Questions Related to Cat Sitting
How do I schedule cat sitting services?
Give us a call at (778) 371-5271 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will book an in-home consultation meeting (at no charge or obligation) to meet your cat(s) and to make sure that we can provide all of the services they need. If your kitty is on medication, we may ask to schedule this meeting at their regular medication time so that we can see your routine for administering it. During this visit we will complete all of the necessary paperwork (e.g. contact information, emergency care authorization, etc.) and go step-by-step through your kitty's care instructions.
This in-home consultation meeting is necessary for all new cat sitting clients. However, once you are an established client, future cat sits can be scheduled over the phone or by email.
In which neighbourhoods is cat sitting available?
In-home cat sitting services are available in most Vancouver, BC, neighbourhoods (the West End, Coal Harbour, Yaletown, Point Grey, Kitsilano, Dunbar, Arbutus Ridge, Shaughnessy, South Cambie, Kerrisdale, Oakridge, Marpole, Sunset, Fairview, Mount Pleasant, Strathcona, Grandview-Woodland, Hastings-Sunrise and Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Riley Park, Fraserview and Killarney) as well as Burnaby, North Vancouver and New Westminster.
If you would like to confirm that your cat lives in our service area, please email your address to email@example.com.
Will you visit my cat every other day instead of daily?
No. For safety reasons, Urban Tails will only accept cat clients who have daily visits. Cats are very good at hiding illnesses and sometimes require immediate medical attention by the time it is apparent that they are unwell. Cats also have quite a knack for getting into odd predicaments that require human help to get out of - we have arrived to a few surprises over the years, including a kitty accidently closed in a closet before his owner left for Hawaii! We require a visit every 24 hours to ensure your kitty is healthy and has access to fresh food and water every day.
Will my cat sitter administer my cat's medication?
Yes, our sitters have experience with most types of medications and are happy to give them to reasonably willing cats. However, if your kitty is prone to hiding or is aggressive, we may require a trial run before you leave for your trip to confirm that we can medicate your cat safely and properly. Regular fees apply for the trial run.
What if my cat gets sick while I am away?
Each of our kitty caregivers completes Pet First Aid training so that they can respond effectively during an emergency. We also carry a cell phone and each cat's veterinary contact information during our rounds so that help is always within reach.
During the initial consultation we collect details of any prior or current health issues, allergies or injuries that your cat has. If your kitty shows signs of illness or injury while you are away, we will contact you and/or your veterinarian for direction. If your cat needs more immediate care than your vet can provide, we will transport your cat to the Vancouver Animal Emergency Clinic at 1590 West 4th Avenue.
Urban Tails makes every effort to contact cat owners and receive instructions before we take an animal in for medical care. However, in emergency situations or when the owner cannot be reached, we do not hesitate to take a cat to the vet. Urban Tails is not responsible for costs incurred from veterinary visits. Additional time spent providing necessary care is billed at a rate of $35.00 per hour.
What if there is problem in my home?
During the initial consultation meeting, we will ask you for the contact information for your landlord, property manager or another 3rd party who can help us respond to problems related to your home. We will notify you of problems via email or phone and we will take steps to resolve the issue with minimal disruption to your trip.
Can I get updates about my cat while I am away?
Most definitely! A daily picture and update via email is one of the best parts of our service and it's included at no extra cost. We know that cat-parents enjoy their travels much more when they see pictures of their kitty playing string games, lounging in sunbeams and looking just as relaxed as when their owners are home. We are happy to email your cat's daily journal of adventures and photos so that you never feel too far away. Clients who do not have email access are welcome to call us during business hours (10:30 am to 6:30 pm).
My cat is really sweet with me but she doesn't like new people. Will she be okay?
The single most important thing for us is that your cat feels safe, confident and in control of her visits. You would be astonished at how quickly the cat who "always hides under the bed" pokes her nose out when she realizes that we are quietly playing with feather toys.
Lots of kitties just need time and space when making a new friend so we don't rush them. We wait for their permission before we pet them and we listen to twitches in the tail or turns of the ear that speak volumes in the cat world. I can't even count the number of clients who start with "You'll never see her," only to be delighted when we email the first picture of their kitty curiously peeking around a corner at a long line of string, forgetting to be shy in the middle of a good game of pounce.
How does Urban Tails know that I've made it home as scheduled?
When you return home from your trip there will be a reminder slip waiting for you with your sitters phone number on it. You must call and leave a voicemail letting her know that you have made it home. If your sitter doesn't hear from you when expected, she will try to call you at the numbers you have provided. If she cannot reach you, we will schedule your kitty into the next available opening & we will continue visiting your kitty until we hear that you have made it home. However, if we arrive and find that you did not call to end services, we will charge $50.00 for the unnecessary visit.
What happens if I am delayed returning home?
We appreciate it if you can call to let us know so that we do not worry about your well-being. However, even if you can't reach us, Urban Tails will continue visiting your cat until we have confirmed your return home.
What are the options for the key exchange?
If you have a spare key available for Urban Tails to pick up during the consultation meeting, that is the easiest. Most clients choose to leave their keys on file for future cat sitting and as an emergency backup key for if they are ever accidentlaly locked out. There is no charge for leaving keys on file and to ensure security, they are all coded, stored in a locked location and insured while in our custody.
Clients with concierge service in their building may leave their keys with the concierge, under the name "Urban Tails". Your kitty sitter will pick them up at the first visit and return them after the last visit.
The Key Cafe is an excellent option if you would like to arrange a key exchange with no fee. Customers can create an account and use any one of dozens of coffee shops around the GVRD to log their keys in and out for sitters to pick up and return.
A key shuttle service is also available for clients who would like a cat sitter to come to their home each subsequent trip to personally pick up and return their key. This service is $12 per key pick up or return.
What types of payment are accepted and when?
Seven days prior to your cat's first scheduled visit, you will receive an email from Urban Tails confirming the dates, length and time slot of your cat's visits. This email also serves as your invoice. Payment can be made by Interac e-transfer, by PayPal or by Visa, MasterCard, Amex or Discover online. Payments via e-transfer can be sent to jen@urbantails.CA. Payments via PayPal or credit card can be made online by following the link provided within the invoice.
What if I need to cancel a cat sitting visit?
Prior to leaving for your trip, cancellation of cat sitting visits requires three days' notice. For example, if you tell us two days before we are scheduled to start cat sitting that you have cancelled your trip, you will only be charged for one visit.
The full amount is due at the first scheduled visit and in non-refundable thereafter. This means that if you return home a day early from your trip, cancelled visits are not refundable.
Are your cat sitters bonded and insured?
Yes. Urban Tails is bonded and insured through PROfur. The insurance plan includes professional liability, general liability, coverage for your home and contents, lost key coverage and complete coverage for your kitty, such as emergency vet expenses, injury during transit and runaway recovery expenses and rewards.
Where is Pet First Aid training specific to cats offered?
Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid course uses both cat and dog mannequins for hands-on training and they have cat-specific segments that take into account a cat's unique physiology and biology.