How to Find a Pet-Sitter

Locate a responsible pet lover to care for your cat in the comfort of your home.

By Stacy N. Hackett

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Cat at homeCats are creatures of habit, as every cat owner knows. As you plan your next vacation or business trip, you may be torn as to how to provide care for your pet. You've had trouble in the past finding a reliable friend to visit each day, and your cat doesn't do well spending time at a boarding facility.

Have you considered hiring a pet-sitter? Professional pet-sitters offer quality care in your home, giving you peace of mind without disrupting your cats established routine. Pet-sitters are available to provide basic care for your pet but also will play and socialize with the animals in their care. Some will also provide extra services such as watering plants and bringing in mail.

To find a professional pet-sitter, ask friends, your veterinarian or a local pet store owner for a reference. Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters maintain online databases of members that can be searched by zip code or city.

Once you've found a professional pet-sitter near you, take time to interview him or her. Pet Sitters International recommends you look for a pet-sitter that:

  • Is bonded and insured.
  • Provides several references.
  • Provides written literature describing services and stating fees.
  • Is courteous, interested and well-informed about pet care.
  • Has experience caring for pets and is clearly mindful of their safety and well-being.
  • Has a veterinarian on-call for emergency service.
  • Has a contingency plan for pet care in case of inclement weather or personal illness.

Before making a final decision, invite the potential pet-sitter to visit your home to see how he or she interacts with your cat. Make sure he or she genuinely enjoys being around your pet, and that your pet seems comfortable around the pet-sitter. This is the time for the pet-sitter to interview you, too. He or she should want to find out about your cats routine and current care. 

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Reader Comments

Rollie    Bristow, VA

12/18/2008 1:59:52 PM

thanks for the tips.

Jackie    New Bedford, MA

12/18/2008 11:05:01 AM

I have used the same girl I found for all my cats. She is great. Try a friend from your local church.
She has only charged $5.00 a day. She comes 3x a day. Plays, feed, cleans litter brings in mail. I think a pet sitter is a great idea.

meredith    sheffield lake, OH

12/18/2008 9:30:01 AM

great info to know... we'll need a sitter next summer when we go on vacation

ashjley    leonard, TX

12/18/2008 6:36:46 AM

good ideas

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