Kathy’s Cat Care

May 1, 2011

Kathy Cat Care

Kathy Bauernfeind holds Porch Kitty for a photo-op inside the playroom at Second Hand Purrs Cat Shelter, 4300 S. Howell Ave. Porch Kitty, whose tail is amputated, is one of about 55 cats being cared for by volunteers inside the shelter. Bauernfeind started her home-based cat-sitting business in Bay View in 2008 and supports the shelter’s efforts. ~photo Michael Timm

1. Do you only care for cats and if so why?

Yes, I’ve chosen to focus my service on cats. Dogs are very different, and most folks either take them along when they’re away or make other arrangements. Cats are much happier staying in their usual environment.

2. What made you decide to start a cat care business?

I was on a two-week vacation and had a friend and brother alternate coming in every day to care for my cat. They didn’t mind doing it, but I wished I’d had another option and realized that many other folks were likely in the same position.

3. How much time do you spend with your client’s cat and what services do you provide?

I offer a “menu” of visit types: a stop (feeding/litter box/hugs/kisses for $10), a half-hour (including play and grooming for $15), and an hour (everything for $20). Some cats are more independent than others, so clients mix and match the types of visits, and when visits occur, to best meet their needs. We prepare a visit plan and I also offer electronic progress reports if desired, but always leave a paper “Visit Repurrrt.”

4. How do you market your business?

I stay pretty much within Bay View for marketing—advertising in the Compass and leaving business cards in the area. Word-of-mouth referrals are also very important.

5. What is the most challenging part of your work?

Caring for cats that are very old or ill, and helping their owners make difficult decisions. It’s about acknowledging and remembering the joy.

6. What is the best part of your work?

Meeting so many special people who love their cats.

7. What do you love most about cats?

I love everything that walks, crawls, and flies (except mosquitoes) but find that more than any other creature, every cat is remarkably unique. I could name specific personality traits of each of my cat clients—they’re like little people.

8. Who takes care of your cat when you travel or are out of town?

I haven’t traveled much in the last few years but have dear neighbors who help me out when the need arises.

9. What advice do you give prospective clients about preparing to work with a cat care provider?

One of the most important things is to make sure your cat feels comfortable with the visitor. Part of my service is a free pre-visit to meet and learn about the cat(s) I’ll be caring for. This also allows owners to feel comfortable that their pets will receive earnest, loving care. My service is all about making both cats and people feel comfortable when they have to be apart.

10. What makes your cat care business unique or different than other similar businesses?

I can’t say if this makes me unique but I honestly look forward to every cat visit I have—each one brightens my day. I also have a client who wants her cat to have an hour’s time, but who isn’t much into playing. So I read to him and, without fail, he curls up next to me and purrs. He’s enjoyed my literature choices so far.

Kathy Bauernfeind

(414) 482-0390

bauerka@att.net

kathyscatcare.com

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