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What makes a great Cat Sitter?

The Cats Maid Management Team

Whether you're looking for a Cat sitter to care for your fur-baby during your holiday, work trip, renovations, a hospital stay, or on a regular basis, finding the right person can be challenging. Before you start looking, think about the characteristics and skills that are particularly important to you. While it may be tempting to save a little cash by using a neighbour or family member, isn’t your peace of mind and your pet’s health worth more? Here are 9 traits a great Cat sitter should have: 1. Flexible: Especially when your work schedule is subject to change, it’s advantageous to have a great pet sitter who is flexible and can step in on short notice. That way, if you have an important appointment or need to stay late at the office, you can trust your pet will be taken care of. We never put keys through a letter box, delays can happen in travel plans & we will always make sure your cat is safe and well fed if you are delayed. We arrange an end of care visit to you to return keys and talk through your cats care and highlight anything behavioural or health wise issues we have noticed. We keep many client’s keys just in case there is an emergency and they are delayed at work or any other reason. 2. Calm: Any cat parent knows that with cats things don’t always go according to plan. But a great cat sitter must remain patient when your cat doesn't behave as expected and stay calm, so your cat doesn't feel and react to the anxiety. We have been known to sit and wait patently for several hours till a cat decided to come in for tea and meds. When people ask how long you stay. I reply as long as the cat or cats need me. 3. Sensitive: A great cat sitter recognises the needs of your cat and responds to them. The person should realise when your cat doesn’t want to play anymore and give her space. Look for someone who handles your pet affectionately and never uses physical punishment or force, cats need to be reasoned with and all I have met will accept good reason not punishment. 4. Trustworthy & Safety Conscious: Since you may be handing your spare keys to your cat sitter, it's very important that you can trust this person. To get an idea of whether a Cat sitter may be trustworthy, read reviews online. Ask them, do they get repeat business a sure sign of quality service when invited back. when reading recommendatiosn ask if people have used the service or just a friend trying to plug a service. Reputable Sitters are Insured and Police checked. Remember, if you get a bad feeling after meeting someone, always trust your gut. The Cats Maid does not subcontract it’s a very professional and personal service by Sue, who believes your home should be respected as she does her own. 5. Experienced & Prepared: Especially when your cat is high maintenance or challenging in terms of care, hire a pet sitter who has a lot of experience. Cats have particular needs and are quite unique, a dog sitter does not necessarily understand a cat and its needs, and a house sitter certainly may never has owned a cat or cared for one. . Does your pet have a medical condition or need special treatment? Look for a Cat Sitter with a background in this area. At the Cats Maid we would not dream of offering a house sitting, cleaning, dog, cat, hamster, gardening, general maintenance service. Most of these services have not got a clue about cats real needs they are just a bolt on to other services. We are totally focused on Cat Care and that’s where our expertise lies. We do however ask when the cleaning equipment is not because we are going to do a full clean, but we will deal with accidents and emergencies and also do not feel you should walk into knee high cat fur after a few days away. 6. Consistent: You've probably worked hard to teach your cat the rules of the house. Make sure your sitter knows them too. If you don’t allow your cat in certain rooms or sleep in your bed, your Cat sitter should not undo your training by bending the rules. The person you hire must be firm and consistent -- even if your cat gives them the begging nudge and purr !! 7. Reliable & a good communicator: Your cat sitter is there to make your everyday life easier -- not to cause you additional headache wondering if they'll be late or show up at all. It's important that you can rely on your caregiver and schedule your plans confidently. Set clear agreements between you and your pet sitter about rules and scheduling. If the sitter is running late (as happens to everyone occasionally), what is the protocol for letting you know? Does the Cat Sitter paraphrase back to you exactly what you are asking them to do while you’re away? If they seem flaky and uninterested, you do have more options, say no at the start not go away and worry. 8. Genuine Love for Animals: Ask interesting questions during your interview to get a feel for the candidate ‘s personality (for example: “What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing you’ve experienced with a cat? ”). A good cat sitter will show a genuine love for cats in their answers to your questions. Ask about cats they've owned or cared for in the past -- a person who loves cats will be eager to tell you stories of their own cats. Through these types of discussions, you can gauge their love for cats and their level of excitement about this job opportunity. Also, is the cat sitter taking notes? Does the person ask questions about your cat's eating habits, characteristics and dispositions? These are good signs that the caregiver is really interested and dedicated to getting to know your cat and its personal needs. 9. Connection to Your Pet: You wouldn’t hire a babysitter without having her meet your kids first -- it should be the same with your cat! Request a meet-and-greet with the cat sitter and your cat. It’s okay if your cat doesn't warm up to the new person immediately but watch for signs that your cat is very uncomfortable or that the person is handling the cat incorrectly. Observing the cat sitter with your cat is a great way to tell if the person really experienced and comfortable with cats.

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