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5 Pro Tips for Becoming a Cat Sitter

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Overview

If you’re someone who loves cats, then getting paid to look after felines sounds like the purrfect job. Pet sitters are in high demand, too. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent an estimated $9.7 billion on pet sitting and other services outside of veterinary care in 2021. 


Whether you’re thinking of becoming a cat sitter full-time or on the side, here are 5 pro tips to make your dream job a reality.

long-fur black and white cat sitting in the living room - pro tips to becoming a cat sitter

Get as much information as possible

Some cat parents will have complete instructions printed out for you, while others may forget to tell you a few important details. When doing a meet and greet with your client, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Having the information you need about your new feline friend will allow you to provide them with the best care possible. Some questions that you’ll want to ask your client are:

  • How does your cat act when you’re away?
  • How does your cat react to strangers?
  • Does your cat have any hiding places?
  • Is there anything your cat dislikes? 
  • When does your cat eat and how much food do they need?
  • What are your cat’s favorite activities?
  • Does your cat have any quirks that I should be aware of?
  • What are your veterinarian’s contact details?
  • Does your cat have any health issues I should know about?
  • Is your cat currently taking any medication? 
  • Who should I contact in case of an emergency if I can’t reach you?
  • Where is the cat carrier located?
  • Do you want me to bring in the mail, water the plants, and take care of other basic tasks?
  • Which areas of the home can I use?


Have a clear communication plan with your cat sitter

Even if you don’t have years of experience as a cat sitter, you can quickly establish yourself as a professional by being a great communicator. Pet sitting clients love getting speedy replies and daily photo and video updates of their furry children while they’re away. So before your client leaves, make sure you’ve established the best way to stay in touch with each other and how often you’ll send updates. It’s recommended to have at least two methods of communication in case one doesn’t work. If you’re a Pet Caregiver with Wag!, the app has a built-in chat where you can communicate with your clients directly.


two cats cuddling against each other - pro tips to becoming a cat sitter

Learn cat body language

Knowing basic cat body language will help you understand your furry clients better. When reading feline body language, always consider the context of the entire situation rather than looking at each body part individually. For example, a tail that’s held high usually means that a cat is open to interaction, but it can also be seen in cats who are ready to attack. That said, here are some examples of common cat body language:

  • A cat who is standing with a relaxed posture, ears in a natural position, and tail held upright with the tip curved is a happy cat. 
  • If a cat rolls over and exposes their belly, then it means that they trust you. They’re not asking for a belly rub, however, and if you do so, you may end up getting scratched. 
  • A cat who is crouched down with their head slightly lowered, ears turned sideways, and tail tucked tightly into their body is a worried cat. 
  • A cat who is standing with their back arched, hair raised, ears flattened, and teeth showing is an unhappy cat.


Know the signs of illness in cats

In the wild, sick or old animals are easy targets for predators, so cats have evolved to hide signs of illness or pain. Since our feline friends are very good at hiding their discomfort, it can be easy to miss the early stages of an illness. Signs of a sick cat include:

Contact your client immediately if you notice any of the above, no matter how subtle; doing so can prevent minor issues from becoming major health problems.


Increase your experience

While there are no formal qualifications to become a cat sitter and you could land your first client with no previous work history, it’s a good idea to increase your know-how before you tackle your first real pet sitting job. Offering to care for the cats of friends and family, and volunteering at your local animal shelter are great ways to gain hands-on experience. Reading up on cat behavior, learning basic pet first aid, researching the industry, and acquiring other relevant skills through training workshops or online classes will set you up for success as well.  

Ready to jump-start your pet sitting career? Sign up to become a cat sitter with Wag! today! 



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