But while it’s not always easy, it’s entirely possible for dogs and cats to live harmoniously and even become firm friends. So if you’re going to be pet sitting a dog and a cat, keep reading for 7 simple tips on how to enjoy a fun and stress-free sitting experience.
A little bit of preparation can go a long way to ensuring a happy and stress-free sitting experience. Once you know you’re going to be pet sitting a dog and a cat at the same time, any info you have about either animal will be a big help.
Check with the pet parent to find out about each animal’s temperament, likes, and dislikes. For example, is the dog an energetic pupper or a lazy couch potato? Does the cat love company or prefer to have their own personal space?
It’s also a good idea to meet the dog and the cat first. If you’ll be minding them in their own home, ask the owner if you can pop around for a quick visit to see them in their natural surroundings. This will give you a clearer picture of what to expect when the real sitting begins.
Whether you’re pet sitting for a night, a weekend, or a whole week, it’s important to start off on the right paw. If you haven’t met the dog and cat before, your initial focus should be getting to know your two new furry friends. If you have spent time with them previously, it’s still essential to give them some time to get reacquainted.
Don’t force anything — give each animal a chance to accept you at their own pace. It may be love at first sight for some pets, but others will take a little longer to come to terms with this temporary arrangement.
But if you’re willing to be patient and stay calm, you’ll soon be able to earn their trust and affection.
One of the most important pieces of advice when minding any pet is to stick to a routine. It’s something well worth remembering when you’re caring for multiple pets too, as one unhappy pet can throw the whole house out of whack.
So ask their owner for details on what the dog and cat would normally get up to on an average day. What time do they wake up? When do they get fed? When does the dog go for a walk or a visit to the dog park? Does the cat enjoy play sessions or maybe just stretching out in their favorite spot in the sun?
Once you have a rough idea of their regular routine, stick to it as much as possible. Familiarity can help put anxious or stressed pets at ease, ensuring that they stay happy and comfortable while their humans are away.
Are you more of a cat person than a dog person? Maybe you and the dog are getting on “pawfectly” while the cat seems indifferent to your presence?
Whatever the case may be, remember to divide your attention more or less equally between the two pets. Sure, in some circumstances one animal will demand more attention than the other, but don’t let that animal monopolize your time.
The pet parent is relying on you to provide a loving and nurturing home for both of their fur-babies, so make sure both the dog and the cat get plenty of love.
We all need to have somewhere we feel safe and secure, and it’s exactly the same for our furry friends. No matter how well the dog and cat may be getting along, they each need their own space to retreat to when they need some peace and quiet.
This could be a crate for the dog or a nice, high climbing perch for the cat — basically anywhere they can go to recharge their batteries when everything gets a bit overwhelming. Then, when they feel like it, they can leave their cozy retreat and start socializing once again.
You’ll also need to take extra special care when feeding the dog and the cat. Some dogs are partial to chowing down on any food within reach, while more than a few mischievous cats have been known to steal a snack or two from the dog’s bowl.
That’s why it’s often safest to feed the dog and the cat in separate areas of the home. That way, you can ensure that no one steals anyone else’s food, plus give each pet a chance to eat dinner at their own pace.
Last but not least, don’t forget to closely monitor the dog and cat as they interact. Just because they’re getting along fine so far, that doesn’t mean that a flare-up isn’t just around the corner.
If one of the pets is a little anxious about being with a pet sitter rather than their pet parent, there’s always the risk of out-of-character behavior. Keep an eye on your furry charges at all times to make sure they don’t come to blows.
And finally, don’t forget to have fun. Caring for a cute kitty and a delightful dog at the same time is every animal lover’s dream, and no one said you're not allowed to enjoy yourself!