Leaving a positive first impression to cat owners who are anxious planning their holidays is all you need to win them over. However, what would you do if this is your first cat sitting experience ever?
My first interaction with cats
Most cat sitters are cat lovers by nature, and being a cat lover, it is highly unlikely that you have zero experience with cats before. For me, it started in 2015 when I lived in a house of two cats adopted by university students. I had never touched a cat before, but I’ve gained experience in no time as I was the only work-from-home tenant at that house, and I am the one who takes care of them during the day.
That’s how I started falling in love with these lovely companions. All of a sudden, my phone gallery was full of cute pictures taken while I pet the two cats, play with them, or while they wrestle with each other.
My first story with cats
I also had one incident that made me a rescuer later on. I came home one night and heard that one of the cats had jumped out the window from the fourth floor but he landed on the first floor’s terrace, and hid behind the shutters, scared and in pain. I had to get a ladder and climb up to the first floor’s terrace to rescue him. He broke his leg and we took him to the hospital for operation.
The above incident is a powerful story that shows cat owners that you not only love cats, but you’re willing to do anything to rescue them.
Since that day, I got attached to cats and started researching about them. It has been 7 great years since.
Your cat sitter profile
Help out in cat shelters
If you’ve never interacted with cats before, you’ve got to do this before creating your cat sitter profile. You can start by visiting shelters. Volunteer on weekends by helping out in shelters for rescued cats, or foster your neighbour’s cat while they’re away. There must be an interaction so that you can write something interesting and leave an impact on cat owners.
Tell a story
Always remember, telling a story is powerful. As a marketer, I rely a lot on telling stories everywhere I go and whoever I meet. Storytelling makes your cat sitter profile stand out.
Use humour and playfulness
Cats are funny, but also being funny with cat owners reduces their pre-travel stress a lot. Having a sense of humour is not always easy, however, you can use some one liners or headlines in your profile that stand out and make your cat owner at ease while visiting your profile. I use this headline: Trilingual if meowing is a language. Cat owners have given me a good feedback when I first talked to them, they always remind me how funny my headline is. Use a similar or funnier headline.
Upload powerful pictures
Make sure when you upload photos of cats you sat with to include yourself in those pictures. Cat owners want a proof that you did not steal the photos from somewhere. Show photos where cats are on your shoulder or while you’re playing with them, or petting them while they nap on your lap. This shows the cat owners you are fun to be with around cats, caring and loving.
Verification, Security and Insurance
All three websites that I have recommended in this article have a stringent verification process to protect from any issues that may arise with cats and cat owners. You need cat owners to feel safe leaving their cats with you, so if you are DBS checked, or have insurance you can mention that in your profile as well but it is not necessary as those websites provide that already.
Reliability in case of an emergency or illness
Most cat owners leave excellent instructions and notes for you to follow, however, you need to assure cat owners that you can administer medication and know how to deal with emergencies or certain illnesses. Ask for the cat’s vet number and address and also ask them to show you where the cat carrier is when you meet them.
Show Interest and be Responsive
If you show interest in the cat by asking important questions, you gain the trust of cat owners fast. Questions like are they indoor or outdoor cats, do they have a special food or favourite treats, what makes them happy. Cat owners love to talk about their fur babies, and you need to encourage them to do that. It shows that you care about cats and you’re not cat sitting to spend the day outside site seeing or partying at night.
Ask for Reviews and Provide References
Make sure you ask for reviews and provide references. Do not be surprised if cat owners ask for the email address of previous cat owners you sat for. They are leaving you with their most valuable pet and they want to be sure you are reliable and trustworthy enough around their feline friends.