cat sitting service

Cat Sitting Services & Current Rates

While we would all love to be there for our cats all the time, life unfortunately doesn’t always pan out that way. Many times in our cat’s lives, we may be unable to care for them temporarily, leading us to find alternative options. The most common solution? Find a cat sitter.

Good cat sitters are sometimes hard to come by, but they’re absolutely essential when it comes to caring for your cat in the long term. In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:

  • What is cat sitting?

  • Why would you need a cat sitting service?

  • What are the latest rates for cat sitting?

  • How do I find a reputable cat sitter near me?

  • Which cat sitter is the right one for me?

  • BONUS: Learn how to become a cat sitter

To learn more about finding and using a cat sitting service, please read on!

what is cat sitting

What is Cat Sitting?

Cat sitting is the act of caring for a cat that isn’t your own when an owner needs assistance. Cat sitting isn’t simply going to someone’s house to play with their cat, it’s a little more involved than that. An experienced cat sitter should be able to:

  • Properly feed your cats or kittens

  • Scoop and clean the litter boxes

  • Groom your cats if needed

  • Clean up any unexpected accidents

  • Keep your cat or kitten out of trouble

  • Administer required medications

Really, cat sitters are there to care for your furry friends entirely when you can’t. Your cats should be cared for as if you never left. Keeping the same routine as when you’re home can help keep your cats less stressed until you return.

need cat sitting service

Why Would You Need a Cat Sitting Service?

There are several reasons why someone may need a cat sitter. Here are the most common ones.

Going on Vacation

If you’re planning a vacation anytime soon, you’ll likely need a cat sitter while you’re away, unless you find a hotel that is cat-friendly. You may need different services for your cats depending on how long you’ll be gone.

For short weekend trips, you may be just fine hiring a cat sitter to come in daily to feed and play with your kitties. For longer trips, you may prefer an overnight sitter or to board them at a sitter’s house so they have more regular human interaction while you’re away.

Working Long Hours

Nobody likes working long hours, and that includes your cats. If you have a time-consuming job or abnormal working hours, you may need to hire a pet sitter to care for your cats while you’re at work. This typically includes dropping in to feed your cats or administering medication at the correct time when you aren’t available.

You or a Loved One is Sick

If you or a loved one is sick, having a cat sitter can help take some responsibilities off your plate. This is especially true if you’re sick in the hospital, and can’t come home to take care of your cats.

Home Renovations

Remodeling sounds fun, but not when your cat needs somewhere to stay! Most hotels you may stay in during renovations won’t allow cats, so you’ll have to find a sitter to care for them until renovations are complete.

You're Moving

Finally, if you’re moving addresses, you may need a cat sitter to care for your cat while you focus on packing and moving. You may also take your cat to your new home before you’re fully moved in, and having a cat sitter can help care for them until you arrive.

rates for cat sitting

What are the Latest Rates for Cat Sitting?

The current rates for cat sitting often depends on the exact services you’re requesting. Time-consuming services will be more expensive, while short drop-ins will be less costly. It also matters in which area you live and the reputation of the sitter. Cat sitters with considerable experience will almost always cost more than a cat-sitting newbie.

Daily Visits

Daily visits or “drop-ins” will be cheaper than overnight care based on the length of the visit. These trips can range anywhere between $10-40 each, depending on how long the sitter is expected to stay and how many trips are required per day. Some sitters may charge an hourly fee, while others charge a flat rate per visit.

Overnight Boarding

If you plan to be away for a while, overnight boarding is a great option for your cat. You may have a sitter that lives in your home while you’re gone, or you could take your cats to a sitter’s residence until you return to pick them up.

Overnight boarding costs can range anywhere between $30-80 per night, depending on the location and exact services provided. Some boarding businesses offer luxuries like special cots, individual rooms, extra treats, and even 24/7 camera access so you can check on your cats anytime you like.

Additional Services

In addition to the standard service charges, your cat sitter may charge for additional services such as extra playtime, grooming, administering medication, and litter box maintenance. Each of these services can range anywhere between $5-15 per service per cat.

Always check with your sitter to see what is included in the cost of your sitting rate before asking for additional services. They should be able to give you a quote based on your needs.

find reputable cat sitter

How Do I Find a Reputable Cat Sitter Near Me?

The thought of leaving your cat in the care of a complete stranger may cause a bit of anxiety. Here are several ways to find a cat sitter. By utilizing these suggestions, asking the proper questions (in the next section), and using your best judgment, you should have no problem finding a reputable cat sitter.

Ask Friends and Family Members

Odds are, you probably know someone already who has used cat-sitting services in your area. Ask your friends and family members if they know of any reputable sitters and what their experiences were like. If someone you trust recommends a sitter, they’re likely a good one.

Look for Online Ads

Some pet sitters may list their ads online on various pet sites or social media sites. Check pet-sitting hashtags on social media to see if there is anyone in your area advertising pet-sitting services.

Check Pet Sitting Websites

Social media can be a deep and scary place sometimes. To help narrow your search, check out some pet-sitting websites such as Meowtel or Rover to help you find reputable cat sitters. These sites may also show you reviews from prior clients, which can help you make a solid choice.

Post a Wanted Ad

If you want the sitters to come flocking to you, put a wanted ad on social media for a pet sitter. There are lots of local pet groups on sites like Facebook and Twitter, so posting there for a pet sitter may help you find a good match.

If you’re feeling particularly bold, you can also print paper wanted ads to post at your local grocery stores, library, and street posts. Make sure you provide your contact information on the poster so the cat sitter knows how to contact you!

which cat sitter

Which Cat Sitter is the Right One for Me?

Once you’ve found a few sitters to your liking, make sure you take the time to interview them and check their references. If they’re reputable, they should have no problem answering your questions or discussing your cat’s care plan with you. Their references will also help you make a more informed decision.

Interviewing your potential cat sitter is an important step before safely inviting them into your home with your cats. Below are some important questions and answers you can use as a guideline.

1. Can you tell me about your prior experience with cats?

Any cat sitter should have some sort of prior experience with cats, even if it’s just their own. They may tell you some details about past experiences caring for cats, such as pet-sitting for friends or family, volunteering at a shelter, or working at a vet clinic.

2. How would you handle an emergency or unexpected situation with my cats?

Most pet sitters have a plan for handling emergencies, such as having a backup pet sitter or knowing the location of the nearest vet. The sitter should also have a clear understanding of what constitutes an emergency and when to seek medical attention for your cats.

If you have any other specific emergency requirements, you should communicate that with them and ask if they can follow those instructions.

3. Can you describe how you approach feeding and caring for cats?

A good answer would involve a willingness to follow the cat owner’s instructions, such as specific feeding schedules or routines, and a commitment to providing clean water and litter boxes. It may also involve telling you how they play with cats and their favorite part of being a cat sitter.

4. How do you deal with behavioral issues in cats, such as scratching or spraying?

Reputable cat sitters should be familiar with common behavioral issues in cats and know how to provide positive reinforcement and training techniques to manage some of these behaviors. They may share past experiences of offering treats to reward good behavior or explain how they trained their own cats before.

5. Have you ever administered medication to cats before?

This would involve experience giving pills or injections to cats, as well as a willingness to learn how to administer medication if necessary. Some medications are easier to give than others, so any sitter should at least be willing to learn for your pet, even if they haven’t had to administer that specific medication before.

6. How do you handle cats that are shy or scared around new people?

Meeting a timid cat requires a gentle and patient approach, using slow movements and soft voices to help the cat feel comfortable and safe. They should not try to startle the cat or force it into interaction immediately.

7. How do you plan to keep my cat entertained and engaged during your visits?

Cat sitters should offer a variety of play and interactive activities, such as playing with toys, providing plenty of attention and affection, and giving the cat a comfortable place to rest.

8. Can you provide references from previous cat-sitting clients?

There should be a clear willingness to provide several references, as well as an understanding of the importance of checking references to ensure the quality of the sitter’s services. Any experienced cat sitter will have prior clients of some sort for you to speak to.

9. Are you available on short notice if I need a cat sitter unexpectedly?

While not all cat sitters have a flexible schedule, this question helps you understand your sitter’s availability and boundaries. For most sitters, there should be a willingness to be available on short notice, and an alternative solution if they can’t be.

10. Can you provide proof of insurance?

Reputable sitters should show a willingness to provide proof of insurance, as well as an understanding of the importance of having this protection in place to provide financial protection in case of any accidents or incidents.

become a cat sitter

BONUS: Learn How to Become a Cat Sitter

If becoming a cat sitter sounds fun to you, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for cat sitting. The first is to get real-life experience with cats! If you’ve never worked with cats before, you may have a hard time becoming a cat sitter.

Consider volunteering at your local pet shelter or watching your friend or family’s cats first. Once you have some experience built up, you can start considering getting paid to sit.

Getting certified and insured would be very beneficial to your cat sitting service. There are lots of certificate programs out there for you to become trained in pet sitting, which can help put you ahead of other pet sitters in your area. Getting insured will also help protect you financially if there are any accidents or incidents while you’re pet-sitting.

Once you’re ready to put yourself out there, come up with a business plan and an advertisement plan. You should set reasonable rates starting off and advertise yourself on social media and pet-sitting websites. This can help you get your first clients, which will help build your experience. Once you have become more established, you can raise your rates for new customers if you wish.

From there, continue to build your brand until you’re the most popular cat sitter in your area!

Final Thoughts

When looking for a cat sitter, it’s a good idea to get quotes from several different sitters to compare rates and services. Be sure to communicate your cat’s needs clearly, and ask the sitter about their experience and qualifications to make sure that you are choosing the best person for the job. As long as you pick a reputable sitter, your cats should be in good hands.

Thanks to Lex Leigh for This Article!

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