How much do I pay the pet sitter?

kaisermustAugust 27, 2009

I've asked the local neighbor's child (14 yr old, responsibile) to stop in and feed my cat and scoop the litter box once a day every other day while we are gone for a week. Not sure how much to pay him. Really only asking for 5 minutes of his time, no play time, no cuddling time just feed, change water and scoop the box. I don't think I need to pay him as much as a professional pet sitter but I do want to pay the kid something. What have others paid per day and should I ask him stop every day or every other day?

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I pay my cat sitter who is an adult and works for our vet $20 per visit...but we live in Manhattan where prices for everything are thru the roof. I think 1/2 that amount would be appropriate.

How long are you going to be gone? I really would have the kid look in every day and ask him/her to spend a few minutes playing with Puss...unless you cat is afraid of strangers.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 9:11AM
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I pay a professional about $20 per visit (and that's Minneapolis - not Manhattan). I've also had a high school neighbor stop by to feed and water and to give subcutaneous fluids to my now deceased CRF cat. (Professional couldn't/wouldn't due for insurance reasons). No pills or litter box duty.

She usually stopped by twice a day and I paid her about $10/day - sometimes a little more depending on what kind of cash I had. If she stopped less than 2x on a day I tried to make sure I paid at least $5/visit. I figured this was about $10/hr which seems reasonable for a high school student. Her parents, who are friends of ours, acted like it was a bit much but it seemed kind of cheap compared with the professional - who wouldn't do the subq fluids.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 10:15AM
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Talk to his parents and ask what they are comfortable with.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 3:05PM
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I recently paid our neighbor girl $3 per visit to feed and water a bird which is caged outside. It probably took her 5 minutes including travel time.

Her mother was unhappy because I paid her at all and asked me not to the next time we went away. I understand her mother's thinking completely, but I also remember how my sons loved to do things like this to make money. How else will they learn what a dollar is worth?

Honestly, I'd give the kid $5 a day, but it really would be nice if he could come daily and give kitty a little scratch on the head. It's so lonely with no one there.

Compare this to the price, stress and boredom of kennel boarding.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 4:59PM
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I agree that pet sitting is a great job for kids and that they should be paid a reasonable rate for their service. Remember that pet sitters are paid for their availablity, not by the hour. One of my former teen pet sitters is now a big shot Ivy educated lawyer. Every once and a while, I bump into him when he comes to visit his folks who live down the hall. I always remind him that it was his cat sitting experience that taught him to how to bill clients like a lawyer: 5 minutes worth of time = 1 hour in pay.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 12:08PM
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I agree with socks, and LOL @lfnyc!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 8:42PM
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I totally agree with Mazer. A 14 year old child's brain has not developed "responsibility" yet. That comes later (if at all, lol). I would first talk with the parents and then settle on payment.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 7:30PM
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Please have someone visit and play with the kitty, as well as care. Cats get lonely and need attention just as dogs do. I owned a pet sitting business for almost 10 yrs. selling 2 yrs ago. When I quit the business, our regular fee was $20.00 a visit for 30 minute visits. NC-hope that helps. What will the kid do if he comes in to an emergency situation? Will the parents always be around to take responsibility? Can't tell you how many times I took animals to the dr., called plumbers for water leaks, etc. while folks were gone.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 8:47PM
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Hello Kitty is absolutely right. The teens I used to use as sitters both lived in the building with their parents...and I depended on their parents as well as the kids. I am now using an adult pro because I don't know anyone these days who I know and trust to that level.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 1:40PM
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I am with hellokitty on this one. My dog goes to home boarding and I pay $40 Cdn. plus our taxes. And his home boarder provides just that - you really have to check around because some home boarders just park the dogs in cages - my guy has wormed his way into the bed! He is a devil at home but a perfect boarder - so I guess I should be grateful. We used to have a cat who thought she was a dog and could not bear being left. Definitely hire someone you know to be responsible who will also stay and play with the kitty and provide TLC. There are some places around Toronto now that have set up little cottage types of places for cats only that are quite the thing - some cats can't wait to get there. I would pay at least $20 per day for the kitty care - heck I would need someone to stay at the house which opens up a whole new ball game since we don't have family - or neighbours we can trust - who supposedly have the trustworthy kids, with the trustworthy friends - I am sure you get the drift.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 2:21PM
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In defense of 14 year olds, I was babysitting newborns to 5 year olds at that age, with no supervision. Taking care of a cat would have been a piece of cake.

I pay my professional cat sitter $18 per day. I would pay a neighbor kid $50 for a week if the visit is as short as you say. I would also have him/her stop by everyday, not every other. Things can go downhill quickly.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 9:59PM
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Even though the visit is short, it still requires planning his own schedule around the cat and maybe interrupting his own activities. In my area, professional sitters charge $15 per visit, so I would pay a 14 year old $10 each time. I agree that he should be asked to play with the cat (if it's friendly, of course) and to come every day.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:25AM
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I pay a neighbor girl $10/day, she feeds the cats, scoops litter, waters plants, brings in mail, etc. I encourage her to hang out for a while so the cats get some attention, and she usually does, watching tv or using the computer. I go thru the house w/her every time we leave, and give her a thorough list of emergency contacts, vet info, etc. She lives across the street, and her parents are cops, so I feel secure the house is being looked after.

I used to house, pet and babysit when I was a teen, and I loved the responsibility as well as the money.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 9:21PM
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I would think that minimum wage is sufficient, and that keeps it business-like and treats him/her like they'll be treated when they get to be an older teen looking for a part-time job. IOW $ about $7.00 an hour. I insist people who do odd jobs with me settle on a rate before the fact. Many kids just can't bring themselves to put a value on their time and tell you 'whatever you think it's worth'. That means you often 'mercy pay' out of guilt. LOL. If he shoots too low, you can always pad it a little when it comes to pay-up time. I have cat sat for my daughter and her cats hid for the first few days, so the cuddling and playing suggestion might not be the best idea if the cat isn't very familiar with the sitter. Definitely have him stop in at least once a day. I have come in from town and found cats dangling by venetian blind cords. You know cats, they are curious.

Seriously, if I were asked by an acquaintance to do this for them, and accepted anything for it I'd be quite happy for a twenty. As said, his parents might be able to feed in what they feel is appropriate.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 6:53PM
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