Sticky Situations

Being a good cat sitter means being agile and responsive to the many surprises that come your way. Do you need more practice in dealing with challenging situations with clients? Check out these three scenarios and learn how best to respond when the unpredictable becomes your predicament. 

Are you currently in a cat sitter crisis?
I offer 30 minute support sessions
and you can book them right now!

Party time

You enter your cat client's house, and the owner’s 14- year-old son is throwing a huge party. What would you do? Scroll below to see the best answer to this fraught situation.

Back out and drive away

Go back in the morning to feed the cat

Feed the cat then call

Try to not draw attention to yourself, then contact the cat client afterwards

Crash the party

Confront the son and tell the kids to go home

What to do in this scenario

This is a lose-lose situation, and there’s no way around it. If you don’t contact the parents, they could learn about the party another way, and then wonder why you didn’t contact them. If anything ends up broken or stolen, you might be held responsible if they don’t find out about the party. On the other hand, contacting them means their teenager will want to “shoot the messenger,” and you can bet that he will find unfavorable things to make up about you. Will they believe him? Blood is thicker than water.

I experienced this scenario, and decided to go in with a low-profile and feed the cat. Afterwards I dithered about what to do for a good 24 hours. The parents were out-of-state; the son was going to hate me, and I’d probably never be asked to cat sit for this family again. How could I be a good cat sitter in this situation? In the end, I contacted the parents and they flew home immediately from Colorado. The son did hate me. I wasn’t asked back—not until he was in college! All I suggest is that you contact the parents ASAP because too many things can go wrong at an unsupervised teenage party when it’s obvious that the parents are being tricked.

Missing items

You discover the voice mail messages on your client’s landline have been erased between your visits, and their  computer is missing. What do you do? Scroll below to see the best answer to this sticky situation.

Look away

Maybe it was just your imagination. Better not startle your client while they're vacationing!

Call the police

This is an emergency, and you need backup!

Contact your client

Checking in with them first will inform you of your next move.

What to do in this scenario

Unbeknownst to you, a client can be smack-dab in the middle of a difficult divorce. You might arrive and find things have changed on the premises since you were there last. Contact them immediately. You may have asked if anyone else had key access, and they may have forgotten that an angry ex does, or they may not expect her to return, or they are hoping she won’t while you’re there.

Like I share in my ebook, if your client cannot assure you that it is safe to continue feeding Rufus without being hassled by an ex, let a friend or family member know when you are going there. Avoid going at night.

Extra tasks

Your get to your client's house and they left a note asking you to mail their packages, pick up the dry cleaning, and fold laundry. Is being a good cat sitter doing all of these things? Scroll below to see my best answer to this situation.


Send them a message that you aren't available for these tasks, and continue on your course.

Do it then talk

Help them out, but when they get back, let them know this was more than you agreed to. Make note about this for next time.


Contact them and say you're willing to take on these extra tasks for a fee. Wait until they respond before helping them out. 

What to do in this scenario

This can be OK with you if they ask in advance and pay you extra, or not OK if they don’t or not OK no matter what. You be the judge. Some clients might gradually come to view you as a combination cat sitter + house sitter + maid + Girl Friday. Are you willing to be one or more of those? How to be a good cat sitter depends on your clarity of boundaries and communication, and being agile when the unexpected happens. To get more clear on what you can offer, download the Introductory Rate & Policy Sheet, and explore more scenarios in my 60 page ebook.