Sometimes we ask our friends and family to watch our cat(s) while we are gone. After all, it’s easy and free. But aren’t we old enough now to know that we get what we pay for?
Friends and family tend to just pop in whenever their schedule allows. They feed, give water, maybe clean the litter box, and then run out just as quickly as they ran in. Of course, they don’t mean any harm, but they also aren’t cat sitters. They’re merely doing you a favor when it’s convenient for them.
That’s where Meowtel come in. We’re different. Not only are our sitters vetted and insured, we’re real cat people. Quite frankly, we at Meowtel like to consider ourselves cat whisperers—and that’s everyone from HQ to our sitters. Our sitters make sure that your cat stays on his or her schedule, gets needed companionship, and lots of time for play.
Play is Important
A part of bonding with and caring properly for cats is getting in some serious playtime. The kind of playtime can differ based on the age and purrsonality of your cat(s). For example, my cat, Maxwell Wellington, rarely ever plays. He’s at least 14 (he was a stray so we’ll never really know), however even when he was younger he wasn’t much of a player. Maxie is more of a lap cat and an attention seeker. We have toys strewn around the apartment that he occasionally plays with at 4 am. When he does, I don’t get mad at him for waking me up. I’m just happy he’s having fun, but most cats aren’t like my cat. Most cats love to play. Even if it’s just a few short spurts, they enjoy it.
Some cats are super into feather wands, while others love paper, boxes, and mice. Others may love cat trees and laser pointers. It’s all about getting to know your cat and your cat client. I have a ton of kitty clients, and they vary greatly in their choice of toys. One bengal kitten loves to play in this thing called the Ripple Rug. (It’s a two-piece rug that has velcro and holes so you can change the way the rug lays, and the cat can pounce through the holes). He goes bananas when I put his chirping wands in the rug's holes.
Fitz hiding in his ripple rug
According to VetBabble, it’s important to keep a variety of toys on hand so your kitty doesn’t get bored. They state: “Don’t play with the same toy during each playtime. Switch out toys from one playtime to another, and add some variety. Most cats are pretty easy to please; toys such as balls with tinkling bells inside, toy mice, and feathered toys are usually kitty pleasers.”
Cat Sitters Provide Playtime
Depending on the cat and how much they love to play, I often bring plastic spring toys with me as a gift (after clearing it with the cat’s parents). I’ve found that about 98% of cats I give the spring toy to go crazy for it. The only cat in the world that does not care about the spring is — you guessed it — Max.
I have other cat clients that love the little rattle mouse toy. (I used to bring those until I discovered the springs). Some love feathers and wand toys. I have one particular Meowtel client who loves his enrichment feeder because he is definitely food-motivated (me too, Mochi, me too). Therefore, when he puts in the work, he gets treats as a reward.
Many of our Meowtel sitters have their own “travel kit” that they bring to each client. I purrsonally have a laser pointer on my client keychain in case the cat doesn’t have any toys of his or her own. As mentioned above, I also normally bring a spring toy (or a rattle mouse) to clients. I had one parent who, while he loves his cat, didn’t have much cat experience so he didn’t have many toy options. I asked if I could buy him a scratcher as well as a few toys so we could play if he was in the mood. I’m happy I did because the cat was happy that we played, and the dad was happy that I took the time to really get to know his cat and help enrich his life.
Some of our sitters have received rave reviews particularly about playtime. Tiffany, based out of North Dallas, received this review from client Miranda, highlighting her playtime skills:
“Tiffany did a FANTASTIC job her first time taking care of Tomato during a four night overnight stay! She sent pictures and videos and even went so far as to make Tomato a new feather toy! It's amazing, a HUGE pink feather on the end of a stick with a ball on a string. Tomato loves it and will ACTUALLY play with it, unlike the other toys I’ve spent lots of money on.”
Another one of our sitters, Natasha, based out of Pacific Beach, CA, received this review about her playtime antics:
“She created a play box and play areas for the cats to explore and have fun. The cats loved it so much that I left everything just as she had it. Paw up to her!”
And lastly, Alissa, based out of Chicago, received this review highlighting playtime:
“Alissa did an amazing job taking care of my two kitties and giving updates. She was flexible and generous. She even spent some extra time playing with my two precious lovebugs.”
Reviews like these show new and returning clients just how great our sitters are. It also shows their dedication to playtime. Do yourself a favor and be sure to book one of our top-notch sitters the next time you travel. If your cat loves to play, our sitters will be sure to make their playtime dreams come true!