Why hire a cat sitter for a short week end absence?



Companion cats rely on their humans for food, water and the occasional treat. Other than needing food and water, cats seem to prefer an independent life. So why not just set out a three-day supply of it when you leave the house for a long weekend?

Two keys reasons.   First, your cats need companionship, whether it’s yours or whether it’s someone with whom you entrust their care.  Keep their stress levels down by providing them with the attentiveness of a caregiver.  A qualified cat sitter will ensure that your cats have adequate food, water and supervision.  Second, your cat sitter will contact the veterinarian if your cats become ill or injured.

If your cats need special attention or medication, it’s all the more important to make sure your cat sitter visits your home at least once or twice a day.   Administering meds should be as consistent a routine as possible, for the cat’s well being.  A cat’s health can deteriorate quickly (you may have experienced firsthand with your cat) and the right care may save your cat’s life.

According to professional sources, it takes about 30 minutes for a professional cat sitter to care for one cat per visit. During the visit, the sitter will feed and water your cats and change the litter box. A cat sitter also will play with your cats, so be sure to leave plenty of toys — including a few new ones to keep your cats entertained.

If you hire a less experienced person, such as a neighbor or friend, make sure you choose someone reliable who will be able to come by at least once a day for at least 30 minutes.   For cats who don’t need special medical attention, a capable friend is a satisfactory option.

Be sure to ask any cat sitter about their previous cat care experiences.   Keep in mind professionals are typically insured, which provides additional peace of mind.  Professionals should provide you with at least two references and you should follow up with them.  You should also ask them what would they would do if your cat becomes ill or if there is an emergency.

Leave out a full set of care instructions for your cat sitter, including the location and frequency of feeding, litter box cleaning,  locations of toys, treats, and grooming tools.   A complete set of instructions should be provided for medications and where those are kept.  Provide your phone numbers for emergencies and the number of your vet’s office and emergency vet’s office (if different).  Professional sitters should come out to your home ahead of time to meet your cat(s), become familiar with where their things are located and ask questions.

Hire a qualified cat sitter and give yourself and your cats the gift of peace of mind when you need to go away.


Outdoor cats – what they do that you don’t know

Didga the Cat (with his human, not pictured).
Didga the Cat (supervised by his human, not pictured).

OK, so your cat has had his dinner, and is now pleading to you to let him outside, using his most convincing, nagging meowwwwwww.    You oblige.

So….what’s your cat’s next move?  Any number of potential adventures awaits him.

Unless your cat is Didga (see the picture above), I would suspect he is completely on his own, at will to come and go as he pleases.   Here are just a few of the many options he has available to him, depending on his environment and the time he spends out there.

  • He finds and chases insects (name your preference); birds; rodents and other wildlife.  Keep in mind your cat is not wild, he is domesticated and not created to run wild.  However, once his hunting instincts kick in, he would tell you otherwise.
  • If he’s lucky enough (again, from his perspective), he will catch them, play with them, and then consume them, in part or in full.  He may even bring the remains, intact or not, to your front door, as his gift to you.
  • Your cat may end up very sick from eating these various vermin, which may cause him and you much distress and cost you a pretty penny at the animal hospital.  If he’s fortunate, he will recover.
  • Crossing the street is another routine, as your cat will undoubtedly want to get from Point A to Point B.  It may be a quiet street, rarely occupied by vehicles.  On the other hand, it may be a busy highway.  It doesn’t matter to your cat.  He will try to cross it. (Can you tell where this story is heading?)
  • Your cat likes to think that all humans are kind and really, really like him, just like you do.  He is trusting.  Unfortunately, the world has both kind people and those who are nasty to animals..   Will he lead a charmed life and never encounter any of the nasties out there, while outdoors?  We hope and pray so, but it’s not certain.
  • Finally, what happens if the sunny, mild weather suddenly changes into a dark, threatening thunderstorm.  Where will your cat go to seek shelter?  He may run right home to you if he’s close enough, but that’s not always possible.  As for me, knowing my cat might be out there cowering somewhere would really bother me to think about.

As you can see, it’s not all sun and butterflies out there.  And, as you can tell, we definitely have a bias in this matter, and believe that companion cats should, whenever possible, remain indoors.  However, we understand it’s entirely up to you as a responsible and cat loving human, to make that decision.

Fortunately, there are plenty of cat toys and safer diversions available for indoor cats.  We invite you to go to MyThreeCats.com and check them out!



Will You Be Prepared For a Pet-Related Emergency?

National pet first aid awareness Month

April is National Pet First-Aid Awareness Month. A few weeks ago, we chatted about how to create a first-aid kit for your pet, but that’s not the only step you can take to be prepared for a pet-related emergency. For instance,

  • Do you know how to recognize the signs that your pet may have been poisoned?
  • Would you be able to tell if your pet was dehydrated?
  • Do you know the symptoms of heat stroke?

And the question isn’t just do you recognize these scenarios, but would you know what to do in the event of one?

Being prepared for a crisis could mean the difference between life and death for your pet, and The American Red Cross is an invaluable resource for information. Visit their site to lear more about the conditions I listed above, as well as other emergency situations you could potentially face with your pet. Also, be sure to check out their free Pet First Aid app, available for iPhone and Android. The app provides step-by-step instructions, videos, and images for more than 25 common first aid emergencies.

Will you be prepared for a pet-related emergency? 


How To Trim a Cat’s Nails

how to trim a cat's nails

If you’ve ever tried to trim a cat’s nails, you know that it’s a task that’s not for the faint of heart. But it is possible to make these necessary nail-trimming sessions an enjoyable time for both you and your kitty.

The first step is to develop a routine. If you and your cat can get into a rhythm of clipping the nails every ten days to two weeks, you’ll have established an ideal schedule.

Next, make sure your cat is comfortable with the sound of the clippers before you attempt to trim her nails. The ASPCA recommends putting kitty on your lap and putting a piece of uncooked spaghetti into the clippers. While massaging your cat’s toe, gently press her toe pad extend her nail, and then clip the spaghetti with the clippers. Do this a few times and the cat will come to associate the sound of the clippers with the gentle massaging of her toes.

See the rest of the ASPCA’s recommendations here.

Most of all, throughout the entire nail trimming process, it’s important for you to stay calm. Your kitty will be more inclined to relax and not become scared when you maintain a gentle demeanor. When you’re laid about the process, she’s more likely to be, as well.

Do you trim your cat’s nails? We’d love to hear about your experience in a comment below!


10 Tips for Flying with Your Cat

Now that warmer weather is here, you might be starting to think about planning a vacation away from home. Whether it’s a spring break trip or a summer vacation, one thing’s for sure: you’ll either have to make arrangements for someone to care for your cat while you’re away from home, or maybe you’ll choose to take her with you.

If you’ve never flown on a commercial airplane with a cat, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the airline’s pet policies in advance. You’ll also find some very helpful tips in the infographic below.

tips for flying with a cat

If you’ll be traveling with your pet by car, you might want to check out this great article with tips from Petfinder.

Have you ever traveled with your cat? We’d love for you to share your experience with our readers in a comment below.