Jun

3

Petsitters, how to choose the right pet sitter for your cat.

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It's that time of year when people start thinking about summer vacations. But what to do about Kitty? Cats are very social, even if your cat keeps to himself, he will still miss you when you are gone. Human contact is essential while you are away. Your cat doesn't know why you are gone, just that he is by himself right now and the days are long and quiet.

Some vets offer a boarding service and there are advantages to leaving your pet with a vet. Obviously, if anything goes wrong, your cat will have immediate medical care. If your cat is older or has a medical condition, a vet boarding kennel might be perfect. However, some drawbacks of a vet is that your cat could be exposed to illnesses and it could be very stressful for your cat to be away from home in a cage with other animals around.

So if you don't have a friend or relative who can come over to spend time with kitty and feed him, you might consider getting a petsitter. To find a good petsitter, check out Pet Sitters International, or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. There are also several private cat sitters that may not belong to either of these organizations but are equally responsible and will take good care of your cat. If you want to hire a pet sitter, here are some tips for selecting the right pet sitter for you and your cat...

Any petsitter you consider should be willing to meet you and kitty before you go away to make sure they'll get a along and that you trust them. Write out instructions for the pet sitter to follow that include:

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- feeding schedules

- how much to feed your cat

- playtime instructions

- cleaning instructions

- medications

- your vet's phone number, address

- closest emergency vet clinic if not your regular vet's office

- and any other important details about your cat's care.

Give a copy to the sitter when you meet and in return the Pet sitters should have the following:

1) A license and be bonded and insured.

2) At least three references that you can contact.

3) A recent Criminal Background check.

4) Pet Sitter Education and Training.

5) Cat First Aid Training.

Also, make sure the petsitter you choose:

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*is available during your cat's feeding time for all of the days you will be away.

*is available by phone or email 7 days a week while you are away.

*is available to meet you and your cat before you go away to ensure your cat will be comfortable with the sitter and that you will be comfortable leaving your cat with the sitter.

*will follow your detailed instructions for caring for your pet.

*has a back up sitter that can take over the care of your cat if the pet sitter becomes ill while you are away.

A little planning and some basic precautions like the ones above will go along way to easing your mind and ensuring a safe and happy cat while you travel.

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