10 Tips for Thriving as a Meowtel Cat Sitter in Austin
Austin, Texas, known for its lively music scene and “Keep Austin Weird” culture, also boasts a thriving community of cat enthusiasts. If you're aiming to excel as a Meowtel cat sitter in this vibrant and tech-savvy city, understanding the local cat-loving nuances is essential. From navigating ATX traffic to embracing Austin's feline-friendly ethos, this guide offers tailored tips to help you flourish as a Meowtel cat sitter in Austin.
1. Familiarize Yourself with Austin’s Cats
Austin's neighborhoods each have a distinct character, much like its feline residents. The ability to cater to all sorts of different cats is key to your success as a Meowtel cat sitter. Whether it's playing with an adorable rescue kitten in one of South Congress’s quirky and charming neighborhoods, or a relaxing overnight visit with a pampered Persian in beautiful tree-lined Hyde Park, adapting your approach to align with each cat’s vibe ensures satisfied kitties and happy cat-parents.
2. Experience Austin’s Cat-Friendly Community
Austin's cat-friendly culture also extends to its establishments. From unique cat cafes such as Purrfecto Cat Lounge, to charming pet-supply stores like local chain Tomlinson’s, there are so many choices where you can find like-minded cat lovers. Not only do Austin residents cherish experiences that cater to their cats' happiness, but they also believe strongly in supporting locally-owned businesses. Getting better acquainted with local spots is also a great way to network and expand your kitty community. Some shops may even allow you to advertise your services at their establishments by leaving business cards or postcards. If you want to get some more hands-on experience with kitties, volunteering at one of Austin’s amazing animal shelters is a great way to do so. 🐱
Tip: Check out Do512’s list of “Where to Cozy Up With Cute Cats!”
3. Weather Comfort for Contented Cats
Austin's weather can be unpredictable. The summers are scorchingly hot, while the winters are generally milder. However, the last few years have brought snow, ice, and below-freezing temps to the Lone Star State. It's crucial to ensure indoor spaces are of a comfortable temperature and offer adequate hydration and food options, particularly during extreme weather conditions. Paying attention to the forecast is especially important while sitting, as Texas is notorious for temperatures changing overnight. Though not as common, Austin isn’t a stranger to natural disasters either. Tornados, wildfires, and even flooding can all occur in and around the Live Music Capital of the World. Though we hope you won’t need it, it’s always a good idea to discuss with your clients what steps they would like taken in the event of an emergency.
Tip: Stay updated on Austin's weather patterns with the National Weather Channel
4. Getting to know the Austinite
For years Austin has been known for its laid-back attitude and “Keep Austin Weird” vibes. While this is still true of Austin today, things have also changed. Recent years have seen a surge in tech-savvy businesses and professionals moving to the area. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, Austin’s unique combination of laid-back Texas charm meets high-speed tech is a blend all its own. This modern city is used to the ease that technology provides. The Meowtel app not only allows clients to book you from the comfort of their homes, but it’s also where you can send written updates, photos, and videos to your clients about their kitties while they’re away. This seamless and trusted all-in-one experience for cat sitting is the perfect solution for Austin cat owners while they’re away.
Tip: Download the Meowtel app here!
5. Overcoming Transportation Challenges
According to KVUE news, Austin ranks #18 for worst traffic in the United States. Navigating Austin can be challenging, especially during peak traffic hours. Honoring your time commitments to cat parents is crucial to building trust, especially with new clients. Being dependable and timely will showcase your commitment to both your clients and their kitties. Using navigation services like Google Maps can help you plan for unexpected slow-downs, and provide faster alternate routes. If you’re not driving, Austin’s mass transit options are limited. If you do rely on public transport, give yourself added time for any delays that may occur. If you’re parking downtown, give yourself plenty of time to secure a spot, as it may be difficult to do during peak times.
6. Get to Know Austin’s Veterinarians
Prioritize the health and well-being of the cats you're caring for by familiarizing yourself with Austin's reputable veterinarians. Having a list of trusted veterinarians on hand can provide peace of mind to both cat owners and yourself in case of emergencies or health-related questions. We always hope that you never have to utilize these services during a reservation, but it’s always a good idea to have a plan in case of emergencies. After accepting a reservation request, check the client's profile to ensure their vet release form is filled out. If they don’t have it filled out, kindly remind them to add it so that in the event of an emergency, you can get help for their kitties in a swift and timely manner.
Tip: Review Meowtel’s FAQ about what to do in case of an emergency.
7. Craft an Austin-Infused Profile
When setting up your Meowtel profile, infuse it with a touch of Texas charm. Highlight your understanding of Austin's cat culture, showcasing your familiarity with local neighborhoods and cat-centric establishments. This personalized touch can resonate with potential clients seeking a local connection, and can also give your profile an SEO boost in search results. In addition to showcasing your local knowledge, talking about your experience with kitties, why you love them, and any skills you possess are also important to highlight within your bio. Don’t be afraid to talk a bit about yourself as well so that cat parents can get a sense of what makes you purr!
Tip: Use Meowtel's guide to creating a Cat-Tastic Bio for inspiration.
8. Showcase a Gallery of Feline Delights
A picture speaks a thousand words, and in the world of cat sitting, your Meowtel gallery speaks volumes. When you create your sitter profile, you have the option to include photos of cats. This is the perfect place to showcase the kitties you’ve cared for (including your own!) These images can demonstrate your expertise and love for cats while building confidence in potential clients. In addition to your gallery photos, choosing a professional picture of yourself is key to making a great 1st impression on prospective clients. Try choosing a well-lit, smiling, and professional image of you (or you and your cat) where we can see your face clearly.
Tip: For more photo tips, check out Meowtel’s blog post on how to choose the best picture for your profile: Smile! It’s Time to Choose your Sitter Photos
9. Create a Stress-Free Environment for Cats
Cats can be sensitive to changes in their environment, so creating a stress-free space is crucial. During your cat-sitting visits, minimize disruptions, maintain a quiet atmosphere, and respect each cat's space. Incorporate calming techniques like pheromone diffusers or soft classical music to create a soothing ambiance that promotes relaxation and well-being. Remember, each kitty is different, so taking it slow and meeting them on their level is the perfect way to make a new best friend.
Tip: Always check with the cat parents before introducing any new items into the home. For more tips on dealing with shy kitties, check out Meowtel’s How to Handle a Scaredy Cat blog post.
10. Managing Cat Allergies and Special Needs
With Austin's diverse cat population, you may encounter cats with allergies or special dietary needs. Being knowledgeable about common feline allergies and dietary restrictions can set you apart as a thoughtful and informed cat sitter. Always inquire about any allergies or specific care instructions (such as medications, vitamins, or supplements) from cat owners and ensure you're well-prepared to cater to these needs if you choose to offer medication services to your clients.
Tip: Use the Meowtel Meet & Greet notepad to take detailed notes on any medication dosages, times of day, health concerns, or special dietary restrictions.
Paws and Reflect: Your Route to Cat Sitter Success in Austin
Excelling as a Meowtel cat sitter in Austin, TX, demands an understanding of the city's neighborhoods, a genuine embrace of its cat-loving community, and an understanding of its unique laid-back yet tech-savvy culture. By incorporating these tailored tips and resources into your approach, along with your unwavering affection for cats, you'll be well-equipped to thrive in Austin's energetic cat-loving community. Remember, your dedication to the well-being and happiness of your feline clients will be your ultimate route to success as you embark on this feline-focused journey deep in the heart of Texas.
Photo by Sean Pavone(Shutterstock)/Illustration by Josh DuBose