It’s summer and time for vacation! Oh, but who’s going to take care of the cat? The most comfortable and least stressful place for your feline is in her own home.
It’s time to hire a pet sitter or a very dependable and trusting neighbor. If you don’t already have a regular pet sitter, the process of finding the right person can be overwhelming. After all, you will be letting this person in your home and leave them in charge of caring for a pet you likely consider a part of your family. A sitter should be bonded, insured and experienced in pet sitting. Check references. A good pet sitter should offer a “get to know you” visit to make sure he is a good match for both you and your pet. Review all of your written expectations and give him a copy to take with him. Another copy should be easily accessible in your home.
Ask for daily text messages on updates of your cat’s well being. Your sitter needs your vet’s phone number and authorization to take your kitty to the doctor in an emergency. If you have an alarm system, be sure to give direction on its use and notify your security company that you will have a pet sitter allowed to be in your house while you are away. Give your sitter a special password to the alarm. You can cancel it when you return.
A trusted neighbor should have an extra key in case there is any problem. Tell your neighbor how to reach the pet sitter, and vice versa.
The day of your departure there are still some nice things you can do to help your cat deal with your absence. Leave an unwashed t-shirt on the couch that your can snuggle with while you are away. Place new toys around the house, and hidden under furniture, that your cat can discover during your absence. Electronic cat toys can also provide hours of entertainment during a vacation. Be sure to choose electronic cat toys that shut off after a certain time so that the batteries won’t drain in a day. Open some shutters so that kitty can look outside in case she gets bored. Make sure that doors are closed on rooms that are off limits and propped open for the ones that the cat may use. If the air conditioning turns on and a door slams shut, your cat might be stuck.
Putting out two bowls of water is insurance that your cat can get a drink even if one is knocked over in crazy kitty play.
Enjoy your vacation and know that your best little furry friend is in good hands with an experienced pet sitter and new cat toys for her entertainment!