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View Full Version : Paying cat sitters



Equino
May. 4, 2011, 09:54 PM
How much do you either charge or pay for cat sitting? I have two cats and I will be having someone take care of them while I am gone for a 3 day weekend (Fri PM-Sun AM). All I need is for them to be fed twice a day, watered, scoop litter box, bring in mail. I have a co-worker who also does dog sitting/walking on her free time, and she volunteered to care for my cats. She keeps avoiding when I ask her about money, but I want to pay her since she is a busy person and it is time out of her day. She lives about 5 minutes from me and I told her to work it around her current work schedule. Just wondering what I can leave her that would be more than fair. I've never had a sitter before so no idea about paying.

Thanks in advance!

sheltoneb
May. 4, 2011, 10:05 PM
I pay $15 per day to my pet sitter. She stops in once a day per my request. She will clean the cat litter and play with the cat if I want. I can't remember if she said she would stop in twice for that price or not. My cat is not friendly and has an automatic feeder and litter box. I have the sitter stop by to make sure she has water. Hopes this helps.

goodhors
May. 4, 2011, 10:14 PM
Call a local Vet Office, Kennel, see what they get for a day rate to board two animals. This will give you a base price. I would think a sitter should be about equal to a board place. The board place has all facilities at hand, while the sitter is using your stuff, the sitter still has to come over, maybe use fuel which is now higher priced. Sitter gives cats the advantage of staying home, less stress on them. So cost should be pretty close for the sitter as the boarding place.

If she does a good job, a good size tip is certainly in order.

Get her firm agreement on the sitting, pull her charges out to know what you are getting into. NO SURPRISES if she is very expensive!!

If she won't commit to cost, then check out another sitter service or plan to use a boarding service. She may do pet sitting, but could be fully committed and doesn't want to say so. You REALLY want to have everything in place a couple weeks before your departure. If you have to board, I would take a familiar blanket or small bed, WASHABLE, for the cats to use at the boarding place. Maybe get a bigger cage to keep them together, if cats get along well. Most cats do fine boarding, but some "home smells" on their bed always help.

Hope everything goes smoothly for your time away.

SMF11
May. 4, 2011, 10:46 PM
When I used one (I now have a farmsitter stay in the house to care for all the animals) she charged $10/visit. So $20/day for two visits.

SanJacMonument
May. 4, 2011, 11:15 PM
Good for you for keeping the kitties at home. Pay her what a cat hotel pays in your area, plus tip.

kris578
May. 5, 2011, 09:34 AM
I just went away for the weekend and had some one stay at the house with my two feline monsters for two nights, I left her a $100 .. she took awesome care of them. If she didn't stay the night I'd probably cut it half.

AnotherRound
May. 5, 2011, 09:45 AM
I think I'd probably give closer to $50.00 a day.

Think about it - spending an hour at the house, pretend 15.00 an hour (only decent thing to do, I'd rather give 20.00) twice, that's 30.00 plus the four trips in the car, if she's close by you're giving her an additional $20.00 for gas and driving time and the trouble of cutting off whatever else is going on in her day to go there - two times each day.

I'd definitely give her $150.00 for three days; if anything at all out of the ordinary happened, I'd give her 200.00.

Giving $10.00 to an adult to come in and feed your cats twice a day - well, I'd smile and say not interested (not even give a reason, just no thanks), then I'd shake my head at the el cheapskate-o. I would be tempted to recommend a student who might do it for them if they only had to walk next door, but even a 6th grader I would pay $10.00 an hour and give them $10.00 each time they came to do it - meaning $20.00 a day, three days, $60.00. If their mother drove them more. and when I got home to find that they did a good job, I would give the child another $20.00.

AliCat518
May. 5, 2011, 09:52 AM
I charge $40/day for two cats if im staying at their house over night. That includes feeding, water and litterbox.

I once housesat for a woman with 8 indoor cats and 2 outdoors. A few had special feedings and meds. I also had to give one cat subcutaneous fluids every other day. I dont remember what I charged her (I think around 100/day) but it was NOT enough.

For 2 cats...feeding/water/litterbox/mail, I would say between 30 and 50 a day. (Also depends if theyre staying at your house...)

magnolia73
May. 5, 2011, 09:55 AM
The company I work for charges $17 for a cat care visit- scoop poop, feed, water and at minimum get a kitty head count (if cats are not friendly). I also clean up any accidents. I get the mail, put out trash and switch lights around.

If one of your cats is say, locked in a room or closet, I stay until the cat is located. If your cat has a diarhea on the carpet, I clean it with a steam cleaner.

Basically, you get what you pay for.

Most cat people just do 1 visit per day, vs two.

To be honest, what you are paying for is the person driving there and back and taking the time out of their day. Like I am cat sitting all weekend- it's no big deal to care for a few cats- but I have to get up, drive over and do the job. :yes: That's why I want to be paid to make it worthwhile.

PaintPony
May. 5, 2011, 10:50 AM
I have one cat sitting gig where I make $75 a day. The catch is that I have to groom all 3 of the Persian cats daily.

Trust me when I say I EARN that money! :D

2DogsFarm
May. 5, 2011, 12:59 PM
I'll be the Voice of Dissent here.
Why pay anyone for just 3 days?
I have left my (2) housecats on their own for as long as a week.

I put out a HUGE dish of dry food and use a circulating waterer that holds a gallon plus another large (3qt) bowl of water just in case.

I also get a disposable litterbox in addition to their regular one.
Of course these are nasty when I get back, but at least they've been used instead of somewhere less desirable.

A neighbor can pick up your mail.

I pay my farmsitter $15 per visit (she comes twice a day) to feed/water horses, feed/water chickens & collect eggs (for her to keep), and feed/water barncat.

deltawave
May. 5, 2011, 01:02 PM
We just leave. :uhoh: Plenty of food, plenty of water, toilet lids open (she prefers this water source), two clean litterboxes. We do this for a week when necessary, 2-3 days routinely. Kitty's happy to see us when we get home but is otherwise fine. Stop the mail at the post office.

Leprechaun
May. 5, 2011, 01:18 PM
I'd go with the leave them alone for 2-3 days theory. If not, we pay about $25/day to have someone stay at our house to take care of the dogs. The horse sitter gets a little more.

Equino
May. 5, 2011, 09:06 PM
Thanks for the replies! The girl is a co-worker/friend and refused to be paid, but I will leave her a tip. She lives a couple blocks from me and, conveniently, I am on her way to/from work. But I want to pay her anyway since I really appreciate her doing this. I was thinking of leaving her $50, she'll be stopping by 3 times over two days (I decided they can wait for me to get home Sunday since we'll be home by 11-noon). Does that seem cheap or fair?

I would NOT be comfortable leaving food out for them to tend to. I know many do that, but originally when my cats were barn cats, they were fed twice a day and I did not leave food out for rodents or dogs to get into, and now that they are lazy, fat house cats, I KNOW they would eat and eat and eat and be done with kibble mid-night, so I won't do that. Besides, there is that sense of comfort knowing someone can check on them and the house.

chaltagor
May. 5, 2011, 11:41 PM
Oh yes, leaving animals alone for more than 24 hours is perfectly legal and safe. No one on this forum would have any knowledge (or opinion) of anyone prosecuted for doing the same.

kris578
May. 6, 2011, 09:19 AM
I don't' think that's cheap, does she have animals? maybe offer to return the favor some weekend.

danceronice
May. 6, 2011, 10:21 AM
I gave my sitter last time (for Friday night-Sunday morning) $50, so about $25/full day for my three indoor-only cats (she feeds them and makes sure they have water) and two dogs. Plus she will usually stay at the house she's sitting at night (unless, obviously, she's doing multiple houses.) She thought that was a little high, actually, but I thought it was quite reasonable.

ladybugred
May. 6, 2011, 10:51 AM
Oh yes, leaving animals alone for more than 24 hours is perfectly legal and safe. No one on this forum would have any knowledge (or opinion) of anyone prosecuted for doing the same.

REALLY????:rolleyes:

There is a BIG difference between 3 days and 3 weeks.

As well as between cats and horses.

I've left my cats for the weekend, lots of food, water and clean LBs. Woludnt do the same with my horses even tho they live out 24/7.

LBR

starrunner
May. 6, 2011, 10:56 AM
I was paid $40 for a weekend to clean litterboxes and check food/water for two exotic short hairs and sleep over at night for the neurotic Chow.

I didn't think it was bad, but I literally lived across the street, plus she bought me my favorite foods to entice me to stay and decided to DVR any horse related show she could find. :lol:

kristinq
May. 6, 2011, 11:23 AM
Oh yes, leaving animals alone for more than 24 hours is perfectly legal and safe. No one on this forum would have any knowledge (or opinion) of anyone prosecuted for doing the same.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Was that a P.P. reference? :cool:

2DogsFarm
May. 6, 2011, 12:42 PM
Equino;
if your coworker did not want to accept pay, how about leaving her a nice gift/giftcard instead of $$?

And while it has never bothered me to leave cats on their own, I TOTALLY would NOT EVER leave my horses unattended, even overnight!

And they are out 24/7/365.

I need someone to make sure they have clean water - Sam is a HUGE drinker & haydunker - and that they are upright with all 4 on the ground.

FWIW: I don't ask my farmsitter to pick stalls, a little poop won't kill anyone.

danceronice
May. 6, 2011, 01:01 PM
If I a horse on 24/7 turnout with an auto-waterer AND it was summer (when there's good grass) and/or I had a round bale, I wouldn't be overworried leaving him for a weekend. But all my neighbors are line-of-sight and two of the three immediate ones have horses themselves. They could glance in most of the day and spot a problem, and would know how to deal with a loose horse. Since I board, not an issue.

Cats? NP, give 'em food, water, and their boxes and they're good for a few days (and are usually glad the Stupid Dogs (tm) are gone.)

The dogs? Either they come along or they have a sitter.

NRB
May. 6, 2011, 11:15 PM
for the cat for a weekend I leave out food/water clean litter box and lock her up in 2 rooms in the house.... she's an indoor & outdoor kitty when we are home....

For the dog I would pay either $40 to $50 a night for an overnight sitter to stay in the house, care for the critters. Dog board rates are $18-22 a night. Sitter is more. But if you have 2 dogs then it works out. And critters are happier to stay home.

QuarterCanuck
May. 7, 2011, 12:04 AM
I paid $16 per visit for my cat...but my cat was aged and a real social creature so I anted up for twice daily visits. She cleaned the litter box, changed the water daily and fed him...the remainder of the visit was spent with him loving on her while she groomed him. On our return, we were given a daily account of their interactions.
I think my cat sitter is well worth her weight in gold and I tip her accordingly.

Alagirl
May. 7, 2011, 12:05 AM
I think 50 bucks and a souvenier sounds ok...

I had a kid take care of my birds and turtle, I paid him - I think - half when I dropped them off, half when I got back, plus a T-shirt from the vacation...(I paid 150 bucks for 3 cats at the vet...)

anchodavis
May. 7, 2011, 07:37 AM
A colleague of mine has gotten me to take care of her cat a few times. She has offered to pay but I've never felt comfortable taking her money (young newlywed with no money, just didn't seem right. :)) But each time she has done something small but nice for me, like a gift card to a local chair massage place, Starbucks gift card, etc. Small but very nice. :)

Equino
May. 8, 2011, 02:52 PM
Gift cards...!!! I should've thought of it especially since a new restaurant opened up in town and we have talked about going there. Will need to remember that for next time! I ended up leaving her $50, she did all I asked for, and left $20 behind. Since she does do animal sitting as a 2nd/PT job, I didn't feel right not leaving something. I'm glad I left her too much than too little, my cats were taken care of, I had peace of mind knowing all was well and could enjoy my weekend away.

I won't get into the whole should you leave animals unattended debate, but...I have left my cats alone on overnights when I'd be gone 24-36 hours, but not more than that. I would never leave my dogs or horses unattended for more than 6, 8 hours, but that's just my preference!

Bacchus
May. 10, 2011, 10:50 AM
LOL, my poor neighbor. She's 13. She comes over twice a day, gives my horses hay in winter, feeds two to four dogs (we foster) and a cat. She gets about $20 per day. She is 13, though. I do pay her the same in spring/summer when the horses don't need any care -- just a glance to make sure they are standing and not bleeding/limping;)

I'd definitely leave my cat home alone for three days.

baysngreys
May. 10, 2011, 03:13 PM
Cats are so independent, I feel fine leaving them for a couple of days with extra crunchy food and a huge bowl of water.

Dogs, not so much. I might, on a rare occassion, feed early and come back the next morning, but that's rare.

Horses - never-ever-left-alone!! Ever!! I swear they watch me drive away and they all jump up and down and go "yahoooooooo"!
Only time I've ever had several blankets broken - I was away
Only time I've had a horse jump out - I was away
Only time I've had a horse break open a gate - I hadn't even made it to the airport!!!
Water pipe burst? I was away
No water for entire farm? I was away

Thank goodness each time I had a sitter there to put Humpty back on the wall!

Moral - I don't go away any more :(

Beethoven
May. 10, 2011, 03:18 PM
We just leave. :uhoh: Plenty of food, plenty of water, toilet lids open (she prefers this water source), two clean litterboxes. We do this for a week when necessary, 2-3 days routinely. Kitty's happy to see us when we get home but is otherwise fine. Stop the mail at the post office.

Ditto! My cats have been alone for 2 weeks no worse for the wear. Big bowl of food, lots of water, and a couple clean littler boxes and they are good to go. Its what I like about cats!:D Dogs and horses, no they have to be looked on at least twice a day!

Bacchus
May. 10, 2011, 04:23 PM
I must be an animal abuser. I'll leave my dogs and horses for a night. I'll feed around 5, go out of town for the evening, and come back late the next morning.

In the spring/summer when my horses have plenty of grass, I'll check them out the window twice a day (yes, sometimes once) and if I see all four standing and grazing, I'm good.

walktrot
May. 11, 2011, 01:12 PM
One of the best features of cats is that they are self-sufficient, unlike the dogs, for example. I have always had 2 cats because they keep each other company. I routinely will leave them for a long weekend. The longest I ever left them alone was a week when my dad died. Didn't know I'd be gone that long. But leaving them with plenty of water, food, and a clean box worked out fine. I often wonder if they even know that I'm gone.

red mares
May. 12, 2011, 10:13 AM
A cat sitter for 3 days?

That's why I have cats and not a dog. An automatic litter box, big bowl of dry food and big bowl of water and they're good for a week.

When I was in the Navy, they stayed home for a month at a time by themselves, with someone coming in 2X a week. The biggest problem was the sitter who kept turning the litter box off! It was much easier on them than when they stayed with someone. That was a disaster.

betsyk
May. 12, 2011, 12:26 PM
If I remember correctly, I was paid $20/trip for a coworker's cats. There were 6 or 7 of them and I had to feed them all their little individual amounts of wet food with various pills and potions, give thyroid pills to one of them, clean boxes, and play with the young ones. They said up front that they wanted me to stay in the house for about an hour so the cats got some actual contact time with humans. I could bring a friend to play with the kittens and I could park in their driveway and take the bus or walk to work - that sweetened the deal.

I pay about the same for our menagerie which has similar special needs (but no kittens to play with!). More for overnight sitters. I wish we could leave ours overnight with a bowl of dry food but the constipated one would pee on the bed and the ancient kitty would probably not drink and blah, blah, blah!

Kryswyn
May. 12, 2011, 12:35 PM
I would NOT be comfortable leaving food out for them to tend to. I know many do that, but originally when my cats were barn cats, they were fed twice a day and I did not leave food out for rodents or dogs to get into, and now that they are lazy, fat house cats, I KNOW they would eat and eat and eat and be done with kibble mid-night, so I won't do that.

If your cats get 1 cup of kittykibble each a day and you'll be gone for 3 days, you leave out 6 cups of food. If they eat it all in one day, that's on them, they won't starve before you get back. :winkgrin:

mypaintwattie
May. 13, 2011, 02:44 AM
My company starts at $20 per visit, price goes up depending on the number of cats, litterboxes, and if any need medication. Basic 30 minute visit includes feeding, fresh water, cleaning litter box, bringing in mail, and watering houseplants. You want me to stay the night with your kitty? That will cost $75+ and is just the night, not 24hr care. :winkgrin: That is average for this area.

over60
May. 14, 2011, 10:08 AM
I pay a neighbor $15 per day for two visits - he feeds the two girls, cleans litter boxes, and brings in the mail.