Did you know that currently around 63 percent of American households own pets. These family pets include 90 million cats, 73 million dogs and millions of many other animals.
What would you do if you and your family are going away for a while and unable to take your cats with you? You may have considered kennel or veterinary clinic boarding or having a trusted friend, neighbor or family member come over to take care of your cats. What about hiring a professionally trained pet sitter to look after your kitties while you are away? [Yes or No to Pets Onboard]
Pet sitting is a booming industry nowadays. The biggest advantage about pet sitting is that your kitties are able to stay put and are comforted by all the familiar scents while you are gone. Cats get frustrated and stressed very easily if they do not have their creature comforts around them or being on their own turf. Though they may be upset by your absence, they still have their home to keep them sane and secure. Moving can be traumatizing to cats. Pet sitting gives pet owners an alternative to boarding so your cats do not need to go through the ordeal of transporting to another location and potentially getting exposed to sick pets.
Pet sitters are required to be licensed to provide professional care for cats. They are trained to feed your cats, scoop the litter boxes and even administer medications. The services even include a few simple house chores such as taking out the trash, taking in the newspaper and mail, watering your plants, etc. However, they are usually on a very tight schedule where typically they make one or two trips per day for your pets.
Personally I would pick a pet sitter over boarding so trauma can be minimized. At the same time I will make sure that the pet sitter will come visit at least twice a day to accommodate my kitties' meal plan schedule and daily routine. Cat owners should always prepare a list of instructions for anyone they entrust to look after their cats while they are gone.
There are national organizations that provide pet sitting services:
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
Image: flickr - juandesant
the Cat Behavior Answer Book by Arden Moore