Overnight Etiquette for Cat Sitters
Remember that awkward health class around fourth grade when the teachers had to educate you on what body odor was, and why you should probably start bathing more and/or wearing deodorant? Or when your Brownie/Scout leader taught you the golden rule? Or when Grandma told you, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all?”
Well, all of those etiquette considerations still apply to you as an adult, especially when you’re doing overnight reservations as a cat sitter.
How you live your life is your prerogative (as long as you’re not hurting others, of course). However, when you’re entering into or staying in someone’s home, as you do with an overnight Meowtel booking, you need to show them the utmost respect. While I covered a lot of this in “How To Be A Top Notch Sitter, Part One and Part Two,” I will repeat some of those gems of knowledge here.
It’s a job
It goes without saying that you need to remember that you’re on a job. Sure you’re having a slumber party with a cat(s) which is more fun than most jobs, but you’re still representing yourself as well as Meowtel. What does that mean? It means being on your best behavior. Don’t invite others over to the client’s home. Don’t wear shoes inside (if they are a shoeless household). Don’t make messes and leave them. Do clean up after yourself. Do make sure you’re clean and not stinky when meeting them or sleeping in their beds.
Would you want someone leaving dirt in your bed? No! You don’t have to shower in their home, but you should shower. Personally, I don’t shower in client’s homes when I do overnights because I would rather do so at home and spend a little more time with my cat before heading over for my slumber party. Plus, for me, it’s less stuff to lug over to the client’s home. But when I’m sleeping in someone’s bed, I am definitely always clean!
Make sure you can commit
Additionally, be sure you can commit to at least 12 hours for your overnight. If you’re booking an overnight, don’t go out and party, come back wasted, and sleep for five hours. Don’t make plans and then show up at midnight and leave at 6 am. The point of an overnight is to make sure you’re there—wait for it—overnight. People book overnights for different reasons. Some cats may need medications. Some cats may have separation anxiety. Some cats may be elderly and the parent doesn’t want them to be alone in case something happens. Whatever the reason is, be sure you’re able to actually commit to it.
Overnights are no different than normal drop-in visits when it comes to protocol in updating the clients. Be sure to send an update and photos at night (at a decent time) and again in the morning before you leave. Every time you head out the door, leave the home the way you found it—if not nicer and cleaner. Ensure the cat is happy and healthy before you leave in the morning.
Remember, the key concepts for a successful overnight are:
- Be on time
- Be courteous
- Be respectful
- Be able to commit to at least 12 hours with the cat
- Be clean and tidy
Keeping all of these steps in mind, and using the basic manners you have probably learned throughout your life, will help you to continue your overnight success!
Photo by Александар Цветановић via Pexels