Caring for animals is optional for house-swapping but once you say "I DO," a manual is essential.  Here’s one example.

Thank you for taking care of our cats.  Their names are Darly and Maddie (names have been changed).  Neither goes outside, although we do let them out on the deck upstairs.  Darly is a sneaky front door diver and will try to escape when the door is opened, so you have to watch him!  Luckily, he only goes as far as the sidewalk in front of the house and is very easy to catch!  He is very social and will follow you everywhere… and he talks a lot.  The little furry mice you see on the floor are his and he also likes the cat fishing pole on the fireplace mantle.  The small box on the coffee table is his favorite napping place… yes, he does manage to cram himself right in!  There’s a napping box in the hall upstairs, too.  Darly doesn’t care for being picked up, but he loves to be brushed and needs it everyday.  The brush is in the kitchen drawer by the sink.  I usually close the laundry door and he will lie down in the kitchen.  If you can get to Maddie, she likes to be brushed as well.  She is a very shy kitty, but very loving.  She doesn’t like loud noises or quick movements, but will come to you if you sit quietly (maybe!).  You won’t be able to pick her up – we don’t even try!  You’ll probably forget she is around; she is so quiet and good!  She likes to be scratched on her back and Darly on his face.

I feed them once in the morning – just fill their bowls and sprinkle some "kitty caviar" on top.  Make sure they have fresh water… Darly likes to jump on the sink in the master bath and drink out of the faucet… if this freaks you out, don’t worry –  he can drink from the bowl just as well!   The cat box needs to be scooped every other day or so – bags are in the big closet by the back door and extra litter is in the garage.  Darly is messy and kicks sand all over, so I usually sweep every day. An extra bag of food is also in the garage.  We know Darly is a high maintenance creature, but he’s such a personality that we just don’t care!

Our vet is ____________________ at ___________________.  The address is: ____.

A purple cat carrier is in the garage if you need to transport a cat for some reason.  Our cats do not enjoy car rides!  

If you have a cat related question, call our neighbor, at 0000.  She has a few cats and will try to answer a question.  If you need someone to watch the cats for a few days, our neighbor, __________, usually does it for us.  Her number is 0000.  Cat hair rollers for your clothes are in the car and on the shelf in the master bedroom over the closet.