This picture illustrates how I develop custom interactions to keep cats happy and healthy when I care for them. This cat doesn't like to be touched, even by his family but I found he enjoyed this telescoping scratcher. I could give him pleasant experiences without invading his personal space.
Most dog oriented pet sitters lack these cat specific skills.http://consciouscat.net/Beware of pet sitter directories and apps
I’ve become very concerned lately with the emergence of more and more “pet sitter referral” services and apps. These services like to bill themselves as kind of an Uber for dogs and cats. They’re usually started by tech companies and investors with no pet care background. They may seem convenient – hire a cat sitter with the click of a few buttons, pay for the services online, schedule at a moment’s notice – but it’s not very clear how they screen the sitters in their network. When I recently spent some time poking around one of these directories, some of the qualifications listed for sitters were “I have always loved cats and dogs.” Would you trust your cats to a stranger with those qualifications?
While some of these services and apps offer insurance, many don’t. Professional cat sitters are bonded and insured. Additionally, these types of directories undercut the fees of professional pet sitters. They can afford to charge less – often half of what a professional sitter would charge – due to sheer volume, and due to the advertising that often supports their websites. “Many of the horror stories about pet sitters that you hear about on the news stem from people using these apps,” says Jill Rose, owner of Ally McPets Pet Sitting and Dog Walking in Redondo Beach, CA. While she acknowledges that not every experience with these services is negative, she’s concerned that many pets will be put in bad situations due to the lack of experience of the sitters listed. “It could just be a neighbor kid who wants to make a few bucks,” says Jill.
Hire a professional cat sitter
Unless you have a trusted friend or family member who can care for your cats while you’re away from home, hiring a professional cat sitter is your best option.
When hiring a sitter, consider the following:
o What kind of training and/or experience does the sitter have?
o Will the sitter be able to recognize and deal with medical emergencies?
o Will the sitter be able to deal with shy or aggressive cats?
o Does she present herself in a professional manner?
o Does she have a business license and insurance?
o Does she present a service contract that addresses fees?
o How long has she been in business?
o Does she have a back up sitter if something happens to her?
o For larger cat sitting services: will your cat always see the same sitter?
o Does the cat sitter have contingency plans for inclement weather or natural disasters?
o Is the cat sitter knowledgeable about basic first aid and general cat health issues?
o Is your cat sitter a cat person? You’d be surprised how many pet sitters aren’t that good with cats.
o How does your cat respond to the cat sitter at the first meeting?
o How does the cat sitter interact with your cat? One of my cat sitters showed up for the initial consultation with a peacock feather in one hand, and a laser pointer in her pocket. I knew right away that she “got” cats.
o Does the cat sitter seem to want to learn as much as she possibly can about your cats? This includes eating habits, play and sleeping habits, health issues, personality, hiding places, and more.
o Ask some “what if” questions. What would the cat sitter do if she couldn’t find your cat? What would she do if there was a medical emergency?