Cat Sitting 101

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There are approximately one million more cats owned in the United States than dogs, yet many people – including experienced pet sitters – know more about dogs. However, if you are looking for a pet sitter, it is important to note that cat sitting can be significantly different from dog sitting.

Not surprisingly, domesticated cats are usually low maintenance. Most cats require only daily fresh food and water, and a scooped litter box to be content with life. Unlike dogs, cats do not generally need extensive exercise, to be walked, or bathed. However, there are some cat specific things to know if planning to take care of a kitty.

When cats groom themselves, the hook-like structures on their rough tongues loosen and catch hair. Most of the time, hair can be passed without any problems, but if hair does not pass successfully, it gets caught in the stomach and forms a hairball. A cat owner is likely familiar with hairballs and can offer various tips for preventing them, such as brushing the cat regularly or feeding the cat specially formulated food for reduced hairballs.

The Litter Box
While cats are generally low maintenance, they are quite picky when it comes to their litter box. Just as you want to go in a neat, clean environment, so do they. When caring for a cat, scooping the litter box daily is a priority. This reduces the likelihood of the kitty going outside of the box. If providing care for the cat for an extended amount of time, change the litter every seven days at a minimum. Also, NEVER move the location of the litter box. Cats are very much creatures of habit, and may continue to defecate in a particular spot, even if their litter box has been moved to another location.

Due to their natural stoic and quirky dispositions, it can be difficult to tell when a cat is ill. A perfectly normal cat can be aloof, quiet, or afraid, and a healthy cat can urinate or defecate outside of the litter box, vomit once a week, and meow non-stop. This is why it’s important to meet any animal prior to beginning work, and ask the owner to detail normal behavior so a pet sitter knows what to look for.

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