How to Hire a Cat Sitter: A Step-by-Step Guide for Cat Owners

| Updated: June 28, 2023
how to hire a cat sitter featured image of a girl with a cat in front of a laptop

You love your cat, but sometimes you have to leave them alone for a while. Maybe you’re going on a vacation, a business trip, or a family visit. Or maybe you just need a break from your daily routine. Whatever the reason, you want to ensure your cat is comfortable, safe, and happy while away. But how do you do that?

You can’t just leave them at home with some food and water and hope for the best. Cats are social animals who need human interaction and stimulation. Without it, they can get lonely, bored, stressed, or anxious, which can lead to behavioral problems or health issues.

That’s why hiring a cat sitter can be a great option for pet owners who want to ensure their cats are well taken care of in their own environment. But how do you find a cat sitter who can meet your cat’s needs and preferences? And how do you make sure they’re reliable, trustworthy, and loving?

In this article, we’ll show you how to hire a cat sitter, from finding potential candidates to interviewing them and checking their references. We’ll also give you some tips on how to prepare your cat and your home for the cat sitter’s arrival and what to do after you return. By following these steps, you’ll be able to find a cat sitter who will treat your cat as their own.

Why Hire a Cat Sitter?

Hiring a cat sitter can provide your cat with the attention, affection, and care they need while you’re away. A cat sitter can also monitor your cat’s health and well-being, give them any medications they might need, and alert you or your vet in case of an emergency. Hiring a cat sitter can give you peace of mind that your home is secure and your cat is in good hands.

How to Find a Cat Sitter

There are many ways to find a cat sitter near you, such as asking for recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, or your vet, browsing online platforms or websites that connect pet owners with pet sitters, or checking local bulletin boards or ads. There’s no one size fits all answer; some of your best options are often a trusty neighbor or their children who can take great care of your cat and/or other pets.

However, not all cat sitters are the same, and you want to hire someone with the skills, experience, and personality that match your cat’s needs and preferences, especially if you don’t know them personally. Here are some factors to consider when looking for a cat sitter:

  • Years of experience: You want to hire someone who’s been working as a cat sitter for a long time and has dealt with different types of cats and situations. A more experienced cat sitter will be more confident, knowledgeable, and prepared to handle any challenges or emergencies that might come up.
  • Services offered: You want to hire someone who can provide the services that you and your cat need, such as feeding, litter box cleaning, playing, grooming, pet transportation, or overnight care. You also want to check if they offer any extra services that might benefit your cat, such as pet walking, pet sitting other animals (such as guinea pigs or dogs), or dog training.
  • Availability: You want to hire someone who can fit your schedule and preferences, such as how often they’ll visit your cat, how long they’ll stay with them, and when they’ll communicate with you. You also want to check if they have any backup plans in case they get sick or have an emergency.
  • Rates: You want to hire someone who charges a fair and reasonable price for their services based on their qualifications, experience, and location. You also want to check if they have any discounts or packages for multiple visits or long-term bookings.
  • Reviews: You want to hire someone who has positive feedback from previous clients who vouch for their reliability, professionalism, and quality of service. You also want to check if they have any negative reviews or complaints that might raise red flags.

How to Interview a Cat Sitter

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential cat sitters based on the factors above, you want to contact them and arrange an interview. The interview is an important step in hiring a cat sitter because it lets you meet them in person (or via phone or video call), ask them relevant questions, and see how they interact with your cat. Here are some tips on how to conduct an effective interview:

  • Prepare a list of questions that cover the topics that matter most to you and your cat, such as their experience, services, availability, rates, references, policies, etc.
  • Be clear about your expectations and requirements for the cat sitter’s role and responsibilities.
  • Be honest about your cat’s personality, behavior, habits, likes and dislikes, health conditions, and specific needs.
  • Observe how the cat sitter interacts with your cat during the interview. Do they seem friendly, attentive, and respectful? Do they use positive reinforcement and gentle handling? Do they follow your instructions and suggestions? Do they ask you questions about your cat?
  • Trust your gut feeling and intuition. Do you feel comfortable and confident with the cat sitter? Do you think they’re a good fit for your cat?

How to Check a Cat Sitter’s References

After the interview, you want to check the cat sitter’s references to verify their credentials, experience, and reputation. You can ask them to provide you with contact information of previous clients who can give you honest and unbiased feedback about their service. You can also check their online profiles or websites for recent reviews or testimonials from other pet owners. Here are some questions you can ask the references:

  • How long have you known or used the cat sitter’s service?
  • How often did they visit your cat, and for how long?
  • How did they communicate with you before, during, and after the service?
  • How did they handle any problems or emergencies that came up?
  • How did your cat react to them and their service?
  • What did you like or dislike about their service?
  • Would you recommend them to other pet owners?

How to Prepare Your Cat and Your Home for the Cat Sitter

Once you’ve hired a cat sitter, you want to prepare your cat and your home for their arrival. This will help ensure a smooth and stress-free transition for both your cat and the cat sitter. Here are some things you can do to prepare:

  • Provide the cat sitter with a copy of your key or access code to your home and any emergency contacts or instructions.
  • Stock up on enough food, water, litter, treats, toys, and other supplies for your cat for the duration of your absence.
  • Leave a note or a list with detailed information about your cat’s routine, diet, medications, allergies, preferences, etc.
  • Show the cat sitter where everything is located in your home, such as the food, water, litter box, toys, etc.
  • Introduce the cat sitter to your cat and let them spend some time together before you leave.
  • Leave some items that smell like you or your cat in your home, such as a blanket, a shirt, or a toy. This will help your cat feel more comfortable and secure in your absence.
  • Try to keep your departure as calm and casual as possible. Don’t make a big fuss or say goodbye too long. This will help prevent your cat from feeling anxious or abandoned.

Following Up with Your Cat Sitter

While you’re away, you want to stay in touch with your cat sitter and get updates on how your cat is doing. You can agree on a communication method and frequency that works best for both of you, such as phone calls, texts, emails, photos, videos, etc. You can also ask the cat sitter to send you reports or logs of their visits, such as what they did with your cat, how much they ate or drank, how they behaved, etc. Here are some tips on how to follow up with your cat sitter:

  • Be respectful of their time and privacy. Don’t call or text them too often or at inappropriate hours. Trust that they’re doing their job well and that they’ll contact you if there’s anything urgent or important.
  • Be appreciative of their service and feedback. Thank them for taking care of your cat and for keeping you informed. Praise them for their efforts and achievements. Give them constructive criticism if needed.
  • Be flexible and understanding. Don’t expect everything to go perfectly or exactly as planned. Be prepared for some changes or challenges that might come up. Be supportive and cooperative if the cat sitter needs to make any adjustments or requests.

Best Ways To Thank Your Cat Sitter

When you return from your trip or absence, you’ll likely want to thank your cat sitter for their service and show them how much you value their work. They took great care of your precious furball, after all. You can do this by:

  • Paying them promptly and generously. Give them the agreed amount plus a tip if possible. You can also give them a bonus or a gift card if they went above and beyond their duties.
  • Leaving them a positive review or testimonial online or offline. Share your experience and satisfaction with other pet owners who might be looking for a cat sitter. You can refer them to your friends, family, or neighbors needing a pet sitter.
  • Keeping in touch with them and hiring them again in the future. Let them know that you enjoyed working with them and that you’d love to use their service again. Maintain a good relationship with them and show them that you trust and respect them.

Final Words

Hiring a cat sitter can be a great way to ensure your cat is comfortable, safe, and happy while you’re away. But finding the best cat sitter for your kitty can be daunting, especially if you don’t know what to look for or ask. In this article, we’ve shown you how to hire a cat sitter, from finding potential candidates to interviewing them and checking their references. We’ve also given you some tips on how to prepare your cat and your home for the cat sitter’s arrival and what to do after you return. By following these steps, you’ll be able to find a cat sitter who will treat your cat as their own.

We hope this article has been helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear from you and help you with your pet care needs.

Thank you for reading, and happy pet-sitting! 🐱

If you’re ready to find a cat sitter near you, click here to start your search. You’ll be able to browse profiles, reviews, and rates of qualified and experienced cat sitters who can’t wait to meet your cat. Don’t wait any longer; find your perfect cat sitter today! 😊

Shayna Easton Author Image
Shayna Easton
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