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House-Sitting Question

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  • House-Sitting Question

    I have been asked to house-sit again. I did this last summer, cat-sitting and house-sitting, and left my two cats at home, where they house-sat for me. It was just a few minutes from where I was house-sitting and I went to see them every day and spend time with them.

    I have since moved and have no place to leave them if I accept this other house-sitting job. I can take them with me, but they would have to live in a separate part of the house, and be crated.

    Where we are living now, they have to be crated whenever I leave the property. They each have a big crate, but it is still a crate. When I am "home" with them, they are out of their crates, usually in my lap, and they have a little room to run around, and we sleep together.

    If I take this house-sitting job they will have a room of their own in a separate part of the house. I will need to keep them crated when I am not in their room with them, because they have claws and I don't want them to tear up the furniture. I probably shouldn't let them out of their crates much even when I am with them, to keep them from sharpening their claws on stuff. (They do have a sharpening mat.)

    It is only for about 10 days, but they will have to be crated when I am at work, or in the other part of the house (where I will be sleeping at night). I can spend a lot of time in their room with them when I am "at home" but since there are 2 other kitties in the main house and I will be cat-sitting them, I will need to spend some time with them too. My kitties will have to be crated all night.

    I don't know whether to take the job or not. I need the money (the more I make the longer the kitties and I can live together), but my kitties need to be happy. This will be a strange place to them, and when we moved a couple of months ago the younger cat was so traumatized she hid and growled for 3 days and hardly ate or eliminated. She has had so much stress already in her life, what with 2 new cats coming to live with us, and she is nearly 8 now and not as young as she used to be. I just don't see how I can subject her to another move, for only 10 days, where she will be crated in a strange place and not even be able to sleep with me at night. The other kitty should be OK; she was fine with this move and we had a chance to get really close while the younger kitty was hiding. Older kitty had moved around a lot with her former family and she was able to show me how well she adapted to strange new places.

    I would really appreciate some good feedback from cat people who can say something like "Don't subject the kitties to this trauma" or "Don't worry so much, they will be fine, home is where we're together" sort of thing. I know some kitties are boarded for a week or so in small crates with strange kitty neighbors when their humans go out of town, and at least this way my kitties would have me around some of the time and would have big crates. But even though I want us all to stay together, there is such a thing as quality of life, and we have that right now where we're staying, but I'm not getting paid to stay there. I'm paying.

  • #2
    Kitties are SUCH place creatures. I definitely would not take them with you.

    If you leave them at home while you take this job, though, will they be crated the entire time you're gone? That doesn't sound like a great option either, if so.

    Is not staying at the house you're petsitting an option? My petsitter doesn't spend the night, but she does come by several times a day to check on the critters and spend time with them, and it's worked out just fine for everyone.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for your reply, Simkie.

      I can't leave them where we are staying right now. I pay by the week, and I can't afford to pay for 10 days that I would be staying somewhere else. I would have to move out, at least for those 10 days. That would be just one more traumatic upheaval for the kitties, whether we came back to where we're staying now, or move to another temporary place.

      I appreciate your feedback about house-sitters not having to stay overnight at houses. I have thought of asking if I could just come by and check on these cats and spend time with them, then sleep at my place with my kitties.


      • #4
        Oh, man--that is rough. I would be hard pressed to take a job that required totally moving for 10 days, unless the dollars were really high enough to make it worth it.

        But visiting several times a day sure seems like it would work, especially if it's just cats. I would never ever consider having someone sleep over just to watch my cats!


        • #5
          Originally posted by Simkie View Post
          Oh, man--that is rough. I would be hard pressed to take a job that required totally moving for 10 days, unless the dollars were really high enough to make it worth it.

          But visiting several times a day sure seems like it would work, especially if it's just cats. I would never ever consider having someone sleep over just to watch my cats!
          I agree. We have cats and we don't have an in-house pet sitter when we travel. The cats are far happier at home and they'd really rather not have a stranger in the house 24/7. We take the dogs with us (or board them, if we're flying) and leave the cats at home. We have a neighbor come in every day and feed them, clean up the litter box and give them some attention (IF they even want it, they usually don't).

          I'd ask your sitting client if you can stay at your place and come by however many times a day they feel their cats need. Even the most active cats sleep a good portion of the day, so even if they are active/needy cats, they should be OK with several visits for attention and playing or whatever makes them happy.

          Cats don't like to move, I really think they are happier in their own place, even if there aren't any people in it. They aren't like dogs...who are very people oriented and don't so much care about where they are as long as their "person" is there.


          • #6
            I house sit at a number of places. I have four where I spend the night but only because all three have dogs. Also due to my work schedule and their location it is more convenient to stay at one of those places.

            The places that are cats only I do not stay the night. We go over at random times of the day and frequently will stay until later at night and watch TV or read until just before my bedtime. I then go home right to sleep.

            Unless there is a medical reason to stay overnight with the cats I would ask if you can just show up multiple times of the day.

            If they are worried about burglars offer to show up randomly and make sure you turn different lights on and off, collect mail/newpaper, etc...
            Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


            • #7
              Originally posted by MidnightWriter View Post
              Thanks for your reply, Simkie.

              I have thought of asking if I could just come by and check on these cats and spend time with them, then sleep at my place with my kitties.
              Just saying if you do it this way, you're paying for the place you're in now (which is what you mentioned you didn't want to do). I guess I'm unclear why paying rent for not sleeping there is any different than paying rent for sleeping there. It's best for your cats to stay where they are. It may not matter to them if you sleep there or sleep at the house where you are house sitting.