Do you have a dog sitting business and have received a request to pet sit at a home that has both dogs and cats? Are you wondering if cats are much different than dogs? While our furry friends require the same love and attention, some aspects of pet care can vary between species.
Varying Dietary Requirements
You should never feed a dog cat food, or a cat dog food, as much as they try to deceive you! Both cat food and dog food have special nutrients. For instance, taurine is an essential nutrient for cats that is added to all cat food. Dogs also require taurine but it doesn’t have to be added to their dog food as their bodies naturally synthesize it.
Dogs and cats also need different volumes of food during the day. Some cats are fed smaller amounts of food three times a day, while dogs do well on two meals.
It can be tricky separating dog and cat meal times. Your best option is to follow all instructions given by the pet owner, as they know how to deal with pets who want to sample each other’s food. A possible solution is to be feed cats in a different room, on the countertop, or somewhere where a dog can’t reach their food.
Dog & Cat Walking
Some cats love to go outside on the leash. Find out from your client if their cat likes leashed walks, and if so, can you bring all pets for a walk at the same time. Perhaps the cat should only be leash walked within the confines of their own yard.
Most cats won’t be offended if you head outdoors for a walk with the dog. But don’t be surprised if you discover they’ve taken over the dog bed in your absence!
Dogs are generally more social animals than cats. With cats, it depends on how many humans they met as kittens, and whether the humans obeyed their needs. Don’t be surprised if you go pet sitting and the kitty hides under the couch or bed.
It’s a good idea to do pet inventory as soon as you arrive in a home. Most experts advise keeping all indoor-outdoor cats inside for the duration of their owner’s vacation, as cats have been known to find new homes if they think their owners aren’t returning. If the kitty is indoors-only, never let the cat outside, no matter how much they beg.
One thing a dog lover needs to know about cats is that their tempers can change in seconds. One moment they’re loving and happy, the next they’re hissing and biting. If this happens, say “ouch” and back away. If you have a bite or scratch, head to the bathroom to wash the wound and apply antibiotic cream.
If the cat has some no-go zones, their owner should let you know in advance. It’s a general rule to never pick up a cat, as most don’t like it.
It can be exciting to get to know your client’s pets. Remember to provide exceptional care for your clients and your schedule will quickly fill up!
Feature image from Unsplash