How Much Should You Pay a Cat Sitter?

Explore the various factors that influence cat sitting costs, learn how to choose the right sitter, and prepare your cat for their care.

Have you ever planned a trip and found yourself wondering, "Who’s going to take care of my cat?" Hiring a cat sitter is a fantastic solution, but it's not always clear how much you should pay for such services. Don't worry; you're not alone in this! Many cat owners grapple with finding the right balance between cost and quality care. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about paying a cat sitter, so you can leave home with peace of mind knowing your furry friend is in good hands.

Understanding cat sitting services

First things first, let's talk about what cat sitting really entails. Cat sitting can range from someone stopping by to feed your cat and give them some affection, to someone staying in your home overnight to keep your cat company. The services can be as basic or as comprehensive as you need, including feeding, cleaning litter boxes, administering medications, and sometimes even handling other household tasks like watering plants or collecting mail.

In-home vs. sitter's home

Deciding between having a sitter come to your home or dropping your cat off at the sitter’s place is a big decision. In-home sitting is great because it keeps your cat in their familiar environment, where they're likely to be more comfortable and less stressed.

On the other hand, if your cat is adaptable and you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, having them stay at the sitter's home might work well. Each option has its pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your cat's personality and your personal preferences.

Daily visits vs. overnight stays

What's better for your cat: someone popping in a couple of times a day or someone staying overnight? Daily visits might suffice if your cat is quite independent and just needs someone to refill their food, water, and tidy up the litter box. However, if your cat craves human interaction or needs close monitoring due to health issues, you might opt for overnight stays. This choice affects the price, but ensuring your cat’s happiness and well-being is priceless, right?

Factors influencing cat sitting costs

Now, let's unpack the factors that can influence how much you'll pay for cat sitting. Knowing these can help you budget better and understand the quotes you might get from different sitters.

Geographical location

Just as the cost of living varies across the country, so does the cost of cat sitting. Typically, you'll find higher rates in big cities compared to smaller towns or rural areas. It's all about supply and demand, plus the general cost of doing business in different regions.

Duration of care

Think about how long you need the sitter’s services: a few hours, a whole day, or several days? As you can guess, the longer the duration, the more you’ll pay. However, many sitters offer discounts for extended stays, so it's worth asking about long-term rates.

Level of service required

Does your cat have any special needs? Regular care usually covers feeding, litter box cleaning, and some playtime. But if your cat needs medication or has specific medical needs, you might need a sitter with veterinary experience or special skills, which can increase the cost.

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Additional services

Lastly, consider whether you’ll need the sitter to take on extra responsibilities. These could be pet-related, like caring for additional pets, or household tasks. Extra services will likely add to the overall cost, but having someone you trust handle these tasks can provide tremendous peace of mind while you're away.

Average costs of cat sitting in Canada

Let's talk numbers. While the costs can vary widely based on the factors we've discussed, here are some general guidelines to help you set your budget. In major Canadian cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, you might expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $25 per visit for basic cat sitting services. Overnight stays can range from $40 to $70 per night, depending on the level of service and the sitter’s experience.

In contrast, in smaller cities or rural areas, prices may be lower due to decreased demand and lower living costs for sitters. Always remember that these are just ballpark figures; the best way to get an accurate idea is to request quotes from several sitters or use a platform like to compare different providers.

How to choose a cat sitter

Choosing the right cat sitter is about more than just cost. It's about finding someone who you can trust and who meshes well with your cat. Here are some key criteria to consider:

Experience and references

Start by looking at the sitter’s experience. How long have they been working with cats? Do they have any formal training or certifications? Check their references and reviews—what have other cat owners said about their services? Positive feedback from other pet owners can be a great indicator of reliability and quality.


It's crucial that your cat feels comfortable with the sitter. Try to arrange a meet-and-greet before you commit. This gives you a chance to see how the sitter interacts with your cat and lets your cat get used to their presence. A good sitter will take the time to let your cat warm up to them at their own pace.

Interview questions

When you meet potential sitters, prepare a list of questions. Ask about their procedures in emergencies, their experience with cats similar to yours, and how they handle specific tasks like medication administration. Their answers will help you gauge their competence and dedication to providing the best care.

This concludes the first part of our guide. Would you like me to continue with the next sections, focusing on preparing your cat for a sitter, negotiating fees, and wrapping up with some final thoughts?

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