be as experienced or knowledgable. And, if anything goes wrong, they may not know the best way to react.
Another alternative is to put your cat in a kennel or a cattery.
However, some cats will find these places very distressing. And, they often won’t get the same level of individual care and one-on-one time, as they would with a cat sitter.
What Does a Cat Sitter Do? A Summary
Cat sitter responsibilities can vary depending on the cat they’re looking after! But, they can be a great way to keep your cat safe and happy whilst you’re away.
It will also give you peace of mind, so you can really enjoy your vacation, or whatever reason you’re not at home!
Are you thinking about using a cat sitter?
References and Resources
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