Last minute holidays, trips, and out of town emergencies happen to everyone. So, what do you do with your cat if you suddenly need to spend some time away from home? Booking a last-minute cat sitter needn’t be a stressful experience. Below, Cat in a Flat explains the best way to find a cat sitter on a time crunch, and what you need to know when booking last minute. 

How to book a cat sitter in 7 easy steps:

First things first, how do you even find, much less book a last-minute cat sitter? Here is a simple guide to booking your cat sitter with Cat in a Flat.

  1. Head to the Cat in a Flat app or website.
  2. Enter your basic information: your zip code, the dates you’ll be away, and how many visits per day you’d like. 
  3. Once you click ‘Search’ the profiles of different cat sitters in your area will come up on the screen. Scroll through, look at the services they offer and check out reviews from past customers. 
  4. We recommend contacting several cat sitters for a better chance at finding a sitter with last-minute availability. Sitters get booked up quickly during the busy holiday season, so make sure you book as soon as possible. 
  5. While you wait to hear back from the cat sitters, fill out your furry friend’s profile page. Include your kitty’s age, their cat care essentials, and any other information your future cat sitter may need to refer to later.
  6. Once you’ve been contacted back by one of your chosen cat sitters, book and pay via the platform. This activates the booking.
  7. Arrange a time to meet your cat sitter. Preferably, have them come by your home to meet Mr Whiskers while you’re still around. During this meeting, explain the process and instructions for your kitty’s care, and hand over the keys. 

Cat sitters, make sure your profile is as clear and detailed as possible. This helps potential clients know what services you offer, and what they can expect from you. Include information about whether you can administer medication, if you’re available for multiple visits a day, and what’s your personal approach to your furry clients. 

Why does my cat need a cat sitter?

While Mr Whiskers may come across as independent and standoffish, cats need daily care and attention. Most adult cats are okay with one night alone, but you should never go out of town and leave your kitty to fend for themselves for multiple days. 

While boarding your cat at a cattery may seem like a good emergency option, it’s always a better idea to book a last-minute cat sitter instead. Firstly, it can be difficult to find a cattery that takes spontaneous bookings. Not only that, the experience of being transported to a new place with lots of strange smells (and strange cats) can be very stressful for your kitty. Add to this that their favourite human is nowhere to be found, and your cat could end up feeling very upset. 

Cats love consistency and hate change. Even moving house with your cat can be upsetting to them, and it often takes days, if not weeks, for most cats to adjust to a new location. Avoid causing your kitty stress by booking a cat sitter instead. With the many wonderful feline friendly people on Cat in a Flat, booking a last-minute cat sitter should be a breeze!

cat and toy

What do I need to tell my cat sitter? 

Things can feel rushed when booking a last-minute cat sitter. So, we’ve created a cat sitter checklist of important information you need to share. Try to include as much of this information as possible in your cat’s profile, or in the booking inquiry. This way, your cat sitter knows exactly what the job entails.

What to tell your last-minute cat sitter: 

  • The length of your trip and how many visits you’d like during that time.
  • What time of day (morning, afternoon, evening) works best for your kitties. 
  • How many cats are there to look after.
  • Do your cats take medication or require any special care? Let your cat sitter know.
  • How often should your cat’s litter box be cleaned? How much food should they receive daily? Make sure your last-minute cat sitter is clear on these points.
  • Share your kitty’s habits, fears, and other characteristics. Is your cat affectionate? Or do they prefer to keep their distance? What are things your cat hates, and how can your sitter avoid them? 
  • Be clear about information like whether or not Mr Whiskers is allowed outdoors while you’re away (especially in the winter when cats can freeze if outside for too long). Let your cat sitter know about your kitty’s favourite treats, hiding places, and toys, as well as other helpful details. There’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to the care of your furry friend! 
  • Communicate to your last-minute cat sitter what you expect from them. Do you like receiving daily photos and updates of Mr Whiskers? Does your kitty need ten minutes of playtime every day? Are there extra tasks around your home you’d like taken care of while you’re away? Make sure to be up front about what you expect from your cat sitter. 
  • When do you want to meet in person and hand over keys and instructions? Exchange phone numbers and let them know the best way to contact you (call or text).  
  • Emergency contacts. Make sure to provide your last-minute cat sitter with the number for Mr Whiskers’ vet as well as any local numbers of friends or family who can help in case of an emergency. 

Booking a last-minute cat sitter means you have less time to test whether they get along with your cat. When meeting your cat sitter for the first time, pay attention to how your kitty behaves around them. Your cat should appear comfortable and relaxed. 

cat cuddles

Mistakes that happen when booking a last-minute cat sitter.

Things can go wrong when you’re in a rush. Here are a few common mistakes you might make when booking a last-minute cat sitter, and how to solve them: 

You can’t find a cat sitter

Are you on very short notice and unable to find an available cat sitter? Try expanding the search area, changing the frequency of the visits, or altering your criteria. Be sure to learn about the best way to find a trustworthy cat sitter too.  

You booked the wrong cat sitter

Have you accidentally booked the wrong cat sitter, or booked a cat sitter before they’ve accepted your inquiry? Don’t worry, you can simply cancel the booking. Make sure to reach out to the cat sitter with an explanation so they understand what happened. 

Your payment didn’t go through

Payments can be easily made through the Cat in a Flat website. However, sometimes things can go wrong. If the site isn’t accepting your payment, double check that you have a valid payment method and that you’ve entered the correct information. If you’re still having trouble, reach out to our support team. They’re always happy to help! 

Once you have your last-minute cat sitter booked, read up on how to prepare for your cat’s care before you go away.  

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