Pet Sitters or Boarding?



Pet sitters or boarding are options to consider when you are absent. A few adventuresome cats enjoy traveling with their owners. But don't take your cat if she gets stressed in her carrier (a necessary confinement) or is likely to become stressed by conditions at your destination.

For example, a cat that can't tolerate the liveliness of children will be stressed in a house full of youngsters. Also be sure to inquire about any pets your host and hostess may have. You don't want to spend your visit either separating feuding felines of keeping your cat locked alone in an unfamiliar room which certainly isn't providing a holiday for your cat.

If your plans include staying at a hotel, remember that many pet-friendly hotels don't allow animals in the room alone...a policy that could curtail your activities unless they know of local pet sitters. Once you've located pet-friendly accommodations phone the facilities you're considering, to check on their pet policies. There are also stress relief products at most pet stores and for additional products from reliable vendors try the Pet Products Page

FINDING PET SITTERS

If your holiday travels will take you away for more than a couple of days, you will need to find reliable pet sitters. A friend, neighbor, or family member may agree to look after your cat. But don't be lulled into a pet-sitting arrangement just because it's convenient or inexpensive. Make sure that looking after your cat and providing a pleasant atmosphere for your cat is not an unreasonable burden on a friend or relative, especially when a well-intentioned volunteer may be preoccupied with holiday activities and forget to check your cat every day. 

A reputable service is SitterCity (www.sittercity.com) who does background checks on all their service members.  They cover the whole spectrum of pets as well as children and seniors.  Just click on their ad which is linked to their site.

Another option is to hire a professional sitter. Many sitters offer helpful services in addition to looking after your cat. Most sitters will water plants, check for heat or power failures, bring in mail and newspapers, turn lights on and off, and open and close blinds if you request.

There are many ways to find potential pet sitters ...referrals by friends, neighbors, or veterinarians; advertisements on bulletin boards at pet supply stores, grooming salons, and supermarkets; and listings in local business and telephone directories. A couple of trade associations that offer referrals to their members:

  • National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (www.petsitters.org) (856-439-0324)
  • Pet Sitters International (www.petsit.com) (336-983-9222)
  • You can also locate sitters online through sites such as Sitters Directories (www.pet-sitters.biz) and through the many home pages of individual sitters on the Internet.

    Referral by a trusted friend or membership in a professional organization, however, is no guarantee that a particular sitter is right for you and will provide the holiday care that you seek. Interview a potential sitter carefully before entrusting him or her with the responsibility for your holiday cat care and cat safety plus the keys to your home. Ask for and check references.

    Determine if the person can realistically meet your desired holiday cat safety needs and your cat care feeding schedule. Ask if the person is willing or qualified to administer any necessary medications if your cat has a medical condition that requires close monitoring and medicating...such as diabetes...you need to be more selective in choosing your caregiver.

    One option is to look for a live-in pet sitter knowledgeable about your cat's condition. Ask your vet for a referral: veterinary technicians often work as cat-sitters and medicaters.


    Detailed written instructions are important to give to your pet-sitter. Specify feeding frequency, amounts, and brand names. Instruct the sitter to check that all cats are eating. Note the location of litter boxes and the disposal or storage location for used litter.

    Leave a telephone number where you can be reached, numbers for your veterinarian and a 24 hour emergency veterinary clinic, and the number of a trusted friend or neighbor who could "pinch hit" in an emergency.

    If your cats are the playful type, ask your sitter to play with them and rotate playthings from day to day to minimize "toy fatigue". Leave a more-than-ample supply of your cat's normal food and litter and tell your sitter where to find them. In my case, with 5 cats, I stack 5 rows of cans on the kitchen counter with the cat's name of each stack...so my caregiver can visually see who gets what.

    BOARDING

    Some cats are not good candidates for "home alone" holiday absences cat care. Boarding at a professionally managed cattery or with a veterinarian may be the best option if your cat is a kitten under six months, under treatment for a medical condition such as diabetes or cancer and requires frequent medication or close monitoring, or is known to go on a hunger strike when left alone.

      


    Related Articles......


    Traveling Cat

    House Cats and Kids

    Holiday Cat Comfort

    Return to Cat Health Homepage



    Having trouble finding what you need? Cat Health Index & Site Map

    OR

    Do you have a question to ask?...Questions

    OR

    Do you have a cat story to share?...Simply click here to go to that page!




    "Like Us" on Facebook 

    or...

    "Like Us" here


    [?]Subscribe To This Site
    • XML RSS
    • follow us in feedly
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Add to My MSN
    • Subscribe with Bloglines

    I recommend our personal vet:

    Randall L. Norstrem, DVM of Crestwood Animal Hospital (253-839-4744)


    Take a look at our other website for travel information!

    International-Travel-Writers.com



    Check out our affiliates and see what they have to offer!



    Wysong

    Dr. Wysong, a veterinarian who developed healthy foods for cats and other animals


    Pet360 - PetFoodDirect


    PetStreetMall - Quality Products at Low Prices!

    Pet Street Mall …excellent selection of fun feline runs, cat dancers, cat furniture


    Vetshop.com Pet Drugs

    Vet Shop …check out their specialties online


    LT - 090909 - 125x125 Logo

    PetSmart... offers convenient locations and selections as well as supports many animal shelter programs.


    Save 5% on Pet Supplies Orders Over $75

    Only Natural Pet ...has products chosen for their holistic approach plus vitamins, supplements and more.


    Entirely Pets...is our supplier of Feliway pet products. Also have Homeopet, topicals, etc.


    PetCareChoice.com

    Pet Care Choice...large supply of prescription and non-prescription drugs


    CatsPlay-cat furniture...lots of choices & imaginative designs for cat fun


    Petco


    Canada Vet



    PetWellbeing.com is the trusted source for your cat's natural health care.

    Pet WellBeing...offers natural health and wellness supplements for your pets.