People from all walks of life have found satisfaction in becoming successful cat sitters. We cover the qualifications, experience and qualities you need for success.
Cat sitting can be a rewarding career and with the number of pet owners continually rising it is also a very successful industry. When it comes to starting on your path as a cat sitter, a formal education is not always required; you don’t need to possess any specific qualifications, but what you do need is to gain experience and have a passion for our feline friends. Cat parents will expect their cat carers to have previous experience in caring for and above all else have a passion for cats!
You don’t need to have previously worked as a cat sitter or have experience running your own cat sitting business. It goes without saying, though, that you must be mad about cats and their wellbeing, as well as qualities such as professionalism, reliability, organisation and be happy to be flexible about your hours of work.
Are There Any Checks Required?
As you will be retaining your customers keys and gaining access into their homes it is strongly advisable for you to undergo a criminal record check through the Disclosures and Barring Service. Keep this on file for your customers to see if requested.
This will ensure peace of mind to the cat parents as they are trusting you and allowing you access into their home and to care for their loved pet.
What About Licenses?
To become a pet sitter there is no specific licence required in the UK, therefore technically you do not need a licence to be a cat sitter. You do however need to hold a license to provide day care for dogs and if you offer a boarding service for cats or dogs overnight in your home, like a cattery.
As you are pursuing a career as a cat sitter this is not required because you will be providing your care services in the Cat’s place of residence, so there is no need for a licence for this from your local council.
What About Insurance?
It is recommended for cat sitters who care for the animals in the customer’s own homes to have public liability insurance, this will cover you for accidental damage to any possessions that belong to your customer.
Insurance is vital to protect yourself, the pet and the owner providing peace of mind while our clients are away. Customers look for sitters who take their job professionally and can treat their home and pets with great care and respect.
What Experience is Required?
Do not worry if you don’t have professional cat sitting experience. Personal cat care for friends and family, and owning your own cat is great experience in itself. Generally, cat sitters have a passion and a love for cats who are often cat owners themselves.
To gain experience as a school leaver you could volunteer at your local veterinary practice on a weekend, offer your cat sitting services to friends, family and neighbours, or helping out at a shelter. A Saturday job in a pet shop or groomers can offer valuable pet experience, it can also can help to demonstrate what a pet lover you are.
Pet owners are looking for someone with a genuine love for cats and to have a connection with their cat. As with a childminder you wouldn’t hire one without having them meet your child. At The Cat Butler for example, we arrange an initial meeting so the cat sitter can be familiarised with the customer and their feline friend.
Important Qualities for Any Cat Sitter
- A love of pets – A love of cats will of course mean you care for the cat genuinely.
- Well-educated about cats – An education around cats will help deal with different cat’s temperaments and behaviours.
- Excellent communication skills – You will need good communication skills to ensure you know all about your client and their pet’s needs, and to update the owner on the cat whilst they are away.
- Caring nature – You need to be a naturally caring person to deliver expert care for your clients. It’s all about being aware and understanding of the needs of your clients, both human and feline. Additionally, a pet’s health and wellbeing should always be the top of your mind.
- Trustworthy – As you will be entrusted with the care of someone else’s loved one and their home, you need to ensure the cat is well looked after and responsible for the home, that they are kept safe whist the owner is away.
- Sensitive – It’s important to empathise with pet owners and their pets. An good pet sitter will recognise the needs of pets and owners and respond positively.
As we’ve advised throughout this article, a qualification is not necessary for a career as a cat sitter, though some are quite beneficial!
Ones to look into if you would like to add to your CV are:
- Level 1 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care
- Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care
- Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care
- Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management
First Aid Courses for pets are also widely available, which would be a valuable qualification to own, it will also ensure credibility with clients and give them peace of mind that their cat would receive the correct medical attention in an event of an accident.
About The Cat Butler
The Cat Butler® franchise offers an opportunity for cat lovers to be their own boss and run a local cat sitting business with support and guidance from an established and award winning brand.
If you’d like to learn more about our unique cat sitting franchise opportunity, consider having a read about our Pet Franchise Package or take a look at some of the Case Studies from our successful Cat Butler business owners!