Friday 28 July 2023

Make £400 ($514) in a few weeks as a cat sitter

The headline in The Sun newspaper paints an almost utopian picture of cat-human heaven in which a person is employed as a cat sitter in London, UK and they looked after three cats in different locations over Christmas for a period of three weeks at the end of which they have earned £400 in cash. 

Make £400 ($514) in a few weeks as a cat sitter
Cat sitting. Image: supplied.

That of course is worth more if you are paying tax because you don't pay tax on the cash you earn! I am not suggesting fraudulent behavior!

It is called a side hustle so I presume that you do this in addition to another part-time job. It is designed to help people get over the so-called cost of living crisis which has resulted in people being short of cash. And resulted in cat abuse - click here to read that story.

Of course, it might be an enjoyable job if you like cats. However, it is a responsible job because, although it looks easy, I don't think it is. The person who wrote The Sun article, Miranda Knox (the cat sitter), gives the impression that it is easy and convenient but no.

You have the responsibility of looking after three cats in three different locations. What happens to them when the you aren't there? What if they 'escape' (if they are indoor cats) and get run over? Who is responsible? It is the cat sitter. The owner maybe thousands of miles away but they expect their cat to be well looked after and secure.

There is a great responsibility in looking after someone else's domestic cat. And to discharge that responsibility you receive £10-£15 a day just for one visit. That would amount to £15 per visit in effect.

I've always said that I would be reluctant to look after someone else's cat because to the client (the cat's owner) their cat is very important (or should be). If something goes wrong all hell would break loose and I think the responsibility is worth more than £15 per visit.


As a cat sitter, you have to build up to the situation where people can trust you. For example, I, as a cat owner, would not allow someone else to look after my cat if I was away for a week unless I knew that person absolutely or they had great references. 

Even then I don't think I would do it. Note: I have gone away once while living with my current cat and I took him with me in a large carrier. He's been in my company every day of his life except for the first 7 weeks when he was a feral cat.


For a cat sitter to do their job properly they must become acquainted with the ultimate client i.e. the cat. You can't just put a cat sitter in someone else's home as a complete stranger to the cat.

If a stranger enters a home and the owner isn't there, the cat will be particularly sensitive to the stranger's presence and behaviour. As a cat sitter, you're quite liable to elicit an aggressive reaction from a cat who's home alone while their owner has gone off to Spain for a holiday three hours earlier.

I expect that part of the contract is that the cat's owner spends time with their cat in the company of the cat sitter before they leave them alone. Although I'm not sure that that would happen every time despite the fact that it would seem to be essential to me.

Cat's character

Even the outcome in terms of cat welfare depends a lot on the cat's character and how confident they are. For a lot of cats, it takes quite a long time for them to get used to strange people. They might be very easy to get on with or not.


What about insurance? I think you'll need it to protect yourself against damage to the property and being sued by the owner for breach of contract! I'm painting a bleak picture, aren't I?

Cats becomes ill

Don't think that being a cat sitter is easy money for doing almost nothing. And there's the usual chores such as cleaning the litter tray, making sure they are well fed and in good health. You have to know a bit about feline health and behavior I'd say. If the cat starts to behave strangely, are they ill? What do you do? Complications.

Miranda Cox works from a cat-sitting website called Cat in a Flat.

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