What do you pay your pet sitter?

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by lotuscakestudio, May 2, 2002.

  1. lotuscakestudio

    lotuscakestudio

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    My husband and I are going away for the weekend and I've asked a lady in the building to watch our cats for 3 days. Come to find out, she is the neighbor who is the resident cat sitter. So I asked her what she charges and she said, "You give me whatever you think is right". I HATE THAT! I don't want to under or over pay her. I remember seeing an ad for pet sitting that charged $15/day. I did a search online and $12 - $15/day seems to be the standard for 30 minutes of their time and the transportation to your home everyday. They will also bring in your mail and water your plants. I was thinking to pay her $10/day b/c no travel is involved. It would take her about 60 seconds to walk to my apartment from her apartment. We don't need any plants to be watered since we will only be gone for 3 days and we don't need her to bring our mail in. Also, my cats don't know her and won't be looking for any affection/attention from a stranger. One of them is plain scared of new people so she will never even see him unless she hunts for him under the sofa what to speak of trying to brush or pet him. To scoop out their litter box, dish out their food, and change their water takes 5 minutes, if even that. So am I being reasonalbe in paying her less than the average?
     
  2. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I paid the daughter of a co-worker $65-$75 for one calendar week to feed my cat twice daily. The sitter was given the "run" of my apartment, also: she could watch tv and feast on any leftovers in the fridge. I gave her a bonus of a $12 bottle of wine as an added incentive.
     
  3. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    We usually just use friends and then bring them a gift from wherever we were, or we will have that person over for dinner to thank them. Often times, for short trips we even forgo the pet sitter. The ferrets and the cats do well for about 3 days with extra food. You figure you feed them Friday before you leave, and then they only have to fend for themselves until Sunday night usually. An extra bowl of water and food should take care of it. And besides, you have extra loving animals when you get back!!!:D
     
  4. lotuscakestudio

    lotuscakestudio

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    Thanks for the info.

    koko,
    With our old pet sitter, it was a friend of mine who hated her roommates. So she would stay the weekend and enjoy our apt. I stocked up the fridge with all her favorite foods. She didn't even want money. It was that much of a treat for her. So I'd buy her a gift. I wish she didn't move! My cats loved her!

    Pete,
    I wish my life was that simple. I feed my boys a raw organic diet. It mimics live prey as if they went out and killed it themselves in nature. So I can't leave food out for them. Granted tigers will bury prey underground and keep it to eat later, but being that I have parquet floors and tile, my cats don't have that option. Their food dries out if it's out for too long. There are those times where they leave a chunk behind and later that night, it's pretty dried out.

    Also, it wasn't until recently that if we leave them overnight (NEVER for longer than that without a sitter!), that they held grudges. We would be gone for a day (mind you, not skipping any meals as they eat once a day) and we could come back to some very angry cats. They would tip over whatever wasn't too heavy. Laundry basket get tipped over, pillows pushed off the sofa, plants knocked over. And one of the brothers would make a face and snub us. Not letting us pick him up. He'd make his body "heavy" and ignore us for at least a day. He would warm up to us after much butt kissing and massages (his weakness). They don't like being left alone b/c they're emotionally needy snugglers who will follow us around the house for attention. But the last time we left them overnight, they were just fine. It's been at least a year since we've gone away and will be leaving them for more than a day so we'll see how the 3 day separation goes. We may come home to more of that grudge holding.
     
  5. isa

    isa

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    A friend of mine pays 10$ per day, for one daily visit. She has two cats and one likes to go out.
     
  6. w.debord

    w.debord

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    We leave our 3 alone for as long as 5 days, with-out any problems...but I understand yours have a special diet....boy that makes it hard! When we go longer I only use my Mom since they are scared of strangers too. I always give her $100. (that's usually for 7 days but she only has to come by 3 times to check on them). I kind of think $10. for a non-family non-child watcher isn't really worth their time and attention. Oh, one time my dad forgot and left a table lamp on...that's a huge mistake because we once had one knocked over (thank god I was home) and it started to smoke from the heat.


    Personally, I would be heart broken if anything happened to one of them while I was away. So even though your going to have a sitter I'd suggest leaving an extra key with someone as a back up so if your person lost your key or something crazy you'd be covered. We still leave TONS of food and water out...just in case couldn't you put some dry food out?
     
  7. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    If we go away for more than 2 days I have someone come over and check on my aquariums. I have saltwater fish that need to be fed twice a day with frozen brine shrimp so there are no "vacation cubes" or anything like that. So with 3 fish tanks and a cat(the cat would be just as happy if we threw him outside to fend for himself, but with people around he will come in the house) we usually pick up a nice gift or give them $10.00 a day for the time and effort.
     
  8. alexia

    alexia

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    When I visit my son whose cat doesn't get along with mine, I take my elderly cat to board at the Cat Vet just a few blocks away. This way I know she receives all the attention she needs and I can visit her, too. Their basic charge is $10/day plus extras for any medication she may need.

    I realize that those with younger cats may feel that staying at the vet's is too confining for them. Most elderly cats are very sedentary, and mine seldoms strays from the heating pad I keep for her. I also feel that for any cat with health problems, the continuous oversight is beneficial.
     
  9. brreynolds

    brreynolds

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    My job involves frequent traveling, so I have a pet sitting service on call. They charge $15 per day for one visit, $25 for two (dog owners tend to require 2 visits). The sitters live in a couple of parts of the city, so they can do a fair amount of traveling to get to their customers' houses. Based on that, something like $10 sounds reasonable for a person that (a) lives in your building, and (b) says "Oh, just pay whatever you think is reasonable." If your neighbor is doing this as a business, or even as a money-earning sideline, it's up to her to negotiate a price that she thinks is fair. Do any of you who run a restaurant post "Oh just pay what you think is reasonable" on your menu?

    I do happen to be seriously prejudiced against the "pay what you think is reasonable" pricing approach. I see it too often when traveling, and it is used because the businessperson trying it expects that the traveler will overpay just to avoid being thought cheap.
     
  10. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    We have 2 dogs and 4 cats. We need to be out of the house for (likely) 10 days. We offered $100 for the entire time - and thought we were being generous!

    One of our dogs needs meds 2x a day for seizures. (Doggie Phenobarb.) All but one of our cats goes outside and it will be warm enough when we go that if they are left outside overnight, it wouldn't be an issue. I guess it's "what the market will bear."

    Ideally, we'd like someone to live here for the time we're away but so far, no takers. (We have DirecTV which would be incentive...people around here have lame cable or lousy reception.)
     
  11. isa

    isa

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    Does the cat enjoys the aquarium Peach?
     
  12. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    My cat is from Sun Valley and definately has a Sun Valley attitude. He doesn't meow, he merely looks at you as if you as if you might be intelligent enough to know what it wanted. As for the aquariums, he looks at them but it seems as if he is picturing my Naso Tang in a nice hazelnut crust, with a light Beurre Blanc....but never sushi.......
     
  13. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Got a cat sitter for a week, 3 long-haired cats, $100/week. She came twice a day, even turned on the radio. Grooming was included and she even vacuumed!!

    That was 1990... :rolleyes:
     
  14. isa

    isa

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    My cat likes television, shows with birds or fish. She can watch TV for 45 minutes, if she likes the show.

    I used to tape bird shows for her but stopped cause she was getting addicted, would sit in front of the TV and miaw until I put in her tape.
     
  15. alexia

    alexia

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    Off topic: Any suggestions for tempting my aged cat to eat? The last day or so she has been off her feed - literally. I have given her cyproheptadine which is supposed to stimulate her appetite, no success. She has eaten some baby food that I have hand fed her. I tried a a bit of specially cooked pork and even a bit of sausage (she tends to like spicy foods). Half and half, no luck.

    She's 19 and always a picky eater. I give her subcutaneous fluids to compensate for her failing kidneys and have increased the amount somewhat to be sure that she at least does not dehydrate.

    Any sure fire treats out there?
     
  16. lotuscakestudio

    lotuscakestudio

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    Well we got back on Monday night earlier than expected and they hadn't been fed yet. I told the sitter we feed them around noon, but I am not one of those neurotic owners who feeds them on a strict schedule. I knew she got off of work at 3 pm so I told her that time was fine. I was in the shower and when I came out, my husband said she came by to feed the cats, but saw we were already home and just dropped off the keys. She had to work late and went home to take a nap and overslept. So no big deal. They would have eaten a few hours later. But then of course I only paid for 2 days, $20 total, and she was happy with it. I knew I should have introduced her to the cats beforehand. She said Bhagwan the scaredy cat was actually ok, but from the time she opened the door, Sadhu was growling at her. (Yes, he thinks he's a dog and will even play fetch). It took him a while to get used to her being around, but was still hissing and growling. She said she managed to get Bhagwan to sit on her lap. I am truley impressed! She followed my instructions about not letting them into the bedrooms as Bhagwan likes to break into my closet and put his fur on EVERYTHING. I have clothes strewn everywhere in the guest room- part laundry and part sorting of what is getting stored in the winter clothes storage chest and what is going to Goodwill, etc. So that needed to be a cat free zone too. Kitty dishes were washed, litterbox scooped, cats fed. I was happy.

    W.,
    I'm not so concerned if she lost my keys or not. She works the front desk in this building so if she DID lose my keys, she could easily call our cell and we could authorize her to enter our apartment. And to be honest, I would rather have my cats go without food for three days than feed them dry food. The ingredients in dry food is the worst. Way too much carbs and cats are supposed to have a 95%+ protein diet. Cats can go a long time without food and not starve. I think it's something like nine days. Of course I would never do that, but a fast here and there is actually healthy for them to give their insides a rest and cleanse. They fast in nature when they are ill, or sometimes food is just scarce and they have to go without. I watch my cat's eating habits and sometimes they are just not hungry so I don't freak out and force them to eat (like how my mother-in-law used to be and go figure, most of her cats are OBESE. I am talking pillows on little legs type of look to them). When the weather warmed up, I noticed my cats were not very interested in eating. They also just turned three and I notcied they aren't growing anymore so they need less food. They are literally eating half of what they were and the change was overnight. That's when I went down to once a day and they are back to their original eating patterns where they enthusiasticly gulp down the food. When they were forcing themselves to eat it, and leaving behind leftovers. Every now and again, I with hold food for a day. I can tell when they need a fast because they aren't excited to eat and they won't ask to be fed. Though when they were little and growing a lot, I never allowed them to fast nor were they interested. As they slowly got older, their interest in fasting slowly increased.

    That is another problem with dry food or basically anything cooked- not only are the nutrients stripped out, carbs, fillers, diseased animals, and mystery by-products added, there is sugar, salt, and other flavorings that make your pet addicted to it. And even more so than humans, they eat with their noses and will eat just because it smells good and will cause obesity. They also digest by smell so if they are constantly smelling food (which raw food has almost no smell) they are constantly digesting even if they aren't eating. It is actually the cause of health problems later down the road.

    Alexia,
    I'm sorry to hear about your baby. I worked in a no kill cat shelter and we got in a depressed cat who didn't want to eat and she was losing a lot of weight. My manager put her on Max Cat, a high calorie food that is supposed to be really tasty to encourage them to eat. She took it a lot better, but was still losing weight. We found that hand feeding her was the way to go. Hard to believe I got PAID to sit in a cage with such a cutie and feed her kibble piece by piece. So that is the only food I know of, but of course with the knowledge I have now, I personally wouldn't feed my cats that stuff. I guess keep up with whatever healthy things she will eat and keep up with the hand feeding. If I come across any other info, I'll pass it along.
     
  17. alexia

    alexia

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    Thanks LCS, My little old lady (19) has begun to eat a bit better. I kept touching some baby food onto her nose (ham's her favorite) til she decided to lick some up off the spoon. --I've noticed that when a cat is reluctant to eat, that often works. Since then, her appetite's gradually picking up. But she's still not tucking into even the things she normally likes.

    Per a kind PM suggestion, I found a Popeyes for some fastfood chicken for her. Ordinarily she'd be all over it, but last night it was no go. I enjoyed the leftovers. Love that crispy spicy crust and don't want to know what's in it!