pet sitter or stay with someone else - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Midlands, UK
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pet sitter or stay with someone else

I have a 5 year old cat Sansa who is a big part of our family so am stuck as to what to do.

In a few weeks time my 2 year old daughter needs to have an operation. The operation is such that it needs to be performed at a specialist childrens hospital 50 miles from home. She will be in hospital for at least 2 weeks possibly up to 4 weeks depending on how well the initial operation goes, and the treatment they decide upon afterwards.

Sansa is a shy cat, and indoor only. We live in a flat (there's plenty of room, and we play with her loads) and when people come to our flat even if they've been lots before she hides.

I will need to be with my daughter in hospital for obvious reasons. My husband will either be working, travelling to the hospital or taking over from me so I can have a break which leaves us with the dilemma of Sansa as there's no guarantees my husband will be back at our flat for feeding and litter tray cleaning.

I have 2 options:

1) Pay a pet sitter to come in twice daily, she'd scoop the tray and change the litter but can only guarantee she's available for the first two weeks my daughter will be away, which doesn't give me much leeway if my daughter needs to be in hospital longer, although she's not said yet whether she might be able to do longer. She also won't have time to play with Sansa much as she's also a dog walker (she won't be bringing dogs into our flat though).

2) Sansa goes to stay with my mum. My mum has 2 cats of her own, so even though my mum works and would be out all day she would have the company of them. My mums cats are both female. But one is very old (around 14) and the other is a bit older than Sansa. Sansa has lived with other cats before we got her but that was over 2 years ago, and I'd be worried about her going from being an only cat to living with 2 others. Also not sure how unsettling this would be for Sansa too. The only benefit to this is my mum could have Sansa for as long as my daughter was in hospital, and my husband could pop in if he gets time.

So what would you do? Like I said Sansa is a huge part of our family, my daughters currently off Nursery (daycare) sick and Sansa is asleep next to her in bed, so I'm keen to do the best thing for her. I have about 4 weeks to decide what's best and make arrangements.

I have attached a photo of Sansa taken on Boxing Day after she stole my brand new mink throw off me!
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Sansa joined our family in February 2016
On Rainbow Bridge:
Bella
May 2002 - August 2015
RIP My best friend, always in my heart
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 11:28 AM
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Location: Springfield, Missouri
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From my experience as a cat sitter even cats that the sitter cannot interact with are better off left in their home. A cat will not stress if their humans aren't present as long as they are in 'their' place with all the familiar scents and routines. Owners tell me after being away for weeks when they get home at worst a cat will be initially a bit standoffish ("where the heck have you been") but most appreciate no disruption of service haha. Having a person come 2x daily to feed and clean the box might even make her curious about other people, you never know. Is there only one sitter available in your area? Could perhaps your mum pick up the visits after 2 weeks? A cat CAN be left alone for more than a day but I would not recommend more than 2 days using an auto feeder. I also recommend using timers for room lights to give her a sense of variance.

All the best to your daughter and your family~

4ever in my Heart
Dizzy my PookieMoose
June 2003- August 26 2017
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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My mum may be able to although it depends on her shifts, if she's doing a late shift or night shift (lates is 2-10pm nights is 8pm-3am) then she'd only be able to do one feed as she drives past my house to get to work, however she may be able to get special consideration from her boss for a few weeks while my daughters in hospital - I never thought to ask

Sansa joined our family in February 2016
On Rainbow Bridge:
Bella
May 2002 - August 2015
RIP My best friend, always in my heart

Last edited by marie73; 01-03-2018 at 03:33 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 03:42 PM
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It's unfortunate that you can't throw cats together like you can with dogs. The best thing would definitely be to leave them in their own home. But if your mom has a separate room Sansa could stay in, that would be okay, too. Your mom could spend time with her when she's home.

You have four weeks, so maybe you could find another person to pet sit if it extends beyond two weeks.

You might also check with your vet. The vet techs at my vet's office often pet-sit to pick up extra money, and they also refer their clients to other reliable pet sitters.

Hoping for the best with this situation and with your daughter.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 04:46 PM
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Location: Western Canada
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Most cats prefer to stay in their own home. She may eventually come out to see the pet sitter, she may not. But she'll probably be a lot happier in familiar surroundings.
If you leave her at home with a sitter, she'll only have the one stress - your absence - to deal with.
If you take her somewhere else she'll have two stresses to deal with - your absence and a whole new home to navigate.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Midlands, UK
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Thank you everyone, never thought to ask at the vets, maybe one of the nurses there could help although she's only been the vets once since we got her so she wouldn't know them either but worth an ask.

Sansa joined our family in February 2016
On Rainbow Bridge:
Bella
May 2002 - August 2015
RIP My best friend, always in my heart
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 06:05 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2017
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My vet has the business cards of a pet sitter on their counter.

One of things I was considering (we will need pet sitting for two weeks in early spring) is a mix and match. Hire a professional for once a day to do one feeding, litter and check on health etc and then hire a high schooler (like a babysitter) to come in for an hour at the end of the day for the second feeding and to spend time with the cats. You might be able to do a mix and match with your current pet sitter, your mother, and neighborhood people.

I hope all goes well for your daughter and your family.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Midlands, UK
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Mix and match might be the best way to go. Pet Sitter is only available for the first two weeks she's confirmed this morning, she's just got to many bookings. She's a family friend and would be doing it for a very cheap rate anyway so don't expect her to miss out on full rate for us.

Sansa joined our family in February 2016
On Rainbow Bridge:
Bella
May 2002 - August 2015
RIP My best friend, always in my heart

Last edited by marie73; 01-04-2018 at 03:17 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 02:31 PM
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Hoping the cat sitting all comes together so you can concentrate on your daughter. Good luck!
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