Before booking a Cat Staycation: 5 Things to Consider
Cat parents looking to find a loving and dependable cat sitter or cat host typically have these 5 things in mind before they reserve a cat staycation. If you have a vacation or business trip coming up, I encourage you to utilize the same scrutiny in order to find the best fit for your fur babies!
Note: This post was written by Sonya Petcavich, CEO and Co-Founder of Meowtel.
1) Your personal schedule
Oftentimes, cat parents overlook how their own schedules can influence their cat’s behavior. If you work from home or are retired, your cat is used to having somebody around for company, playtime, and support. In this case, leaving the cat home alone with daily drop-in visits may not make the cut for your cat’s mental wellness. An overnight sitter, host, or boarding facility would be a good choice in this scenario, so that your cat has somebody close by for a large portion of the day.
On the flip side, if you work outside of the home or have a busy social schedule, your cat will probably do just fine with a once or twice-per-day sitter drop-in. Always ask your potential sitter how long their drop-ins last, and if you can, ask that the sitter stay for up to an hour in order to get your cat the love and attention that they’ll be looking for.
2) The age of your cat
I’ve seen a spectrum of age situations: a playful, 1-year-old overgrown “kitten” could need just as much attention as a needy 8-year-old adult cat. Or you could have a 2-year-old ragdoll that is completely content just laying around and napping all day, similar to an older feline. You know your cat best, regardless of its age, and use that information to make a good decision about the level of attention it will need while you’re away.
Cat parents tend to prefer the staycation for their older cats, so they can remain comfortable and calm, especially if they are on medication. A younger cat could do a cat hotel or a staycation; my recommendation would be to allow the cat to stay at home as much as possible. The last thing you want to do is put a high-energy youngster in a 2’x2’ cage for a week!
3) Everyday cat staycation home behavior
Similar to the first two points made above, if your fur baby likes to bounce off the walls or can be self-sufficient playing with their cat toys, a cat staycation is a great choice. The only downside to this may be if your cat scratches the furniture or can get into trouble (i.e., eating balls of yarn or plastic). If this is the case, be sure to cat-proof the home before your trip and ask your sitter to come visit at least 2x per day to make sure all is well in cat land.
4) Meal time
You may be surprised how many kitties prefer a wet food diet! I know lots of cat parents who will only feed their cats canned food, which makes it necessary for a sitter to visit once a day, although most cat parents ask for twice per day visits if their cat eats wet food. Many cat boarding facilities and hotels make mealtime a breeze and can accommodate all cat diets, so this one will purely be based on personal preference.
5) Your level of trust
While my best friend loves the idea behind a cat staycation businesses like Meowtel, she’s not so much in love with the idea of having a stranger come into her home to care for her adorable cat. I can completely understand the hesitancy and I know there are a lot of cat parents just like her. Keeping them in mind, I wanted to set a high standard of trust and safety within the Meowtel community and that’s why every sitter has to pass a basic background check in order for their sitter profile to be visible. They can also provide us with references to contact, and if successful, can earn a “Verified Badge.” In addition, we have the review and rating system, a “Meet & Greet” process (so that any cat parent can essentially interview the sitter before booking), and a premium insurance policy, which covers our entire network. All of these steps act as safeguards to ensure that the parents will have an exceptional experience with cat staycation.
If handing over the keys to a stranger still seems too strange, then I recommend seeing if a Meowtel sitter near you can offer a hosting situation, where your cat goes to their home. You can send them on a mini vacation without having to hand over your keys!
About Sonya Petcavich:
Meowtel founder & CEO, Sonya Petcavich, gushes that Miss Lily was the best childhood cat and companion anyone could have ever asked for, and you don’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone. The void that Miss Lily left in the winter of 2015 was vast, and all she wanted was something similar to a “catshare” – a way to love a cat dearly without committing to a full-time animal.
That is when Meowtel was born. The site began with the hope of providing cat owners with a resource to find kitty care and, perhaps more importantly, to also provide a way for cat-less cat lovers to offer their love, one special whiskered guest at a time.
Meowtel now operates in most major U.S. cities and has over 600 sitters in its network. They pride themselves on making cat sitting easy, affordable and fun. Head to Meowtel.com if you’re looking for a feline hotel or “staycation” for your cat!