Cat sitter wanted!

 Summertime is holiday time, and this means Ireland’s favourite cats may have to get along without their families for a while. Generally cats aren’t overly fond of travelling. They’d rather stay in their own territory, in familiar surroundings. But obviously, they have to be fed and supervised during the holidays. Experts at Maxi Zoo can tell you that cat sitting is becoming increasingly popular as a form of holiday care.

Cat sitting works just like babysitting. At a prearranged time, an experienced “cat person” comes to your home and caters for all your pets’ needs. They must supply food and fresh water, clean the cat loo, dispose of the rubbish, as well as make time for petting and play. Personal contact twice a day is recommended for cats left at home. If you’re going to be away for longer and your moggie has no companion, a cattery is the better solution.

What are the options?

You will find many offers and platforms for animal or cat sitting on the internet. Some brokering works on a bartering principle, you engage the cat sitter for your holiday and in return, you look after someone else’s cat at a different time. Animal welfare groups can also provide databases for a holiday stand-in on a reciprocal basis. Alongside that, there are cat sitting offers where you pay for the care. This can be advantageous if you’re relying on, or place value on, an expert cat sitter. It is important to whoever engages a pet sitter that they can trust them and that they can be sure that their pet is in good hands. It’s for this reason that personal recommendations are helpful, such as when a family member or friend can recommend someone who’ll feed your pet at home. Often someone can be found within the circle of friends, acquaintances or relatives who can take the responsibility on.

What’s the best way to proceed?

If you’ve found a cat sitter, you should acquaint them with your pet (and vice versa) in good time – at least a week before you start your holiday. If the situation lends itself, introduce your substitute to the neighbours or at least tell them someone will be coming to your house to look after the cat.

What does a cat sitter need from you?

  • Your holiday contact details, or those of a family member or friend who can be contacted in an emergency. Your vet’s details are also handy to provide.
  • The tattoo or microchip number of your velvet-pawed friend. A photo of your cat as well as telephone numbers of nearby animal shelters and veterinary surgeries in case he or she doesn’t return after a night on the prowl.
  • For free-roaming types, a flexible collar with an address tag. Ensure the tag has the contact details of the cat sitter.
  • Information on your cat. This includes name, special habits, any disorders being treated and the necessary medicines, favourite games, toys, treats and whether he/she is allowed outside or not, etc.
  • General info on where everything is: Vaccination certificate, food, grooming implements, litter, cleaners and utensils, rubbish bags, dustbin, fuse box, and some cash for emergencies.