5 Things Your Cat Sitter Should Absolutely Know

| Published on July 14, 2015

For most of us, our cats are family members. Dogs often have the luxury of traveling with their families and are often included in vacations and trips, but we can all imagine what would happen if we tried to take our cats with us. Instead, we usually opt to leave our feline friends at home with a pet sitter. Whether that sitter is a friend doing us a favor or a hired professional, there are some things they should know before you leave town.


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How to contact you
If possible, give your sitter information about where you will be and how they can contact you in case of an emergency or if anything is unclear about how they should care for your cat. If you’re lucky, your cat sitter may even periodically send you pictures of your cat while you’re away.

If you won’t be available or won’t have phone service, consider leaving contact information for a family member or close friend who can be contacted in case of an emergency.


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How to contact your veterinarian and your local 24-hour emergency clinic
We never want to think about our cats being in pain or danger (especially when we aren’t there to care for them), but ignoring the possibility will only put your cat at risk in the case of an emergency.

Leave your sitter with contact information for your veterinarian, contact information for your local 24-hour clinic, and clear instructions on when it’s appropriate to use either. Empowering your sitter to make decisions in the case of an emergency can be the difference between life and death for your cat.


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Information about medications, supplements, or restrictions
If your cat requires any medications or supplements, be sure that your sitter is confident with how to administer them and how often. With more complicated medications (like subcutaneous injections) it’s smart to have an inexperienced sitter try a few rounds while you are there to train and observe.

Be sure to let your sitter know if your cat’s health, diet, or lifestyle demands any restrictions on activity level or food to avoid situations where a sitter’s good intentions could create a danger for your cat.


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What and when your cat eats
Leave detailed instructions about your cat’s feeding schedule. Having simple consistencies will help your cat be more relaxed while you’re away. Make sure your sitter knows what your cat eats (including where extra food can be found), how much she eats at each meal, what kind of dishes should be used, and when to feed her.


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How often and how to clean the litter box
This detail is often overlooked because people assume the sitter will understand how clean a litter box should be. Maybe that’s true, but it’s good to be sure since an unclean box is a common reason for cats urinating in inappropriate places. Make sure your sitter knows how often you expect them to scoop the box. Don’t forget to include how you’d like them to dispose of the waste. Do you tie it up into bags that get tossed in the trash? Do you use a Litter Genie? Is your litter flushable?

Related: The 11 Best Cat Litter Boxes for the Purrfect Potty Experience


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Your cat’s favorite hiding spots
Even a brazen cat can get spooked when you are suddenly gone and replaced by a stranger. Leave your sitter with details about places your cat is most likely to hide so they can check on your cat during each visit, even if it takes a little hunting. It’s good for sitter to get a visual on your cat each time, to make sure your cat is healthy and hasn’t escaped.


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