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How do I choose a good Cat Sitter?

How do I choose a good Cat Sitter?

When choosing a good Cat Sitter there are certain criteria you must look for. Here’s our best tips to ensure you make a good decision.

1. Their schedule aligns with your Cat’s needs.

Female Adult cats – Generally, female adult cats can cope with being left alone for 8-12 hours.  Cats form strong bonds with their Owners and can get anxious or lonely if left alone for too long.

Kittens – If you own 3-6 month old kittens, they will need to be fed 3 times a day, every 4-6 hours. In addition, kittens are very curious and may try to climb up curtains (and become at risk of strangulation) or eat something they shouldn’t while you’re away.

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Male Cats – If you own a male cat, male cats are at risk of urinary blockage.  Urinary blockages are a life-threatening emergency as potassium levels (as well as kidney toxins) rise in the bloodstream and can cause death in a cat. So home visits may be necessary to check on your cat to ensure they aren’t straining when toileting. So even the most independent cats need a human to check in on them once a day. 

cat straining

2. They’re Insured

In the event of a Pet Accident or Illness caused by the Sitter, you can potentially be left with the financial burden of paying off Emergency Vet Bills for tens of thousands of dollars.

But a Sitter who is booked through a reputable pet sitting service who cover bookings with Insurance means that you file an insurance claim with the Service, and the Service’s Insurance Policy covers the Veterinary Bills.

Vet Bill shock with cat

3. They’re Police checked

If they’re entering your home while you’re away, then you need someone who has a track record of being trustworthy.

4. They have industry training qualifications in Cat Care

While caring for your cat doesn’t require a degree or long-term experience in the animal field, you should want your Cat Sitter to have at a minimum some Accredited Industry Training in Animal Welfare standards, Codes of Practice, Council Bylaws, knowledge in preventing Cat Fights, handling Pet Emergencies, will recognise behaviour that is not right to normal cat behaviour and will seek treatment and advice before it becomes serious, and will understand what to do in the event of Illness, Accident, or Escape.

5. They’re Accountable

Accountability ensures continuity of a high standard of service. Sitters who are booked through reputable pet sitting service means Pet Owners are able to leave public reviews on Sitter’s listings with regard to their experience in booking the Sitter, and whether they would recommend them and rebook them again. Reviews directly affect Sitters future earnings, and so it’s in their best interests to be responsive and diligent in order to keep their reviews and ratings at 5 stars.

6. They’re Experienced & Knowledgeable

Experience caring for another person’s cats doesn’t mean one-size-fits-all. If your cat has any special needs, such as medications or unusual food requirements, you want to find a Cat Sitter who is comfortable administering medicine or preparing food. PetCloud’s advanced search filter helps Pet Owners with finding Sitters with particular skills.

7. They have a cat enclosure or keep the cat indoors 100% of the time

If your cat goes to stay with a Pet Sitter, good Cat Sitters will have a secure, escape proof home (with good air flow) with screens on all doors and windows to never let cats outside. They may have even gone to the effort to set up cat nets. They do not let your cat roam.

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The right Cat Sitter will have made an effort to create an escape proof home with a cat net

Letting cats roam increases the risk of a fatality occurring such as a dog attack, being hit by a car, becoming lost, being attacked by a feral cat, or being tortured, harmed, or killed by people who are Cat haters.

8. Their plants are non-toxic to cats

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There are a number of plants and flowers that are toxic to pets. Make sure the Cat Sitter doesn’t own any of these.

9. They are safety conscious

A good Cat Sitter won’t have curtain cords, Christmas lights, open flames, and uncovered fish tanks.

10. They aren’t pregnant

Changing kitty litter that is unknowingly contaminated with cat feces containing Toxoplasma could place unborn children at risk of birth defects. It is for this reason that pregnant women are advised to not offer cat sitting while pregnant.

11. They don’t own a dog 

A Sitter’s dog could become obsessed with your cat because they have a strong prey drive, and they get easily triggered by smaller animals. A dog might also be playful and curious, or they might act out because they feel jealous of the cat.

12. They genuinely care about cats.

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Genuine Sitters take time to care for your Cat and aren’t out to make a quick buck.

There are three different services that Cat Sitters generally offer:

1. Pet Sitting – where your cat stays in the home of a Sitter.

2. Home Visits – where a police-checked Cat Sitter will visit for 15 to 20 minutes to feed, top up water, change kitty litter, do a nose-to-tail body check, and some cuddles.

3. House Sitting – where a police checked House Sitter will stay in your home. If you don’t like the thought of someone staying in your home, or letting themselves in with a key – your Cat can always go to stay with a Pet Sitter at their home – however, it is important you choose the right Sitter.

How will I know what service is suited to my Cat?

Cats can be territorial. Much more so than dogs.  Territorial behaviour can range from largely benign (rubbing their chin on household objects to scent marking) to destructive (clawing furniture).  Cats can be more suited to having Home Visits or a House Sitter, as opposed to going to stay with a Pet Sitter in their Sitter’s home.

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While Cats have a reputation for being independent, Cat Owners know that’s not entirely accurate… in fact, some cats are very social and love to be in human company all the time. So if a Pet Sitter can only offer care in their home and its more convenient for the Sitter to be at their home, then Pet Sitting might be the way to go. It also means you won’t have a Cat Sitter entering or staying at your home while you’re away.

So if you are needing to be away from home, PetCloud Cat Sitters are able to assist you in giving your cat the care they’re used to while you’re away. 

A woman wearing a white PetCloud t-shirt is holding a cat. Text above her reads, "PetCloud: Where Your Pet’s Care Comes First." A banner below features a "Book Now" button with logos for RSPCA, Australia's Cat Sitter of the Year 2018-2022, and Registered NDIS Provider.

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