If you are a cat owner, you may require short-term care for your feline when you take an extended vacation. Whether you hire a professional pet sitter or ask a family member or neighbour, it’s important to provide detailed instructions for them. Here’s how:

The House Tour

Show your cat sitter where your cat eats and drinks, and where their litter box is. Show them where they can find the cat food, kitty litter, toys and treats. If you have an indoor cat, make sure you let the sitter know that the cat is not allowed outside. If your cat is allowed outside, make sure you explain how they should manage its in and out privileges. Last, but not least, point out the location of your cat carrier, and where they can find emergency contact information in case an emergency arises.

The Rules

Now that your new cat sitter has a lay of the land, empower them by providing them with detailed care instructions. Leave a hard copy with your sitter, and send them an electronic version too. The key points of your care instructions should include:

  • When and how much the cat should be fed
  • How to administer medication, if necessary, how often and the dosage
  • How often to clean the litter box
  • Where to dispose of the litter box content
  • What to do if the cat does not return after you have let it out
  • Who to contact and what vet to take your cat to should they get injured or sick
  • How to handle special behaviours

The Survival Kit

To ensure that your cat sitter has everything they need, stock up on, or provide them with, items they may need while cat sitting. For example, rubber gloves, microfibre cloths, multi-purpose cleaner, broom/vacuum and garbage bags are all items to include in your cat sitter’s survival kit. Make sure to place them in a convenient location, such as the bathroom or laundry room.