Cat Sitters

Alana RobertsAlana Roberts BrooklynMember Posts: 758
edited 8 January, 2007 in Cats & Travel
My hubby and I would like to take a vacation but we don't know anyone in our area who we trust with our kitties and he had a bad experience with a kennel mixing up his dog when he was a kid so thats out too, so I was hoping maybe we could start a cat sitter alliance or something. I know a lot of people already have several pets and they cant take in anymore even for a little while but I was thinking if anyone is a couple or maybe has a older child who is responsible we could start something. Or if anyone in the Brooklyn area knows an experienced cat sitter and could pass on their info that would be good too! Normally I take the kitties to my parents when we decide to go away but thats over a three hour drive in the wrong direction and they're not really so good at looking after them anyway as Dad's allergic and cant get close.

Comments

  • Melissa FordMelissa Ford Santa CruzMember Posts: 3,914
    edited 5 January, 2007
    Natasha, Ask your vet for referrals. Also, many vet techs do pet sitting on the side, so you may want to see if any of the techs in your vets office do pet sitting.
  • Karin PruessnerKarin Pruessner DurbanMember Posts: 2,110
    edited 5 January, 2007
    Our pet sitter is the BEST!! He comes to our house and plays with us and gives us treaty-treats and keeps the poop box clean! Mommy found him cause some other mommy recommended him (see, it CAN be good when mommies talk). Before we knew him, back when we were little, we had to go to the cat prison place and sit in a cage when mommy was gone. That\'s no fun AT ALL!! Now we get to sleep in our own bed and play in our own house. We are still sad when mommy is gone but much happier when she comes back. Mommy says it\'s also cheaper than the prison place but what has that got to do with anything??
  • Diana GabaldonDiana Gabaldon PortlandMember Posts: 5,607
    edited 5 January, 2007
    Natasha, When mom still had Furie who was a diabetic, she used a vet tech from our vet\'s office. It was really great because Furie actually did fall ill and the tech new right what to do and where to take her. Now that we have 2 healthy kitties and have moved to a different part of town, one of mom\'s friends comes over to hang out with us. Mom does pay her and lets her do her laundry while she is there. I also found this site: http://www.petsitters.org/ It is for the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. Good luck.
  • Diana MertensDiana Mertens Warner RobinsMember Posts: 5,435 ✭✭
    edited 5 January, 2007
    Have your mommy go to petsit.com. This is the website for Pet Sitters International, which is the professional organization to which our wondeful sitter belongs. On this site you can search by zip code for PSI members who serve your area. That should narrow your search down. Good luck! Pet sitters are waaaaaaaay better than kennels :)
  • Diana MertensDiana Mertens Warner RobinsMember Posts: 5,435 ✭✭
    edited 5 January, 2007
    Mommy used to have friends come over, until I was diagnosed with renal insufficiency and needed fluid treatment. The benefit of a petsitter is that they can handle stuff like this since they're expereinced in animal care (our sitter that Zoe mentioned was an animal keeper at Disney's Animal Kingdom). They'll take you to the vet if something comes up while your parents are away. Besides - Mommy always hated to ask people to clean the litterbox. Petsitters have no problme with that.
  • Alana RobertsAlana Roberts BrooklynMember Posts: 758
    edited 6 January, 2007
    Thanks for your suggestions everyone - Mum will have a look on the petsitters site, we're not entirely happy with some of the people at our vet at the moment - some of the staff aren't as well trained as they could be in mum's opinion and they never seem to have Jabba's med right even when she calls in advance - don't get me started! But will give website a go as we would need someone able to give Jabba her meds and look after Me and Wolfie as we fight a lot and sometimes - accidentally of course- knock things over... like Nan's crystal candlesticks - oops! Purrs Natasha
  • Ruth BrouwerRuth Brouwer HuntsvilleMember Posts: 10,651
    edited 6 January, 2007
    We recently moved to Florida, but when we lived in GA, Mom got a sitter from PSI. An odd thing happened: The first day Mom was going to be gone, she told the sitter that she was leaving at 6 AM. The sitter came at 5:30 AM!. Mom was still in bed, and he didn't even realize it. He came in, put food in my bowl and was gone within 3 minutes. Another sitter from the same agency played with me and left long notes for Mom every day. Try to make sure you meet the sitter before you leave! Mom much prefers to have someone that knows me and loves me. Also, Mom has checked out all the boarding facilities around our new home, just in case she needs one. (My human Grammy is almost 90 years old!) She says one was eliminated immediately because it stunk, and another is a possibility because it didn't stink and the kitties didn't seem stressed. Doing the homework before the trip is a chore, but likely will prevent an unhappy kitty and Mom.
  • Diana MertensDiana Mertens Warner RobinsMember Posts: 5,435 ✭✭
    edited 6 January, 2007
    Arnold - sorry you had a bad experience with that petsitter! A good one will come to your house for an initial consultation before a decision is ever made. This protects the sitter as well as the client, so I can't imagine a sitter NOT wanting to do this. At this meeting, everything should be spelled out in great detail - what they do at visits, how often they visit, how long they stay, etc. Also, additional services as needed, such as taking you to the vet if you were to get sick. This should be all on paper, too. It's important to note that PSI is merely an organization for petsitters - they do not provide petsitting services themselves.
  • Melinda BMelinda B Member Posts: 1,628
    edited 6 January, 2007
    I agree with Hunter about the vet techs. My Mom fell in love with the vet techs who work at our vet when I had a surgery. They are all so loving and gentle, and really trustworthy.
  • Sue KaufmannSue Kaufmann CranfordMember Posts: 1,465
    edited 7 January, 2007
    Natasha, a few other thoughts: * Ask your mom to write up notes about you -- any health issues, your hiding places, any treats or games you might like to do with the sitter, etc. A good sitter will appreciate the info (especially on the hiding places!). * DEFINITELY have the sitter come by the house first, to see how he/she interacts with you, and whether they're reliable. We knocked a potential sitter off the list when she missed TWO appointments to come over to meet us. If she missed that, how many times would she forget to come to make my meals? *If you're in a multi-cat home (I'm sorry - I didn't take a look at your page yet), have mom take pictures of you and your siblings. My sitter once said that one of her clients took mug shots of all of the kitties so that she'd know their names, just in case. The funny thing was that the sitter admitted that when she first started sitting, she let a cat into a client's house by mistake! A cat was sitting on the front steps the first time the sitter showed up, so she assumed that the cat had slipped out when the people were leaving. Then she saw two other cats in the house who were staring at the outside cat, as if to say, "Who are you!?" I guess that finding a cat is better than losing one! * Oh, and if you don't know the sitter, be sure to get references. Also, if they are in business as sitters, ask if they are bonded. After all, you are trusting them to respect your belongings and not let people in to steal stuff. I don't know if this is necessary with a vet tech from your vet's office; hopefully they have a sense of being honest with their boss' clients!
  • Melissa FordMelissa Ford Santa CruzMember Posts: 3,914
    edited 7 January, 2007
    Hattie, excellent post. Great ideas about the photos of the cats and a list of favorite hiding places. Mom used to do regular pet sitting for people (until she had her baby). She came over to feed and love the kitties or even stayed overnight at peoples houses to take care of thier dogs. She is not bonded, but is a vet tech. I agree that many of the techs would respect the clients of thier boss. It's still a good idea to have them come over first, meet the cats and get detailed instructions.
  • Pat ParkerPat Parker ClevelandMember Posts: 382
    edited 7 January, 2007
    My mama must be an idiot. She did cat sitting for many cats of friends and neighbors and never asked for any money nor was ever offered any. She always went twice a day, checked on food and water, cleaned litter, checked the whereabouts of the cats (kitties are prone to hide when they\'re scared) and played a while with them. The last cat she looked after was so desperate for affection, she bit mama when she would get up to go. One bite was serious enough for her to see a regular doctor, a hand surgeon and the ER for complications; the woman was grateful but not financially so.
  • Ruth BrouwerRuth Brouwer HuntsvilleMember Posts: 10,651
    edited 7 January, 2007
    Yikes, Honey! That's a horror story for your Mom. Even if the sitter was my best friend, I would offer to help with the bills for that bite, out of guilt!
  • Diana MertensDiana Mertens Warner RobinsMember Posts: 5,435 ✭✭
    edited 7 January, 2007
    Hattie is right on, and I should have said all that in my last reply. At the initial consultation I mentioned in that last reply, all of those things should be spelled out for the sitter. In fact, I think a good sitter won't wait for that info to be volunteered - they'll ASK. The sitter who takes care of Miranda and me (and Roxanne before she went to heaven) has detailed pet profiles on all of us. She brought blank ones (like questionaires) and had Mommy fill them out - one for each of us. They include all the info Hattie mentioned - health issues, medications, food preferences, hiding places, personality traits (are you shy? scared? extra-playful?), handling tolerance (important for me since both of my hips are dislocated), favorite toys, etc. Stuff my Mommy wouldn't have thought of on her own. If your Mommy is interested - p-mail me her e-mail address, and my Mommy will send her my profile so she can get an idea of what info the sitter needs. Good luck!
  • Michelle BrunnerMichelle Brunner BlairsvilleMember Posts: 11,194
    edited 8 January, 2007
    Natasha I have a similar problem. Mom always dog sits for her sister because they travel a lot. Mom always takes me with her. I really have a good time when we go too. Mom though doesn\'t know of anyone close by now who she trusts to leave me with. She trusts my vet, but I\'ve never been in a cage before to stay over. Her sister who she dog sits for, wouldn\'t know how to take care of me if her life depended on it. So mom is really afraid to leave me and go anywhere if I can\'t go with her. I have IBD and mom\'s afraid I\'ll get sick when she is away. But I do think everyone has given you great advice. I think mom is going to look into some of these suggestions too if and when she needs to go away. So she just wanted to thank everyone for all the suggestions. She\'ll keep this in mind if she ever has to leave me. Good Luck. Mom knows what you must be going through.
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