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Confessions of a Cat Sitter

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Hi. My name is Jasmine and I am a cat sitter. I work through a pet sitting agency and take care of cats in their home while their owners galavant around the world. There have been times where cat sitting is my main source of income, and some days, I have spent over 5 hours per day visiting different kitties. Needless to say, I have met many kitties and their humans. Complete strangers trust me to enter their homes and take care of their precious fur-babies. Today, I am here to reveal their deepest secrets… just kidding! But here are a few observations and confessions from your friendly neighborhood cat sitter.

Everyone is a little bit embarrassed about their weird kitty habits

Trust me, whatever weird thing you do for your cats, I have probably seen it before. The cat sitting company I work with has a “Cat habits” intake form. This form includes the option to request that sitters leave the toilet lid up for the cat. Yes, people request that we let their cat use the toilet as a water bowl. And yes, this request has been made frequently enough to make it onto our intake form.

I have had many owners sheepishly “admit” the things they do to keep their cats happy. Everything from telling me that they no longer use the dining room table because that is where the cats eat, to having specific refrigerated water bottles to fill up their cat’s water bowl. There are a couple of things that cross my mind when clients make these requests. First, your request is probably not that weird, and I just think its funny that you think I’m judging you (I’m not, I’m a crazy cat person as well!). Second, as long as your cat is happy and healthy, I’m happy!

Your cat hardly even cares that you’re gone

This may sound a little harsh, but your cat probably doesn’t miss you as much as you think (or wish) they do. At the very least, they are not going to show it! If your cat is even remotely friendly, they will be pretty excited about our visits. After a couple of days of realizing that I’m there to give them food and attention, they will come running to the door when I come in, as happy as can be. Even many shy cats who “hate strangers” come around pretty quickly when they realize I will give them a couple of treats and a whole lot of love!

The good news is that most cats are totally fine while you are gone, maybe just a little bit bored. We’d like to think that our kitties miss us oh-so-much, but they are definitely not sitting at the window with a single tear dripping down their cheek, pining for our return. They’re more likely jumping every surface possible and getting into all of the other things that they know they are not supposed to get into! That’s not to say that your cat won’t be excited to see you when you return, but trust me, they are purrfectly fine while you are gone.

Part of my job is to look around your place

Cats are masters at hiding sickness, and one of the first signs that something might be amiss is if your kitty has an accident outside of their litter box. I mean, regardless of if your cat is ill or just getting rid of a hairball, you probably want any kitty messes to be cleaned up sooner rather than later (no one wants to come home to a five-day-old accident on the carpet). This means that part of my job is to look around all the places your kitty could have left a mess.

The worst feeling is finding something really gross and wondering if I really have to deal with it. And I mean human gross, not cat gross! Although cat messes are not fun either, they are just a part of the job. On the other hand, I don’t particularly like dealing with mouldy coffee cups, and I would definitely advise against kicking dirty underwear and socks under the bed. Cats love to hide under beds, and I am here to see your cat. For both of our sakes, it is probably better to just put that kind of stuff away!

Without fail, at some point, I’m probably going to think that I lost your cat

Every once in a while, I get that client that that nonchalantly tries to laugh off the fact that their cat has a habit of trying to bolt out the door. I even had one client tell me her cat has escaped on multiple cat sitters (but not me! I won!). Cats also love to hide. At least once during my visits, I will feel that familiar feeling. I unlock the door and walk in, calling your kitty’s name. There is no rustling or any sound of movement, and they are not in their favourite perch by the window. I start to wander around, and there is still no sign of your cat. My heart drops into my stomach, did they escape somehow? Then, usually five seconds later, I hear a dramatic little kitty yawn or the thump of them jumping out from their hiding spot. Oh yeah, your cat was just napping under a pile of towels in the laundry hamper, casually unaware that they just gave me a heart attack.

I talk to your cat. Constantly.

I always assume that at least a couple of the homes I visit will have security cameras. If you live in one of these households, you will hear a lot of chatter through these cameras. Don’t be alarmed, I am not throwing a party in your house. I am just talking to your cat. Kitties aren’t usually used to someone coming into their home and giving them their complete and undivided attention. Usually visitors come and spend time with their humans! The majority of cats are adorably excited to have someone talking to them, and are happy to talk back. At the very least, talking to your cat makes me feel slightly less bored while I’m scooping the litter box!

I am just as obsessed with cats are you are (probably even more!)

I mean, I choose to scoop cat poop for a living. I’m totally happy to talk about your kitty’s hilarious habits and just generally fawn over how much you love them - it doesn’t weird me out at all, and I promise I won’t be bored! I want to take good care of your kitty because I genuinely want them to be happy. I am guilty of staying for longer than my paid visit because a cat is just being too darn cute. Please don’t tell anyone, I need to make a living so I’m not about to cat sit for free, but if your cat is being extra adorable, I’m not opposed to an extra ten minutes of playtime.

Hopefully, this post gave you a little bit of insight into the scandalous life of a cat sitter. Jokes aside, my visits usually involve getting the dirty work out of the way as quickly as possible, and then spending as much time as I can snuggling your cat. Kitty cuddling is a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!

If you’re looking for a pet sitter in the Greater Vancouver Area, check out Sassi Pet Services!

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