Our initial meeting will be a consultation which costs nothing and implies no obligation for us to work together. This is a good time for us to ask each other some questions, get paperwork filled out, and decide if we both think I’m a good fit to work with your companions. Some folks also ask for copies of my proof of insurance coverage, which I always have on hand.
During this “Meet and Greet” some people like to take care of the Reservation Deposit. (The Reservation Deposit is 50% of the service fee which is due 48 hours prior to the first visit. The remaining 50% is due at the time of the first visit.)
My Meet-n-Greets typically takes 45-60 minutes and can be scheduled at your convenience. My ideal is for us to meet at least a week before services are needed. This gives you time to be certain that you and your cats are comfortable with me – if not, you still have time to meet with other sitters.“I chose to work with you because of Jo’s (Feline Friends) recommendation & your rapport with the cats during your initial visit.” ~ Kira, Frodo, Fizzgig & Amelia’s person (Jay)
This first meeting is the best time to give me a copy of the house key(s) and security system information. When I make special trips to pickup or return keys, I charge a Key Pickup/Return fee. (Click here to view key-related policies.)
During the Meet-n-Greet, I prefer to let cats go at their own pace to in getting to know me. I think it’s best to allow shy cats to have control over how quickly they become friends with me. Some friendships simply don’t begin as like at first sight. Rather, with time and patience, trust can build and we can become friends.
Some people whose animals take medication like me to practice giving medication while they are also present. This isn’t required, but it is an option if you want to evaluate my ability to give medications. I would not be offended if someone decides to find a different sitter or to board their cats instead. Many medications simply cannot be skipped and I don’t want to take any chances, nor would I want someone to worry that their companions might be missing some medications.
Many people with special needs cats like to arrange trial visits. These aren’t necessary, but can be useful. These trial visits enable people to observe their pets responses to having me care for them before their furry family members are totally relying on me. Again, I would not be offended if someone decides to work with a different sitter or to board their cats instead. What’s most important is your confidence in me and your cats’ comfort with me.“You take pride in caring for the cats, you seem knowledgeable, & you’re nice! After your visits they were the most calm they’ve ever been when we’ve returned. THANK YOU SO MUCH!” ~ Misha & Tula’s mom (Jen)
During this first meeting, I will ask a lot of questions so I can be sure to provide the service you want and so that I come as close as possible to keeping your companions on their usual routines. Below are some of the questions I’ll ask. If you’d like to review the entire list of questions before we meet, let me know.
- Do you know what breed they are? Are they spayed/neutered? Are they indoor only, outdoor only, or indoor & outdoor? Are they declawed? Do they wear collars and tags? Are they microchipped?
- Do they have (or have a history of) health issues (ex: vision loss, seizures, diabetes) or allergies?
- What are their feeding routines such as brands and flavors of food, location of food and dishes, usual feeding times, typical appetite (amount eaten each day)?
- What are their temperaments (Ex: like/dislike physical affection, vocal affection, aggressive play)?
- What are a few of their favorite things? (Ex: favorite toys, activities, treats, and hiding spots.)
- Do the cats have any unusual habits? (Ex: change in bowel movements or eating habits when left alone.)
- What words do they recognize? (Ex: din-din, treats, kitty-kitty, NO.)
- Are they on any medications or supplements?
- Do they have a history of aggression towards people or animals?
- Do they have behavioral issues (past or present)?
- Where do you keep cleaning supplies, waste bags, litter, crates, and other supplies?
What is your preference for disposal of litter box waste?
- What is the contact information for emergency contacts (include landlord if you’re renting)?
- What is the contact information for you while I’m caring for your furry family members?
- What is your veterinarian’s name and contact info?
- Do you have pet health insurance?
- Have you filled out a Veterinary Release Form or set up a line of credit at your vet, in case of emergency?
- How did you hear about me?
- Who else has access to this address? (Do your emergency contacts have keys?)
- Who has permission to enter the premises while you’re away?
- What vehicles will remain parked at your home while I’m visiting?
- What are the exact dates of your trip?
- How frequently should I visit and how long would you like me to stay?
- Would they prefer that I visit at specific times?
- Do you want me to leave radio/TV on, alternate lights & curtains, change the thermostat, bring in mail or newspapers, take trash/recycling bins to the street, or water plants?
- Do you want me to keep your keys for future visits? (If you prefer to not participate in the Ready Key Program, we will arrange for me to pickup and return your keys each time that you make a reservation.)
- Do you want Activity Journals through email, text, phone, or hard copy?
- May I contact you if I have questions about your cats’ care, particularly if something seems amiss?