We don’t go away that often and when we do, we are often tied to what we can do because we have three cats that need looking after. If we go away for a weekend or a couple of days, my mam and dad will often pop in and out to feed my furry beasties.
Mallorie, Bea and Figaro are all very individual cats with weird quirks and habits, so finding someone that can meet their demands can be tricky.
For us and our cats, a cattery isn’t an option. They are often expensive, Mallorie wouldn’t cope. She is a very nervous cat and the cattery environment would freak her out. They couldn’t all go in together either, so we’d need to pay extra for extra spaces for them. We’ve used a cat sitter before who was really good. When I contacted her, she was busy. She recommended another cat sitter who I got in touch with.
It’s always a worry letting someone into your house and trusting them to look after your house and your cats, so finding the right person is crucial.
We checked out the recommendation before contacting him, looked at the website, his Facebook page and reviews etc. I was happy to “vet him” and see if he’d be the right fit for our very picky cats.
Home Care For Pets is run by Rod Newman, he arranged a time and date to come to our house and meet the cats and us.
Rod and his team cover Plymouth and the South Devon area. They have experience in caring for many different types of pets and also offer a dog walking service.
When Rod arrived at our house, he introduced himself and my immediate first impression was how friendly he was. Pretty soon, all three of the cats came for a look at him. Mallorie had a quick check of the visitor and headed back upstairs, Bea was very friendly and Figaro stayed close to my leg in case there was any danger he might need protecting from. Rod soon won them round with some cat treats. We discussed our needs and more importantly, the needs of our cats.
Rod asked lots of questions and he soon had notes on our cats habits and little extras like putting the bins out, picking up the post etc. The next day we received a very detailed email, which included all the things we discussed that our cats (and we) needed. He also included his fee, payment terms etc. He also arranged to come and collect our keys a few days before our planned departure date.
On the day Rod came to collect the door key, he confirmed details with us. He checked that there were no changes to the cats diets or requirements. I was happy that Rod and his team would be able to look after our house and the cats while we were away.
We left on the Saturday and by Sunday I was torn between being a desperate cat parent. I desperately wanted information on how my babies were but wanted to appear a sensible, normal, non cat obsessed person. Neil persuaded me to not text him. He would let us know if there was a problem.
Rod text me midweek to let me know that my cats were fine and behaving well! I was so glad to receive his text! I knew my cats would be fine, but the reassurance and check in means a lot.
As we were heading home on Saturday, Rod text me to confirm that we were returning that day and that he wouldn’t return the key until he know we were home. I think that’s a really good idea. If we were to be delayed (which is always likely when travelling on the M5), he could still get back in to see to the cats.
When we got home, Rod had left a report for us. I was keen to know if my cats had been naughty or nice!
This was a really nice touch. It was nice to know if there had been any problems, if they’d eaten well, if the house had been ok etc. He’d also left us an invoice with a good time period to pay it in. I let Rod know we were home and the next day he posted our key back through the door.
In total, we paid £90.00 for two visits a day. Which included feeding and fussing the cats, sorting the litter tray, sorting the water, opening curtains etc. This really is a fraction of what it would cost to put all three cats in a cattery for a week. It also saved our cats the stress and anxiety of being away from their home.
All in all, we had a great experience with Rod, we returned to 3 happy, healthy cats. We will definitely be using him again!
What do you do with your pets when you go away? Get in touch below.