I have to get this off my chest, to the pet sitters and to the people who use cat sitters or dog sitters.
Maybe I want to also find out if others feel the same way.
Perhaps I want feedback.
Hopefully this will spark a conversation that will bring more value to pet sitting services and the people who need the canine and feline service community.
Let me frame this first by stating the pet industry is exploding and has no intention of cooling off anytime soon!
For years we have seen a burst in the pet industry of products, including cat food, cat toys and pet services like grooming, cat sitting and dog training. More and more pet professionals are popping up left and right offering a vast number of choices for cat and dog lovers. The rise in pet ownership continues so we can safely assume the market for the dog and cat industry will rise as well!
More and more people are using pet sitters to help out while they are away from home. Some dog owners need a walker in the middle of the day while they spend longer hours at the office while others who travel for business could have a cat
RELEVANT: The Ultimate Guide To Adopting A Senior Cat
Hiring A Professional Cat
Hiring a professional cat
I hope it helps you find your forever cat nanny!
|QUESTIONS TO ASK
|INFORMATION TO GET
|How long have you been cat sitting?
|All contact information: full name, mobile phone, email, address
|What do you do if my cat has an emergency/accident?
|Insurance information (if insured)
|Do you have back-up if you have an emergency?
|Emergency contact information
|Can I meet your back-up?
|Are you bonded and insured?
|References (at least 3)
|Will you stay the full time, even if you finish feeding etc?
|Website/social media presence (connect on IG or Facebook)
|Do you have pets, cats?
It took me a year to find my best cat
Interestingly enough, in commiserating with other pet owners including dog people, I have found we all value something that is very important. One key factor that is tough to earn and so very easy to lose.
Ready to know what it is?
Here it is:
Trust is more important to us then your pet service fees,
your experience and even your fancy websites for us to schedule our pet
appointments. Trust is not so easy to obtain and super easy to lose. Trust
takes time and you shouldn’t try to cheat in getting it (with say fake
testimonials) but there are things a pet
The Five Things Cat Sitters Can Do To Gain Trust From New Customers Immediately
Meet and Greet
This is so important. As my cat
Have a sincere interest in my pet and me. Needing to know where the supplies are kept is not an interest. Ask questions like “what toys does your kitty cat like best?” Ask if he has certain treats you can give him. Smile a lot, make me think this is the most exciting thing you are doing all day!
Show a sincere interest in my favorite feline!
Please at least inquire about my cat when you come for the meet and greet. If my kitty cat is hiding, ask where his favorite hiding spots are so you know to check in on him when you come for your visits. You can even bring your list of questions on a clipboard so you don’t forget to ask and take notes (so I am totally blown away by the care you will obviously take when I am away from home!)
- Where is your pet’s favorite hiding places?
- Does your cat (dog) like to be picked up?
- Is your cat (dog) a lap pet?
- Where does your cat want to be petted?
- Does he have a favorite toy?
- Can I feed him snacks?
- Is he afraid of loud noises? (like thunder)
These are in addition to the standard questions like, where are the supplies, can I take your pet to the vet in the event of an emergency, where are the contact numbers for emergency situations etc.
Be A Pet Owner
Yes it is true. We trust you quicker if you have your own pets especially if you have cats (for me as a cat owner). That being said, the cat owner I adore was not a cat owner when she started sitting for Finnegan. She and her husband had a dog, but not a cat. She used to tell me my cat was her favorite and he made her want to adopt one. Guess what? They did end up adopting a kitty cat, and he is a tuxedo too! That makes my heart melt that perhaps my little tuxedo guy had something to do with her adopting a cat too!
So being a pet owner is most definitely preferred, but if you can totally nail the other items this one can be overlooked. My adorable cat will of course charm you into getting your own in no time.
Have Real Testimonials
Testimonials on your website are great but ideally I heard about your awesomeness through a friend. As a business development professional myself I would say, never be afraid to remind your customers to brag about you. Perhaps you can leave a note after your visits or have a tag line on your business card that literally asks them to tell their friends about you!
In addition to word of mouth and websites, I think social media is so under used by the pet services community. The pet community naturally gravitates to each other on Instagram, Facebook and even Twitter. Use these outlets to sprinkle your testimonials throughout and even post photos of your current furry clients! (with permission of course)
I saved the trait in a cat
You want to know what it is?
The Number One Quality Of A Cat
Text me pictures. With a Note. In Real time.
For me as a cat owner who travels, this is by far the most important thing any pet
Text me pictures. With a Note. In Real time.
So many pet sitters leave hand written notes for the owners which I guess is a nice touch when we get home, but I want to know in real time how things are going.
Ideally a text message as soon as you arrive, a text with a photo of my kitty cat, and a text when you leave. Why three text messages? You are letting me know what time you arrived, that my cat is okay and having a nice time with you, and that you stayed the entire time. This is so very powerful. The
Does this seem too much?
Too high maintenance?
Don’t worry, there is good news!
Conquer the above immediately upon our working together and you can expect a cat owner customer who loves to tip you, leave you gifts for your birthday and holidays and sings your praise to all my friends and family. I’ll even post testimonials on MY social media platforms!
Yes, it might seem like a lot to add all of these things into the standard expectations of a cat
Lisa Illman is the inventor of an outdoor cat enclosure line and founder here at Kritter Kommunity. Lisa and her product the Kritter Kondo have been featured in Cat Fancy, the Chicago Tribune, Chestnut Hill West, Good Morning America and most recently Steve Harvey’s Funderdome. You can follow Kritter Kommunity on Facebook and Twitter @KritterKondo.