Cat minding cattery alternative: Why one owner chose cat sitting
Lisa and Milo go back a few years, they have moved houses together once in the UK and then they emigrated together to Spain. Milo is very dear to Lisa, he’s family. His well being is really important. In this blog HouseSitMatch asked Lisa the cat owner a regular user of pet care why in this instance she chose cat minding as a cattery alternative.
Lisa explains that how she organises pet care or pet sitting for Milo when she goes on holiday depends on the circumstances. She has used a cattery in the past, though most frequently they had friends as reliable house sitters to stay and care for him when she went away. Now they are based in Spain she is planning a cat house sitting arrangement through HouseSitMatch.
In this blog she also describes how she managed their relocation and his transition to life in a new country, and the transportation and settlement of her pet cat Milo, and why she chose cat minding through cat sitting as pet care for him once settled in their new home.
Emigrating with a cat: Before the move to Spain
HSM – What did you do to prepare Milo for the journey (if anything) from Hastings to Southern Spain.
LISA – Finding a reputable person to transport him was really scary. We were lucky that tennis club friends have a cattery in Hastings (where he had to go for about 10 days) and would send us pics and I could talk to the owner every day.
Once he was a bit unwell but she said that otherwise he was an absolute joy.
He had been to this lovely cattery before so we were comfortable with that choice, we knew he’d be well taken care of.
Moving the cat to another country
HSM – How did you transport him if you didn’t take him with you?
LISA – I felt that it would be stressful for me and therefore him to travel with him and I’d rather professional people took him. I took time researching the options available, and surprisingly it’s a really expensive thing to do – even though we chose a shared journey for Milo his trip cost four times as much as our two tickets put together!
The specialist pet transportation company picked him up from Hastings for an overnight near the ferry and then an early start. Once in France they drove the whole way down through the country.
We could message the drivers and the owner of the company the whole time to see how things were going but they didn’t say much, with little to report they said he was just fine.
When we picked him up from the collection point (about 15 mins from our house near Marbella) I cried when I saw his little face! It was such a relief to see all was well with him.
Settling in period
HSM – What you did for the first few weeks in the new house,
Lisa – On arrival and within a few minutes of being let out of his carry cage, he was eating his dinner – not too traumatised though!
But for the first few weeks while he settled into his new environment, new rooms, new smells etc we kept him in our bedroom with his food and tray. Gradually we then let him into other areas of the house.
How you introduced him to his new home and garden… etc..
Cat discovers a new world outside
HSM – How did you introduce him to his new garden and outside?
Lisa – When we had moved to Hastings he was in the back garden within 2 weeks, but we took longer this time to get him settled. After a month we started putting the harness on him in the house so he could get used to the feel of it and then the lead so he could walk around with it on.
Finally, we took him out on the harness and walked him around. We were cat minding him carefully ourselves while he settled-in to make sure the transition was a smooth as possible.
HSM – How long before you let him out on his own?
Lisa – It was probably about a week after going out on the lead that we let him out in the garden on his own. First time he went off for a good while (at least an hour or so) and I was really worried, but of course he came back!
It did take longer to transition him then when we moved to Hastings, but the journey was so long and the environment is very different from the one he was in. it was hard to guess how he would react to the new surroundings, the weather, the smells and the other cats.
He’s pretty settled now, he still gets a little skitty if there is a loud noise or something startles him, but overall he’s happy and healthy.
HSM – Why did you choose to find a cat minder as a cattery alternative ?
Lisa – We have had good experiences with a cattery in England, but we are new to this environment, and Milo is still getting used to everything.
We thought having him cared for at home by a cat sitter is best on this occasion. We know his routine will be followed and he will be safe and comfortable in his own space, with familiar smells and spaces.
We heard about HouseSitMatch through the local media in Southern Spain, we know they take care in vetting their pet sitters, and that the cat sitters are cat lovers who do the cat minding for free in exchange for free accommodation.
The company seemed to have a good reputation for taking care in finding reliable house sitters. The whole pet house sitting idea is a good idea and we thought it might work for us and Milo.
We want to make sure we have him for a long time to come. Cat minding is a good choice for us this time round, and probably for the future.
- If you need a cat minder for cat sitting to care for your feline friend register as a home owner on HouseSitMatch.
- If you’d like to be a cat sitter to care for a pet cat in exchange for free accommodation register as a house sitter on HouseSitMatch.