When and What to Document as a Sitter
Category: For Sitters
As a Meowtel Cat sitter, it is important to make sure you follow your client’s rules whether it’s taking your shoes off, feeding their cat a particular amount, or making sure the litter box is exactly how they described. It’s important to show the client that you listen and are responsible. When a client has particular requests, it’s a great idea to document it and show them you are doing what they asked.
When Should You Send Documentation?
First Time Clients
During your first reservation with new clients, it’s good practice to put the client’s mind at ease by sending more photos than you would with an established client. Send photos of the food and water areas as well as the litter area. These photos will document how much food and water the cat has as well as show your client that the area is clean. The same goes for the litter box. Some cats prefer higher levels of litter while others prefer lower levels. If the client mentions their cat has a preference, showing the litter at the proper level lets them know that you are following their instructions. Plus, cats are notoriously messy in the bathroom, so proving you left it clean is key.
Damage or Things Out of Place
Whether it’s within the home or outside, let the client know if something seems odd. One time I arrived at an apartment building and noticed potential remnants of a fire by the garage. I snapped a photo and communicated to my client what I saw and mentioned that it wasn't there the day before. The client was able to touch base with their landlord and confirmed that a transient had started a fire in their backyard. While I'm sure most of you won't encounter something that specific, you may encounter something out of the ordinary. Maybe Fluffy pulled down the curtains between visits. Take a photo and send it to the client immediately. Maybe Peanut pooped outside of the box. Send a photo of that. While that’s obviously not property damage related, it is worth noting, especially if it’s something Peanut doesn’t normally do. It could be health related.
Last Day Visit
Treat the last visit of a reservation the way you would treat the duration of a first-time client reservation: over-document the situation. Send photos of the clean food area as well as the litter area. Some cats are not only messy in the bathroom, but they’re also messy eaters. Showing the client how you left the home will ensure that if there is any mess, it was Peanut’s doing.
If you have an overnight visit, it’s smart to document the aforementioned items, but it wouldn’t hurt to also send photos of the areas you spent the most time in, like the bedroom and the living room. Show the client that you have made up the bed and that you kept the common areas tidy. Always be sure to leave the home as clean or cleaner than when you arrived.
If your client seems very particular about certain things, be sure you pay extra attention (and documentation!) to those concerns. For example, let's say you have a client who is very specific about something like their chairs; particularly keeping them covered at all times so Fluffy and Peanut don’t ruin them. Along with the slew of photos of Peanut and Fluffy, be sure to include a photo showing the chairs being covered the way they specified. That way, if Fluffy or Peanut decides to be mischievous, it won’t be because you left the chairs uncovered, and your client will know that.
While documenting and sending photos puts your client at ease, it also helps you cover yourself. If you have evidence that you followed their rules to a ‘T’, it proves you are not at fault should something arise. If you find yourself in a situation with a client, promptly email email@example.com with your documentation, photos, and the reservation number. Keeping Meowtel in the loop is the best way to ensure the situation is resolved in a professional and friendly manner for both parties!