Our feline friends can be pretty self-reliant but they still need their owners for a few things - including putting out food, changing litter, and letting them out for a breath of fresh air! That’s why, when you go away for holidays and trips, and if you’re not taking your cat with you, you’ll need to find a sitter to look after them.
Sitters are a way for owners to provide personalised care and attention for cats in the comfort of their own homes, and to reduce the stress that can come from staying in unfamiliar environments like catteries. If you’re planning a trip, let’s take a closer look at the services that cat sitters offer, how much you can expect to pay, and why a sitter might be beneficial for both you and your pet.
What does cat sitting involve?
A cat sitter will typically provide a range of services to meet your cat’s needs while you’re out of the house. These services include:
Feeding: Making sure your cat gets its normal meals once or twice a day.
Playtime: Spending social time with your cat to keep it active and entertained.
Litter: Scooping and changing your cat’s litter tray regularly to maintain hygiene.
Health: Keeping an eye on your cat for any changes in behaviour or health.
Medication: Administering prescribed medications to your cat.
This list isn’t exhaustive, and some cat sitters may offer additional services such as grooming, plant watering, and mail collection for a little added convenience while you’re away.
How much does a cat sitter cost?
Like any type of pet service, cat sitter prices vary depending on several factors:
Location: Cat sitting rates may be higher in larger cities and urban areas thanks to the higher cost of living.
Experience and qualifications: Professional sitters with certifications or extensive experience may charge more.
Visit duration and frequency: Some sitters charge per visit, while others may offer daily or weekly rates. Similarly, some sitters may charge more if you want them to spend a bit more time with your cat during each visit.
Additional services: Extra services like grooming or administering medication can increase the cost of cat sitting. It may also be possible to book a cat sitter overnight for an additional fee.
Cat sitting fees
The following represent average cat sitting costs in the UK:
|Weekday visits - 30 mins to 1hr
|£10 to £30
|Weekend visits - 30 mins to 1hr
|£15 to £30
|Bank holiday, Christmas, New Year visits - 30 mins to 1hr
|Up to £60
|Other services: trips to vet, cleaning, key collection, plant watering, grooming, overnight stays
|£5 to £100 (or more depending on detail and duration of service)
The benefits of cat sitting
You may be able to get a friend or family member to look in on your cats as a favour, but if you can’t do that (or don’t want to) professional cat sitters bring plenty of their own benefits:
Familiarity: Cats are territorial, and hiring a cat sitter means they can stay at home while you’re away, in the environment where they feel most comfortable.
Personal attention: Most cats love getting scratches and cuddles. With a cat sitter, you can make sure they’re getting this dedicated kind of personal attention, along with services tailored to their needs.
Food: Cat sitters will make sure your cat is eating its food, and can hand out treats now and again!
Hygiene: Your cat sitter will change your cat’s litter and make sure its hygiene needs are being met.
Peace of mind: You don’t want to spend your holiday worrying. Cat sitters can send regular updates that your kitty is happy and healthy, straight to your phone.
Health: Your cat sitter can check that your cat hasn’t had any bumps that might need a vet’s attention, and give it any prescribed medications.
Extras: Cats sitters normally offer extra services during their visits - if you arrange those extras with them beforehand. These include taking out the bins, watering plants, collecting mail, and turning lights on and off.
Choosing the right cat sitter
It’s important to pick a cat sitter that fits you and your kitty’s needs best. Think about the following factors when you’re making your decision:
Recommendations: If there are any fellow cat-lovers in your friends or family circle, why not ask for cat sitter referrals? Similarly, your vet might be able to give you some reputable cat sitter contacts.
Interviews: It’s typical to talk to a cat sitter on the phone, if not meet them in person, before hiring them. Think about the questions you’ll want to ask them before you meet.
Reviews: Check your cat sitter’s website or social media page (if they have one). The reviews they’ve received will give you a good idea of whether they’ll be compatible with you and your cat.
Insurance and qualifications: Some cat sitters will have animal-related qualifications, including pet first aid, that help them stand out from the crowd. It’s also worth checking if they have insurance to protect against any accidents that might occur while they’re sitting.
How can I find a cat sitter near me?
If you’re looking for cat sitters or cat sitting companies in the UK, try these resources as a starting point:
Pawshake: A community of trusted and vetted pet sitters across the UK, offering a range of personalised services.
Cat in a Flat: A specialised cat sitting database representing a network of cat-loving sitters with flexible services.
Trusted Housesitters: A resource that connects pet owners with prospective house sitters who offer in-home sitting in exchange for a place to stay.
Tailster:Primarily a dog walking and sitting service, Tailster also offers cat sitting.
Cover your cat while you’re away
Cat sitting gives you flexibility and freedom, letting you enjoy your holiday or business trip safe in the knowledge that your feline companion is safe and happy.
For that extra peace of mind, it might be worth exploring pet insurance: if your sitter needs to take your cat to the vet while you’re away, your policy can help with the costs - and ensure your cat gets the treatment that it needs. Explore cat insurance with ManyPets, or get a quote from us today in seconds.