Vancouver Cat Sitting FAQ

Vancouver Cat Sitting

Over the years, we’ve been asked a lot of questions.

Please review these commonly asked questions and answers below and if you don’t see an answer to a question you’re thinking of, contact us here.

What do you do on a Kitty Home Care visit?

  • Feeding as per your instructions & filling fresh water.
  • Providing any oral, topical or injection medicines.
  • Litter Box cleaning, disposal and ensuring a clean home.
  • Watering of any indoor house plants.
  • Collecting any mail and/or newspapers.
  • Lights on and off, and blinds down at night.
  • Caring love, attention and play time!
  • House care and security.
  • Brushing Kitty.
  • A daily update of how your Kitty is doing with a photo
    (pending weather and/or technology conditions).

We promise to stay for as long as it takes to make sure your kitty is reasonably happy, secure and comfortable. If your cat needs extra time to form a bond at the beginning of seeing them, we will try to do that. We do not just ‘feed and dash’. We actually spend time with your kitty.

Why should I hire Kitty Home Care?

We truly care about cats. We are responsible, reliable and professional.

Cats like to keep familiar surroundings. Animal care experts agree that staying in their own homes keeps cats from enduring the stress of transport and being in contact with other animals. It’s important for your cat to maintain their regular routines with respect to diet and daily activity, plus get undivided attention during our Kitty Home Care visits!

Just read some of our reviews to see how we’ve helped others.

What exactly is Cat Sitting?

“Cat sitting” is defined as “the act of caring for a cat in his or her own home while the owner is away, and involves coming to the pet’s home to provide exercise and companionship.

If a cat is kept within another person’s home or a facility, that is called “Pet Boarding.” We do not provide this service.

Cat sitters are employed when a person goes on a vacation, travels for business, works long hours or when they are too sick or injured to care for their cat(s). Cat sitters perform a variety of tasks such as feeding the cat(s), refreshing their water, cleaning litter boxes, cleaning up any other messes and generally providing TLC. Also a cat sitter would also water any plants, bring in mail or newspapers, alternate the blinds and lights, and give the home a ‘lived-in look’ while the humans are away.

What separates a friend or a relative caring for my cat(s) from a professional cat sitter?

Often times, cat owners, and even news outlets, use the term “cat sitter” carelessly, referring to anyone – from a family friend to the neighbourhood teenager – as a “cat sitter.” It is important cat owners understand that cat sitting is a professional career and professional cat sitters offer peace of mind that other cat-care options cannot.

With the influx of cat-care directory sites popping up in the last couple of years and news stories touting cat sitting as an easy way to earn extra cash, more and more people are deciding to cash in on the growing need for cat care.

Those looking to enter the industry (and cat owners seeking cat sitters) should note that simply being listed on an online cat-sitter directory or even a nationally-publicized site does not automatically legitimize their cat-sitting businesses. Individuals seeking to offer professional cat-sitting services should be able to answer “YES” to the following questions

Often times, cat owners, and even news outlets, use the term “cat sitter” carelessly, referring to anyone – from a family friend to the neighbourhood teenager – as a “cat sitter.” It is important cat owners understand that cat sitting is a professional career and professional cat sitters offer peace of mind that other cat-care options cannot.

With the influx of cat-care directory sites popping up in the last couple of years and news stories touting cat sitting as an easy way to earn extra cash, more and more people are deciding to cash in on the growing need for cat care.

Those looking to enter the industry (and cat owners seeking cat sitters) should note that simply being listed on an online cat-sitter directory or even a nationally-publicized site does not automatically legitimize their cat-sitting businesses. Individuals seeking to offer professional cat-sitting services should be able to answer “YES” to the following questions:

  1. Does the cat sitter have the proper business license for your city or state if required?
  2. Is the cat sitter insured and bonded?
  3. Can the cat sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?
  4. Does the cat sitter provide client references or reviews?
  5. Will the cat sitter use a cat-sitting services agreement or contract?
  6. Is the cat sitter Certified Professional cat Sitter® and/or has he or she participated in cat-care training, such as cat first aid?
  7. Is the cat sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?

How much do you charge for Cat Sitting?

Click here for our complete and current list of fees and rates. Please note that our rates completely depend upon where you live, how many cats you have, when you need us and how many visits per day you would like. You need to fill in this form to get a quote. We will not provide quotes over the phone.

How long are your cat sitting visits?

Typically we will spend a minimum of 40-minutes with your kitties, but we do offer shorter and longer options and would change the cost. Just contact us to ask us anything.

Who will be taking care of my kitty?

It depends on where you live. The primary cat sitter is Alex, but we do employ other cat sitters across the city. Naturally any one person can not and does not work 84 hours (12 hours x 7 days) a week.

Which cat sitter you get depends largely on what neighbourhood you live in. Some sitters may live closer to you and we would assign that sitter (with their backup sitter) to you.

Upon our initial consultation, you will meet in person who will be in your home and caring for your loved one(s) and if not, a copy of their ID will be emailed to you but ultimately your kitty friend(s) will be cared for – no matter what happens.

Are you insured and bonded?

Yes. Kitty Home Care is insured and bonded through BINKS pet sitting insurance. Our insurance plan includes property damage liability, professional liability, general liability, coverage for your home and contents, lost key coverage and complete coverage for your kitty.

Can you provide me with your Certificate of Insurance?

Unfortunately not as it includes our specific internal policy details. You are free to contact BINKS to confirm that we are insured by them.

How do I contact you?

Email is the best as we’re often working with cats or in transit and we won’t take phone calls during these times. If you do call and can’t reach us, leave a voice message and someone will try to get back to you as soon as we can. Either use our contact form here or email us at help@kittyhomecare.com

All bookings must be made via email or by using our contact form or via email.

You may call our toll-free number but we will not provide availability or quotes over the phone, and we may be busy taking care of cats or in transit so email really is best.

How do we get started?

First, we ask that you complete our consultation form here so you can tell us more about your cat(s) and what days you need us so we can determine if and when we can help you.

If you’re happy with the quoted price and agreement provided via email, then we will mutually arrange a time to meet you and your cat(s) in your home, and how you prefer your best furry friends to be cared for in your home. The in-home consultations typically last 30 minutes on average.

If you want to move forward after meeting us, check in whether we are still available (as our availability naturally changes every day) and we ask for a minimum of 50% of the total cost paid up front, and the rest paid upon return. We only accept e-transfer or cash. Until you are formally booked, any arranged dates and times are still open to other clients so it’s important to book as early as possible. Our availability changes quickly.

By booking with us you agree to our terms and conditions found here. Please be aware that there is a cost for us returning the keys but this can be waived if you pick them up from us at a mutually scheduled day & time.

I filled out the consultation form. So am I booked now?

No. After we’ve met you, and we agree to help, we require you to pay at least 50% up front. Then you are booked with us.

Do you charge for the initial consultation?

The initial consultation is free and non-committal but we do ask for a minimum of 3 days notice to schedule the consultation, though sometimes we may be able to meet you sooner in an emergency. You are under no obligation to use our services following the initial consultation. And the same for us, we are under no obligation after meeting you to provide our service. This is just for us to get to know you and your kitty and for you to get to know us. The whole point of our in-home consultation is about establishing trust.

What if I’m not ready to book following the consultation?

Our in-home consultation is non-committal. If you’re not ready, that’s okay. Please know that our schedule changes almost daily and we book and schedule first paid, first served. It’s advisable to book as soon as possible to ensure our time for your cat(s).

In which neighbourhoods are your Vancouver cat sitting available?

We offer cat sitting services in most of Vancouver. We generally serve most neighbourhoods in the Zone 1 and Zone 2 Translink areas. We currently are not serving North Vancouver.

It’s best to contact us and see if we can help you.

What hours do you provide your services?

We offer our cat sitting services, with reservation, every day from 9 am to 9 pm.

Do you offer overnight stays?

Mostly no, but contact us anyway. We might be able to help.

What is your phone number?

Our general toll-free number is 1-888-525-4889
(1-888-52-KITTY). Please note that we will not take bookings or provide quotes over the phone. This phone number is intended for our existing clients to call when away or for others with general inquiries.

If we don’t answer the phone, it’s because we’re busy caring for kitties, in transit or otherwise busy. Voice messages are often returned quickly. Please don’t call us repeatedly within the same day without leaving a message!

If you get our voice mail, simply leave a message.

For the fastest and most concise response, it’s best to reach us via out our contact page (or via help@kittyhomecare.com ) and let us know when is a good time to reach you via phone, text or email if a phone call is necessary. However without specifics, we consider such requests low priority.

Do you always visit at the time of day requested?

For the most part, yes, but of course there are considerations to take into consideration that might cause us be early or later than desired such as traffic and acts of nature can cause unpredictable and uncontrollable delays. We usually will visit your kitty the time you ask for but we always aim for a 2-hour timeframe window, especially during peak months, holidays and extreme transit issues or weather.

So if you ask for 9 am visits, we’ll aim to be present from around 9-11 am. We don’t start our day until 9am (working for 12 hours every day!) so the actual visit time also relies on transit time to your home and the priority of bookings. Those who book early always receive priority.

Most of us rely on transit and some times a bus doesn’t show up or is late. And we ask you to understand that if a snowstorm or earthquake happens, that will obviously delay anyone’s travel.

How far in advance should I call to reserve a Kitty Home Care consultation?

The sooner the better for scheduling. Most people schedule and book with us at least a month or two in advance, but for returning clients, three days notice is acceptable. If you’re unsure, contact us and we’ll give you an idea of how busy we’re booking up.

If you plan on being away for January, May, June, July, August or December, you should book as soon as possible to guarantee a booking as these months are usually busy for many Vancouver cat sitters.

Less than 48 hours notice requires an emergency fee be applied. Also it can’t hurt to send us a quick message and ask if we’re available just in case we are.

What if I am not available for the initial consultation and forget or am unable to tell you?

If we show up for an initial consultation and you are not present, a follow-up consultation will be charged a fee prior to us showing up. Please notify us if you can’t make it the initial consultation, within at least 24 hours prior.

No one likes being stood up.

What if I want a second consultation to meet one of your other cat sitters?

The first consultation is free but every additional consultation carries a fee. See here for the current fee for extra consultations.

What is your cancellation policy?

We have a moderately strict cancellation policy. We understand things come up and plans change but we also need a reasonable amount of fair notice for our staff to make adjustments to their respective schedule(s).

Our time is valuable. Just seeing kitties in a minimum of 7-12 homes in one day (with consideration of travel time) takes up a full day for a full time cat sitter. There is a limit of how many daily visits one cat sitter can schedule and attend, especially if a specific time is wanted. Please consider that all of our cat sitters have other commitments in their lives. Scheduling matters.

Cancellation requests or inquiries about cancellations must be made via email only. Cancellations made with more than 7 days notice are subject to a deduction of 25% of the full cost of the visits, and the rest of funds returned.

If a cancellation request occurs with less than 7 days notice, Kitty Home Care keeps the full initial payment or a maximum of 50% of the total costs (whatever is the lesser).

If you paid Kitty Home Care in cash, a mutually scheduled time must be arranged to meet us to retrieve such. Otherwise an e-transfer payment will be made within 2 business days after the cancellation request has been made.

Will I receive a refund or cost deduction if I leave later than expected or return early?

Unfortunately not. While we understand it is not unusual for trip plans to change at the last minute, please understand that we carefully schedule our time to serve our clients and that we may have turned other people down to allow time for your cat(s). Of course please inform us if you are leaving late or returning early. It avoids any awkwardness if we show up and you’re there.

We really don’t like that. Communication goes both ways.

Do you offer any sort of satisfaction guarantee?

We understand that you want to know that your cats will be cared for just the way you specify. We believe in long-lasting client relationships, so our service is only complete when you return home and are completely satisfied. A bad experience for you would equally be a bad experience for us. We strive to avoid that at all costs. We are honest and we care about the responsibility entrusted to us.

Here are some of our Vancouver cat sitting reviews

How many clients does Kitty Home Care have?

As of June 2018, we have over 180 human clients, taking care of over 250 kitties.

Will you take care of my cats without meeting them?

No. We need to do the initial in-home consultation with you and your cat(s) physically before taking care of your cats in your home so we can know the unique experience of your kitties and how they live in your home.

I just need someone to clean out the cat litter. Can you do that?

Yes! Whether you just have a roommate who doesn’t clean the litter while you’re at work or you’re pregnant and would rather avoid any chance of toxoplasmosis, we can help you for a reduced rate. Contact us to get a quote.

Can I have cat visits done every 2nd day?

We will only consider this on a case-by-case basis.
Contact us and we’ll consider your situation.

How long are the Kitty Home Care visits?

We prefer to stay with your kitty for at least 40 minutes, but offer longer and shorter visits on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the more cats you have, the longer we stay.

Will you stay the whole day with my cat(s)?

In extreme situations depending on our booking availability (we do have other cats to care for) and of course, it would cost a great deal more than our regular rate. Contact us to inquire.

How do I give you my keys?

We ask for two copies of your keys to be provided during the initial in-home consultation or a few days before your departure (dropping off the keys to us).

Click here to see our Kitty Home Care costs.

How do I get my keys back?

We can return your keys in-person after your return for a prescribed fee (included with the quote). Otherwise, a mutually agreed upon time and day and will have to be scheduled in advance (via email preferably). Please note that our schedules are busy and we often will not carry your keys with us if we’re not currently visiting your kitties.

I only have one front door key for my building. How do I get this to you but have it ready for me when I return?

We recommend you ask your building owner/manager for a copy of the front door key. Otherwise, most buildings have a buzz code which can be set to call your cell phone number. This is a good because you can let yourself into your own building upon your return.

If you need a Vancouver cat sitter in the future, in the long run, this is the most convenient and low-cost solution. Contact us and let’s see if we can work out some way this could work otherwise.

How will I get my keys back?

You can get your keys back many ways. We prefer to return your keys to you in-person, and there is an additional cost to cover the time it takes to do so depending on where you live. You can pick up the keys from us for free pending a pre-arranged mutually scheduled time and day.

Some of our Vancouver cat sitting clients like to have us hold their keys, especially if they expect to use our services again. This approach saves money and time for many people, especially if you wish to have us cat sit again.

Please note that all keys are held in a locked security box.

Click here to view our rates and options pricing.

Where do I pick up my keys?

It depends on what time and day agreed upon and where the cat sitter with your keys happens to be. Generally we can tell you what neighbourhood we should be in but our schedule changes everyday and nothing in this business is like clockwork. Traffic and weather are the biggest issues that may delay our ability to be anywhere at a specific time.

Can you leave my keys on my property?

Only on a case-by-case basis; if your door locks from the inside or there is a mail slot AND only if the payment is made in full. For your own security, you should have your own set of keys. We prefer not to do this in case your return home is delayed.

Will you lose my keys?

We would never purposely lose or be careless with your keys. This is why we number our clients’ keys so that in the rare case your keys are lost, no one will know where they belong. We also store our clients’ keys in a locked security safe.

Help! I have to leave the city right away!
Can you help?

On a case-by-case basis. All other normal rates apply but there please note that there is an emergency fee to facilitate these short notice emergency visits if they can be scheduled.

Can you let me know how my cat is doing while I’m away?

Yes, absolutely! We insist on it.

We offer either text or email updates. Text updates are sent either during or at the end of the visit and will include a picture. If you’re going to a location where you may not be able to receive texts or are fine with non-urgent updates, we can also send you an email at the end of every night that we visit – with a picture and perhaps a longer summary of the visit.

You may also opt out of this service as some clients have for various reasons. Please note that we have no control over your email service.

When will I receive my daily update?

Usually at the end of the day, though some times we can update you during the visit, depending on various factors.

Will I always get a photo with my update?

Most of the time, yes.

If we can’t find your cat (but can see they have been eating and using the litter, and thus confirming they are there), obviously we can’t provide a photo. And some times, kitties are too happy to stay still. There also unfortunately have been some nights or times when an update could not be made – this is rare though.

If my cat pukes or has a ‘bathroom accident’ will you clean it up?

Yes. We’re taking care of your cats so we will clean up after and care for your cats to the best of our ability.  During the free in-home consultation, we will ask how you’d prefer an accident to be taken care of and if any discipline is necessary. 

What if my cat is on a regular medication schedule?

We will schedule our visits to your home to coincide with the times your cat regularly receives his/her medication. There is no extra charge for this service, but longer visits may need to be scheduled in some rare situations. We have experience with oral, topical and injection medications.

Can you adminster insulin injections?

Yes. That is not a problem assuming that your cat is willing. We usually will distract your kitty while administering the injection. A trial run may be necessary with your presence.

Please note we do not do provide injections using a Lantus Pen.

Will I always get the same cat sitter?

Most of the time yes, but it may happen that another sitter will take over for various reasons, or substitute if the primary cat sitter for your area is not available due to sickness or injury for example.

We try to keep consistency as much as possible.

What if my Kitty gets sick or injured while I’m away?

The first thing we will do is contact you and ask for your direction. If we can’t reach you in a timely manner, we may take it upon ourselves to take your kitty to a veterinarian of your choice or our choice. This is something we discuss during our in-home consultation.

While there is an additional cost to this service, there is no extra cost for how long we stay with your kitty during an emergency. We really care about your kitty while you’re gone and will always keep you updated.

Your consent to any cost or action affecting your cat’s health is paramount to us.

If my Kitty needs to be at the Vet, will you charge me extra for spending time with him or her?

In the rare case that your kitty needs Veterinarian assistance (and you consent to this), we will not charge you for any additional time spent providing care beyond transportation (via taxi). We will provide you with receipts or proof of payment.

We don’t want your kitty to feel alone or scared at the veterinarian and we will make every effort to ensure a smooth and comfortable transit between your home and the veterinarian’s office and back home. This is without extra charge.

We do ask that you have your credit card given to your preferred veterinarian in case charges are required, as we will not cover these costs in advance.

No kitty should ever feel alone.

Can you provide Cat toys?

Generally no, but we may bring along a shoelace or some thick hair ties if we feel your cat needs some play time. We recommend you buy your own cat toys to stay at home for constant play when we’re not visiting and for familiarity for your kitty.

What happens if I did not leave enough food or litter for my cat(s)?

This rarely happens but can when you have a busy life. Most of us have poured cereal into a bowl only to realise we have no milk in the fridge. It happens.

We will notify you that there is not enough food upon arrival and during our visits so that you are aware, and in case you may have more food in another place in your home or food can be arranged to be dropped off.

If we do need to make a special trip to purchase food we will be glad to do so. There will be an extra trip charge plus the cost of the food. We will provide receipts for reimbursement. If an extra trip to your home is needed for an extra visit to feed your cats, that will be charged as well.

Do you board cats?

We do not board cats or any pets, or provide pet kennels. We only provide cat sitting in your home.

Do you provide dog sitting?

No, we only offer cat sitting.

Can I be a cat sitter too?

We accept applications here.

Do you stay in my home while I’m gone?

No. We only stay with your cat(s) during our visits. Only during emergencies will we stay overnight with your kitty.

Will you smoke cigarettes in my home?

Absolutely not. All but one of our Vancouver cat sitters are non-smokers and we would schedule with you accordingly to your home scent preferences. Respect for your home, valuables and most importantly, your kitties is of the highest regard of our service.

Will you clean my home while I’m gone?

Generally, we try to leave your place exactly as you had it when you left. We may tidy it up a bit but home cleaning services are not included for free.

Will you eat my food when I’m gone?

Absolutely not.

I have cats who go out every day. Is this OK?

Only during the visits and only if it’s an enclosed space or balcony – to be decided on a case-by-case basis during the in-home consultation.

We generally insist that your cat(s) stay inside while under our care, given that your cat may be outside for longer than the scheduled visit. Even if they’re very good about coming home, the sudden change in human contact might encourage them to vanish (thinking you’ve left them), and we don’t want that!

We also have to consider the many outside environmental factors that we can’t possibly control may hurt you kitty once it leaves your home.

Will you give my cat(s) catnip?

Only if you request this. We can provide this without charge if you don’t have any but generally we’d like to be there with them when they are ‘catnipping’.

What doesn’t Kitty Home Care do?

  • We do not take care of dogs.
  • We won’t provide medical injections using a Lantus Pen.
  • We will not clip your kitty claws.

Where can I find more resources about animal care?

Tipping?

It’s not necessary or expected but appreciated of course. The best way to tip us is to recommend us by leaving us a review on Facebook or Google. We pay out tips to our cat sitters for every positive review they earn.