Cat Sitter Checklist – Pet Sitter List

When you go out of town, do you leave your cats at home and have someone check on them, or do you board them?

What do you put on your cat sitter list? Recently, my aunt asked me to watch Hobbs and Maddie, which inspired a post. I also include my cell phone number on this list, but I haven’t included it in this post for obvious reasons! I find it easiest to keep this document on my computer and then adjust and add to it as necessary. I hope you guys give me some more ideas about what to add to it!

What’s Included on My Cat Sitter’s Checklist:

Charlie and Trigg

Dr. Sally Barchman
State Line Animal Hospital
2009 W 104th St
Leawood, KS 66206
(913) 381-3272

Mission MedVet
5914 Johnson Drive
Mission, KS 66202
(913) 722-5566

I always wash my hands before touching my cats when I come in from running errands, etc.

Mornings:

  • Please open the front window blinds – open one on the right (South side) and pull up past cat tree height so that Charlie and Trigg can see out.

Food:

  • Raw Food – 3 feedings/day
  • Charlie and Trigg are fed raw food only.
    • Use cobalt blue glass bowls
    • Containers are in the fridge (I try to keep 3-4 proteins rotating at once). Additional containers are in the freezer. Right now they are eating:
      • Chicken
      • Turkey
      • Elk
      • Venison
      • Pork
  • Each cat gets 2 ounces in the morning, 2 ounces around late afternoon, and 2 ounces at night—please use the scale to figure out the amount. Since you’re only doing 2 feedings, you can put down 3-4 bowls each feeding.
  • Mix these ingredients with the raw food:
    • 1-2 tablespoons-ish of Mountain Valley
  • Supplements: Please the individual cat sheets about supplements, please

Treats:

  • Every day when we come in from outside – I make a big deal about their treats and call them “cheats”. They are kept on top of the fridge in kitchen. I give them these when we come in from outside. I have limited their treats drastically. Please try to rotate these options:
    • Fresh is Best freeze-dried turkey hearts – each cat can have 1 treat
    • Whole Life Turkey (to fill bottom of little plastic Gerber bowls – in cabinet to right of sink) each in the afternoon
    • Dehydrated whole chicks and pinky mice – these are in the fridge on the inside door at the bottom. Charlie likes the chicks (just give him one), and Trigg likes the mice (just give him one).

Litter Boxes:

  • Please scoop litter boxes 2x day
  • Two in the basement under the stairs
  • One in Master Bath – just put waste in the trash cans next to the boxes – Monday is trash day, so I would love it if you could take out the trash on Sunday night.

Mail:

  • Please check the mail daily and look outside to see if there are any packages.

Exercise:

  • Instead of taking them outside, please play with them for 15-20 minutes with the wand toys (two are on the door in the green room) , and one might be on the trunk in the living room, and then put them back when you’re done playing.

Cleaning Feet – when it’s muddy or slightly muddy to help with their allergies

  • Grab 3 terrycloth towels from the bucket by the trash can, and put two on the counter while you fill-up the sink with lukewarm water and only fill it enough to cover the bottom of their paws (like an inch of water). I then pick up each cat and set them in the sink. After two dunks of their front feet, they usually stand on the ledge between the two sinks and then dunk their back feet, and they then get off on the towel. Use your body (chest/stomach) to keep them there while you use the 3rd towel to wipe off each foot (so that they don’t go to the litterbox and then have a big wad of clumping cat litter on them). See video on how this is done here.
  • Please don’t let them jump to the floor- please set them down. The hard landing isn’t good for their old bodies.
  • You could also try wetting a terrycloth towel, picking them up, and wiping off their paws that way.
  • I always do feet BEFORE giving them treats when we come in from outside.

EMERGENCY & HEALTH INSURANCE

Pet carriers are on shelves in the unfinished part of the basement. Please take them to VCA Mission Emergency Center if there is an emergency (do not hesitate – I have insurance, and it will cover it) – a vet once told me that you never hesitate to take an animal to an emergency clinic if there’s something neurological going on. I also take them if there is chronic vomiting or something else obvious going on.

If it’s not a dire emergency, Charlie and Trigg have health insurance, and their health insurance, Nationwide, offers a free emergency line. So, if anything happens, you can phone this number with questions:

1-855-331-2833

Info to have when you call

  • Your Nationwide policy number (see below)
  • Your primary concern
  • Your pet’s symptoms and how long they’ve been going on
  • Any other health problems – NONE
  • Current medications- NONE
  • Package label if a potentially poisonous substance was ingested

PET NAME: Trigg
POLICY NUMBER:
F-XXXXXX
PET NAME: Charlie
POLICY NUMBER:
F-XXXXXX

Mail/Packages

  • Please check for mail daily inside and outside.
  • Sometimes packages come – so please check the front door or to the left of my garage door and see if there are any packages.

Trash/Recycle

  • Please put out the (trash can and) blue recycle bin on Sunday night – and please put litter in the trash can, if possible. They pick up on Monday morning.

Additional

I do not run my washer, dryer, dishwasher, oven, or stove when I am not at home – my cats would not be able to get out of the house if something were to happen.

Please text me daily to let me know how it’s going.


I want to hear what’s on your list! Dish! 

Website | + posts

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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18 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    When we go away I ‘litter’ally have a 10 page instruction manual. Two of my boys are on a raw mix so there is the ‘how to make the food list’ as it has to be made fresh eat meal (frozen and freeze dried that is rehydrated..Jenny do you do this with your raw instructions?) then there is the supplements and medications page with who gets what. One of my boys has stress cystitis from separation anxiety when we go away, so he has a litany of supplements and then meds if he has a cystitis flare. I have a potty cam at the litter box area in the basement so I can tell if this happens. I am lucky my sitters come twice a day and one of them is a vet tech, so she knows my vet and other vets if there is an emergency. They also send me photos each visit which puts me at ease. Is everything perfect when we get back? About 85%..I mean no one will do it exactly how you do, but I am happy and leave a BIG tip as these are my kids. The charge is $40 per day for 3 cats with 2 visits. There is also a contact page, a playtime page and a litterbox page in the instruction manual. Who said cats are easy????? 🙂

  2. I actually created a “House Sitter/Kitty Care” notebook. The first page addresses YOU ARE HERE. Address, phone number, contact number. Second page: pictures of our cats with their names. Again contact numbers, vet number address. Emergency Vet Hospital phone address. Instructions of How to use the “clicker” if cats get out, and their Chip info. ((I also leave there medical information files out) Third page: feeding instructions broken up with Morning Afternoon Evening. And pictures of the food. Page four: Litter instruction, location, where the scoops are, how often to scoop and how to dispose of it. (PS we have one of those litter gene and we LOVE it) Page 5: Info on Thermostat (with pics)Mailbox (with pics) and Garbage instructions. Page 6 and 7 How the TV, DVD ect work, (with pics)and lastly where to sleep, shower, what they can eat (I just let them eat what ever they want). This may sound like a lot but I want who ever is sitting with my babies to really enjoy themselves. I also leave them a goodie bag which includes a pair of house socks and a $30 grocery store card. Every time we go someplace it is easy to update. I ALSO have a walkthrough with the person before we leave and introduce the cats.

  3. Hi,
    I have to fess up! I’m the reader with the horror story. My sitter was referred to me by a very reputable person and had glowing reports….Until I walked in the door and found my bed soaked with urine and my best friend’s quilt she made me thrown over a baby gate. My two upstairs kitties had no where to go and guess they thought the bed was their only option. I leave the same instructions just like Jenny outlined plus these:
    1. My vacation location with the address and phone number
    2. My cell phone # with instructions to call me if they have ANY questions
    3. My email address because I write all the time and check. during this last nightmare, the pet sitter said everything was going fine. Yeah, boy!
    4. Specific instructions on how to deal with the feline pine because it is different from the clumping and needs changing more. She should have changed the boxes at least 5-6 times while we were gone, but only changed them once.
    5. Always get extra food and put it directly out on the counter in case we would be prevented from getting home on time
    6. Leave an extra house key with the next door neighbor just in case the pet sitter lost hers and give her the information.
    7.Always write that in case of a dire emergency, that the petsitter should call me first, and if I am not available, to take them straight to my vet who I directed beforehand to make serious decisions in my behalf. She knows my wishes and would never allow my “children” were something bad to happen, to suffer or linger just to wait for me to come back, and to do whatever was necessary in their best interest.
    8. Show the petsitter where all the cat carriers are located in case of an emergency.

    With all this info and pre-checking out the pet sitter’s info, I still got burned. When the pet sitter came over for her instructions before we left (I always type them and have them available then so if they want to add any notes, etc., they can), I asked her if her price of $20/day was enough and she said it was more than enough. Literally, she would have just had to open cat food cans, get fresh water, and maintain the catboxes by scooping the clumped and pine, and then changing the pine 2x week. Had the 40 lb. bag of feline pine brought upstairs and was sitting directly beside the boxes along with a trashbag and 1/4 bag of the remaining feline pine. I was actually worried that it might not be enough!!!! When we arrived, both of the two bags were EXACTLY like we left them. I was mortified. I asked for a full refund and return of my keys which she did. It in no way covers the severe damage to my mattress, my friend’s priceless quilt, and more importantly, now have to help my Maine Coon understand and relearn that the litter box is the place to go instead of my bed. Hope none of you have any story like this and hope the additional things to include are helpful to you all.

    1. Awwww Teresa that’s just so heart breaking! I can only imagine your anger!! What did she say?? I can’t imagine any excuse that could justify that! So sorry your kitties…and you…had to go through that…especial seeing all the fine planning you put into your list! I’m never leaving home now!!!! 🙂

      1. Hi Julie,
        Thanks for the kind words. Know exactly what you mean about not wanting to leave home, mainly because it is so hard leaving them in the first place. It just breaks your heart when you realize they know something strange is up. But, I need to go for my health and this next time am planning on letting the two upstairs girls go to the Kitty Cottage, a wonderful place here that I have used previously. They feel like they are on vacation too! What the sitter said made me finally decide to get the refund and that was, “well I changed the catboxes 1 or 2 times!” All I can say is that she must have brought her own litter because none of ours was used at all.

        1. Teresa!
          The Kitty Cottage sounds like a good plan!!
          Wishing you the best with your health…and a great trip for the kitties to the cottage! 🙂

  4. Barb Lindgren says:

    I have a question on your list? Do your cats get 2-3 cans of food each or for both? I want my kitty’s on cans, but am finding it is more expensive then I anticipated.
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Barb!
      I hear ya! I switched Mooshu to only wet & it costs a fortune! He eats about 3-4 a day as well…JUST HIM! I really try to keep it at three…but if he’s being a booger I will give him the fourth one. I pay about $0.59-$0.65 per can…yep…he eats better than i do at this rate! UGH! But…it is so worth it to keep him healthy & safe…and his poop firm! LOL!

  5. BIg one- Where the carriers are in case of emergency. Also a good idea to let your vet know someone else is watching your cats and that you okay emergency care. Some are reluctant to provide often expensive care w.o the actually owners okay. I had some others in my book too but what they do if for some reason they can’t get to your house – what it the back up plan if their car breaks down, weather prevents them or an emergency of their own. I use family & friends but if I was going to hire someone I’d want references and to see them with my cats before we left.

  6. This is an awesome post — i am a petsitter and cover all of this territory in the initial registration visit when we fill out forms and releases but having this information in a format like this is awesome — most people leave me notes to be sure everything is covered, which is especially helpful in multiple cat households especially if there are quirky things required like medications or other information i might need to have reiterated.

  7. OMFG!!!! That is horrid!!! I would never let someone i don’t know watch my Moosh!!! I’m obessive about his box! I practically wait with scooper in hand while he goes!!! Hahaha!!!

    1. Well, she didn’t know that the person was like that – it’s when she came home and found her BED full of piss that she discovered the problem. I am obsessive about my kitties’ boxes too as is she.

      1. That poor lady…I would KILL that sitter! And not pay her!

  8. Your list is just like mine!!! But i have included:
    Fresh water and rinse bowl.
    My parents contact info.
    His hiding places!!!
    And what to do incase we (in CA) have an earthquake!!
    My question for you is…how much do you feel is the right amount to pay?

    1. Julie, All good ones! As far as the amount of $ – I think it varies depending on where you live. My Aunt, for example, lives in VA near DC and pays someone $50/day to stay at her house with her dog. I think dogs are more work because of their walks, etc. But I think an older cat can be a lot of work too. A friend of mine pays me $15/visit and I do two a day for her cats when she is gone. I paid my sister $20/day when she took care of my cats – she’s in college and always looking for cash. I live in KS, so the rates here would be less than CA, I think. Maybe that would be a good subsequent blog topic – how much should you pay your pet sitter. Thoughts?

      1. Rates out here seem to be inline with what you’re saying! I get paid $50 to spend the night when i “puppy” sit and $35 a day if just feeding and playing for a couple hours. I’m fortunate enough that my dear friend and neighbor refuses money if i need her to feed & check on The Moosh…but was just curious how much cat sitting would be just in case…your prices/cost are perfect i think! And yes…a blog would be great to see how in line we are with your followers!

        1. Hmmm, well a Floppycats reader just told me a horror story about a pet sitter who didn’t change her cats’ litter boxes for 17 days while they were gone – just added litter to them. So I’d be game for paying more if I knew my cats were taken care of. I think your vet would have an idea of some decent pet sitters. You could also ask friends. I will do the post – thanks!

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