How To Be a Cat Sitting Holiday Hero
As many of us know, the holiday season is often our busiest time of the year as sitters. Planning out your visit schedule can sometimes feel a bit daunting, especially when your calendar is bursting with visits. And what should you do in the event of extreme blizzards and snow? Never fear! We are here with the purrfect planning guide to help you have a smooth and successful holiday season as a Meowtel sitter.
When you start booking your cat-sitting calendar for the holidays, we recommend using a calendar app to help you stay organized.
Google Calendar is a great app to help keep track of all your visits and Meet & Greets. To prevent missing any of the events on your calendar, adding a notification alarm to remind you of any scheduled events an hour before they take place is an excellent way to stay on top of things.
Prefer using a pen and paper planner? That is great too! Just remember to revisit it daily to make sure you’ve got all your visits squared away. Meet & Greets can be particularly easy to miss, as they are scheduled independently of your reservations and do not display in the Meowtel app.
Planning Your Route
Oh, Google Maps, what did we ever do without you? Today’s mapping technology has made getting from point A to B so much easier. If you’re super busy with kitties and have more than 10 stops to make, Upper Route Planner can be a great resource to plan and optimize the best route, without a capped number of stops. Once you’ve already got your reservations set, your Meet & Greets planned, and a full calendar of cute kitty visits. Now what? To help minimize your travel time, whether via car or public transportation, planning out your visits on a map can help maximize your schedule and save you from unnecessary back and forth through holiday traffic.
Sometimes you may have kitty clients that need you at a specific time (particularly those with medication or special diet needs). We recommend starting with those first and working outwards. Compile all your client’s addresses, and figure out your various stops for the day.
Admittedly, this takes a bit of time, depending on how many clients you have, but as sitters, we guarantee that sitting down and doing a little extra planning can make your holiday visits much smoother.
Be sure that you are allowing yourself enough time between visits as well. Not only for potential traffic, weather, or public transit delays but also considering any possible emergency scenarios. We hope all our kitty clients will be safe and sound this holiday season. However, there is always the potential that you may have to assist a kitty in getting to the vet while its owners are away—as such, giving yourself a cushion between visits is best practice.
Though we hope your holiday visits will be smooth sailing this winter, extreme cold weather can certainly put a damper on getting where you need to be. From getting snowed-in to icy road conditions, many variables could occur, making it dangerous, or even impossible, to complete all the scheduled days of a reservation.
Disaster preparedness is a purrfect topic to discuss at your Meet & Greet with the cat parents. It can be helpful first to ask if the cat parents already have their own disaster plan in place. If they don’t yet, try suggesting a few things to ensure their kitties will still be okay, even in the event that you were forced to miss a visit due to severe weather.
Try discussing things like putting down extra food or water to be sure that cats still have access to both if the worst were to happen. Perhaps also discussing the option of having a backup key for a close by friend or neighbor if travel becomes impossible for you. This can be especially important for kitties who need medication.
You, as a sitter, will also need to keep a close eye on any weather forecasts. If it looks like there could be a chance of severe weather, having these plans in place and ready to implement is critical in ensuring both the care of the kitties and your safety.
Communication is absolutely essential in these situations. If you are ever concerned that you will be unable to make a scheduled reservation, you must be sure to keep both the cat parent and Meowtel Support informed so that we can assist you throughout the situation; in the event of inclement weather that prevents you from completing a visit, please reach out to us at 1-844-MEOWTEL so we can modify the reservation and refund the client for any missed visits.
While we do encourage using our Meowtel chat to communicate with cat parents, having their cell phone numbers as a backup is best practice in an emergency.
When in doubt, never hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
Taking Your Time and Completing All Tasks
We know it probably sounds pretty obvious, but devoting the allotted amount of time to each of your clients is super impurrtant.
Your clients book you for a certain amount of time, and even if you can technically complete the tasks in less time, they still expect you to stay for the entire duration of the visit. If you booked an hour-long massage, and the masseuse stopped at 30 minutes because they felt like they had covered everything, you probably wouldn’t be too happy. The same idea holds true here as well!
Setting a time for yourself on your phone can be helpful. Start with the most important tasks first, and then, if your kitty friend is up for it, transition into cuddles and playtime. Make sure to grab lots of adorable photos of the kitties and any before and after photos of litter, food, water, etc. Doing this will help put your cat-parent client's minds at ease and let them relax and enjoy their time away, knowing that their furry children are in such great and reliable hands.
This can also help you, as a sitter, take a moment to keep track of things like keys, double-checking that doors are closed properly, and that all kitties are safe and sound and where they need to be, prior to you exiting the home. We recommend always keeping your keys and phone on you during the visit, and putting the client's keys on your own personal keyring, as it will be much easier to keep up with one set than many separate ones.
And lastly, make sure to coordinate your key return with clients, and always double-check the end date of your reservation to avoid returning keys too early, leaving you unable to access the home for your final visits.
Last But Not Least, We’re Here to Help!
We hope this guide has helped you feel better prepared to have a stellar cat-sitting experience during the holidays. Having a plan and taking time to double-check yourself will be the easiest way to success, and kickstart those 5-star reviews. We at Meowtel thank you so much for all your hard work, and we wish you and yours a very happy pawlidays!
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