How to Look for a CAT Sitter

For those who are looking for a professional cat sitter and thinking of trying this out for the very first time – you’re not alone! We were anxious to have someone who we don’t know taking care of our cats, yet ecstatic at the same time knowing someone would be available while we are gone.

We just got back from Hawaii and we haven’t seen our kitties in a week. We missed our two little fur babies so much. It’s the longest we’ve been away from them and we were so anxious the whole time because it was our first time hiring a pet sitter.

Kit Kat is a very talkative kitty that likes to put a strong front up, but inside she’s delicate. We get nervous when there are strangers because she needs time to adapt to new people. Quite frankly, she’ll hiss and sometimes growl like a dog. It’s pretty cute, but it can be certainly frightening to someone who isn’t comfortable with her.

If you don’t have time to read the full article or if you are visual person, I have a YouTube video of this article below!

What services were we looking for in a cat sitter?

My boyfriend and I live together, and we were going to be gone for eight days for our two-year anniversary trip to Hawaii. As I mentioned, this vacation is the longest time we have left the cats alone; previous trips have only been five days max and we had someone stop by to feed them. For this trip, our friends were not available to help us out, and we don’t have any family members who live in Texas. We needed someone to come in at least three times during the week we were going to be gone. Also, we needed someone comfortable enough to take care of the cat’s litter box and possibly their vomit.

This was our schedule:
Saturday morning – We left at 7 am
Sunday anytime – Cat sitter for 15 minutes
Tuesday anytime – Cat sitter for 30 minutes
Thursday anytime – Cat sitter for 15 minutes
Saturday afternoon – Home at 3 pm

Why did you choose Austin Cat Sitter and how did you make sure it was legit?

To find a cat sitter, I googled “Cat Sitter in Austin,” and the first search result that popped up (this is an example of why SEO is so important!) was “Austin Cat Sitter.” I perused through their website, checked their Facebook, and went onto Yelp to read all their reviews. On average, they had stunning reviews, and it seems like the sitters are experts and approachable. The review that gave me the most confidence talked about how the sitter will immediately send pictures of not just the cats, but their food bowls and water bowl. To have that constant communication gave me high confidence that 1) our cats will be okay, 2) we will know precisely around what time they stopped by our apartment.

How did you reach out for rates & scheduling?

At this point after an hour of research, I decided to give Austin Cat Sitter a call (512) 937-3432 to understand their rates first to see if I need to reach out to another option to compare. Their rates are straightforward — $ 15 for 15 minutes or $30 for 30 minutes. I immediately asked if they had the availability to cat sit for us next week and they were!

They asked for my email address, and from there I would be sent a link to their portal to fill out 1) appointment requests, 2) information about each cat, 3) payment details, 4) contact information, and 5) messenger system. She also let me know that they don’t accept to hold spare keys due to their company policy (in case a sitter loses one). They sell portable locks that you hang on your doorknob for $15-$20. We decided to buy one off of Amazon because we have Prime shipping and we could save a few bucks. And honestly, this didn’t throw us off guard – a lot of Airbnbs use portable locks for folks to get into their places.

After I entered in our schedule requests & information about each cat, I received a message within the hour to arrange for their manager to stop by our apartment to meet our cats, and ensure she knew where everything was so she could relay that to the sitter who will be taking care of our cats. The best thing about this appointment with the manager is that she was super flexible on when she could stop by – whether that was morning, afternoon or evenings. We asked her to stop by at 8 pm.

At this point after an hour of research, I decided to give Austin Cat Sitter a call to understand their rates first to see if I need to reach out to another option to compare. Their rates are straightforward — $ 15 for 15 minutes or $30 for 30 minutes. I immediately asked if they were available to cat sit for us next week and they were!

They asked for my email address, and from there I would be sent a link to their portal to fill out 1) appointment requests, 2) information about each cat, 3) payment details, 4) contact information, and 5) messenger system.

She also let me know that they don’t accept requests to hold onto spare keys as a company policy (in case a sitter loses one). They sell portable locks that you hang on your doorknob for $15-$20. We decided to buy one off of Amazon because we have Prime shipping and we could save a few bucks. And honestly, this didn’t throw us off guard – a lot of Airbnbs use portable locks for folks to get into their places.

After I entered in our schedule requests & information about each cat, I received a message within the hour to arrange for their manager to stop by our apartment to meet our cats, and ensure she knew where everything was so she could relay that to the sitter who will be taking care of our cats. The best thing about this appointment with the manager is that she was super flexible on when she could stop by – whether that was morning, afternoon or evenings. We asked her to stop by at 8 pm and she could!

Experience – Before our trip

Before I dive in on what the meet and greet were like – she was about 10 minutes late due to a kitty emergency. But! Using their web app she let us know in advance she was running late and kept us updated on the situation. That kitty emergency was that there was a cat, who is known as a bolter, that escaped and the sitter and manager were able to catch it on time without any significant issues. The cat was teasing with them by staying in the backyard area. After hearing that we were like HOLY COW. The length they go to make sure everything is alright is incredible.

So, the manager pulls out her iPad to take any additional notes. She went through each line item to confirm about our cat’s personalities, feeding routine and where everything is. She also provided the rundown routine if there is an emergency that requires our cat to go to the vet. We felt super lucky to have found a fantastic local company who cared. And when I mean care, a lot of their sitters have worked at a vet or own multiple cats.

And surprisingly, our little Kit Kat approached the manager – was not scared and didn’t hide in the other room, she rubbed against her and was sniffing her! That made us feel so good and confirmed we were in good hands!

And if you are wondering why I haven’t mentioned Mr. Peaches yet, it’s because he is a seriously chill dude. He’s open to anything.

We had a choice as well to ask for a sitter come at a particular time of day, but we’re pretty flexible as long as they come by every couple of days. The manager assured us that the sitter would come at a reasonable time, so the kitties aren’t hungry.

The last thing the manager advised was for us to download the “Time to Pet” app (iOS download / Android download) on our phones which uses the same login as their web portal. In this way, we will be able to use their messaging platform to send and receive messages and updates.

We felt so comfortable by the end of our meeting. I remember Bryant and I were smiling to each other after we closed the door after her, knowing we did the right thing.

How were the cats when you got home?

What are your final thoughts?

I think for us as a couple, we will totally look out to pay for a cat sitter again. They are well trained and dedicated to making the experience for both the cats and us a good one.

During the manager’s visit, she gave us a heads up for future appointments that during hectic holidays such as Christmas, there is a $5-10 additional holiday service fee that they include. To us, that’s okay, and it doesn’t break the bank.

For this trip, we paid the day before we left our trip a total of: $60 + $9 tip (15%) = $69.

Was it worth the risk and the money? Worth every cent.

Big shout out to our cat sitter by the way who cleaned up when Mr. Peaches threw up on the couch. When we got home we couldn’t even find the residue of where it happened!


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Cee Ng

Hello, I’m Cee! I’m a lifestyle blogger during my downtime and a consultant and producer during the day. This blog is to share experiences in travel, work, beauty, relationships, cooking, shopping and lifestyle tips that I hope can inspire you to live the best version of yourself in whichever stage you are in life and have fun with no regrets!