Whether you are planning a trip or work long hours, you might be wondering “Does my cat REALLY need a cat sitter?” The simple answer is yes, but cats are not so simple creatures. Cats are creatures of habit that are hyper-sensitive to their surroundings and the world around them. To remove them from their home environment and place them in a boarding facility can wreck havoc on their nerves as well as be the catalyst for stress-related health problems.
So your next thought might be “Can’t I just pay the neighbor kid to come in?” The answer to that is a resounding NO! You should always leave your pet in the care of a trusted professional. A professional pet sitter knows exactly what your pet needs and is contracted to meet the needs of your cat. Enlisting the services of a trusted pet sitter will not only serve to keep your cat in his home, surrounded by the familiar smells, toys and cozy spots but it will also bring you peace of mind that your cat’s needs are being met and that he is safe. What are those needs?
Cats need exercise and lots of it.
Your cat has a physical adaptation to sleep a lot. Why? To conserve energy needed to hunt down his prey. Well, domesticated cats still have this adaptation, but we have taken out the need for him to hunt for his dinner. However, he still needs to exercise to fulfill the prey instinct, which is also an adaptation from his days in the wild. Your cat was built to move! Lack of exercise may result in obesity and other fatal health issues.
Cats need Mental Stimulation.
Remember, in our post Top Cat Toys to Leave for Your Pet Sitter we gave some great ideas for keeping your cat engaged and exercised but why? Leaving your cat alone for long hours or days at a time can be detrimental to not only his physical healthy but his mental health and can result in health problems and undesirable behaviors. Some characteristics of an under stimulated cat can include: over or under eating, self-mutilation, anxiety, over grooming, and aggression!
Cats need supervision.
Many people share the misconception that cats sleep all the time and are self sufficient so they don’t need supervision. While cats are slightly more independent than dogs and seemingly aloof, lone creatures, they should not be left to fend for themselves. Anything could go wrong. The cat could get sick or as boredom sets in, his curiosity may get the best of him causing him to get stuck somewhere…in a closet, on top of the refrigerator or even worse if he’s an outdoor cat.
So, your aloof king of the castle needs all of the above needs to be met. Why is this important? Quite simply, meeting your cat’s needs is an expression of love. Cats need love too – and NOT just in the form of a belly rub or a couple of pats on his furry dome, although we encourage that too and your pet sitter will be eager to help with that need too!