Here are some signs that indicate that your cat sitter did a bad job other than the obvious one: she lost your cat because he escaped and disappeared. I’ll assume that the cat sitter is female.
It starts at the beginning. Did she ensure that you both signed a proper contract? If your cat sitter produced a contract written in plain language one one side of an A4 sheet of paper it’s a good sign. Don’t be nervous about it as it indicates professionalism and it avoids disputes. If she does not I’d doubt her professionalism. I would not ask a friend or relative to cat sit. What if your cat got run over while you were away? Unless you know for sure you can’t guarantee a friend of relative will behave professionally and can’t take risks.
After the gig was your cat showing signs that he was thirstier than normal? If so you have to conclude that the cat sitter failed to provide a sufficient quantity of clean water.
If your cat is more than usually disinterested in his regular food it may be a sign that the cat sitter fed too many treats.
Conversely, if your cat is ravenous you can only come to the conclusion that he was underfed.
If your cat has sprayed urine or defecated or urinated inappropriately, it is sign that your cat had become anxious and started marking territory or merging his scent with the scent of the cat’s owner (a sign of anxiety).
If your cat is clingy or fearful and hiding it might be indicative that your cat became anxious during the cat sitters stay which might indicate that she did a poor job. A cat sitter’s job includes making your cat as content and as relaxed as possible. Clearly if your cat hides from the cat sitter in your presence it’s got to be all over.
I wouldn’t expect to see this but if the cat litter is overflowing when you return it has got to be a clear sign of failure on behalf of the cat sitter.
If you made a good attempt to provide the best quality cat food and instructions to use it but it is unused on your return this must be unacceptable unless some good excuses are produced.
If throughout your time away from home your cat sitter failed to call and provide an update, that too is a no-no unless good reasons are provided.
If your cat sitter does not offer to do a meet and greet session before working for you it indicates a lack of professionalism. I am sure that it is obligatory that cat sitters meet the cat they are going to look after beforehand. How else will you know if she can get on with your cat and vice versa? It’s also a good opportunity to see how good she is with cats.
P.S. I am not sure if I can trust anyone to look after my cat while I am away but that’s my problem.
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