Why We Require Daily Pet Sitting Visits For Cats

Occasionally, we receive calls for cat care where potential clients request visits that are every other day, every third day, or only once or twice a week. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that Fluffy is left alone overnight, and nothing happened in the past. It shouldn’t be a problem for a pet sitter to accommodate that type of schedule, right?

At Coddled Critters Professional Pet Services, we learned early on to never accept assignments for every other day or longer kitty care.  After hundreds of visits, valuable experiences, and continuing pet care education, we know that every other day, or longer visits for kitties are a bad idea.  By providing daily, or even multiple visits every day, we are in the position to provide the best care possible to our clients’ cats, and ensure their house is safe in their absence.

Favorite Kitty

One of my favorite kitty clients

Still not convinced? Here’s a glimpse of what could go wrong when your pet sitter is not showing up every day:

  • Your cat may go without food, or stop eating.

Some cats are known for binge-eating, meaning they will eat all the food at their disposal and will be left to fast until the next pet sitting visit. This can create eating disorders and excessive weight gain in cats. Most cats will vomit if they eat too much too fast. A cat may accidentally spill her bowl of food and refuse to eat the kibbles off the floor. Same thing goes if the food ends up in the water bowl nearby.

A common occurrence is the failure of an automatic feeder. These devices should only be used under supervision as batteries can die at anytime, or the mechanism can malfunction, leaving your cats without food for days. Lastly, when cats get lonely, some will tend to stop eating until there’s a human presence to reassure them.

Not eating can have devastating consequences for cats. A cat that is not eating for several days is at elevated risk of developing fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis). The condition requires immediate medical attention, and if not aggressively treated, will result in the death of the animal.

  • Your cat may go without water or stop drinking water.

It is not rare for cats to spill or spoil their water bowl. In our warm temperatures, water bowls can go dry in only a few hours or fester with bacteria. Some cats will even stop drinking if their water is stale or if their bowl is slightly dirty.

Knowing that a cat can’t survive without water for more than four days, every other day or longer pet sittings visits puts your cat at risk of dehydration and death.

  • Your cat could suffer a serious, life-threatening condition that could be fatal if not caught in the initial stages.

Cats are prone to several medical conditions that, if not treated early, may be fatal. Acute renal failure, urinary tract infections, urinary obstructions and constipation are some of these conditions that can become life-threatening within only a few days, regardless of the age of the cat.

Therefore, a daily monitoring of litter box habits is crucial for the early detection of these medical conditions.

  • Your cat may become lonely, depressed or anxious, and develop behavior problems.

Although some cats may learn to appreciate the quiet time, it is not the case for all of them. Cats that are left without human interactions for too long may develop unwanted or undesirable behavior that can go from scratching the furniture, to causing mischief, or pooping and peeing in inappropriate places, like your bed. Even shy, fearful and skittish cats will benefit from having a human check on them everyday.

  • Your cat could stop using the litter box.

The number one reason for a cat to stop using the litter box is poor sanitation. Coddled Critters will thoroughly clean the litter boxes at every visit, not only to monitor bowel movements, but to provide a clean environment for the cats to do their business. With every other day or longer visits, daily cleaning becomes impossible and cats may stray away from the box, which could become an on-going problem in the future.

  • Your cat could get stuck or trapped for 48 hours, or longer.

In the past, we have had cats ending up stuck or trapped on several separate occasions.

One happened when house keeper came in shortly after our visit. As she left in a hurry to get to her next stop, she completely forgot about the client’s cats and closed all doors behind them. When we arrived for our visit the next day, we found that the cats had been trapped in the closet with no water or food for over 24 hours.

Another incident nearly gave us a heart attack. When we arrived early morning for our first visit of the day, the two cats did not greet us at the door like usual. After a frantic search, we found the two cats trapped in the laundry room. The two had apparently sneaked in and closed the door behind them.

In these two situations, the cats were unharmed and quickly forgot their misadventures. However, had we been scheduled to visit them every other day, or once or twice a week, the outcome may have been quite different.

  • Your house could be the target of a break-in and be vulnerable for 48 hours, or more.

Although having a pet sitter come to check on your pets and your home may not completely prevent a break-in, having someone to check on your property at least once a day will make sure there’s a quick and appropriate response in case of a break-in incident.

Imagine for a second that your house has been robbed, the back door is open, or a window is broken. As your pet sitter is not scheduled to come for another day or two, your pets are very likely to escape, while your home is vulnerable to additional unwanted guests and inclement weather. This is a very scary scenario, and a pet sitter’s worst nightmare.

In the event of a home disaster, home insurance providers may question the frequency of visits and determine that daily visits would have been required or helpful to prevent, or minimize the impacts of a break-in or worse. Coverage may even be denied – and this has happened!

Most of these scenarios have the potential to leave your pet sitter to deal with challenging situations, like a deceased or sick animal, or a house disaster.

It is the professional pet sitter’s responsibility to ensure all reasonable measures are taken to keep your kitties and your home safe when you are away, and one of them is to start with scheduling daily visits.

Prissy the Ociat

My personal kitty Prissy

Next time you are planning your vacation, make sure to budget for a professional pet sitter to come check on your cats and your home at least once a day! The peace of mind will be priceless, and your cats will be happy, properly fed, and safe.

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