YES, Your Cat Needs a Sitter
Most pet service providers focus on dogs, and we’ve definitely talked plenty about our canine companions on this blog. But of course dogs aren’t the only one with needs–cats also need attention, stimulation, exercise, and love.
The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease
One of the primary reasons dog owners are often more aware of their dogs’ needs is that dogs are, in many ways, harder to neglect than cats. Neglected dogs will whine, bark, or become aggressive, and when they act out they’re capable of doing a lot more damage to things like furniture, shoes, or carpets. Dogs are louder than cats, and generally more eager to express their needs and desires. There’s also a lot more publicity surrounding the needs of dogs; when you get a puppy, you will constantly have people cautioning you that they’ll need to be walked frequently, but when you get a kitten, you probably won’t have many concerned citizens grilling you about the time commitment.
And yet, cats experience separation anxiety the same as dogs. Cats bond with their people, and if they’re a solo pet in a household they rely on you for companionship and entertainment. Cats also need fresh water, food, and a clean litter box–imagine how you’d feel if you had to stay somewhere with a filthy bathroom and stale food for a week!
Keep Kitty Happy
It’s a good idea to leave a few activities for your cat in your absence–their only source of entertainment can’t be napping! Cats enjoy cat trees to climb, scratching posts, and toys like mice or squeakies. You can hide treats around your house to engage your kitty’s mind in a kind of scavenger hunt. Cats also enjoy visual and auditory stimulation, like videos or CDs of birds or bees, or even just an accessible window to look through.
And most importantly, make sure someone can come by to spend a little quality time with your cat! Cat care is about more than putting out food–make sure your pet sitter knows things like your cat’s favorite games or her favorite places to be scratched. If your cat is shy or skittish, don’t underestimate the value of a human presence. Your cat is used to hearing and seeing people around, especially if you might have a large, boisterous family, and the sudden, prolonged silence may be worrisome or scary for her.
Cats shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time, not only for their happiness, but for their safety. Stomach or bladder infections might strike, which require immediate vet attention.
Further, cats are naturally playful and curious, and their activity level often only gets higher if they’re bored and lonesome. They can often trap themselves somewhere without access to food or water, and if they catch a toenail on something, they can be left hanging there for hours or seriously hurt themselves trying to get free. A cat might knock over a glass and cut themselves, or accidentally spill water in its dish and destroy its food.
Cat Kennel or Cat Sitter?
Just like dog kennels, there are cat boarding facilities, and also like kennels, some are fine and some, well … aren’t! If you want to go the boarding route, here are a few things to look for in your cat boarding:
- No small cages (double-level enclosures are best, as cats like to perch!)
- No dogs allowed
- Privacy areas
- Sources of play and fun for cats
- Humans on the premises at all times
- No smells (smells indicate neglect!)
Before you book any cat boarding facility, take a tour. Make sure they have a plan in place for contacting a preferred veterinarian or humane isolation of sick cats. And above all, if you have any emotional reservations, don’t make any boarding reservations!
Cat Sitting Services
Sarah’s Pet Care is proud to offer cat sitting services, when available. We offer home visits for petting, playtime, brushing, and freshening food, water, and litter boxes. If you’re planning a vacation, or just spend a lot of time away for work, school, or personal reasons, call us at Sarah’s Pet Care! We’d love to talk about what we can do to keep your cat healthy and happy.
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