When cat owners go on holiday or for business and leave their pets behind, one option for cat care is to hire a pet sitter. This often allows the cat to stay in its own home, where it is comfortable and happy, with someone stopping by daily to check in and ensure enough food is left out. Allowing the cat to stay in its own setting removes the stress and anxiety of being put in a carrier and moved elsewhere.
But there’s one question that pet owners commonly have when thinking about hiring a sitter – how much do cat sitters charge in the UK? A professional cat sitter can cost as much as £25 per one-hour visit, sometimes even more. This can also vary depending on the length of visit, type of visit, and location.
If you are wondering, “How much should I pay a cat sitter?” then this article will provide an overview of the potential cat sitting costs and more useful information.
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The Cost of a Cat Sitter
Cat sitting services have grown in popularity in recent years as the industry has boomed. With the demand for this service increasing, it can only be assumed that the price has also risen. In 2022, it was reported that the average annual salary of a pet sitter was £24,218. However, the cost of hiring a cat sitter will depend on the area as well as other considerations.
How much cat sitters charge varies depending on location; it is common for cat sitting in rural areas to be cheaper than in urban areas. The prices for cat sitting discussed in this article will focus on the average flat rate for daily visits.
For one visit up to an hour, cat owners can expect to pay a sitter between £10 and £25; this usually covers up to two cats. This price increases to over £25, sometimes even up to £50, for a full-day visit. Again, there is a higher rate for overnight stays, too, with some cat sitters charging roughly £70 per night.
Pet sitting rates can vary, however, so it is best to research cat sitters in your local area.
Considerations for Cat Sitter Costs
There are factors that can increase the pet sitting cost. Most often, the price reflects the time spent caring for the cat. Negotiations can take place if a strict budget must be followed, though.
Breed, Size, and Age of Cat
As all cats are individuals, they will require different care. Commonly, the three aspects cat sitters will take into account are the breed, size, and age of the cat.
- Breed: Some cat breeds require extra care. For example, long-haired cats will likely need more time for grooming than those with short hair.
- Size: Similarly, the size of the cat will also affect how long grooming takes, how much it is fed, and the time required during visits.
- Age: Young cats and senior cats might need extra care during a cat sitter visit. Kittens and young cats will be more playful, and cat sitters can help burn that energy with activity, while older cats might need medication or additional health checks.
Number of Cats
If you have more than one cat, there might be extra costs. This is due to the time required to provide the multiple cats with good care; if a cat sitter spends extra time during a visit, this will affect the cost.
However, two cats that are healthy and well-behaved might not require extra care other than serving more food and cleaning out additional litter trays. If you believe your cats do not need more care, then you can negotiate the going rate with the cat sitter.
As previously discussed, location can affect the price of hiring a cat sitter. Generally, places with higher costs of living will cause a higher cost of hiring a pet sitter. Urban areas often cost more than rural areas.
Also, if a cat sitter needs to travel to your house, this can increase the price to cover travel expenses.
Signs of a Reputable Cat Sitter
Online platforms are the best way to find trustworthy cat sitters, other than recommendations from close friends and family. The following aspects should be checked to deem a cat sitter reputable:
Professional and Knowledgeable
Professionalism is essential in every career, and cat sitting is no different. This means having a polite manner when dealing with potential customers, being organised and reliable with their various visits, and planning for emergencies. It might be a good idea to meet your potential cat sitter in person beforehand to get a sense of the type of person they are; you might also want to introduce the sitter to your cat.
A good cat sitter will have experience in caring for cats, either through previous cat sitting visits or by owning cats themselves, and be knowledgeable about a cat’s needs. It is important for cat owners to consider the type of cat they own and if it requires any special care; the cat sitter should meet these needs. To ensure they know about your cat, the sitter will ask questions about what the animal’s care needs are, where the cat likes to hide, how often to feed the cat, and so on.
Provides Details Upfront
A reputable cat sitter will state their pet sitting rates and availability when first discussing the prospect of cat sitting for a customer. Any additional costs will be stated at this time, too. This will ensure there is no confusion when hiring the cat sitter and that all participants – the cat owner, the cat sitter, and the cat – are kept happy throughout the process.
Offers Referrals and/or Reviews
Most professional pet sitters are suggested by family, friends, or other contacts with pets or that have backgrounds with animals, such as vets or groomers. They can tell you about the positive or negative experiences they have had with a specific sitter, which will influence your choice.
When conducting your own research on cat sitters, there are several websites that can be used, like Cat in a Flat, to see profiles of people available in your area as well as their charge per hour and availability. This site also allows customers to filter pet sitters on who owns a cat, can administer medication, and is police checked. It lists reviews, too, allowing you to read through previous customers’ thoughts and experiences of using a specific cat sitter.
The most important sign of a good pet sitter is their love of animals, specifically cats if you are hiring a cat sitter. Someone who loves cats is more likely to take good care of the pet and be happy while doing it. This can be especially important for young cats that require sitting, as they can be rather playful and must be entertained during visits to burn some energy.
What to Expect from an In-Home Cat Sitting Service
It can be difficult to know what to expect when first hiring a cat sitting service. Most often, the cat sitter will visit once or twice a day for 30 to 60 minutes and carry out the specified tasks. The tasks can include a range of duties during a visit, including:
- Feeding the correct amount of cat food at the instructed time
- Taking part in playtime with the cat
- Grooming the cat, if required; this is an important duty for long-haired breeds
- Spot cleaning or changing the litter tray
These tasks might be modified slightly for outdoor cats, especially if the cat is out during the sitter’s visit.
At times, additional services will be carried out, but these must be mentioned when first booking the cat sitter. These extra duties might include administering medication if the cat is older or has medical problems, house sitting, caring for other pets, and watering plants. In some cases, the cat sitter might be required to stay overnight, too. All of these additional duties could increase the cost.
If you have dogs, too, it might be best to research dog walkers in your area as well as cat sitters.
How Much Do Cat Sitters Charge UK: FAQs
Knowing the cost of cat sitting is one aspect of hiring a sitter, but pet owners usually have other questions before finalising their plans. Some of the most common questions are listed below:
Should I tip the cat sitter?
Although tipping cat sitters is not required, it can be a nice thing to do if you are happy with the service you received. Cat sitters can sometimes work for a company and receive an annual salary, or they can be freelance, so you might feel more inclined to tip the latter. Tipping is most often done at the end of the visit.
If you appreciate the job a cat sitter has done but you are unable to tip, be sure to leave them a positive review.
Should I pay for the cat sitter’s travel costs?
Paying travel costs should be discussed with the cat sitter. Some cat sitters do ask that their customers pay their travel expenses, especially if the customers live in a rural area. Many cat sitters will include these travel costs in the overall price of their services, but others will not, so it is worth checking.
Are there other options than cat sitters?
If you would prefer not to use a cat sitter, there is the option of a cattery. Catteries, also known as cat hotels or kennels, house several cats individually when their owners are on holiday or require them to be out of the house, such as when redecorating or moving house. It is important to note, however, that catteries can often be more expensive than hiring a cat sitter.
To Sum Up
Everyone wants the very best for their beloved pets, so it’s important to be informed when hiring a pet sitter. It isn’t a small decision, putting the health and happiness into the hands of someone who is basically a stranger; if anything, this makes finding the right cat sitter even more crucial.
However, one of the most discussed aspects of a cat sitter is the cost. The price can vary for different reasons, including location, number of cats, and the age, breed, and size of the cats needed to be looked after.
So, the next time you go on holiday, choosing a cat sitter might be the best option for you.