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drop in visits: owner wants cat fed too?

asked 2016-04-21 15:33:40 -0500

I'm working with a client for possible mid day dog walks walks. They only have their dog listed on their profile, but would also like me to feed the cat when I drop in to walk the dog. My typical rate for a 30 min dog walk is $20 and $5 for an additional pet (for a walk/drop in), but this did not come up because the owner did not list the cat. Would you require the extra fee to feed the cat or would you let it slide?

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answered 2016-12-31 17:38:31 -0500

That is frustrating and sets the relationship off on a bad foot. I have had this happen and just said, "I'm sorry but every animal needs to be listed for your stay to be covered and me to be in compliance with Rover. I understand that pet care can get expensive and that's why I only charge $X for the additional pet".

The pet parent knows exactly what they're doing and also knows that food and clean water during their absence is a complete necessity for their pet's survival. Not to mention that if they took their pets to a kennel and had a cat stuffed in the back of the dog's cage, that the kennel wouldn't be like, "oops. There seems to be something stuck to the back of your pup's cage. No worries. We'll gladly take care of it free of charge!". Nor would the owner try that tactic with a brick and mortar business (the veterinarian clinics here charge $35+ per night boarding for cats).

Love means spending the amount of a daily latte to make sure your 'no trouble at all' extra pet gets clean food and water while you're on vacation. Not to mention an honest relationship with your pet care provider. Litter boxes, divided attention, extra responsibility / liability is what the second (or third or fourth or...) pet charge is for. Hope it went well. :)

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answered 2016-04-21 16:26:00 -0500

I think it's reasonable to charge $5 more to care for the cat, but I'd encourage the client to add the cat and explain that $5 also will provide insurance coverage and support for the cat. You could also state any other care you'd provide, such as: petting, brushing, indoor toy play, litter box? That may help open the conversation. Ultimately, it's your decision whether or not to charge additional.

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thank you! in my opinion, the insurance coverage is a big deal, so I requested she add the cat on and offered her the additional care for $2 instead of $5, since it wasn't that much care. there was, however, some cat wrangling involved and I just felt like I should have a little compensation :)

Courtney C.'s profile image Courtney C.  ( 2016-04-21 22:47:26 -0500 ) edit

I think the client's peace of mind comes into play here as well. They know that you will feed the cat, thereby checking on its condition, so I would have no problems charging your full $5 for extra care. Also it will take a little extra time, which you should be compensated for.

Cari C.'s profile image Cari C.  ( 2016-04-22 20:23:09 -0500 ) edit

I have had this happen as well and was wondering how to handle this. Thank you Courtney for your question and Deb for your response :) Helped me out as well and I am sure it has helped others also.

Ashley S.'s profile image Ashley S.  ( 2016-05-17 15:25:40 -0500 ) edit

Glad to hear it. Some of my cat-only/no dog in household neighbors have told me they paid their maid up to extra $10/day to feed and take care of the cat when away. And of course, that is not a pet specialist, and doesn't include insurance or customer support.

Deb A.'s profile image Deb A.  ( 2016-05-17 18:24:55 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2016-04-21 16:22:22 -0500

Hi Courtney: That's a tough one! And totally up to you! Do you think the client may add more cat services such as cleaning the litter box, etc? I looked at your profile, and you do have a $20 cat charge, so I think there should be some sort of charge for an additional service. What do the other sitters in your area charge for cat care? I had a potential extended house sitting stay try to "sneak in" 2 cats, but i wouldn't allow a discounted extended stay with no cat care fees applied, so the client went elsewhere. And that didn't bother me at all. Since you have the cat care listed at $20, but have a $5 additional pet fee for drop-ins/walks, I would ask for the additional fee (and you could point out that they are saving $$ from you cat fee that way). Since the client only has their dog listed, you'd have to manually enter the additional fee for the cat at the time of booking.

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I ended up offering her $2 per day for the additional cat, which I think is totally reasonable. I agree though - there's something about sneaking in a cat/cats ... haha. thanks for your input! it was enough to give me some confidence to talk about price :)

Courtney C.'s profile image Courtney C.  ( 2016-04-21 22:48:47 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2016-12-12 02:00:37 -0500

Im glad this was brought up. I too have had a problem with the "oh by the way I have a cat but hes no trouble, just needs food and let out." Why do clients think cats dont require time and care? I tell them to enter cat so theyre covered, I go over all that and they always say they will put cat in and they never do. I have a cat fee. Dont they see this? Of course the first time I did it for a reduced fee and they never put cat in system he had major issues and required a lot of my time. So I use this experience to make my point and still they dont put them in. I wonder if its because there is no cat option, only dog. I tell them to expect this and put them in under dog. So I have to adjust the fees myself and I dont like to do it that way.

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There is a cat option. You can list your cat sitting fee under Additional Services. And, yes, cats are work. Do you know anyone who cleans up stinky hairballs for fun? 'Volunteer Hairball Picker Upper here!!!', said No one, EVER... *drops mic*

Moureene T.'s profile image Moureene T.  ( 2016-12-31 20:31:55 -0500 ) edit

I see that on the service menu, there is a cat fee that a sitter can add. However, I can not see an option for the client to add a cat to their profile. It only says add dog and that is where I am a little confused.

Jasmine & Ian S.'s profile image Jasmine & Ian S.  ( 2017-06-19 12:03:00 -0500 ) edit

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