How Much Should You Pay Your Pet Sitter?

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How Much Should You Pay Your Pet Sitter?

Here’s an older post that needs updating.  First published Jul 13, 2012.

Do you travel often or at least once a year and ask someone to come to your home to check on your cats or dogs?  If so, what do you pay them?  And what do you ask them to do – for example, for they stay overnight or just swing by two times per day?  Do you have them do more than just feed the cat and clean the litterbox?  I am sure it is different all over the world, but would be curious as to the different rates.  This topic came about when Julie and I were commenting back and forth on the post, Cat Sitter Checklist – Pet Sitter List.  When I tried to Google this topic of pet sitter prices, it seemed to be a popular one.

I know there are average pet sitting rates for:

  • per visit
  • overnight stays
  • animals that have special needs

What do you pay your pet sitter and what do you have s/he do?

Comments (23)

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  1. I travel at least once a year. During the past 9 months I’ve had with my raggies, I traveled 3 times, and the shortest trip was 6 days. I had my kitty sitter come by twice a day, around 10am and 6pm, to feed them wet food (wet food is 90% of their diet) and leave them a bowl of dry for overnight, play/cuddle with them, and scoop the litterbox. Her rate is $13.5 for each visit so for me it’ll be $26 a day. And I also tip her. She’s been great with my kittens-she sends me email everyday, sometimes with pictures and videos of them.

    1. Keala,
      I do that too…send videos & pictures to the owners! I would want that done for me too! Nothing worse than being away & not hearing from your sitter…even the good stuff! And I think you are getting a great deal at $26 2x a day! I myself charge my dog sitting client $60 for 2x a day or $35 for once a day…but he has two crazy chocolate labs that only love me & him…so it’s worth it!

  2. There is a lady in the Omaha area who will come to my place to check on my kitty (when I get him) once a day for $17 per day. I am not sure if she will do multiple visits per day for a discount or not– this is a question I will be asking whenever I get to use her services. But I know she comes, scoops the litter box, and gives attention for about 20 minutes.

  3. I paid my sitter $300 for 2 weeks – 2 visits a day and she’d feed em and cuddle em and do the boxes, and plants and mail, etc. She’s great – leaves detailed notes of each visit, etc. and before I leave she comes by and takes many notes, gets emergency phone numbers and vet info, etc. She also keeps in touch by email. I’ve used her 3 times and will use her again for 2 trips coming up – including another 2 weeks in England at Christmas time. Pretty good price I think! I also always bring her a nice gift from England 😉 I wouldn’t do 2x a day normally but my old Siamese Karma has no teeth and needs her wet food.

      1. Not my sister – just a sitter I found online! I wish I had a sister to do it – I wouldn’t pay her $300!! LOL

  4. I live in Tampa & I have 5 girls. I used to have the vet tech from my vet office come out twice a day while I was gone & paid her $30 a day but it did not work out well. It was mostly because she came when she felt like it – not in the schedule we had agreed upon prior to my departure. I had a very hard time trusting someone to pet sit after several bad incidents with her. However, I lucked out that a past employee of mine from my last job & I bumped into each other on Facebook and he lives in an apartment where he cannot have pets so whenever I go away, he stays at my house to get his kitty love fix! I pay him $20 a day plus I leave food or an extra $30-$50 (depending on how long I am gone for) for him to buy groceries. Works out great. I don’t have to worry about my kids & the house while I am gone!

    1. In my experience, for airlines that allow pets in the cabin, they have to be in a carrier that will fit under the seat. If you buy a medium-sized soft-sided carrier from Sherpa, that should work. 13 lbs of cat fits in it, and the top of the carrier can be smushed a bit to go under most seats. Check the airline guidelines, though – always your best source of information. You’ll have to pay an extra fee for each leg of the trip, and reserve a space with the carrier (let them know that you’ll be bringing a cat on board). You’ll also have to take the cat out of the carrier and physically carry her through security (clip those claws!). I used to put a harness on my cat so that I could control his movements better.

  5. Thanks for an awesome repost, Jenny! So glad you did this so I can bookmark it for future reference in case we ever do any traveling together. We are on a very limited budget so traveling for pleasure is rare but in case of an emergency this post would be very helpful for resources and info. A good starting point for me to do some research to have a contingency plan in place (in the event of an emergency travel situation that required both hubby and myself)! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

    1. P.S. Oops! The link in your post to your info about the Cat Sitter Checklist comes up with an incorrect url of:


      Would you be able to get this fixed, Jenny, so all of us Floppycatters can access that quick link to that specific checklist post?

      Thanks!!! 🙂 <3

  6. Hi All–a bit late to the party, but we travel about 1-3 times a year, and a friend who is a single professional comes and sits for our 2 Ragdoll furchildren. She stays in our home in the guest suite, and works during the day. We pay her $50-60 a day. She is a lovely person, and likes cats, so that is a definite help. In addition to the pay, I usually bring back a nice personal gift from where I’ve been, or if space is limited, then I get her a pair of theatre tickets or a dining gift card. I should also have a contingency plan, but have not done this yet, in case one day she is unable to come and look after my furries. Videos and pictures are a treat to have. Thanks for the suggestion; I will ask and see… Thanks, Jenny for re-posting this valuable topic.

  7. One of our vet techs does babysitting on the side and she stays at the home with our pets. It doesn’t matter how many we have, it’s always $40 per day. Even when we still had our diabetic kitty Harley who needed insulin twice a day, her rates never changed. She is the best thing in the world! Our cats love her, they aren’t lonely with someone just coming by to feed them and leave (some are more high maintenance than others – my ragdoll being one of them!) We travel at least once a year and always give her at least 6 months notice as she books up rather quickly. But we have been known to do a spur of the moment trip and she was able to squeeze us in for a few day getaway as well. We live in southeastern Wisconsin and don’t know how we would survive without our “Auntie Diane”!

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