PDA

View Full Version : Boarding v friends v professional sitter for two weeks?


Ajanta
February 16th 11, 09:32 PM
My cat is about 4 years old and we have never had to leave her alone.
We were always able to find a cat savvy friend to live in our home
during our vacations.

Until now.

We are leaving for two weeks and trying to decide what would be best
for her. Options as I see them:

1. Board her at some place. She will be unhappy but safe.

2. Have some close and trusted friends, who are not cat savvy, drop in
once or twice a day and do the best they can with food/litter.

3. Leave her at one of these friend's home. The cat will not have her
own environment but have people around her for longer hours.

4. Hire a professional sitter who will know what she is doing, but come
form short well-defined time. Maximum competence but the cat will get
least amount of company.

What would be best for her?

BTW we are in Chicago (if you want to recommend any hotels/sitters).
The cat is used to going out everyday but I'd feel safe if she stayed
inside for these two weeks.

chaniarts
February 16th 11, 09:51 PM
Ajanta wrote:
> My cat is about 4 years old and we have never had to leave her alone.
> We were always able to find a cat savvy friend to live in our home
> during our vacations.
>
> Until now.
>
> We are leaving for two weeks and trying to decide what would be best
> for her. Options as I see them:
>
> 1. Board her at some place. She will be unhappy but safe.
>
> 2. Have some close and trusted friends, who are not cat savvy, drop in
> once or twice a day and do the best they can with food/litter.
>
> 3. Leave her at one of these friend's home. The cat will not have her
> own environment but have people around her for longer hours.
>
> 4. Hire a professional sitter who will know what she is doing, but
> come form short well-defined time. Maximum competence but the cat
> will get least amount of company.
>
> What would be best for her?
>
> BTW we are in Chicago (if you want to recommend any hotels/sitters).
> The cat is used to going out everyday but I'd feel safe if she stayed
> inside for these two weeks.

i contacted my vet, who had a lady who works in their office doing cat
drop-ins as a side business. she comes once/day. she takes care of my 7
cats, 2 large sal****er fish tanks, waters plants, picks up any deliveries,
puts out the garbage cans, medicates anyone who needs it, does a house check
for problems, and sweeps up the tumblefurs before i get home. she spends ~1
hour/visit, playing with and doing checks on them. she has authorization to
treat at the vet if anything is needed. $15/visit. if you were in my area i
would refer her to you.

the cat would probably be more comfortable in it's own surroundings.

regards,
charlie
cave creek, az

Bill Graham
February 16th 11, 09:52 PM
Ajanta wrote:
> My cat is about 4 years old and we have never had to leave her alone.
> We were always able to find a cat savvy friend to live in our home
> during our vacations.
>
> Until now.
>
> We are leaving for two weeks and trying to decide what would be best
> for her. Options as I see them:
>
> 1. Board her at some place. She will be unhappy but safe.
>
> 2. Have some close and trusted friends, who are not cat savvy, drop in
> once or twice a day and do the best they can with food/litter.
>
> 3. Leave her at one of these friend's home. The cat will not have her
> own environment but have people around her for longer hours.
>
> 4. Hire a professional sitter who will know what she is doing, but
> come form short well-defined time. Maximum competence but the cat
> will get least amount of company.
>
> What would be best for her?
>
> BTW we are in Chicago (if you want to recommend any hotels/sitters).
> The cat is used to going out everyday but I'd feel safe if she stayed
> inside for these two weeks.

Try to find a "come to the house" sitter, and get her to come for a few days
before you leave, so you can introduce her to the sitter in advance and she
will be comfortable with her coming in and feeding her. We did that, and it
worked out rather well. Our sitter stayed a half hour every day, and the
cat(s) were happy with that, and were the same when we came back as they
were before we left.

Rene
February 17th 11, 06:25 PM
A couple of initial questions: is your cat on a special diet or
medication, or does she require any special care? If an emergency
should arise, are your friends willing and able to take her to the
vet's?

If your friends can't accomodate this or your cat has special needs,
certainly look for a professional sitter. Ask around and try to get a
recommendation from a friend or co-worker, if possible. Interview the
sitter in your home. Don't be afraid to ask questions and for
references. We had a couple of not-so-good sitters, but didn't learn
that there was trouble until several visits later. (For instance, if
your pet needs medication and the sitter has trouble giving it, what
will he or she do then? What time frame will they arrive)

Rene

barb
February 18th 11, 03:40 PM
I've used a professional sitter once and he was great but he stopped doing
the work. I asked my vet and he recommended his assistants and I used one
and that worked out fine. My neighbor across the street started doing pet
sitting as she was laid off and although she got another job she still does
my next door neighbor and myself because we live so close. I prefer someone
who lives nearby in case of a snowstorm.

In the event of an emergency I'm never further than a quick plane trip home-
cruising the exception.

Barb

Rene
February 18th 11, 03:42 PM
On Feb 18, 8:40*am, "Barb" > wrote:
> I've used a professional sitter once and he was great but he stopped doing
> the work. *I asked my vet and he recommended his assistants and I used one
> and that worked out fine.

I forgot about suggesting that---call your vet's office. Sometimes
techs there will petsit on the side. That can be a great help if your
pet needs medication or etc. too.

Bill Graham
February 19th 11, 07:20 AM
Barb wrote:
> I've used a professional sitter once and he was great but he stopped
> doing the work. I asked my vet and he recommended his assistants and
> I used one and that worked out fine. My neighbor across the street
> started doing pet sitting as she was laid off and although she got
> another job she still does my next door neighbor and myself because
> we live so close. I prefer someone who lives nearby in case of a
> snowstorm.
> In the event of an emergency I'm never further than a quick plane
> trip home- cruising the exception.
>
> Barb

If I put a 5 lb bag of kibbles on my kitchen floor, and, "forget" to feed
the cats, they are adept at tearing into it and eating kibbles out of it
right there on the kitchen floor. (they love to do this) Also, if I leave
the kitchen cold water faucet dripping into a bowl, my cats can drink out of
it at night when they think I am asleep and don't know what they are
doing....I am sure that they would survive for a long time this way, if they
were inside cats and had to do these things for a living.....

Kraut / Larry Stark
February 19th 11, 02:51 PM
On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 22:20:17 -0800, "Bill Graham" >
wrote:

>> I've used a professional sitter once and he was great but he stopped
>> doing the work. I asked my vet and he recommended his assistants and
>> I used one and that worked out fine. My neighbor across the street
>> started doing pet sitting as she was laid off and although she got
>> another job she still does my next door neighbor and myself because
>> we live so close. I prefer someone who lives nearby in case of a
>> snowstorm.
>> In the event of an emergency I'm never further than a quick plane
>> trip home- cruising the exception.
>>
>> Barb
>
>If I put a 5 lb bag of kibbles on my kitchen floor, and, "forget" to feed
>the cats, they are adept at tearing into it and eating kibbles out of it
>right there on the kitchen floor. (they love to do this) Also, if I leave
>the kitchen cold water faucet dripping into a bowl, my cats can drink out of
>it at night when they think I am asleep and don't know what they are
>doing....I am sure that they would survive for a long time this way, if they
>were inside cats and had to do these things for a living.....


The food and water thing might work but what about the litter box
getting cleaned?!?!?

barb
February 19th 11, 03:27 PM
Yes, about the water. Even with a pet sitter I leave a big bowl in the
upstairs bathroom sink with water dripping into it. Just in case...

Barb

barb
February 19th 11, 03:29 PM
Guess you'd get the carpet cleaned after that!

Barb

Bill Graham
February 20th 11, 12:25 AM
Kraut / Larry Stark wrote:
> On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 22:20:17 -0800, "Bill Graham" >
> wrote:
>
>>> I've used a professional sitter once and he was great but he stopped
>>> doing the work. I asked my vet and he recommended his assistants
>>> and I used one and that worked out fine. My neighbor across the
>>> street started doing pet sitting as she was laid off and although
>>> she got another job she still does my next door neighbor and myself
>>> because we live so close. I prefer someone who lives nearby in
>>> case of a snowstorm.
>>> In the event of an emergency I'm never further than a quick plane
>>> trip home- cruising the exception.
>>>
>>> Barb
>>
>> If I put a 5 lb bag of kibbles on my kitchen floor, and, "forget" to
>> feed the cats, they are adept at tearing into it and eating kibbles
>> out of it right there on the kitchen floor. (they love to do this)
>> Also, if I leave the kitchen cold water faucet dripping into a bowl,
>> my cats can drink out of it at night when they think I am asleep and
>> don't know what they are doing....I am sure that they would survive
>> for a long time this way, if they were inside cats and had to do
>> these things for a living.....
>
>
> The food and water thing might work but what about the litter box
> getting cleaned?!?!?

Yes.... That would be a problem. There are some automatic self cleaning
litter boxes on the market, but I have no experience with them. Since my
cats are (and always have been) "outside cats" they have never needed litter
boxes, although my wife maintains one in her bathroom for the older cats who
don't like to go outside, expecially in the Winter.

Ajanta
March 7th 11, 03:23 PM
Thanks for all the advice! We have arranged for a cat sitter who will
visit twice a day at first and then once a day after that.

Now we are facing another practical issue: What temperature setting do
we leave the thermostat at?

Unfortunately our thermostat is not programmable, so we have to settle
on one number that will be most comfortable for her. This will be for 2
weeks, Chicago in March.

MLB[_2_]
March 7th 11, 06:57 PM
Ajanta wrote:
> Thanks for all the advice! We have arranged for a cat sitter who will
> visit twice a day at first and then once a day after that.
>
> Now we are facing another practical issue: What temperature setting do
> we leave the thermostat at?
>
> Unfortunately our thermostat is not programmable, so we have to settle
> on one number that will be most comfortable for her. This will be for 2
> weeks, Chicago in March.



IMHO it depends on where they sleep. The temperature is lower on the
floor. I leave my thermometer at 74 because TuTu sleeps on cushions in
front of a heat register. It has been very cold here this winter,
Best wishes, MLB

chaniarts
March 7th 11, 07:34 PM
MLB wrote:
> Ajanta wrote:
>> Thanks for all the advice! We have arranged for a cat sitter who will
>> visit twice a day at first and then once a day after that.
>>
>> Now we are facing another practical issue: What temperature setting
>> do we leave the thermostat at?
>>
>> Unfortunately our thermostat is not programmable, so we have to
>> settle on one number that will be most comfortable for her. This
>> will be for 2 weeks, Chicago in March.
>
>
>
> IMHO it depends on where they sleep. The temperature is lower on the
> floor. I leave my thermometer at 74 because TuTu sleeps on cushions
> in front of a heat register. It has been very cold here this winter,
> Best wishes, MLB

i leave my house wintertime setting at 66 here in phx when i go away, and
the heat almost never goes on except in the dead of night, with mostly tile
floors. the cats then migrate from the patch of daytime sun on the carpet to
the couch at night. they'll move around to find where they're warm enough.
leave a blanket on the couch, and they'll bury under it if it's too cold for
them.

regards,
charlie
phx, az

Ajanta
March 7th 11, 08:17 PM
chaniarts > wrote:

: they'll move around to find where they're warm enough. leave a
: blanket on the couch, and they'll bury under it if it's too cold for them.

Thanks. We do have blankets on various couches as well as a rather
plush down comforter on the bed, so she will have those options.

Bill Graham
March 8th 11, 04:47 AM
Ajanta wrote:
> chaniarts > wrote:
>
>> they'll move around to find where they're warm enough. leave a
>> blanket on the couch, and they'll bury under it if it's too cold for
>> them.
>
> Thanks. We do have blankets on various couches as well as a rather
> plush down comforter on the bed, so she will have those options.

My cats like to sleep in empty cardboard boxes. All they want is to be out
of a cold draft. Their built-in fur coats give them all the warmth they
really need. In the Summer, a cool lineolium, or hardwood floor does the
trick. For some reason. they don't require softness. I think they could get
comfortable on a bed of spikes if they wanted to....:^)

dgk
March 8th 11, 02:48 PM
On Mon, 7 Mar 2011 19:47:43 -0800, "Bill Graham" >
wrote:

>Ajanta wrote:
>> chaniarts > wrote:
>>
>>> they'll move around to find where they're warm enough. leave a
>>> blanket on the couch, and they'll bury under it if it's too cold for
>>> them.
>>
>> Thanks. We do have blankets on various couches as well as a rather
>> plush down comforter on the bed, so she will have those options.
>
>My cats like to sleep in empty cardboard boxes. All they want is to be out
>of a cold draft. Their built-in fur coats give them all the warmth they
>really need. In the Summer, a cool lineolium, or hardwood floor does the
>trick. For some reason. they don't require softness. I think they could get
>comfortable on a bed of spikes if they wanted to....:^)

I'm with Bill on this one. I keep my house 68 when I'm there. It's 63
when humans are gone. The cats have a fur coat, and manage to find the
sun and blankets and cablebox just fine.

Our outdoor kitties just survived a brutal winter although they do
have straw lined houses to crawl into. Baby, who hangs out by my front
door, had her own really nice styrofoam box with straw and a heating
pad. Still, that was a brutal winter and the cats are fine. I suspect
my indoor cats can survive 63 without fuss.

Bill Graham
March 8th 11, 11:54 PM
dgk wrote:
> On Mon, 7 Mar 2011 19:47:43 -0800, "Bill Graham" >
> wrote:
>
>> Ajanta wrote:
>>> chaniarts > wrote:
>>>
>>>> they'll move around to find where they're warm enough. leave a
>>>> blanket on the couch, and they'll bury under it if it's too cold
>>>> for them.
>>>
>>> Thanks. We do have blankets on various couches as well as a rather
>>> plush down comforter on the bed, so she will have those options.
>>
>> My cats like to sleep in empty cardboard boxes. All they want is to
>> be out of a cold draft. Their built-in fur coats give them all the
>> warmth they really need. In the Summer, a cool lineolium, or
>> hardwood floor does the trick. For some reason. they don't require
>> softness. I think they could get comfortable on a bed of spikes if
>> they wanted to....:^)
>
> I'm with Bill on this one. I keep my house 68 when I'm there. It's 63
> when humans are gone. The cats have a fur coat, and manage to find the
> sun and blankets and cablebox just fine.
>
> Our outdoor kitties just survived a brutal winter although they do
> have straw lined houses to crawl into. Baby, who hangs out by my front
> door, had her own really nice styrofoam box with straw and a heating
> pad. Still, that was a brutal winter and the cats are fine. I suspect
> my indoor cats can survive 63 without fuss.

Before Smokey, our feral cat became domesticated and moved inside, he spent
the winters cuddled up to the leeward side of the house. I put a cat-carrier
with a heating pad in it near there, and he immediately moved into it. Then
I gradually moved it, together with his food to just outside our bedroom
door, prior to getting him to come inside the house and being,
"domesticated". This works provided that you use a waterproof heating pad
designed for incontinent peoiple, and keep it on "low" so it doesn't get too
hot. (When the outside temperature gets below freezing, I would put the
control on "medium.") Cat carriers are not very well insulated....

dgk
March 10th 11, 04:23 PM
On Tue, 8 Mar 2011 14:54:43 -0800, "Bill Graham" >
wrote:

>dgk wrote:
>> On Mon, 7 Mar 2011 19:47:43 -0800, "Bill Graham" >
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Ajanta wrote:
>>>> chaniarts > wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> they'll move around to find where they're warm enough. leave a
>>>>> blanket on the couch, and they'll bury under it if it's too cold
>>>>> for them.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks. We do have blankets on various couches as well as a rather
>>>> plush down comforter on the bed, so she will have those options.
>>>
>>> My cats like to sleep in empty cardboard boxes. All they want is to
>>> be out of a cold draft. Their built-in fur coats give them all the
>>> warmth they really need. In the Summer, a cool lineolium, or
>>> hardwood floor does the trick. For some reason. they don't require
>>> softness. I think they could get comfortable on a bed of spikes if
>>> they wanted to....:^)
>>
>> I'm with Bill on this one. I keep my house 68 when I'm there. It's 63
>> when humans are gone. The cats have a fur coat, and manage to find the
>> sun and blankets and cablebox just fine.
>>
>> Our outdoor kitties just survived a brutal winter although they do
>> have straw lined houses to crawl into. Baby, who hangs out by my front
>> door, had her own really nice styrofoam box with straw and a heating
>> pad. Still, that was a brutal winter and the cats are fine. I suspect
>> my indoor cats can survive 63 without fuss.
>
>Before Smokey, our feral cat became domesticated and moved inside, he spent
>the winters cuddled up to the leeward side of the house. I put a cat-carrier
>with a heating pad in it near there, and he immediately moved into it. Then
>I gradually moved it, together with his food to just outside our bedroom
>door, prior to getting him to come inside the house and being,
>"domesticated". This works provided that you use a waterproof heating pad
>designed for incontinent peoiple, and keep it on "low" so it doesn't get too
>hot. (When the outside temperature gets below freezing, I would put the
>control on "medium.") Cat carriers are not very well insulated....

Ashot, the guy who showed me how to make the houses out of styrofoam,
told me that he doesn't like using heating pads, but I had already
bought one designed for outdoor pets. Ashot says that a properly
constructed cat house will be warmed sufficiently by the cats. The
secret is to make sure the entrance is on the side so wind can't blow
directly in.

T[_4_]
March 13th 11, 03:36 AM
In article >, weg9
@comcast.net says...
>
> Ajanta wrote:
> > chaniarts > wrote:
> >
> >> they'll move around to find where they're warm enough. leave a
> >> blanket on the couch, and they'll bury under it if it's too cold for
> >> them.
> >
> > Thanks. We do have blankets on various couches as well as a rather
> > plush down comforter on the bed, so she will have those options.
>
> My cats like to sleep in empty cardboard boxes. All they want is to be out
> of a cold draft. Their built-in fur coats give them all the warmth they
> really need. In the Summer, a cool lineolium, or hardwood floor does the
> trick. For some reason. they don't require softness. I think they could get
> comfortable on a bed of spikes if they wanted to....:^)

Highly depends on the particular feline in residence. Mine loves heat.
They are descended from desert dwelling felids so it makes sense they'd
love the heat.