1. Be sure you have enough food, medications, litter and any other needed supplies for the time that you will be away.
2. Have a back up set of keys made. Give your pet sitter a set and have a set at home hidden outside so that if keys get lost or they get locked out there is a back up. Planters, bar b q, or under a trash can are all good hiding places.
3. Leave detailed instructions on feeding and medications. For example what time of day do you feed and medicate your cat. Leave a copy of these instructions on your home computer for you to print and edit when needed. You may also want to print out a copy and leave it on your refrigerator in case something happens to you in an emergency.
3. If you feed a raw diet be sure to leave specific instructions, raw diets can be labor intensive and complicated. Better yet, freeze single portions that way all your pet sitter needs to do is thaw and feed. We highly recommend washing of dishes immediately after the cat has eaten and always wash your hands after handling.
4. On a separate piece of paper, write out your contact information while you are away, your pet sitter's name and number, your authorization for emergency care for your pets and a local emergency contact. Instruct your pet sitter that in case of emergency to take that piece of paper with them to the veterinarians office and send a copy to your veterinarians office. Because some emergencies happen after hours a copy left at home is helpful. You may want to leave credit card information with your pet sitter to ensure emergency care is not held up if they are unable to reach you or if additional supplies or medications are needed.
5. Show your pet sitter all your cats hiding places.
6. Habits, does your cat have any unusual habits? Does your cat like to open all the kitchen cabinet doors? It can be unsettling when a pet sitter walks into your house and things are not as she/he left them.
7. Is there anything unusual in your home such as doors that need to be kept open or closed, sink drains that don't drain, toilets that run, or facets that don't turn all the way off, and noises made by the appliances or pipes, like the water heater. Do you have a gardner or a pool person? In case of a water problem, show them where the water shut off valve is.
8. Instruct your pet sitter to pick up all newspapers and flyers left at your door or driveway each day. Have them turn a different light on or off each day so that it appears someone is home. Do you want your blinds closed or opened? If your pet sitter is to arrive after dark, be sure to leave an outside light on.