Why I (Finally) Hired a Professional Cat-Sitter

I'm Thankful for Taking in Sunny More than 2 Years Ago
My Sweet Sunny Likes to Hang Out and See What I'm Blogging
My Sweet Sunny Likes to Hang Out and See What I’m Blogging

“If I have any trouble getting Sunny out of his kennel, I’ll come get you,” the vet technician said with a smile while wearing a pair of heavy-duty leather gloves. I’ve seen those types of gloves before at birds of prey shows at my favorite attractions. You know, a bird handler dressed in khaki-colored slacks and shirt armed with sturdy gloves extends an arm and a bird with fierce talons, such as a hawk, lands on it. The gloves protect the hands and arms from being clawed up.

He Didn’t Smile Much in the Kennel
“How was he?” I asked another vet tech, almost certain my little angel Sunny was the cat’s meow during his stay at the veterinarian’s pet resort.

“Let’s say I didn’t see him smiling very much,” she replied. Oh boy. I then learned anytime someone walked by his kennel, Sunny lunge with a hiss, growl and showed off his sharp pearly whites. He was also aggressive when they tried to play with him and give him care. If you believe your furry friend is exhibiting cat behavior problems, you might want to check that site out to look into common behaviors and tips on how to change said behaviors.

My Cat Likes to Sleep Under My Covers When I Leave for the Day
My Cat Likes to Sleep Under My Covers When I Leave for the Day

I’m the Pet Parent of a Bully-Cat
A wave of shame and embarrassment washed over me when I picked him up from the pet resort following my 10-day trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last fall. How could my little darling ball of fur that likes to snuggle up against me while I’m working on the computer be such a ferocious feline? Truth be told, he’s a big wimp and literally gets the poop scared out of him every time he’s placed in his pet carrier.

I felt like the parent of a bully child on the school playground and feared we would not be welcomed back. Actually, it would be a blessing not being welcomed back because in reality, a cat needs more than the equivalent of two cat condos to thrive over a 10-day period. I suppose it would be the equivalent of locking myself up in an 8′ x 8′ space for 10 days.

It Was Time for a Professional Cat-Sitter
Just as much as I love travel, I love my cat. If admitting that makes me a single crazy cat lady, so be it. Although I wish he enjoyed the open road and friendly skies with me, Sunny stays home when I’m traveling for business and pleasure. The old me used to think if I was heading out of town for a few nights (up to four) I’d just leave an extra bowl of food, bowl of water, litter box and leave the toilet seat up and my feline friends would be OK.

Once upon a time I had a cat-sitter, well a friend who agreed to check in on my kitties (when I had two), scoop their litter box and ensure their food and water bowls were full when I was gone for extended periods. She also told me about somewhere like tuxedo-cat.co.uk where I could find a few useful things for my cat. She moved away right before my business trip and not having friends in the area up for the task of scooping a litter box, out of desperation I opted for the vet’s pet resort. I now know the error of my ways and found a professional cat-sitter for my next trip and if you live in the North Port or Port Charlotte, Fla., area, I recommend Fur to Feathers Pet Sitting Service.

My Cat Plants Himself on My Backpack Asking Me Not to Leave Again
My Cat Plants Himself on My Backpack Asking Me Not to Leave Again

Value, Sanity…So Many Reasons I Hired a Cat-Sitter Finding and using a cat-sitter has been one of the best things I’ve done for my cat and my sanity because:

  • My cat is no longer stressed by being placed in a carrier and staying in a strange environment. With a cat-sitter, he stays home in his comfort zone.
  • He is checked on and interacted with daily as well as given fresh food and water. Although he’s shy and hides under the bed, he hears a human voice at least once day.
  • If I want, the sitter will send me photos and updates daily so I can see he’s OK.
  • Someone is looking after my home and ensuring all is well while I’m away. Yes, I have a home security system but what good is it if no one is around? The sitter will also check my mail, water the plants and do a walk around the house.
  • During the interview process, the sitter asked me things I would never have thought to tell a sitter, such as, where is the water shut off? Can they contact a handyman if something needs to be repaired?
  • The value and convenience of hiring a cat-sitter is priceless because I know I’m getting personalized service by people who love pets and are professionals (i.e.: they know pet first aide). Actually, hiring a pet-sitter is less expensive than kenneling my cat.

Catster (a resource for cat owners) has a great article called “Six Things I Look for in a Cat-Sitter” if you need more convincing on using one.

Mom! Can I Go with You? Or Maybe Not.
Mom! Can I Go with You? Or Maybe Not.

Pet-Sitter in North Port and Port Charlotte Area As I previously mentioned, if you’re looking for a pet-sitter in the Port Charlotte or North Port area, I have used and recommend Fur to Feathers Pet Sitting Service (www.fur-to-feathers.com; 941-661-2476941-661-2476 or 941-661-1622941-661-1622).

Lesley and Greg are great people, they provide a terrific value and will treat your pets like family. For those out of the area looking for a pet-sitter, check your local chamber of commerce directory, ask for recommendations from a friend or your veterinarian, or search a pet-only directory. In Florida we have Pet Pages. When you travel, do you hire a pet-sitter?

You may also like:

Attaining the American Dream Was Too Much for My Cat

Pet Travel: Kitty Isn’t Into Joyrides and Dealing with Pet Odor



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

3 thoughts on “Why I (Finally) Hired a Professional Cat-Sitter

  1. yes, I always hire a pet sitter when I’m away – three cats and a dog. Makes for piece of mind even though I too have an ADT system. My cats NEVER leave home, they prefer it that way. I moved to Sarasota and found Lois Black, she is wonderful. My next trip Obi and I are traveling so she will have the cats all to herself.

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