I often get asked “What is a Cat Sitter?”, “Do you stay with the cats?” or “Do the cats stay with you?” and often the reply is “I didn’t know there was such a thing!” or “A home babysitter for your cat!”. So, in case you are one of these people who are not too sure what Alicat Purrfections Cat Sitting Service is all about or just not 100% sure if this is the right option for you and your cat(s). I thought I would give you a bit of an insight as to what a cat sitter does and the services I offer throughout West Lothian.
Alicat Purrfections offers a great alternative to boarding your cat(s) at a Cattery or Pet Hotel. Many cats don’t travel well, get stressed in a strange environment and will not eat, which is not good for their welfare. As a pet owner it can be an anxious time leaving your fur babies behind. This is where my home 15 minute Pop-In and 30 minute Pampering visits give you peace of mind while you are away from home and can’t be there for your cat(s). Your pet deserves the best care they can get and I believe Alicat Purrfections offers them that.
I offer a wealth of experience and knowledge of looking after cats and know cats are territorial and feel much more content and relaxed in the comfort of their own home. They have their favourite sleeping and hiding places, toys and the freedom to explore if outdoor cats. You can go away not feeling guilty or anxious about leaving them. They will be well cared for by their ‘Auntie Ali’ and I adore all my kitty Nieces and Nephews.
Depending on whether you book a short 15 min home visit or a longer 30 min home visit will determine what I am able to offer. During both length of visits I always do a well-being check on all your cats. If they are available to be checked that is, as they could be out and about exploring. However, I do everything possible to see them and observe that they are ok and in good health. It’s important to me that I can reassure my clients that their cat(s) are safe and well. If the cat wishes some fuss and cuddles, then I give them a bit of affection while I’m getting their breakfast or tea ready. Usually includes a bit of ‘cat chat’ too!
I feed them the required food as instructed, which can consist of a special diet if has Allergies/Diabetic or measuring out specific quantity if on a restricted diet. Some may need to be fed in a separate room if the others are blocking them from accessing the food. It’s important that all your cats get the right food to keep them a healthy weight. As we all know, cats can be very fussy eaters. They will love one flavour and then turn their noses up at it the next time. There are so many varieties offering different meat or fish combinations with jelly or gravy (who’s cat eats the gravy and leaves the meat?!), soups, pate’s etc. Spoilt for choice but it can be a challenge finding what floats their boat! It is therefore a good idea to leave a selection of different foods so I can offer ones they will eat while you are away. If there are fish and meat options, I will alternate what they have each day. Variety is the spice of life as they say!
I top up the dry food if available and ensure there is a good supply. However, if your cat is inclined to eat frequently and has wet food; it can be a good idea to weigh out the recommended daily amount for the correct weight of your cat. Then spread that amount throughout the day so they maintain a healthy weight.
I change the water every visit. Sometimes owners have a pet water fountain, as cats often like running water to drink from; they think it’s less likely to be contaminated than still. I top it up or do a full clean and refill. I wash all dishes and bowls every visit, it can be helpful to have a few spare ones available. Cats don’t normally eat, drink and toilet in the same area. If you notice they are not drinking, this can sometimes be the reason. Try moving the water away from their food or into a different room entirely and a ceramic bowl is preferable.
If the cats are indoor there will be litter tray(s) to scoop and replenish. A full clean and change may be required and I always check them thoroughly every visit. Cats like to be clean and often will not use the tray again once soiled. Cleanliness is next to Catliness! This is why the general rule is for every cat there should be two litter trays available. If you have one cat, you’ll want two litter trays; two cats, three litter trays, and so forth.
On the longer 30 minute pampering visits I get time to give lots of fuss and cuddles if that’s what they enjoy, as well as playtime. Engagement and fun is really important as it gives your cat(s) exercise and allows me to build on the connection. Trust is essential in a cats world and it takes time to earn. Offering a few treats definitely helps and it’s great fun popping some in a treat ball or puzzles and watch them trying to figure out how to get them. These activities all help to enhance their lives and keep them occupied.
Depending on the length of coat, I give the cats a nice brush and keep their coats matt free as much as possible. Obviously some enjoy being groomed more than others, however I will try my best to give them a groom and keep them looking furbulous ready for their hoomans coming home.
If medication is required to be given, I am confident at administering what has been prescribed for your cat; whether that be orally or by injection. I have a few clients who’s cats are Diabetic and need an Insulin injection either once or twice a day. As I can have numerous visits throughout West Lothian each day, I plan my visits to coincide with the times the medication is to be administered. I also ensure I do not cause any cross contamination of infections between cats by thoroughly washing my hands with antibacterial hand wash (I carry a supply with me) as well as antibacterial hand gel. I apply this after I leave the property and before entering the next.
To board a cat, all their annual inoculations and vaccinations must be up to date, which is another advantage to booking a cat sitter; as it is not a requirement for cat sitting. However, as a responsible pet owner I would always recommend to any clients that they are up to date but at the end of the day this is your choice, which I respect. Keeping your cat(s) flea and worm treatment up to date is again essential for catteries, pet hotels. To minimise any infections and keep your cat(s) in tip top health, I would strongly recommend this is done regularly and ready for my visits.
I also include home security and give you that extra peace of mind your property, as well as your pets are safe when you are unable to be there. I am a member of Disclosure Scotland (PVG / Police check) and fully Insured with Pet Plan Scantuary. I move the post and sort it by addressee, turn lights on/off and open/close curtains or blinds. I will put the bins out on the appropriate night and bring them back in on the next visit. I double check doors are locked securely before leaving the premises and happy to set any alarms. All keys are kept safe at all times and I only label them with your first name and town e.g. Allison/Bathgate, so they are unidentifiable to you or your home.
Nothing is too much trouble for Alicat Purrfections and I will always go the extra mile for my clients to ensure they are able to relax and enjoy time away. I take lots of photos and videos of your fur babies during my visits and send updates from them via Messenger or WhatsApp.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.