Your Pet AuPair
Why It's Important to Hire a Professional Cat Sitter in Bel Air
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
When you're making travel plans to go out of town, you've likely already planned on the boarding facility for your dog, but what about your cat? Cats tend to be very independent and take care of themselves, often eating on a schedule and grooming themselves. It's easy for them to get stressed when boarded with dogs, so you might consider leaving them at home. That's not a great idea for a variety of reasons, so why not hire a cat sitter to check in on your feline friend and make sure everything is okay?
1. Drinking Water
Cats can run out of food and water, just like a dog can. If your cat is anything like many people's, she plays in her water, waiting for just the right moment to ambush the bowl. It's easy for this playtime to go overboard, knocking all of the water out of the bowl.
Many cats also like cold, fresh water. When the water sits out for more than a day or two, the flavor changes, and your kitty might stop drinking it. If your kitty stops drinking, she may get dehydrated and develop issues such as a urinary tract infection from not drinking enough water.
2. Dry Versus Wet Food
Many cats do best with canned food, as dry kibble has a larger number of carbohydrates in it. Canned food also helps provide plenty of moisture for your pet. You can't leave the canned food out for days, as it will spoil and go bad, so having a cat sitter means this food can be replaced regularly.
While your cat may self-regulate what she eats on a normal basis, that's when you're home to take care of her. If she gets bored with no one around the house, she might eat more. The food that was designed to last for several days is suddenly gone in one. Having a cat sitter ensures that your kitty doesn't run out of food or water while you're away.
3. Attention and Affection
A major reason to hire a cat sitter is to check on your kitty and provide them some attention each day. Kitties that are left alone can become depressed and even stop grooming. Your cat sitter can brush your kitty and provide them some much-needed attention while you're away on vacation.
Some kitties get destructive when they get bored, as well. Having a cat sitter come by one to two times per day means that they can check in on your furry friend, making sure they haven't destroyed the shades or blinds in an attempt to look out the window.
4. Cleaning the Litter Box
Cats don't generally have to be walked outside to use the bathroom, but they do tend to like a clean litter box. In addition to feeding your kitty, your cat sitter can clean the litter pan daily. This helps to ensure your cat continues to use the litter pan while you're away.
If your cat's litter pan isn't cleaned, a few things could occur. First, she might start going to the bathroom outside of the litter box, which can become a behavior that doesn't readily go away just because you come home. She might also stop going to the bathroom, becoming constipated or holding her bladder and developing a urinary tract infection.
5. Health Issues
When you are out of town, your kitty could develop life-threatening health issues just like if you were home, such as having a urinary blockage. Becoming depressed and not eating can lead to health conditions such as hepatic lipidosis. These are health issues that need to be treated ASAP. Leaving your cat alone can lead to her dying if you're gone for more than a day.
Your cat sitter can help make sure that if your kitty does develop a health problem, it gets treated right away. By cleaning the litter pan, they'll know if your cat has been urinating and will take them to the veterinarian if they are noted to stop. If your kitty isn't eating, which is more likely when they're depressed and alone, they can be taken to the vet to help get them eating again.
6. External Environment
Having a cat sitter means someone is around to check on the house, as well as your kitty. It's possible for your power to get knocked out with a storm, leading to the house becoming overheated or too cold for your cat. Your cat sitter can intervene, letting you know the power is out and getting your cat to an appropriate temperature.
7. Checking on the Escape Artist
If your kitty is left alone too long, they may feel abandoned and try to escape. Cats are clever and can learn to open doors or sneak out past you when you're loading the car. Your cat sitter is responsible for making sure your kitty is in the house and can alert you if they aren't found. This is important because lost cats are found less commonly than lost dogs. In fact, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals notes that only around 74% of cats make their way back home, as opposed to 93% of dogs (ASPCA).
8. Awesome Exercise
Your kitty needs stimulation to keep from getting bored. Your cat sitter can provide this in a variety of ways, from playing with toys to brushing your cat. Your kitty can enjoy chasing a feather on a stick or chase around a ball playing fetch. This stimulation keeps your cat's brain engaged, helping keep her healthy and alert while you're gone.
Your kitty becoming bored might also affect the house and your things. Kitties can get destructive, knocking over lamps and plants when they get bored. Having someone there can give them the attention they need to keep them away from your valuable furniture.
9. Super Security
If you're not home, your house is more likely to become the target of thieves. By having a cat sitter come over regularly, the house continues to be "lived in," and it is much less likely to get broken into. In addition to protecting your valuables, this can protect your kitty. Burglars aren't likely to worry about the cat getting out while they steal your stuff and can hurt your cat if found.
10. Peace of Mind
The best thing about a cat sitter is that they provide you with peace of mind. Rather than worrying about everything back home, you can pick up the phone and call to check on your precious pet. You know your cat is eating and drinking, and if not, there's someone available to get them to the veterinarian.
Hiring a cat sitter is important if you're going out of town for more than a day and can even be beneficial if you work long hours. The attention can keep your kitty fit and healthy, working off those calories with playtime. Consider getting a sitter for your feline family members the next time you head out on vacation. I just happen to know the perfect cat sitter in Bel Air, MD.