Is it better to board a cat or hire a pet sitter?

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If possible, it’s always better to hire a professional pet sitter when you’re going to be away. This will allow your cat to keep his usual routine in an environment where he’s comfortable. Although most kennels and boarding facilities are well run, there is always the chance of your pet contracting a contagious illness or disease or getting parasites.

Professional pet sitters are trained to handle health emergencies and in fact, many times techs at your vet clinic earn extra money on the side providing vacation services. That is an ideal situation if your cat has special dietary needs and the person coming in to tend to the food, water, and litter box is also familiar with the animal.

Pet sitters are able to spend time with the cat, interacting and playing. Often a kennel charges extra for these services. Additionally, pet sitters are generally amenable to bringing in your mail and watering your plants while taking care of Fluffy. The activity of someone coming in and out of your home with no mail or newspapers piling up is a good deterrent against potential burglars while you’re out of town.

Expect about $10 and up per visit from a sitter, and be prepared to leave adequate supplies. Always introduce the animals to the sitter in advance, and make sure they have all the contact information for your veterinarian, as well as your itinerary and a way to get in touch with you should an emergency come up.

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