Food plan for cat sitting

Juniper_Junebug

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Until now, I've been able to take Juno to my mom's house when I've had to leave town for work. But in a few weeks, I need to be out of town when my mom is also away. I'll be gone Tuesday afternoon to Saturday evening.

My mother can visit Friday and Saturday morning only. So I found a cat sitter on Meowtel who will visit once on Wednesday and Thursday each (no option for 2x/day). But I don't know where to begin on instructions / a plan for feeding. I'd like her to feed Juno a normal portion of wet food when she comes, and just leave it out if Juno hasn't finished it by the time she leaves, because Juno is a grazer but has always finished her food eventually.

I have a single-meal timed feeder but that seems useless here. Should I buy a multi timed feeder? Or just leave a bowl of kibble for free feeding? I know there are feeders with ice in the bottom but I have not been impressed by them so far, and it seems too complicated to manage for this trip.

Would appreciate advice on logistics, which somehow seem beyond my mental capacity (maybe bc I'm nervous about leaving her). I'd obviously rather her be over fed for a few days than under fed, and I don't want the perfect to be the enemy of the good. I just want a workable plan, but my brain is making high pitched buzzing noises when I try to think concretely about mealtimes without me.

Thanks!
 

Furballsmom

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I'd like her to feed Juno a normal portion of wet food when she comes, and just leave it out if Juno hasn't finished it by the time she leaves, because Juno is a grazer
So there will be either your mom or the sitter, daily.
a plan for feeding.
I'd describe this ( that I quoted above) - along with explaining what a normal portion is, and maybe kibble if she gets that typically, the level of which can be checked.

Do you change the water daily?

That, plus cleaning the litter boxes, some worn unwashed clothes for your scent, and maybe some cat music and she should be fine :).
 

Alldara

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Our sitter is our neighbour and care has changed over the years.

I usually leave the food out with just written instructions on food and any additives like water.
 

WebDragon

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Safe travels, and good luck with Juno! I'm making travel preparations myself, and have a sitter coming once a day while I'll be away. If it helps I'll share what I've got planned for feeding, with a timed feeder.

I've got two kittens and they normally eat four times a day, wet food only. When Ive been out of the house and missed a mealtime I've just doubled up on the portions before we left, and they graze. I've got a CatMate C200 timed feeder, with the metal bowls and an extra ice pack, and I've been testing different methods of keeping their food cool for different lengths of time. The ice pack seems pretty whimpy but it actually does keep their food cool for about 5-6 hours.

My strategy for the sitter will be to prepare all of their meals in advance, put them in plastic containers, and stash them in the fridge. Two double portions per cat per day, for four portions total. The sitter can feed them directly while they're visiting, then put the next doubled portions in each side of the timed feeder, with an ice cube also added in. Between the refrigerated food, the ice pack, and the ice cubes, it will keep the food cool enough so that everything is a normal temp. by the time the feeder pops open. If I had one cat, I could program the two sides of the feeder to open at different times, and leave the first meal without an ice cube but put one in the second meal. But in my case with two, I've got the lids of the two sections clipped together so they'll open at the same time. I think the only thing that could cause issues is if the battery in the feeder goes dead, so I'm making sure to put a fresh one in before I leave.

As a plus, pre-making their meals will allow the sitter to spend extra time playing with them, instead of preparing the food. Being able to offer them dry food would make things simpler, so maybe you've got the right idea by having the sitter feed wet and leave out a daily portion of kibble. In any case, good luck!
 
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Juniper_Junebug

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Safe travels, and good luck with Juno! I'm making travel preparations myself, and have a sitter coming once a day while I'll be away. If it helps I'll share what I've got planned for feeding, with a timed feeder.

I've got two kittens and they normally eat four times a day, wet food only. When Ive been out of the house and missed a mealtime I've just doubled up on the portions before we left, and they graze. I've got a CatMate C200 timed feeder, with the metal bowls and an extra ice pack, and I've been testing different methods of keeping their food cool for different lengths of time. The ice pack seems pretty whimpy but it actually does keep their food cool for about 5-6 hours.

My strategy for the sitter will be to prepare all of their meals in advance, put them in plastic containers, and stash them in the fridge. Two double portions per cat per day, for four portions total. The sitter can feed them directly while they're visiting, then put the next doubled portions in each side of the timed feeder, with an ice cube also added in. Between the refrigerated food, the ice pack, and the ice cubes, it will keep the food cool enough so that everything is a normal temp. by the time the feeder pops open. If I had one cat, I could program the two sides of the feeder to open at different times, and leave the first meal without an ice cube but put one in the second meal. But in my case with two, I've got the lids of the two sections clipped together so they'll open at the same time. I think the only thing that could cause issues is if the battery in the feeder goes dead, so I'm making sure to put a fresh one in before I leave.

As a plus, pre-making their meals will allow the sitter to spend extra time playing with them, instead of preparing the food. Being able to offer them dry food would make things simpler, so maybe you've got the right idea by having the sitter feed wet and leave out a daily portion of kibble. In any case, good luck!
This is really helpful! I wasn't sure if the wet + ice pack would keep it cold long enough. Maybe I will have the sitter feed wet in the morning and set up the feeder with ice pack and a second portion of wet food for 6 hours later, and then have her leave out some dry just in case.

I've never used my feeder so I'm trying it tonight with dry and tomorrow morning with wet (with a brand new battery). I'm also meeting the sitter tomorrow night, so 🤞

I'm really curious to see if Juno comes out of hiding to meet the sitter. With COVID, she's just not gotten used to other people like I wish she had....
 

Alldara

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W WebDragon that's very innovative! I usually leave the portions on the counter still in packaging and in one of those human trays that have sections with the medicine in those daily counters.

I should try pre-prearing it while I'm home and see if they'll eat it cold.
 
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