The first thing to do is ask your friends, family members and colleagues if there is someone in particular that they can recommend. Your Welland veterinarian may also have a few cat sitters that they can provide a referral to. Once you have a list of prospects, you’ll want to make sure the following criteria is met:
- They are licensed, bonded and insured
- They have a list of references they can provide
- They offer a contract that specifies all of the services they will perform
Then, schedule appointments to meet with each prospect, get a feel for who they are and how they interact with your cat and ask a number of questions. These questions should include things like:
- How long have you been in business?
- With whom are you licensed, bonded and insured?
- Can you provide me with references specifically for clients who own cats?
- Will you be working with anyone else who will care for my cat while I’m away? (If so, ask to meet them as well.)
- How long will you stay during each visit?
- What type of activities will you participate in with my cat?
- Do you have experience with emergency situations, such as a medical emergency or a situation in which the cat gets out of the house? How would you handle such a scenario?
You may also have some questions that are specific to your cat. For instance, if your feline companion suffers from a medical condition, you’ll want to make sure the pet sitter you choose is capable of managing that illness while you are away. Talk with your Welland veterinarian to develop a list of specific questions regarding your pet’s unique needs. Remember, the more questions you ask, the more prepared you’ll be to make an informed decision and choose the right pet sitter for your cat.