Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cat Care - Cat Sitter Tips

One of the big advantages of having a cat rather than a dog is that if you have to go away for any period of time you can leave your cat at home. This does not mean abandoning it completely but you can ask someone, a relative, friend or neighbour to look after your cat whilst you are away. The important thing when looking for a cat sitter you need to ensure it is someone who is reliable and that you can trust.

Cat Care
Ideally your cat sitter should be someone that both you and your cat know already. What you are looking for is someone who can turn up at your house at regular times to feed the cat and perhaps spend a little time fussing your pet. If a cat is left on its own for a long period of time it will get bored so if your sitter is prepared to spend some time petting and playing with it that is good. If you have more than one or two cats then you might consider trying to get someone who is prepared to "live in" whilst you are away.

No matter how well you brief your cat sitter it is a good idea to leave some written instructions. If you have more than one cat you should leave descriptions of the cats and their names and details of any special diets or medication. It is a good idea also to leave your contact phone number and that of your vets just in case there are any problems.

You need to make sure that the cat sitter knows where the cat food is kept and the amount and how often to feed the cat. It is also a good idea to leave a few treats that the sitter can give to the cat now and again. If your cat has any particular hiding places you should make the cat sitter aware of these because it is important that the sitter actually sees the cat when they visit to feed them.

Dependent upon how well you know your vet you may want to make arrangements with him that should your cat need treatment whilst you are away that you will settle the account on your return. Alternatively you may leave some money with the sitter for this eventuality.

In my experience a cat is happier when left in its own home during their owners absence. Catteries offer an excellent service and in some cases there is no alternative than this. However, wherever possible having a cat sitter is a much better option.
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Finding a Cat Sitter and Making a Cat Sitter Agreement

Cats do not adapt well to new people or places. Cats usually do not like being left behind when you leave for a trip. Even a well trained cat can get angry that you left, and express its anger in many ways, such as scratching furniture or failing to use its litter box as it was trained to do. If your cat is allowed to stay outside, it may express its anger by running off and taking up with another household. Cats have minds of their own. They seldom warm up to people instantly.

Cat Sitter
If you want your cat to stay at your home while you're gone, then it is important to choose a sitter that your cat knows. Start making friends with a neighbor or a cat lover who comes to your house from time to time and plays with the cat. If you call on a stranger to sit with your cat, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises, no matter how clean, devoted, and trustworthy the sitter may be. If you take your cat to a friend's house to stay while you are on your trip, the cat may slip out of your friend's house and run away. Cats do not like strange situations.

Cats like people they know and people who pet them and play with them. They like people who keep their litter boxes clean and who feed them fresh food and give them fresh water. Automatic feeders and automatic water machines do not fool cats. Cats want it fresh. One cat slapped all the food out of its automatic feeder just for the fun of watching the food go down in the feeder.

Whether you decide to have a cat sitter come to your home or whether you decide to board your cat somewhere else, it is important to get a copy of a "Cat Sitting Agreement" form which can be found on the internet. Use this for your contract. Cat sitting really is a contract, even with a friend. The form will guide you through the important matters to cover when you meet with a cat sitter. A quality form at a reasonable price is well worth the cost. Some kennels will have a form but it may not cover all of the matters important to you and would not be from the cat owner's point of view. The form you download from the internet can be used over and over again.

Meet with the sitter and discuss such matters as the maintenance of the litter box, the food, water, and medications for your cat, the cat's habits, what the sitter charges and what the sitter will do for those charges.

Then you and the sitter should fill out the form for the cat sitting contract. You can provide in the contract, such information as the cat's vet, and a number where you can be reached while you are gone. You may also include language that limits your liability in the event that the cat should attack the sitter. Give the sitter plenty time to consider the agreement, and even consult with an attorney concerning the agreement, if the sitter wishes. Your cat is worth handling its sitting arrangements in a businesslike, legal way.
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