Are you going on holiday? Whether a staycation or braving a trip abroad? Thankfully, there are now plenty of options to choose from when deciding what to do with your cat when you go on holiday.
Historically, cat owners may have relied on neighbours or friends to pop in to check on their cats. Or, to the cat’s dismay, checked them into a cattery. But not all of us can rely on neighbours or afford the cost of catteries. We also know that cats can get incredibly stressed out when in a new environment, away from home - so we decided to explore what other options are available to pet owners.
We caught up with Julie Barnes, Co-Founder of Cat in a Flat - a UK online cat sitting community - to get the lowdown on what to consider when hiring a cat sitter.
Julie explains that when it comes to cats, the vast majority would prefer to be cared for in their own home. “Cats don’t like change, they don’t like to travel, and they don’t like sharing space with unfamiliar cats”.
We’ve all heard stories of cats who never leave their owner’s side, and even venture on holiday with them! Indeed, Julie agrees that every cat is different, and no single solution suits everyone. But usually a cat sitter will be the preferred option for most cats.
6 considerations to hiring a cat sitter:
1. Cats are territorial and feel stressed when they are in a new environment
Having our cats feel unhappy and stressed is the last thing we want when we go away. It’s already a significant change to their routine, us not being there, so anything to make them feel more comfortable in their own surroundings would be beneficial. Leaving your cat in the place they know and love means you’ll return to a relaxed and happy furry friend. The exception to the rule is if a cat has got used to travelling from a very young age, but again this is incredibly rare, and most cats prefer to stay put.
2. It’s better for the purse strings
Cat sitting can work out significantly cheaper than a cattery as you are charged per household, not per cat. With Cat in a Flat, cat sitters charge from £8 to £15 for a once-daily drop-in service. It also means no worries about drop off and pick up times or getting Mr Whiskers into his cat carrier.
3. Cat sitting is flexible.
House sitter and pet sitter all in one! You can ask your sitter to help out around your house by collecting your post or watering your plants.
4. Regular check-ins on how your cat is doing
Your cat sitter can even send you regular photos of your cat when you’re away and give you an update on how they are doing. This will certainly keep your mind at ease.
5. Hire a fully vetted, trusted cat sitter
By choosing a trusted cat sitting company, like Cat in a Flat, you can rest assured that all sitters have been vetted. You can even read reviews of the chosen cat sitter, to learn about other people’s experiences. Julie explains that Cat in a Flat’s cat sitters are individually approved and follow their code of conduct; “they are true cat lovers and can’t wait to spoil your kitty”.
Tip: Make sure the cat sitter you choose is covered by a guarantee for their services.
6. Make sure the cat sitter is contactable during emergencies.
Make sure you check whether your chosen sitter has a customer support line, so in the rare occurrence something could go wrong - you or your sitter can easily contact the company to resolve.
So what’s the process of booking in a cat sitter?
With a reputable cat sitter, the process should be easy to arrange. Find a site that allows you to simply enter your postcode and dates so you’re matched to an approved and available cat sitter in your area. Cat parents can then read through sitters profiles and contact their favourites for free.
Cat in a Flat go the added mile and explain that all cat sitters offer a free meet and greet before the booking starts. Julie says “They will also send lots of lovely photo updates, as they know this brings peace of mind to cat owners who are missing their fur babies”.
So when it comes to deciding on whether to arrange a cat sitter or check your cat into a cattery, try to remember that cats often do prefer to be at home. There are ample cat sitting services available - and you should be able to easily book a cat sitter in your area with a little bit of research.
About Gus & Bella Box
Gus & Bella Box delivers happiness to cats and their humans with 8-11 unique toys, natural treats and goodies for cats and owners to share. Each box is tailored to an adorable monthly theme, and you and your cat will be constantly entertained and delighted with new cat products to try each month.