Become a Cat Sitter

Cat sitting

One of the best things about being a cat sitter is that just about anyone can do it. While it would be helpful to have special training with cats and cat health issues, that isn’t a necessity for cats without any preexisting conditions A person must be passionate about animals – especially cats – to be a cat sitter.

Cat sitter services have a couple of different options when it comes to cat sitting. Cat sitters can either choose to take the cats to their own home during the full duration of the cat sitting job. They could also visit their client’s home as often as necessary, since cats are generally okay without human interaction.

If you are thinking about becoming a cat sitter, whether it’s a professional career or just a temporary job, there are several things you must consider. Below is a list of things to take into consideration before you become a cat sitter.

Become educated and certified.

A love of cats is a great place to start, but you owe it to yourself, your clients, and the cats in your care to become well versed in learning all about cats, cat health, and cat personality issues.

Check with your city government to learn about licenses and/or insurance requirements.

Some cities and towns require that cat sitters have special licenses, and some even require cat sitters to be insured and bonded. More frequently than not, governments require that businesses are licensed, so even if your city doesn’t have special regulations for cat sitters, they may require some form of license to operate a business.

Learn about cats.

You will need to know about cats and cat care before you become a cat sitter. Spend some time at a local cat shelter or rescue organization to learn about how cats behave and interact with out cats. See how cats play with other cats and humans, and learn about what can irritate and/or anger a cat. Speak with a veterinarian about what types of foods to avoid with cats. The most important thing is interacting with cats to learn how you can stay in control at all times.

Think about how you will find clients.

While word of mouth may be one of the best ways to find clients, that doesn’t necessarily help someone who is new to the business. Advertising on a site like CatSitter.com can help expose you to people looking to find a local cat sitter. You can also check in with local cat owner organizations, pet shops, and even non-profits like the Humane Society. A nice looking website will also help you get noticed, and handing out business cards will keep you in the minds of cat owners.

Get references and recommendations.

Trust is a big factor for people when choosing a cat sitter. Not only will you be looking after animals that are loved, but you may have access to private homes. Cat owners will want to thoroughly vet you before hiring you. Be prepared with personal references and recommendations, even if they aren’t pet-related.

Learn about the business of cat sitting.

Cat owners will want to know how much you charge for cat sitting, so it’s a good idea to research what other cat sitters charge for their services. Determine if this amount will be enough to cover your time and costs. You might also consider whether you can offer other services, such as cat grooming or cat sitting.

In addition to learning about cats, successful sitters are successful business people. How you set your rates and policies and go about marketing yourself are critical components to financial success while helping cats and their owners.

Own a Franchise

There are a number of well-established and successful cat sitting and pet care companies that have franchise opportunities. For example, Fetch Pet Care has over 200 franchisees across the United States. By owning a franchise, you not only get to represent the established brand in your local market, but you also have access to the company’s business and marketing guides, helping you run the business successfully. You can flatten the learning curve that exists when starting a business from scratch.

Join and Organization

There are a number of organizations for pet sitters and pet sitting businesses. Many of these organizations provide advice, certification, classes, and tools for pet sitting companies.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/odalaigh/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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