How Much to Pay Neighbor Kid for Cat-sitting?

Updated on December 19, 2008
E.S. asks from Carmel, IN
10 answers

We're going away for a few days, and 10-year-old girl who lives two doors down is going to take care of some things for us. She's going to clean the cat's litter box, make sure they have food and water, bring in the mail and water some potted plants.

How much should I pay her? I have no idea what the going rate for this kind of thing is. I asked her mother what she thought would be the right amount, but she didn't know either. $5 per day? More? Less?


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So What Happened?

Thanks very much for the responses! I'll pay my neighbor's daughter $5/day, and then if the cats/plants are in good working order when I return I'll give her a few dollars extra.

More Answers



answers from Indianapolis on

I think it really depends on the number of days you will actually need her. Plants only will need to be watered once, right? Is she dumping out the litter and replacing with new or just keeping it clean? If she is doing the plants once, mail and food/water daily and just keeping the litter maintained and not dumping it out at all, I would personally pay the following:
2 days: $10
5 days: $20
full 7 day week $25

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Hi E. (my daughter's name too)! I'm just seeing this for the first time. We've done this for years, have neighbor kids care for our pets and bring in the mail/newspapers, etc. The kids I currently use are 10-year-old twins who take turns and split the money. I pay $5 per day and add a bonus if everthing looks good when we return. We have a bunny, frog, fish and finches, so lots of animals, but none require walking or anything too time consuming. They do like to play with the bunny though. (c: My kids (9 & 10) have starting taking care of the neighbor's pets in turn, and they really enjoy doing it. The money is an added bonus. I would suggest a small gift for the parents too, though, because more than likely they'll have to help out or remind the kids, etc.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I just saw this question, don't know how I missed it the first time. I have had a pet sitting business for the past 5 years. The going rate is $18 per visit. So if you were to hire a professional pet sitter with insurance, etc. for 5 days, it would cost you $90. So you're saving a lot of money by hiring a friend but I'll have to warn you, I've had a lot of new clients come to me because the kids they've hired haven't been responsible. Hope it works out for you though!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

Just wanted to respond even though I'm late. Our son does this for a family and they pay him $5 per visit. Sometimes they ask him to go take care of their cat once per day and sometimes twice per day. Even at $10 per day this is a HUGE savings from what a real professional pet sitter would pay and do the same thing. He too will get their mail, litter box and feed the cat.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

We just had the same issue just a week ago! We went out of town for one week and had my neighbor(she's 9) take care of our dog. I paid her $30 for the week. She was thrilled, as she was so excited about taking care of the dog that the money was just a bonus. ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

If I were you I would call your local vet office and find out what it might cost you to board your pet including any shots it might have to have to get it up to date.
That will help you to understand what this child is saving you. The Vet office does not bring in the mail or water the plants.
After you have an idea of what it would cost you then decide
what to pay her. Another option might be to ask her Parents if there is something she is really wanting for x-mas or something she has been saving up money for and if its not way out there you could always get her something in return for taking care of the cat.

Enjoy your trip and Happy Holidays

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hi E.,

I am just now seeing this for the first time also but wanted to add to your previous responses. My daughter does this for a neighbor of ours and she charges what she would for babysitting, $10/hr. So, if it only takes 30 min. to do the plants/pets, then that would be $5. But if it takes an hour, it would be $10. Or on days when she wouldn't do the plants, it might take less time and only be $5 for that day. Hope this helps.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hello : )
Since I have both a child and a cat my advice to you would be $10 a day. I would ask that your sitter stay and play a few extra minutes for this rate and give some love to your kitty as it is a long day alone. This is less that what most babysitters charge for 1 hour and much less that boarding. It allows your kitty to stay at home in the comfort zone and also offers you a presence around your home while you are gone.
Enjoy your trip : )



answers from Buffalo on

the 5 dollars a day is a good rate..and to do a special thing at the end if all has worked out ok...if there is a local book store near by get her a gift certificate to pick out her own story book..our neighbor does that for our 6yr daughter when they go away and she feeds the cats and gets the mail...she loves the gift certificate for the books better than the money.. R. a.



answers from Washington DC on

Cat sitting is extemely easy. Cats are so low maintenace. To pay a neighbor $10 a day is too much, in my opinion. I also wouldn't pay a teen $10.00 per hour to babysit. Unless you have more than two kids, that's more that they would make at a part-time job. Anyway, stopping in to scoop the litter box, and fill the food bowl takes about 5 minutes. I watch my neighbor's cat when they go away - for no money - and she watches mine - for no money. Maybe ask an adult neighbor.

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