I usually relied upon my auntie and uncle for cat sitting responsibilities if I'm going on trips. They were the best feline caretakers in the face of the planet! They were both pet lovers and did incredible work. They even leave me an in-depth report to let me know how my cats acted during the weekend.
Not Every Friend or Family Member Can Be Relied Upon
But not every friend or family is up to the task. I have other family members who taught me this the hard way. Some don't even recognize the basic principles of cat sitting. It's a nightmare to come back from a vacation to find food dishes empty, and the water bowls dry. It's the stuff of horrors!
Does Uncle Tom Have What It Takes?
If you're thinking of asking friends or family to cat rest for you, first evaluate whether they're up to the task. Some questions to help you decide are:
- Are they a cat (or at least animal) people? If you already thought twice about this, move on to the next person.
- When they're in your house, how do they interact with your cats?
- Do they pet your cats at an arm's length? Perhaps they shoo them away because of allergies? If they do, then move on to the next person.
- When you describe your cats' quirks, do they listen intently or disrupt and say, "yeah, yeah, I know just how to feed pet cats," or "you're joking, right?"
If they're not paying attention intently, move on. If at this point you've run out of people you know, consider catteries and professionals.
We don't want our cats straying in the neighborhood for food (because that's what they do when there's no food or water in their bowls) and cut our trip short!
Interview your prospect
Now that you have a person in mind let's move on to the interview! It's essential to speak to your cat sitter before you agree to their services. Schedule an interview as early as you can, ideally 2-3 weeks before your traveling day.
Here are some points to consider:
- How does the person engage with your cat?
- Does your cat connect with the person?
- What's your first impression? (Trust your gut!)
- Is the person someone you are confident about being inside your house? Or
- Are you confident about leaving your cat in their house?
- Does the person handle your cat knowledgeably and with confidence?
Cats are family. And we would not want to leave them at risk. We hope these tips help you enjoy your trip, knowing that your cats are in good hands.