One great side hustle for making extra money in your first apartment is catsitting. With minimal effort, you can get paid to take care of a cat while its owner is out of town or busy, and sometimes, it can pay well! There are some important things to keep in mind before you start catsitting, though, so read on below for six helpful tips for catsitting in your first apartment.
Learn to handle cats
The first and most important step in preparing for catsitting is to be comfortable handling and being around cats. It’s best to catsit for friends or family members whose pets you’re already familiar with so you can avoid the learning curve that comes with a cat getting used to you. If you haven’t been around the cat previously, here are a few helpful tricks to help it get comfortable with you:
Make yourself small
First of all, when you approach a cat that doesn’t know you yet, it’s always helpful to make yourself look as small as possible. By crouching or sitting down, you’ll seem like less of a threat and encourage the cat to come to you.
Ignore the cat
Another trick to seem less intimidating is simply to ignore the cat completely. This is especially helpful if you’ve already scared the cat off and will help neutralize the situation and let the cat feel like you’re not going to hurt them.
Be around when the owner is there
If possible, try to spend some time around the cat before its owner leaves so it can grow accustomed to you while being around someone it’s comfortable with. This will help smooth the transition to a new face so the cat isn’t alarmed by you.
Ask the right questions
Before you let the cat’s owner leave it with you, be sure you’ve asked the right questions so you know what to expect. Ask the owner if there’s anything specific you need to consider when giving the cat food and water, if the cat needs any medications, or if there’s anything that scares or alarms the cat that you should be sure to avoid.
If you’re watching the cat for an extended period of time, make sure you have the contact information for its vet just in case of an emergency. You’ll also want to ask the owner how long the cat can be on its own to make sure it’ll be fine while you go off to work or anything else.
Know how to clean up pet odors
If everything goes well, you won’t have to worry about the cat leaving odors in your apartment, but accidents happen, so it’s important to be prepared. Invest in a high-quality cleaning spray or moisture absorbent, especially if you have carpets in your apartment.
If you don’t clean up pet smells properly, you could have cleaning fees taken out of your security deposit when you move out of the apartment, so it’s worth taking the time to do it right.