We’re giving you a two-for-one in this installment Supplement Your Income Series. Meet Jo and Sarah, both are Loved By badge-holding cat sitters for Cat in a Flat. Find out how to hang out with cats, and get paid for it. Sitters set their own rates, the average is £8 for one visit per day and then £12-£15 for two visits a day.
What made you decide to become a cat sitter?
Sarah: I got to know about cat sitting when I had to go on holiday and my mum couldn’t look after Tibs (my cat). I found all the cat sitting websites very outdated and without any personality until I found Cat in a Flat. The whole process seemed very personal and friendly, so after that I thought it was something that I could do as well. Particularly because I have a number of part-time jobs, cat sitting works really well into that schedule.
Jo: As a cat owner myself, I know how hard it can be to trust someone to come into your home, and look after your precious fur babies. I’d had a bad experience with a previous sitter who didn’t turn up for all of the agreed visits, so I was very nervous about going away again. I discovered Cat in a Flat through a friend at work and decided to sign up as an owner and a sitter. Following my personal experience, I wanted to be able to offer the level of care and attention I would expect my cats to receive whilst I am away and to reassure fellow cat owners that their cats are in safe hands.
How long have you been cat sitting?
Sarah: Since spring, February 2015.
Jo: I have just passed my one-year anniversary with Cat in a Flat. Yay!
How often do you cat sit through Cat in a Flat?
Sarah: It can vary with season, ranging from a few days up to a couple of weeks per month.
Jo: Since Christmas I have had a steady flow of bookings, I would say I have a booking every other week. These can range from just a few days to a couple of weeks at a time.
Do you regularly cat sit for the same people?
Sarah: Yes I do, it generally works like that as people get to know you and you know their cats. Some cats prefer to have a friendly face around—especially if it worked out well the first time.
Jo: Have a couple of regular clients. It’s lovely to be asked back, as it makes me feel happy to know people are pleased with the service that I am providing. It’s also great to see the same cats on a regular basis.
What is the maximum amount of cats you have looked after at any one time?
Sarah: Not too many since I have other work as well so, try to limit how much I take on for any given day. The maximum is probably three.
Jo: Over Christmas and Boxing Day last year I had 21 cats in total to look after! It was so much fun!
Do you have any funny stories from any of your cat sits?
Sarah: There are quite a few funny stories as cats have hilarious personalities and are all quite different. I love looking after a pair of Abyssinians. The boy is called Theo and loves to rub his head on anything and will often just headbutt the wall with excitement when he sees you. It sounds painful, but he’s fine.
Jo: I sat for two very cheeky kittens over Christmas called Arthur and Molly. They definitely kept me on my toes, tearing about the place! One day I arrived and they had completely upended the dustbin, and there was rubbish all over the flat. It looked like they’d had a hell of a game.
One of my favourite clients is a lovely one-year-old tabby named Monty. Monty is also full of mischief. He lives with a rabbit called Rupert. One day I was cleaning out Rupert’s cage, and Monty decided to jump into the bag of dirty bedding sending it everywhere! He also used to pull books off of the shelves & hide ornaments. There was always something for me to discover each time I visited.
What advice would you give to people thinking about cat sitting?
Sarah: Be honest and open. People are letting you into their home and trusting you with their adored pet/family member so knowing a little more about you and being able to trust you will take the relationship a long way.
Jo: Go for it! Living in a city like London it is not always possible to own a pet either due to living circumstances or job commitments. So if you love cats, this is a fantastic opportunity to get your cat fix. Cat in a Flat is really supportive and lovely. It’s a growing community that I am really enjoying being a part of.