You have to do your homework when planning to have someone come in to care for your cat. Don’t just ask the kid next door to drop in every day to toss food in the bowl. You need someone who will make sure your cat is safe, clean the litter box, feed the cat, monitor how she’s eating and using the litter box, interact with your cat (if the cat enjoys this) and try to minimize the stress of your absence. A pet sitter who takes the time to play with the cat or interact in whatever way that particular cat enjoys can make a big difference in keeping that kitty stress-o-meter at a manageable level. The pet caretaker who bolts in the door and is back out in mere minutes isn’t going to notice your cat maybe hasn’t urinated all day or has pulled a patch of hair off her hind leg, is limping or maybe scratched her eye and is squinting in pain. The “drive-by” pet caretaker isn’t much better than you filling up the food and water bowl and taking your chances nothing bad will happen to the cat. Hire a pet sitter who cares deeply for the welfare of every client or if you’re choosing a friend/neighbor to help you, choose someone who can take the time to ensure your cat’s safety and security.
How Often Should the Pet Sitter Visit?
Ok, so by now you know that my preferred method of caring for a cat while the family is away is by hiring a top-notch pet sitter or using a very trusted friend. Now we come to another question though – how many visits per day are needed? Many people think a single visit to the home is adequate but really, you need at least two visits daily.
If your cat is used to scheduled meals, you need to have the pet sitter come at those times to maintain the normal schedule. It can be very stressful for a cat who is used to eating two or three times a day to now have to deal with just one meal on top of the fact that her entire family has up and gone. It’s also not healthy for her digestion to gulp down in one meal what she normally would eat over multiple meals.