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Should I Hire a Pet Sitter or Board My Cat?

Updated: Mar 12

You’ll be out of town for a few days on business or vacation but can’t take your cat with you. Should you board your feline or have a pet sitter check on him? Or should you just fill up a bowl with food and another with water and leave him on his own?

Many things can happen in a vacant home that would be harmful to the cat or its environment. There could be a broken pipe that would flood your home.

Your cat might eat a toxic plant and get sick or even die with no one to check on him. And cats get used to your daily routine-coming and going-and could become confused and anxious by being left alone for days.

More problems could arise from a multi-cat household with perhaps one cat accidentally being locked in a closet away from food and water. It’s stressful enough for the cat for you to be gone-they don’t have to suddenly get used to a new environment and people, too.

Hiring a pet sitter will give your cat has the same freedom to walk around your house as when you’re home. Cat sitting at your home reduces the stress of a boarding environment and removes the possibility of your cat contracting an illness.

In addition, you don’t have to put the cat in a crate and drive to the vet or boarding facility with its new sights, smells, and people. A cat might not like staying in a cage for days on end.

Some cats are aggressive with other cats and therefore can’t be boarded.

Questions to ask a Pet Sitter:

· Will you be able to visit around the same time each day? That’s especially important if the kitty needs life-saving medication.

· Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

· Will you play with my cat or just feed and leave?

· Can you bring in packages, the mail, turn on/off lights, etc.

· Will you do a walk-through of the home to make sure it’s secure?

· Will you do a meet and greet of me and my pet before the first visit?

If you cat is social, he might like staying at a boarding facility. Likewise, a cat that is very sick and needs around-the-clock medical attention would do better at a vet or boarding facility. However, the cat might not like going to the vet and become stressed at going to this place where it usually gets poked and prodded. Take a tour before you decide to board your cat there.

Questions to ask the Boarding Facility:

· Will someone be there around the clock to give the needed attention? That’s especially important if the kitty needs life-saving medication or is ill.

· If it’s a vet, is the cat area separated sufficiently from the dog area? Some cats don’t like dogs which would add to their anxiety.

· Will they be let out of their cage for play or a walk or some enrichment activities?

· Does someone stay the night or is there someone on call?

· Are their hiding places where the cat can feel safe?

· Is the cage large enough? Make sure there’s enough room so the food bowl isn’t right next to the litter box.

As always, the choice is yours. Just make sure you feel confident that you’re doing the right thing for the health and safety of your feline friend.

***The Well-Trained Dog & Pet Care prides itself on taking care of cats by giving medication, scooping the litter box, playing with your cat, bringing in packages and the mail, and doing a walk-through of the home at each visit. Check out our services page and then contact us at (540) 353-2485 or

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