Cat Sitter Tips: How to Prevent Accidents and Escapes While Cat Sitting
Cat sitting is a very rewarding job, but it can come with a unique set of challenges. And, as a trustworthy sitter, it’s important that you know how to prevent accidents while cat sitting. Whether you’re looking after a kitty Houdini who loves to escape, or a feisty fur friend who tends to get into too much trouble, you want to be prepared! Read on for Cat in a Flat’s tips on how to prevent accidents while cat sitting.
Questions to ask a cat sitting client
When meeting a new cat client for the first time, it’s important to set expectations—both for you and for Mr Whiskers’ paw parents. Make sure you ask all the essential questions and find out as much information about your feline friend before their owners go away.
Key cat sitting questions to ask:
- Request basic information such as age, breed, whether the cat is neutered or spayed, and if they have any medical issues you should be aware of.
- What are the cat’s usual habits? Find out the best times of day to visit and try schedule your cat sitting pop-in around it.
- Where are the kitty’s favourite hiding spots? In order to prevent any cat sitting accidents and ensure your furry friend is okay, aim to get a visual of the kitty during each visit. Ask about the feline’s common hiding spots so you know where to look if your cat client is shy or doesn’t come out when you’re there.
- How does the kitty behave when left alone? Your fur friend will probably spend more time than usual alone while their owners are away. Hence, you should ask about their behaviour when on their own. Does the kitty tend to get into trouble when left alone for too long? If so, house-sitting services might be a good alternative so you can keep a better eye on Mr Whiskers.
- Ask for a list of emergency contacts. You always want to prevent cat sitting accidents first, but if something does go wrong you should have a few local emergency phone numbers on-hand in case you can’t get in touch with your furry friend’s owners. This list should include contact information for Mr Whiskers’ vet, and the number for a local friend or family member who can help in an emergency.
How do I prevent accidents while cat sitting?
What’s the best approach to prevent accidents while cat sitting? Being always aware of your surroundings is an essential way to prevent cat sitting accidents. Hence, you should be extra careful when letting yourself into and out of your client’s home. Some felines are wily escape artists and may wait by the door for their chance to slip out! Ask the kitty’s owners if they’ve escaped before and what you should do if Mr Whiskers goes missing while under your care.
Cat owners: the best way to ensure you will be reunited with your runaway kitty is by microchipping your cat. If your feline already has a microchip, make sure your personal information linked to the chip is up to date. This way you can be contacted if your kitty is picked up and brought to a shelter or veterinary clinic. Remember, Mr Whiskers may react differently around a cat sitter than they do with you, so never assume your feline won’t escape and therefore doesn’t need a microchip.
Check all points of entry and exit
To prevent accidents and escapes while cat sitting, you should check that all windows and doors are tightly closed at the end of each visit. Some clients may ask you to crack a window to air out their home while you’re there. However, NEVER leave a window open when you’re not around. As the common internet joke goes: cats are liquid. Felines are deceptively agile and flexible, and capable of slipping into very narrow spaces. Avoid stress and simply close everything tightly before leaving.
How to catsit outdoor cats
While it’s recommended that felines be kept indoors at all times while their owners are away, some clients may prefer to let their kitty come and go on their own. Discuss in depth with paw parents the best ways to bring their outdoor kitties inside. It’s important that you manage expectations. Daily pop-in visits are only 30-40 minutes long. You should be clear with pet owners that you won’t be able to wait around for hours for their kitty. Do your best, but make sure Mr Whiskers’ paw parents are comfortable with the possibility that you may not see their outdoor cat during every visit. A good way to note if your fur friend is coming inside the house when you’re not there is by keeping track of food and water levels in their bowls and checking to see if they’re using their litter boxes.
Know your options
Just like you should have emergency contacts for your fur friend, you too need a back-up option if something goes wrong. After all, emergencies can happen to cat sitters too! Make sure you have someone responsible who can step in should something happen to you (maybe you fall ill or have an emergency of your own). While it’s unlikely this could happen, it’s best to be prepared just in case. Knowing your options is the best way to help prevent accidents and stress while cat sitting.
Even if you do your best to prevent cat sitting accidents, things may still go wrong despite your best efforts. By arming yourself with the right knowledge, you can become a superhero cat sitter that paw parents trust! So, learn the basics of feline first-aid and how to recognise a sick or injure cat. And make sure you know how to look after your feline friends when there’s extremely hot weather or freezing temperatures. This way your cat sitting clients can feel at ease knowing their beloved feline is in the best hands while they’re away.