How much should we pay the cat-sitter?
March 31, 2013 7:16 PM   Subscribe

The lady friend and I live in Los Angeles and are going away for about a week. We are looking for someone, probably a law student, to come stay with our kittens and take care of them. How much should we offer to pay?

We will be gone from a Saturday until the following Sunday (8 days). Our kittens are about six months old, and very playful and affectionate, so we want to find someone who will spend some time in the apartment with them rather than just dropping by now and then. Whoever does this will need to scoop their litter box twice a day, feed them two or (ideally) three times a day, and give them some snuggles and playtime.

We live in an apartment that's nice enough, but not at all luxurious or fancy, so it's not like staying here will be a perk or anything. (I mention this because I've known people to house-sit or cat-sit for free when it means they can stay somewhere super-nice; this is not that kind of situation.)

Res and Essie are our babies and we want them to be well taken care of, but we do not have unlimited funds, so we are trying to figure out a fair price. Thoughts?
posted by heisenberg to Pets & Animals (14 answers total)
The cat sitters in this area (Boston) get $25 per visit. I'd decide if you were covering 1 or 2 visits with these live-in cat sitters. Maybe $50/day? That may be a bit much, given that your sitters aren't traveling there. $200 would be "one pet sitter visit" per day you're gone.
posted by xingcat at 7:19 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm in New York City and recently paid $18 a day for cat sitting and she took great care of my sweet boys. That said, she only came once a day so if they need to come more than that, agreed with xingcat that about $50 is ok. My boys are five and one year old so kittens might need more attention.
posted by sweetkid at 7:24 PM on March 31, 2013

In NYC, we pay about $50 per day, which is two one hour visits, plus meds for the girl cat with asthma, and extra playtime for the little boy cat who likes attention.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:44 PM on March 31, 2013

$50 per day sounds fine if you can get a neighbor to do it or allow the person to stay in your house.

If neither of those is the case, the sitter in question is looking at basically blowing their whole day for a week straight feeding your cats. (Assuming you do opt for 3 times a day -- I think you could pay less if it were two feedings.)
posted by Sara C. at 7:47 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm a grad student. I've been paid ~$100 to stay in an apartment and cat sit for 5 days; a friend recently received $125 for five days of semi-live-in cat care.

In short, students are often happy to stay in a new, different, quiet place even if it's not particularly nice, and are sort of grateful for any compensation. I think $200 is a reasonable 8 day total.
posted by munyeca at 7:54 PM on March 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

I think xingcat's $200 sounds reasonable. I've looked after one older cat/house for $250 for 2 weeks in New York and was more than happy. Your (adorable!) kittens would be a bit more labor-intensive than that, but not so much that I think you would need to pay a ton more.

One thing that's worth considering, though, is how much you would be inconveniencing your prospective sitter. My cat-sit did not hugely affect my commute to work; if it had, I'd've tried to negotiate more.
posted by mlle valentine at 7:54 PM on March 31, 2013

We live in L.A. County in Altadena (or at least our cats do) and are very pleased with the services of Kristinne's Critter Kare (no, we haven't addressed alliteration with Kristinne). She is based in San Marino and is pretty flexible about going to various areas - also of note, she is a qualified and experienced vet tech.

Most of her clients receive medication, which she is very capable of administering. Our cats receive patting and litter box scooping, which she is also very capable of administering. She charges us $30 per visit, which seems reasonable and fair.
posted by arnicae at 8:00 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I house-sit for people and charge $35/day to stay at the house with the animals. I'm told this is a low price, but just as a data point for you.
posted by The otter lady at 10:35 PM on March 31, 2013

I think $200 sounds reasonable. I would probably bump it to $250 because they're doing something really important. (Major East Coast city for frame of reference)

I used to pet sit years ago and the agency got about $35/day for me if I stayed overnight and I think I got about $20 of that. I was in school at the time and someone else's cable and food was pretty nice (I never ate that much of it but always appreciated people who went out of the way to leave something). Definitely leave some snacks and waters/sodas with a note to help themselves to whatever looks good.
posted by mrs. taters at 6:44 AM on April 1, 2013

We have friends who kitty-sit and house-sit for us (we're in Atlanta). We stock the fridge with yummy stuff and pay $20 per day. We have U-450 so we get every cable channel known to man, and since they don't have cable, they enjoy catching up on TV. They also bring their dog.

I think students may like to get away from a roommate situation for a week, and even if you don't have luxury digs, will apprecate a nice, quiet place to study.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:49 AM on April 1, 2013

I live in a college town in the Midwest and I would pay $15/visit here.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:13 AM on April 1, 2013

Your kitties are so adorable I'd do it for free just to hang with them. But for for the sake of argument, between $200 and $250 sounds about right.
posted by Dolley at 10:34 AM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I guess my sitter is pretty cheap - I pay $15 per visit in Brooklyn NYC. I pay her a little extra or give her tips depending on my circumstances. This is for two cats.
posted by rdnnyc at 12:50 PM on April 1, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all! We ended up paying $200 and it worked out well.
posted by heisenberg at 2:19 PM on May 1, 2013

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