When you — and your cat — welcome another Stay with Stella member into your home, you can ensure that things go smoothly by thinking about how you’d like to be welcomed into someone’s home. Here are some tips:
Be There if You Can
Nothing beats an in-person welcome. A printed guide is great, but there are always questions that come up specific to a particular trip or time of year that you may not think about when you write up your “Operating Instructions.”
Remember that Stay with Stella is a two-way street, so your focus should not just your cats needs and your expectations for your home, but also on things of concern to the sitter. This is true of your conversations as you’re getting to know your sitter, what you talk about when you meet, and what you include in your written instructions.
- Feeding schedule and instructions
- Emergency veterinary contact information
- Known health issues
- Typical litter box cleaning schedule
- Safety issues
- Emergency contact information
- Building management, if applicable
- Garbage service
- Water and electric service – breaker boxes, shutoff valves, etc.
- Any off-limits rooms/areas
- Quirks — windows that won’t close, etc.
For Your Sitters
- Internet and wifi service
- Channel guide for TV
- Instructions for streaming services, if applicable
- Favorite local bars and restaurants
- Food delivery options
- Transportation options
Make sure your sitter knows how to reach you and any times, like during flights, when you’re likely not to be accessible. That alone can lower stress levels tremendously.
Remember that your sitter is probably on vacation, just like you are. Stay with Stella members help one another out — it’s not a fee-for-service situation, so don’t treat your sitters like vendors or employees. That’s just not appropriate. Be clear and specific about the care your cat and your home need and balance that with doing all you can to ensure your sitter has a great time, too.
Be Ready to Edit, Update, and Improve
Seek feedback from your sitters so that you can adjust your in-person welcome and improve the information and instructions you hand off to the sitters. Following up with them is also a great way to make sure that everyone has had an excellent experience.