Cat sitting is fairly common these days. Owning a cat comes with its fair share of responsibilities. Although cats are low-maintenance compared to other pets, they still require some time and effort.
Fortunately, cat owners with a busy lifestyle don’t have to handle the responsibility of cat care alone, this is where cat sitting comes in.
Most people who use cat sitting services are those who lead busy lives. These people usually have to juggle their personal, social, and work lives constantly.
Cat owners who go on vacation might also use cat sitting services. There are many places and events where bringing your pet would be inappropriate.
This means that cat owners have to leave their cats at home, and it is one of the most common reasons why people hire cat sitters.
Hiring a reliable cat sitter guarantees the safety and well-being of your cats. It allows pet owners to attend to their matters without worrying too much about their pets at home. In other words, cat sitting services help bring peace of mind to cat owners.
As long as you dedicate enough time for planning, this process shouldn’t be complicated at all. All you have to do is to keep in mind the following things below.
The first thing you should do before offering your services is to set your prices. Many factors can affect your rate, and it’s best that you first consult local pet sitters and daycares on how much they usually charge.
This can help you determine a fair starting rate based on your location. You should account for your projected overhead expenses, which include travel costs, advertising expenses, and equipment.
Another factor to consider is the difference between the rates of professional pet sitters and hobbyists. Hobbyists generally have lower rates compared to professionals because they don’t have as many overhead expenses.
There is currently no official set of requirements that determine whether someone is a professional cat sitter or just a hobbyist. It mostly boils down to one’s experience and length of stay in the profession.
It takes a great deal of trust for cat owners to leave their pets in the hands of cat sitters they do not know. This is why new sitters need to gain the clients trust from the start. And one of the best ways to do this is to meet them in person.
When you meet your potential clients in person, you get the opportunity to personally connect with them and make a good and long-lasting first impression.
Personal meetings allow them to know you better. It also allows you to show how much you love animals and assure them that their pets will be safe under your care.
Advertising allows your target customers to know of your existence and to know more about the services you offer.
It also makes pet owners realize that they have other pet sitters to choose from, and this can help them decide which ones should take care of their pets.
Advertising costs some money, but the benefits of an effective strategy greatly outweighs its costs in the long run.
You may think that all you have to do is follow what the client requests but, given the number of pet sitters available doing good enough may just not be enough.
If you want to stand out from the rest, you have to exceed the expectations of cat owners. If you consistently perform well, your good reputation will spread among other cat owners.
They may start recommending you to other cat owners, which naturally helps bring in more clients. Word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising.
Aside from making a great first impression, it’s also good to follow up on your clients after a meetup.
Remember that as long as they have not yet filled out an application, there’s no guarantee that they’ll hire you.
This makes following up a key to finding more clients, and it’s essential for those new to the profession. It also serves as an opportunity to guarantee them that you are one of the best pet sitters available.
The average rate of a non-professional cat sitter in the USA is around $10 to $25 per hour. Some cat sitters have a rate of $60 per hour, but this is generally the rate of professionals who have been in the industry for a long time.
As a cat sitting beginner, a rate of up to $15 per hour already seems fair. If you work for at least three hours a day for five days a week for a single client, that translates to a gross income of at least $225 per week.
This is already a decent amount of money, considering it’s for a single client only. There are also times when cat owners may ask for a 24-hour or overnight cat sitting service, and this can help increase your earnings.
Once you gain enough experience, you can start increasing your hourly rate. Assuming that you start charging $20 per hour and you cat sit for three hours per client for three clients for five days a week ($20 x 3 hours x 3 clients x 5 days), you can earn as much as $900 per week.
This doesn’t include the expenses yet, but this is a rough estimate of how much money you can potentially earn cat sitting.
Having a side hustle is never a bad idea. It allows you to explore other opportunities while also gaining experience and earning money. This is why many well-established people still make time for side hustles.
One example is James Franco. He is already a famous actor and comedian, but he still teaches in well-known colleges like the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and New York University (NYU).
You can never go wrong with a side hustle as long as you plan what you want to do beforehand. And it’s even better if you can earn extra money doing something you already love doing.
That’s why pet sitting is one of the best side hustles you can have if you love animals.
Many pet sitters earn as much if not more than people who work in usual jobs. For example, pet sitting sites like DogVacay and Rover have full-time pet sitters who earn an average of $3,300 per month.
Meanwhile, most part-time sitters on these sites earn an average of $900 a month. This is still a lot of income, considering that it’s just part-time.
After talking about cat sitting, you may be wondering what’s the difference between cat sitting and a cattery?
When you put your cat in a cattery, you’ll be leaving your cat in their facility. However, if you hire a cat sitter, your cat doesn’t have to leave your home.
Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage of putting your cat in a cattery is that it can socialize and play with other cats.
Did You Know? A group of cats is called a Clowder.
However, it also has some downsides that cat sitting can remedy.
Your cat won’t get much attention, especially if there are too many cats in the cattery already. But in a one-on-one cat sitting session, your cat will be the sole focus of the cat sitter.
Secondly, your cat may not be able to enjoy its usual routine in a cattery because the environment is different, and there are other cats with it.
But at home, your cat can go about its usual routine with a cat sitter ensuring that it remains comfortable and secure. Cats also get stressed around other cats they don’t know, having a cat sitter helps prevents this.
Finally, cat sitters are more flexible in doing tasks. You can provide instructions to a cattery beforehand, but you can make requests to a cat sitter in real-time, such as sending you a picture of your cat in real-time.
Leaving one’s pet in the hands of other people might be concerning for most, and rightfully so. You wouldn’t just trust your beloved cat to a stranger, right?
However, there are precautionary measures you can do to ensure that you are hiring the correct cat sitter.
Before hiring someone, ask for police checks and background checks first. Most cat sitting services conduct checks before hiring cat sitters, so you don’t have to worry about it when you hire from them.
When hiring an individual cat sitter, do your own research. You can also try calling their references, if any, to make sure that you can trust them with your cat.
Moreover, you can check community testimonials about certain agencies or individual cat sitters. There are a lot of ways to search for reviews on the web, and most pet sitting websites have their own pages for their members’ feedback.
You can also ask your friends or other people in your community if they personally know one or have availed of someone’s pet sitting service.
Doing these things before hiring a cat sitter is a must if you want to have a peace of mind.
It’s now very easy to find services because of the internet. You just have to search online what you want to look for, and you’ll get tons of results.
You can search for nearby cat sitters using Google, and it will give you results that take your location into account.
There are also dedicated sites for finding cat sitting services. TrustedHousesitters have a specific pet-sitter finder page that you can use. It automatically makes use of your location information to determine which available ones are closest to you.
It’s not really that difficult to search for cat sitters, especially online. Just keep in mind all the tips I gave you and take proper precautionary measures before deciding to hire one.
Cat sitting can be a profitable endeavor even just as a side hustle. It’s great because you get to do what you love (taking care of cats), while also earning money doing it.
And it pays relatively well too. Just keep in mind everything you have read in this article, and you can now start your side hustle as a cat sitter.