From the life of a cat sitter

As you may have read before, I also work as a cat sitter.

People ask me whether I just feed and clean litter trays all day. Well, yes and no. I mean I do feed cats and clean litter trays, but there’s much more to it.
In the series of posts I’ll share some anecdotes from my life as a cat sitter. I promise these stories are all true, though the cat’s names have sometimes been changed to protect their identity 😉

Today: a case of mistaken identity

I sometimes cover for colleagues when they are away and it’s not aleays possible to meet clients and their cats beforehand. However, we brief each other about the cats and their needs. On one occasion though, we had not briefed each other about what the cat looks like…

I went in to visit Stevie. Some rooms are off limits for him but he can come inside or go out as and when he pleases. So I wasn’t too surprised not to see him inside and opened the door to go into the garden. Sure enough, “Stevie” soon approached me and wanted lots of fuss and cuddles and breakfast of course.

As I walked into the house again I heard meows coming from somewhere, but not from “Stevie”. I listened carefully and they seemed to come from behind one particular door to a room that was off limits when the client was away. Guess where Stevie had spent the night? He ran into the garden as soon as I let him out of the room only to go and lie down next to “Stevie”. Turned out Stevie and his imposter were besties!

From the life of a cat sitter

As you may have read before, I also work as a cat sitter.

People ask me whether I just feed and clean litter trays all day. Well, yes and no. I mean I do feed cats and clean litter trays, but there’s much more to it.
In the series of posts I’ll share some anecdotes from my life as a cat sitter. I promise these stories are all true, though the cat’s names have sometimes been changed to protect their identity 😉

Today: the cat version of Eastenders

Cats are sometimes quite literally the talk of the neighbourhood!

Jinxy is one such example. She is quite a vocal cat, always meowing for attention.

I was looking after her when I received a text from a friend who lives in the same street. The neighbours had been chatting about a cat that seemed lost and was meowing a lot. My friend wondered if I knew the cat. I said, yes that’s Jinxy and she’s not lost and she is also being fed and cuddled.

Well, the neighbours weren’t too sure as she stayed in a garden at the end of the road for quote a long time and was very vocal (did I mention she’s a chatty one?)

I’ve known Jinxy for several years and she was fine when I saw her on the morning, but still. Things happen so I thought it better to go round and check on her on my way home.

Sure enough when I arrived Jinxy was no longer on the garden at the end of the road, but people thought she’d gone into someone else’s garden. No, not there either. I went to Jinxy’s home and guess who was not lost after all? She was quite happily snoozing in her own home.

She’s been the talk of the neighbourhood on various occasions since then. Somehow I suspect she’s loving the attention…

From the Life of a Cat Sitter

Besides being a cat behaviourist I work as a cat sitter as well.

People ask me whether I just feed and clean litter trays all day. Well, yes and no. I mean I do feed cats and clean litter trays, but there’s much more to it.
In the series of posts I’ll share some anecdotes from my life as a cat sitter. I promise these stories are all true, though the cat’s names have sometimes been changed to protect their identity 😉

Today: a few ‘golden oldies’

Older cats often have special needs. Many of them suffer from arhtritis but they can have a history of other illnesses too, most notably kidney disease. Some of them have dementia: they forget why they walked into a room, they forget they already ate their food, they forget where you are or what time it is and meow loudly in the middle of the night. It can help to buy a timed feeder so your cat gets more smaller meals a day rather than 2 main meals (don’t forget the night feed or they will still wake you). It also helps to give them multiple warm places to sleep. And don’t forget to play with them: cats remain playful throughout their life. You may want to change the type of games and forego jumping games, but they still like playing with laser pointers or chase or kick toys. Don’t play for too long, short and frequent is better for them.

And if you think older cats are never mischievous then think again…. Thom is a perfect example! He’s a gorgeous 13 year old boy with a history of liver problems. I’ve been visiting him for a few days now and he always comes inside as soon as he hears me. Either that or he is already home and asleep on the sofa.

Billy
When I come I notice something strange lying on the kitchen floor. ‘What on earth has the cat dragged in?’ is going through my mind. I walk closer and somehow it looks like raw chicken?? Did he go through any of the neighbours’ bins? Well… no…. Thom has found a way to open the freezer and made a hole in the bag with chicken thighs. He’s eaten the skin and left the rest. He’s sitting in the kitchen grooming himself and looking rather pleased with himself…

 

My next cat is 20180819_183835a lovely old boy named Mr. Biscuits. He was 11 years old when his owners adopted him. Rehoming an older cat is very rewarding. Older cats are often overlooked in shelters and have more medical needs than younger cats. Mr. Biscuits is no exception: he has hyperthyroidism and chronic kidney disease and needs medication twice a day.
He loves the company and sitting with me. But he’s not ready to just sit behind the window: his owners take him ‘walkies’ in the park!
If you’re thinking of getting an older cat or already have one and would like more information, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Life of a Cat Sitter

Besides being a cat behaviourist I work as a cat sitter as well.

People ask me whether I just feed and clean litter trays all day. Well, yes and no. I mean I do feed cats and clean litter trays, but there’s much more to it.
In the series of posts I’ll share some anecdotes from my life as a cat sitter. I promise these stories are all true, though the cat’s names have sometimes been changed to protect their identity 😉

Today: multi-cat households

Quite a few people have two cats. Often siblings but sometimes completely unrelated. Some of them get along very well; others try and spend as little time together as possible. If the cats in the latter group live in a large enough house or have outdoor access then there usually aren’t too many problems. Each cat will have its own territory and a shared space for mealtimes, for example.
Today a few couples who luckily get along quite well.

First up the best mother-daughter duo I know: Lyra & Sooty. Lyra tends to eat her daughter’s food if they are not kept separated during mealtimes… But then, if Sooty is not yet finished that means more TLC for Lyra (who absolutely loves attention).

Lyra&Sooty

After all necessities (food, water, litter trays) it is time for their favourite game! These guys have various things to play with: boxes, activity feeders, kicking toys, balls, a laser pen, a play circuit, but none of these is quite as good as….. a proper riding whip! They love jumping up to get it, chasing it across the floor or chasing it underneath the rustling papers. They love it so much that they both want to play with the whip at the same time… Refereeing skills are essential here 🙂

20190610_120425
Next couple are brother and sister Zeus & Belle. These two genuinely love each other.
Need more proof?

These two are so sweet! They take turns sitting in my lap. They generally want to play with the fishing rod toys or laser pointer. It’s best to have two toys and use both hands because they don’t share toys!
These two are normally in the same room during the day, but when I stay overnight Belle likes to sleep next to me whereas Zeus prefers his own bed. In the morning Belle will walk up to my face and paw at the duvet while Zeus will be meowing loudly downstairs: no need for an alarm clock 😉

Next time a few ‘golden oldies’

From the Life of a Cat Sitter

Besides being a cat behaviourist I work as a cat sitter as well.

People ask me whether I just feed and clean litter trays all day. Well, yes and no. I mean I do feed cats and clean litter trays, but there’s much more to it.
In the series of posts I’ll share some anecdotes from my life as a cat sitter. I promise these stories are all true, though the cat’s names have sometimes been changed to protect their identity 😉

Today: Buddy and Gandalf

Buddy is a sweet old guy. I’ve been his cat sitter for several years now. He was recently diagnosed with kidney disease so timing of my visits is important as he needs medication every day.
Some cats can be a little tricky with pills, but not this guy! He’s practically begging for me to give him his pill 🙂 For those of you whose cats are tricky: try the pill pocket (although it only worked once with Dirk, the second time he refused to eat it).

After feeding, medication and litter tray cleaning it’s time to relax together and listen to the calming cat music playing in the background. I’m certainly feeling very zen when I leave.

Ian Curtis

My next guy is a teenage boy named Gandalf. He used to sleep on my arm and nuzzle my neck, but the hormones are kicking in and cuddling is not cool. Ever since he figured out how to open the sliding door he’s waiting for me in the hallway instead of the living room 🙂

I love Gandalf. He loves all sorts of toys. He likes giving any of his stuffed animals a good kicking and chasing the infamous “red dot” of the laser pen. In fact, I’ve never seen a cat jump so high up on the wall trying to reach it!

Gandalf

Next time: fun with kittens!