At our last sit, we had bit of a ‘moment’ before we left. We were very careful about opening the door when we were loading the car and when we finished, we went to give the cat a goodbye love - and couldn’t find her. Of course, the initial fear is that somehow she might have gotten outside - no matter how dilligent we were. We looked everywhere for about 1/2 an hour and - no cat.
When we had the vacuum out earlier and were doing the floor, the cat also disappeared, but we found her under the table at the right hand side of the fireplace.This time we weren’t so lucky. Zipping to the end of the story - we finally found the cat nestled in a kitty cave sort of place she had made under the stack of pillows on the owners bed. Completely out of sight and very content.
We have experienced the missing cat thing before and it’s very unnerving for a sitter. Leads me to wonder if it woud be helpful for owners to put a short note in their PET section about Favorite Hiding Places. That way if a sitter can’t find the pet, they would have an informed idea of where to look and wouldn’t have the anguish of wondering if they had a real problem.
@DavenSherri Our very first THS sit was on a 70 acre farm . We had about one hour handover and then the owner left with the two dogs looking forlornly after her.
We had decided to wait until owner left to bring our luggage in ( so she would not be shocked at how much we bring with us as we work from “home”
A short while latter and we noticed one of the pets was “missing” - panic ensued, had she somehow got out and gone looking for the owner whilst we were unloading the car ? We had a huge rambling house and 70acres of farm and fields to search … frantically calling her name we looked in all the rooms ( the dogs had beds in several rooms and access to lots more ) and out in the gardens and fields . Our hearts beating fast as we contemplated that we were less than an hour into our first THS sit and we’d lost one of the pets!! ….a short while later as we searched the house for the second time , we found the “missing” pet contentedly fast asleep on the owners big bed .
So yes I’d agree this would be very useful information in the welcome guide - and we now ask this question before we begin a sit .
Sharing hiding places is an excellent idea as a new sitter would not know these special places. What a great way to keep yourself feeling good about the pet sit when you go to that place and find them all comfy and cozy!
Yep, got a scare 30min after the owner left. Couldn’t find the cat anywhere! Looked underneath beds, tables, … just forgot to look up… he was sitting high and dry on his perch above the door Great idea asking for hiding places!!
I think adding places where pets commonly hide is a great idea.
We were looking after two outdoor/indoor cats at a large house in the UK (a reference to large as it was three stories high with a very large pitched roof)
We called the cats in for their nighttime dinner and to be shut in for the night and every night so far they had come running in.
This night only one came in so we went outside to explore and sure enough one was sitting high up on the pitched roof and started meowing when she saw us. We shook the treats and had no luck.
Mild panic set it as we tried tempting her down. She did not budge and looked stuck. 20 minutes later with the cat still meowing we were looking for ladders or anything we might be able to use and had visions of calling the Fire Brigade.
Then a few minutes after that the cat got up, stretched, climbed down the very steep-pitched roof, ran along the guttering, jumped to the next level window sill, ran long that roof area, jumped down to another lower window area and onto the joining garden shed roof, then jumped to the water butt and onto the floor, trotted up to us meowing for a treat… Phew, it was so well thought out and smooth that we knew it must have done that before and easily knew how to get down.
Then the owner told us, yes they sometimes can get that high up on the roof
@Carla_C your story reminds me of another sit where the cats had a cat flap and free run of the home- except for the guest bedroom that they weren’t supposed to go in ( because it was a loft extension and had access to the attic and they had previously got lost in there ) .
So we kept the door firmly shut to that room .
However not realising the cats exceptional climbing abilities- we did open the velux windows , imagine my shock when I went into the room and I heard a loud Meow followed by the cat’s head appearing in the window looking down at me !
@Silversitters Oh Gosh that does sound very similar and they are such great climbers they can get anywhere!
@DavenSherri I always ask about kitty hiding places during my interview and then confirm them during the handover walk-thru and yet I had the exact same experience as you did at the end of our last sit. This was with the gregarious cat who “never hides”. Neither of us had even opened up an outside door that morning, so we were afraid he had made a cut in the screen porch and was outside. We finally found him sound asleep on top of a cushion on the top shelf of a storage shelving unit in the mud room.
This topic brought back a memory of when we cared for an indoor Persian Chinchilla cat. On the first evening we looked everywhere for the cat (and it was a very large house over four floors). We said there is no way she got past us to the outside as we had been so careful but we couldn’t go to bed until we were satisfied she was indoors and safe. Eventually we found her hidden away between the arm and a cushion of a sofa with only her face peeking out. After a couple of days I felt comfortable mentioning it to the homeowner and she just said she always does that - just shake her biscuit treat box and she comes running
Cats are extremely good at hiding. I don’t even know if owners know all their cats favorite hiding places. If you are going to sit cats, you’ve got to learn to ride it out. Generally, if they are indoor cats, they probably didn’t escape without your noticing. One step is to make sure if you opened or closed any closets to give those tries.
I get scared every time I will lose a pet.
-First sit - Middle aged dog ran past the electric fence to chase squirrels and it took my entire family to chase after her. I was so scared she was going to get ran over by a car
-8th sit - I was told by owner that her elderly cat with a bad hip never leaves the back yard. 2nd to the last night, she disappeared and then reappeared in the evening. My entire family went looking for her and we even knocked on the neighbor’s doors to see if they’ve seen her.
-7th sit- We were told that the outdoor/indoor cat comes and goes as he pleases through an opened window. He came home after chasing mice or doing whatever he does every night to hang out with us and then goes to sleep in the master bedroom. 2nd to the last night of the sit he didn’t come home. We went searching for him hoping he didn’t get attacked by coyotes. We were on a wooded acreage. We searched forever and then prayed he would be home in the morning and he was. Sleeping in the master bedroom.
On a sit in Italy in an old farmhouse we had been schooled on all hiding places … except the one we found her in several heart-pounding hours later. She liked to climb through the cushions of the hide-a-bed/pull-out bed and down to the cavity where the mattress gets pushed into. When we told the homeowners they laughed and apologized for forgetting about that one.
I had a sit when I asked where the cat hid from the dog and the HOs said they didn’t even know all the places where she hid. And they’d had her for eight years.
It worries me when an indoor/outdoor cat stays out all night. That happened once when the dog chased the cat out of the house during the last pee of the night. It was chilly and I woke up several times that night, calling for her to come in, but she was a no-show till dawn.