Cat Proofing Your Home

Cats are certainly very inquisitive creatures by nature and, very much like young children, will see many everyday items in the home as exciting new toys to play with. Unfortunately, the average house is full of potential hazards; so it is important to check your home thoroughly to ensure the safety and well-being of your cat.

Cat from Housecarers French Housesit

It is probably best to check round your house room by room and then move into the garden area and have a thorough check round there. Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the worst areas in the house. Both are areas where you will probably spend a reasonable amount of time everyday and that means your cat will want to be there too.

Think carefully about kitchen appliances - do they need to be out on the work surface? If you have been using the sink, do not leave it full of water, as a kitten could easily drown in it. Never leave pans, grills, toasters, etc, unattended when in use - interesting and tempting cooking smells could lure your cat into a very dangerous situation. Empty hobs, which have just been in use, will stay hot for some time and could badly scald your cat if walked on, so keep your cat away.

It may be a good idea to try and discourage your cat from jumping up onto the work surfaces.

Washers and dryers hold some kind of immense fascination for cats and a recently used and warm dryer, could make a tempting bed for a while. Always check your machines before putting any washing or drying in - it may even be a good idea to keep the machine doors closed at all times. Cats also seem to have an affinity for dirty washing, so your laundry basket may also be a suitable place for sleeping - always check where your cat is when loading up your washing machine.

As we know, cats spend plenty of time cleaning themselves and licking their paws. Unfortunately, they can absorb all kinds of poisons through their pads. Consider cleaning agents carefully before purchasing them, ensuring that they are safe for animals. Always store them in a cupboard out of the way and lock the door if possible.

Pymble Cat Sit Housecarers

Bathrooms, like kitchens, are also areas where plenty of water is used, which can sometimes be scalding hot. Never leave baths or basins full of water unattended and always keep the toilet seat down.

Houseplants can also pose a threat to your feline friend, as some of them are poisonous. Some cats appear to be able to sense when a plant is poisonous but to be on the safe side, it is best to check the safety of any plants you already have in the house as well as any you purchase.

Other living areas of the house may contain hidden dangers too, such as telephone leads, computer cables and any other type of electrical cables. Cats will adore these and will again see them as something exciting to play with - apart from potentially pulling equipment down on themselves, they may chew through cables and electrocute themselves. If possible, computer equipment is best kept in a room on its own with the door shut. Any loose and dangling leads should be placed behind things out of the way, or contained in a piece of conduit. This should help to protect them from feline attention.

Norwegian cat from housesit

Open fires should be protected with a fireguard and any other small items around the home such as needlework equipment, drawing pins, rubber bands, paper clips, etc, should be kept in an appropriate box and put away after use.

If you live in a flat or an apartment, open windows could also be a hazard, as your cat will soon learn how to get through them and may not appreciate that there is a long drop below. You may have to attach a piece of mesh to the opening. Balconies can also pose a threat; so a mesh framework covered with climbing plants may act as a deterrent.

Moving into the garden area, even more dangers may be lurking, particularly in sheds, garages and other out buildings. Tools and chemicals are often stored in these areas, so always check that your cat hasn't slipped in anywhere whilst you have been working outside - keep them locked up when not in use

If your cat is free to roam around outside, it may come across all kinds of dangers in other gardens, but you can at least ensure that yours is as safe as possible. Think again about poisonous plants, insecticides, slug pellets, etc. All these items can be lethal to your cat.

As a cat owner, you must provide your feline companion with the best possible care and attention. Keeping him/her safe in your home will hopefully avoid any unnecessary dangers and help to ensure a long and happy life.

By Ian White ©

How to learn a language while housesitting


Your housesit is booked, and your bags are packed, but there’s something else you’ve got to think about if you want to really get the most out of your housesit: speaking the local language! 

While you may not have time to learn more than a few key phrases before hitting the road, the wonderful power that is the internet makes it possible to learn a language while housesitting – with Skype language lessons from Live Lingua!

Live Lingua offers Skype language lessons in the 11 most commonly spoken languages in the world. As you work through your housesitting duties, whether it’s taking care of pets or cleaning a pool, these Skype language lessons let you converse with a native speaker of the language that works one-on-one with you to reach your goals – hopefully to reach fluency!

Live Lingua’s website is also full of great resources to help you optimize your study time and be comfortable in your new setting.

But first, let’s see why we think learning English for travel to the US is so important!

Should You Learn a language before or while housesitting? 

One of the first things most travelers search before going to a foreign country for the first time is Do I have to learn [language spoken in destination] before I get there? Will I be able to ask for a restaurant or locate a bathroom?!

It’s best to try and learn at least basic greetings and requests, as well as polite phrases and common questions, before hitting the road. If you have time, a few Skype language lessons before leaving home are a great idea, but they can be done while you travel as well.

How To Master Basic Vocab and Phrases

What are the most important things to learn before starting your housesit?

Basic vocab is always a good start. The Live Lingua Project offers a collection of free audio books and courses to get you speaking basic vocab and survival phrases.

During your studies, whether via Skype or while browsing the internet on your own, write key vocabulary words down on flashcards with the definition on the reverse side of the card or, ideally, a picture that shows what the word means. If you have the Anki App, you can search for a virtual flashcard deck of Travel English words so that you don’t have to carry the cards with you.

Then, practice using these words in sentences with friends, or say them out loud to yourself as you travel through locations in your own city. This will help you grow more comfortable and gain confidence with the full sentences needed to make statements and requests when you come to America.

Form a routine and stick to it

You’ve got a list of basic vocabulary for traveling, and you’ve been practicing aloud with yourself by naming places and objects as you travel in your own city. Now it’s time to build a routine — a set time every day, or every couple of days, that you have blocked off for language learning. After all, nothing good happens without will power!

One of the best ways to build a routine is to have accountability. There are a number of free apps designed to help language learners, often specifically catered to the language you need to learn. A quick search in the App store or on Google will turn up some ideas.

Once you have an app or have found a website that you like, get in the habit of utilizing it every day. If you set a time in your calendar to practice each day, or are hit with notifications from the app on your mobile phone, it is much easier to stick to the routine and keep progressing.

Apps and free websites are a great place to start, but it can sometimes be challenging to find a partner willing to practice consistently with you, as there is no real incentive to keep them involved if they decide to stop speaking.

Fortunately, there’s an even better option to take your learning a step further -- native speakers who are always ready to practice whenever it’s convenient for you!

Learn Online from a Qualified Native Instructor

Are you pronouncing words and phrases correctly? Or using the right verb tense and accents? It’s important to note that the free apps you download onto your phone, along with blogs and websites, are great for basics but aren’t going to give you the level of fluency needed to really converse. Native speakers who have mastered the language are the only true way to get ahead.

But for travelers who want to learn a language while housesitting, your best bet is to take lessons with a certified instructor who creates a curriculum based around your specific needs. Live Lingua offers a free trial lesson for all students who sign up here! [schedule a trial lesson today] Learn a language while housesitting:
Final Tips You’ve made a list of words and phrases you’re going to need on your upcoming trip, you’ve reviewed and practiced them over and over, and you’ve even taken awesome lessons with a professional instructor via Skype.

What more can you do? 

Relax and don’t stress yourself out. Locals will appreciate the effort you’ve put in to learn their language, and will be much more willing to converse with you. This could lead to some very exciting ideas and outings that you never would have found otherwise!

House Sitting Sarah, Explores the world out there. and perhaps finds a New place that is uber delicious to live.

Hello Ian,

I have been enjoying house sitting SO much and just wanted to say, "Thanks!

Sarah, exploring her New Worlds.  View Sarah's profile username FreeHeart

I am from San Diego, California, and over the past year and a half have house sat on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica,; The Vieques Island of Puerto Rico; next to the Grand Canyon in Arizona for a couple of weeks as a vacation with my son; and in San Diego for a fun stay in my home town in between other house sits.  It has been a marvelous way for me to experience places I'm curious about either from a visitor perspective and/or as a potential next home area.

As my son, who is now a delightful 21 years and has "disabilities", moved toward living in a supported new home, it felt like an excellent time for me to explore the world out there and perhaps find a new place that is uber delicious to live! 

I've been having a marvelous time and look forward to more explorations!  When I started house sitting in June of 2014, I took a leap, sold most of the things in my life and left my home for 4 months on Vieques.

Since then, I've been experiencing a rich sense of being at home in the world and being the one being taken care of by a greater field of Life.  I do look forward to establishing a new home base some day; meanwhile, I'm having a wonderful time without one!

Based on your email address, it looks like you're in Australia.  I'd enjoy visiting that great place sometime!  We'll see what happens!

Thanks for your interest and for the service!


Homeowners From British Columbia, securely Matched with House Sitters, for a 2nd time, so they can enjoy their Holiday, with their 3 spoilt cats in good hands.

Hi Ian -

We have been having the most wonderful luck finding housesitters on the housecarers website.  Very efficient service and I have recommended it to numerous friends.  

We will certainly continue using it often.  We have housesitters currently in our home for 5 weeks while we are away, and another couple coming in January for 3 months

Garden By The River

All the previous ones have been very very good and we have remained email buddies with some of them.  No need to remind us of your wonderful service!

Relaxing in the Gazebo

Don't let unexpected Events back Home Spoil Your Holiday

You could feel completely out of control when unexpected events back home try to spoil your holiday.  Or you could return to unforeseen damage caused by your plumbing springing a leak. Don't let this happen to you.Hear from experience Housesitters who have saved the Holidays of many Home and pet Owners.

Why you should never leave your home empty when traveling

House Sitting takes retired Canadian Couple on an Interesting 8 year ride around the world


We've been housesitting full time for going on eight years now, and we're booked through to December 2016.  By then, it will probably be time to give it up.  So not much point renewing.  Still, I want to thank you for all the opportunities over the years.  We've been literally around the world and it's been a more than interesting ride.
All the best,
Matt & Paula

Matt and Paula Chose Long Term housesits at locations all over the world - House sitting Profile

Long Term Housesit France

Long Term Housesit - 6 months France

Long Term house Sitting gives you the opportunity to really explore and enter into the local Culture.

Long Term House sitters required for locations around the world

Long Term Housesitting Assignments : 3 Months and Longer


Browse Long Term House Sit Assignments Worldwide

A long term housesit allows you to really explore and get to know an area. WIt can be a  great escape, and opportunity to refresh, and realy experience the local customs and community.  Long term housesits are ideal for Digital Nomads = like me , as I can run the business from anywhere in the world. Have fun browsing... Ian

New House Sitters Member Area / Control Panel Released.

HouseCarers pioneered Secure matching of Housesitters and Homeowners in October 2000.  We have included 15 years of customer feedback into the new Members Portal.

It has many new exciting features - and provides a modern, easy to use interface with prompts on improving your profile. It will also respond, and function on mobiles and tablets.

Login now to take advantage, or register to get started.
New Responsive House Sitters Control Panel / Members Portal - responsive for mobiles, tablets

We have improved the selection and structuring of Locations and all members should login to check and edit your Profile preferred locations. Also select Preferences Preferred Portal New or Classic; for Login via your encrypted email link in housecarers notifications.

Visit and click Login top right.

We Sleep Around (Homeless by Choice ) by Susie and Bill Davidson

Great new Housesitting Book We Sleep Around  (Homeless by Choicel)
Written by members Susieand  Bill Davidson

We Sleep Around (Homeless by choice Pictorial)

Update Your Housesitting Calendar with your housesit commitments

Don't forget to update your Calendar with your Housesit Commitments (Tools / Calendar after login) Here is a great example of how one House Sitter has filled out their Housesit commitments The visiting Home owner can view your calendar by Year, Month , Week even day.

 Do you know that Calendar is one of the most mis-spelt words often spelt Calender (Author is guilty)

Plumbing Expert advises we should Line up housesitters to Prevent Pipes Freezing

Plumbing Expert advises we should Line up housesitters

People jetting away on southern vacations may want to take extra precautions so they don’t come back to big bills.

Depending on insurance policies, homeowners may be required to have someone physically in a home within a certain time frame in order to get coverage.

Geno Pace, an NSCC plumbing instructor, says half the calls plumbers get this time of year are related to frozen pipes. (Courtesy Nova Scotia Community College)

Pace says house sitters should run taps throughout the house and check to ensure rooms aren’t cold.