Recently, Jessica Perry, who is a friend of Seep Easzz, completed a training course from the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters for Feline Behavioral Issues. Curious to share with our readers more about the world of a pet sitter, we asked for an informal interview. We also want to say CONGRATULATIONS Jessica for all your hard work! Here are the answers:
1. How long have you worked with animals? For the better part of 17 or 18 years. I actually started pet sitting in a neighborhood that I lived in toward the end of eighth grade all the way through the end of high school, and my very first job was at a kennel. I have had all sorts of jobs since then, but I have worked with animals one way or another for the most part. I currently also have a job as a kennel manager for an animal hospital in Cary.
2. Do you only pet sit for cats? No if no, what other animals do you pet sit for? Currently dogs and a rabbit as well. I would be willing to pet sit for all sorts of animals, though.
3. How many cats do you have? 1; a gray cat named Buster
4. How long have you been a cat sitter? A little over 2 years
5. What elements of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters for Feline Behavioral Issues course was the most interesting to you? I have seen people scratch their heads and wonder why cats gravitate towards people who hate cats or that are allergic to cats. The cat haters actually do everything right, because they act casual, don’t force themselves on the cat, or make eye contact with the cat. They basically don’t do anything that seems scary to cats, so the cat will approach them much more quickly. That seemed so simple, but I had just never connected the dots. I also learned that female cats can spray as well as males. I had never heard that.
6. How do you think taking this course will help you to become better as a cat sitter? Simply being more educated on feline behavior can help me give better advice to clients if they have any questions or concerns.
7. What do you think are important character traits of a good cat sitter? Compassion, love, and care for the pet; trustworthiness, hardworking, eager to please, honest, sociable
8. Do you have any other degrees/training that benefits you as a cat sitter? No, but I will be diligently taking more courses from NAPPS.
9. What tips can you pass on for cat owners that make it easier to understand their pet? I learned from the Feline Behavioral Course that cats never really do anything bad. They actually do what is natural and instinctive. Positive reinforcement is important. Cats should never be punished for “bad behavior.” They should be given better options and choices (for example, more scratching posts in better places for the furniture scratcher, a more stimulating indoor environment for a cat that is always trying to go outside, etc.). Cats also love routine. Try to stick to the same schedule as much as possible, and cats will be much happier and less stressed.
10. What tips do you have for making it easier for cats to acclimate to having a cat sitter versus being with their owners? Let the cat set the pace for how slowly or how quickly he or she would like to get comfortable with the cat sitter. It is okay if a kitty is shy and doesn’t want to warm up immediately. With a little TLC the cat will come around and gain trust in its own time. Also, have catnip and treats on hand!
11. What, if any, advice you would share for someone considering getting certified through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters for Feline Behavioral Issues? I can’t think of any advice, but I would strongly encourage any pet sitter to take the course. I think that every cat owner and pet sitter can learn a lot from the textbook used for the course, which is Start from Scratch.
For more information about Jessica (who lives in the 27607 area code) or A1 Pet Care/SleepEasZz feel free to look us up online at www.SleepEasZz.com!