We all know cats are independent creatures and getting one inside if s/he doesn't want to is the bane of many a cat owner's life. So we are sure you can understand that even if your cat is well trained it may not always be possible for your cat sitter to get your cat indoors for the evening.
The best way to ensure your cat is safe at night is to set your cat a timed curfew with a cat flap. That way, if your cat is outside, they’ll be able to enter in their own time, but won’t be able to leave again. Using a cat flap like this will remove a lot of unnecessary stress for yourself and your cat sitter.
If you don’t have a cat flap
If you don’t have a cat flap, a cat sitter cannot be held responsible if they are unable to lock your kitty indoors for the evening. Unless otherwise agreed, a cat sitter is only paid to spend between 20 - 30 minutes per visit. If your cat is nowhere to be found during this time, they cannot be expected to wait.
To give your sitter the best chance of luring your cat back inside please let them know:
Your cat's daily routine, what time does s/he usually come home?
Do you use any treats/food to lure them in?
Your cat may not respond to the cat sitter's voice, do you use any other sounds as a ‘home time’ call? e.g. a clicker?
Does your cat have any favourite hiding/sleeping places outside?
If the cat sitter cannot get your cat inside
As an owner of an outdoor cat you will know best that one cannot hold a sitter responsible for the wellbeing of your cat while roaming outdoors. This is the same should your cat not return home for the evening.
Please discuss a backup plan with your sitter should they not be successful at locking your cat up for the evening.
Can they safely leave a window open?
Should they leave some food and water outside?
If it’s cold, should they leave a box/blanket outside?
Would you pay them to do an extra visit and come back later / first thing in the morning?
Should they let the neighbour know?