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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