Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect during our initial consultation? Is there anything I need to have ready?
These visits usually last between a half-hour and an hour. I will come into your home and visit with you and your pet(s) to ensure that Kathy the Critter Sitter is a good match for your pet. Things you need to have handy for this visit are up to date vaccination papers (if possible), a list of medications the pet needs and when they need them, contact information for the pet’s veterinarian and a copy of your house key.

I have more than one pet will that affect the cost per visit?
Kathy the Critter Sitter does not charge per pet, but by time. There many be a small charge because each pet will need individual care during our visits, thus taking more time.

How many visits are recommended for my particular pet?
This varies depending on the type of pets as well as the age and health of the pet (for older or ill pets ask your pet care provider for a recommendation):

  • Cats – no less than 1 visit per day. (I feed my fur babies twice a day)
  • Dogs – no less than 3 visits per day for indoor dogs (otherwise it is a 12 hour wait for the next visit)
  • Birds – at least 1 visit per day
  • Small Critters – 1 visit per day
  • Fish and reptiles – 1 visit per day

How long does each visit last?
A normal visit lasts 25-30 minutes, but can be extended for an additional charge. Please contact us for more information.

What does each visit consist of?
The tasks completed at each visit will be determined during your initial consultation. A typical visit consists of:

  • For your Pet – fresh food and water, a bathroom break, playtime, and a huge dose of attention and love.
  • For your Home – mail and package retrieval, rotating of lights, watering household plants and taking out the trash.

If there is another task that you might need completed, please discuss this with us. Kathy the Critter Sitter’s main goal is to keep our customers happy and we are willing to go the extra mile for that.

What areas do you serve?
We service the Tampa Bay area south of Curlew Road, North of 58th. Ave. North, from Tampa Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.

If you live outside of our regular service area, an additional mileage fee will apply.

What kind of pets do you care for?
Virtually every kind of creature; from dogs and cats, to hamsters and rabbits, iguanas and turtles, to fish and frogs, and even tree kangaroo’s! Please let us know if you have a special pet or unusual needs, and we will do our very best to meet your expectations.

Will I receive any updates about my pet during visits?
Kathy the Critter Sitter will always provide a written update after the completion of visits. For those parents who are tech savvy we can provide email and text message updates upon request.

What happens if there is an emergency?
There are many types of emergencies that can arise, so while you are out of town or working late, you can rest easy in knowing that you have a professional taking care of your home and your beloved pets. Kathy the Critter Sitter is trained to deal with most types of emergencies. Of course we will attempt to contact the pet owner (via the number provided at initial consultation), and then your veterinarian. If your pet is ill or sick and Kathy the Critter Sitter needs to take immediate action to preserve your pet’s life, we will do so.

What are the typical times of pet visits?
Because pets like people enjoy routines, we strive to be consistent and keep a schedule very close to that of your pet’s typical routine. During our initial consultation, you will need to provide us with an outline indicating a typical day for your pet. We will do our best to accommodate your schedule and that of your pet’s to ensure a vacation free from distraction.

What about my keys?
Keys and Electronic key fobs to open gates/garages are usually picked up by the Kathy the Critter Sitter at the initial consultation. When not in use your key(s) are locked in a safe. When a pet sitter is using your key during the day they are kept on a key chain labeled only with your ID number. Your name, address, and phone number will never be kept with your key for your security. It is recommended that you leave your key(s) on file with Kathy the Critter Sitter. This eliminates you getting charged for key pick up or drop off, and in case you have an emergency and need to leave quickly we will already have your keys. And if you ever lock yourself out of your house you will be glad someone nearby has a key. Once service is complete there are two options for the key(s): 1) The key(s) can be kept by Kathy the Critter Sitter for future service (in the secure location) or 2) once the pet owner returns home the key(s) can be returned by Kathy the Critter Sitter there is a key return fee for this service. The reason we do not leave the key9s) at the home is because your pet’s health is the most important to us, and we need to ensure someone will be able to take care of your pet if there is an emergency or a change in plans (delayed flight or family emergency).

What other pet related errands are provided?
Kathy the Critter Sitter offers pet taxi service. If you have a pet related appointment and cannot make it or just dread going we will take care of it for you.

Are you bonded and insured?
Kathy the Critter Sitter is fully bonded and insured. What it means to you, and all of our clients, is peace of mind. We take responsibility for your pets and possessions when you put them in our care. That means that your property and your pets are fully covered, should anything occur while in our care. Having these policies in place shows a level of professionalism and commitment that you can trust.

What kind of guarantee is there if something happens to my home?
You know your pet better than we do, so if you have a pet that is prone to chewing or getting into the trash (etc.) when bored, you need to take the proper precautions to ensure that your pet does not have access to these things (pet proof your home). If something were to happen to your home that is due to an act of Kathy the Critter Sitter, we are insured and bonded. This means that if a Kathy the Critter Sitter is responsible for damage to your pet or home the insurance company will cover the loss.

How far in advance do I need to make reservations?
It is best to contact us as soon as you anticipate the need for a pet sitter. For new clients we need time to set up the consultation. For existing clients we prefer at least two week notice, but can usually accommodate last minute requests-especially if we have your keys on file. PLEASE NOTE THAT HOLIDAYS BOOK UP QUICKLY, AND AS MUCH NOTICE AS POSSIBLE IS RECOMMENDED.

What happens if my travel plans change (delayed flight, extra hours at the office, family emergency) and I cannot make it home to take care of my pet?
Kathy the Critter Sitter’s primary concern is always the health and well being of your pet, if for some reason your travel plans change, give us a call and we will make sure your pet(s) are taken care of. If Kathy the Critter Sitter is not notified you have returned home to care for your pet, we will assume that you have been held up and will continue care until contact is made.

What about my holiday travel?
Kathy the Critter Sitter is available on holidays, but there is an additional fee for service.