Wednesday

Kitty's Need Sitter to Clean their Litter

Received Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Opinion 4 The family I work for is taking me with them to Hawaii. Of course they are paying for my expenses like the plane ticket and food and we are still ironing out all the other things but one thing I've thought of but haven't brought up to them yet is who pays for the pet sitter?

I have two cats that will need a pet sitter to come over once a day to feed them and clean out the litter box. My pet sitter charges 20 a day and that's the going rate so there is no way I can find someone cheaper nor can I ask a family member or friend, I've already been down that road. So who's responsible for paying the pet sitter for 10 days?

33 comments:

ChiNanny said...

That's your responsibility. Maybe you can have them come every other day to save money. Most cats can be left extra food and the litter box can go two days.

rosebud said...

Can you set up another litter box or two and extra bowls of food and water? Having a cat sitter come every day seems excessive to me - I can leave my two cats alone for 3 days without worrying about them.

Northern Nanny said...

I am a nanny who will also be traveling with my work family for the first time soon. I would think that a pet sitter would be your responsibility. They should be paying you your wage, and any travel expenses but beyond that its your job to take care of any personal issues.

Bostonnanny said...

Its called an automatic cat feeder and litter box, petco sells them. Then just hire a pet sitter to stop by twice a week and your set.

nycmom said...

I think that is your responsibility. I suppose you could try to negotiate for this, but I would feel like you were nickle and diming if it were me. A lot depends, though, on the overall arrangement. I think if they are being fair and generous overall, I really wouldn't hit them up for this especially (as others have pointed out) since there are ways to reduce the pet sitter need to once a twice a week.

Nanny in Az said...

Definitely NOT the employers responsibility. If part of my corporate job is to travel once a month it is not the job of my company to board the my new puppy. The same applies to this position. Your employer is not responsible to board you kitties, pay someone to water your plants, or anything else related to your personal life.

I have traveled all over the world with various families I work for and have had a great experience every time. :) Enjoy!

helaine said...

I'd fire you if you asked me to pay for your cat sitter. Are you going to ask your boss to buy you swimsuit too? Perhaps some flip flops and sunblock?

Jacqui said...

Definitely your responsibility. If you had a dog, then yes, you'd need someone everyday. However, cats are very self sufficient. When I have to be away for a day or two, I make sure I leave out my cat's favorite blanket, some clothing that smells like me (so he doesn't feel lonely), 2 bowls of food and 2 bowls of water. As far as his litter box is concerned, a day or two without it being scooped is always fine, but that depends on how many cats you have I guess.

When I leave for a few days and my roommate also isn't around, I get more concerned that my cat will feel abandoned, sad and lonely than I do about him starving or using a soiled litterbox..hence leaving out things that smell like me. Ridiculous, I know but it gives me a little peace of mind.

Have someone come in 2 days after you leave and maybe a day or two before you get back. Everyday definitely isn't necessary and a big waste of money.

Nanny in AZ said...

*Nanny in AZ here...I really need to edit my posts before I post them. Embarrassing! :)

AMom said...

you pay the cat sitter, I find it ridiculous this question is even being asked! And, I agree with the others, I have cats also, a sitter every day is not necessary. they will do fine with extra food and water and a cat sitter every other day.

OP said...

Guys it's not so easy for me just to set out dry food. My cat is diabetic and requires wet food at certain intervals, it really has nothing to do with the litter box being cleaned out.....sorry I should've clarified that a little better.

OP said...

Wow didn't expect the negative comments, it was simply a question I thought of just like how much extra I should be paid, how many hours I should work over my normal work week and what, when I'm there, will be considered my expenses.

Nanny in AZ said...

OP - no foul asking the question. :)

I think you got your honest answer though, that no, it is not your employers responsibility.

Didi/Sisof9 said...

I think it would be kind of silly to ask your employer to cover this - just like your employer pays you to watch her children and her boss doesnt cover that on top of her salary you pay someone to care for your cats using your own salary.

travelin' nanny said...

OP,
Do you have any family or close friends near by? I can't imagine you don't know someone who could come by and feed your cats once a day for less than $20 a day. That seems awefully high for ONCE a day feeding/litter scooping, even if it is the going rate, especially for cats. They don't even have to be walked. If you have a neighbor or friend you trust, ask them to do it. Perhaps you can offer to do the same for them if they ever need a pet sitter......I have pet sat for several friends for long weekends or last minute trips, and in return, I was able to go on holiday for 2 weeks recently, and those same friends petsat for me.
Another option is to talk to your boss about it. Chances are, you will be working extra hours while in Hawaii, so make sure you negotiate enough pay for those hours to be able to pay someone to care for your cats. It is not thier responsiblity to pay for your petsitting, but the bonus of negotiating extra hours and pay might even things out a bit. If they have pets, ask them what they are doing, and maybe they can recommend someone to you. I think if you really look at your options, you can find a better alternative to a high-rate pet sitter.
I did a LOT of traveling with my nanny family, and while it was always a little more work, it was well worth it :o)

sharon said...

this is a delima for you. I have three cats, left the country for a week - put out a TON of dry food,lot's of extra water and bought 2 extra litter boxes. I did have a friend check on them every other day - they were fine yet miffed with me when i got home for leaving.

But - having a sick animal that needs daily care is very hard for you - you may need to forego the trip. They are not responsible for your pet, so this is a hard decision - let us know what happens

pisce3 said...

I call that looking a gift horse in the mouth. You're going to get a free vacation and you think they should pay for your pets too? Wow! Also, I doubt someone would need to come everyday. They have auto pet feeders that feed for up to 3 days. Plus you could just lay more food out. The litterbox can wait as well.

WeCantALLComeAndGoByBubble said...

Pisce3 -
It is NEVER a "vacation" for the Nanny when she travels with the family (it can sometimes be a living Hell!). Having said that, I don't think the family is required to pay for pet care.

OP -
Only the nicest of employers will offer to pay ALL of your travel expenses (including care for pets while u are traveling with them). If they have not offered, don't ask. Maybe you could have a couple friends take turns feeding your kitty? They probably wouldn't charge you as mush as a pet service would.........

TSFW said...

Um...it's just like paying for childcare. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure your pets are cared for when you are working.

You are too stupid for words.

Stay home said...

Pisce3,
VACATION, you must be joking! For most nannies it means long hours dealing with children cooped up in planes and in hotel rooms with a very limited number of books and toys, jet lag and difficulty sleeping in strange surroundings, food they don't like etc. In addition if the nanny does get any free time, she doesn't have family or friends to do things with, she is alone.
Many nannies won't take jobs that require travel because of miserable experiences.

OP said...

Wow, again wasn't expecting the harsh comments and no I'm not stupid it was just a question. Having not worked where travel is expected I had no clue if that was considered a business expense or if I was expected to pay the bill. Again just a simple question and I thank the ones that answered me rather than try to berate me.

For the person that thinks this is a vacation you probably not a nanny, I will be working 10+ hours a day, now add in 8 hours worth of sleep and that leaves me 6 hours or less each day to do as I please. I don't consider that a vacation.

I think I've decided not to go with the family, if you take into account the 200 I have to spend on the pet sitter than I'm only looking at making 800 bucks over my regular salary and I just don't think that 800 bucks is worth it because I will be responsible for 4 extra children, 6 in all, ranging from 18 months to 8yrs.

Annapolis Nanny said...

While I agree that it is the nanny's responsibility, I don't get why people are so mean. Geez, she just asked. And I have been on vacations with families before and it was FAR from vacation for me. If I have the choice (which I do now because I am a mother myself) I choose not to go on a vacation with the family.

NannyM said...

OP - I'm glad you have a choice about whether you can go with the family. Having pets myself, I understand why you need someone to care for them when you're away.

If I were in that situation, I would probably expect to pay for the cat sitter myself, but I might give the family an opportunity to help - e.g. stating that you're having trouble finding an inexpensive and trustworthy pet sitter, do they know of anyone who they could recommend? However, you would need to expect that paying for the sitter would be your responsibility if they didn't offer to help (preferably with no hard feelings!)

To many others- shame on you for putting OP down! There are a lot of dumb behaviours listed on this site under sightings and rants, but asking a question about how something works in the nanny - employer relationship is not one of them.

5star nanny said...

OP,
I don't think it was a stupid question to ask. It depends on the type of family you work for. When I travel (and I travel loads because I don't get a choice, it's part of my job), I get my employers to pay for just about everything related to the trip. Of course, they pay for my accommodation, transport, including to and from the airport if I'm not traveling with them, and all my food (restaurants, room service, groceries for the room, snacks etc) but they also pay for sunblock and other things like that. They even offered to buy me a new bathing suit on our last trip since I don't ever wear one apart from for work. I know this isn't normal for employers to do but considering I am on duty 24 hours a day for up to 3 weeks at a time, I don't think it's unreasonable for them to go that extra mile. I literally don't spend anything while I'm away (apart from my rent). Since I don't have any pets, and my husband stays behind in any case, I've never had to ask my employers to cover pet sitting costs, but I would have no hesitation in doing so.
And for anyone who says it's a vacation, they can think again. I go to 5 star places, travel first class and eat in ridiculously priced restaurants, but it's work. I'm not ungrateful, I just don't get the chance to fully appreciate where we go since I am never without the kids.

Nanny in AZ said...

Agreeing with 5Star Nanny. A vacation? Hardly. I've been all over the world and enjoy my work; however, to think that I'm kicking back in a hammock in the Hamptons sipping a Mai Thai as the sun sets over the ocean is not reality. :)

MissMannah said...

Why don't you try asking your vet for recommendations for boarding your cats? We board our dog because she's diabetic and they charge us $10 for a weekend. (If we're gone longer than that, Zoe goes over to Grandma's--spoiled little girl!)

Honestly, I don't think $200 is that big of an expense for petsitting. I've always loved my pets as my own kids and I'd assume any pet owner would feel the same way and spare no expense. And you're only getting $800 over salary for 4 extra kids?? Girl, you're getting ripped off!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

If your kitty is sick, doesn't he also need daily insulin injections? I have two kitties, one has diabetes and I have to give him an insulin injection.
Anyway, people as an animal lover and advocate, there is more to pet care than feeding and cleaning out litter boxes. Even though cats are independent and do not need daily walks, they do NEED a daily dose of interaction with a human in order to be happy. So I think the $20/day will not be in vain if you can get a cat sitter to come over and play with your feline aside from feeding and cleaning his box. Perhaps wave a stick around with a bell and feather around? Or someone to throw a rabbit's foot around the house for about 15 min or so.
Remember: dogs look up to you while cats look down on you. LOL.

Village said...

I think the OP is smart to consider not going at all. It will be round the clock work, despite anything the parents say to the contrary, and unless they make it worth her while, she shouldn't go.

To answer who pays the pet sitter, the owner does, after the OP has been appropriately compensated by her employers. No appropriate money, no go.

OP said...

Justmytwocents, no thankfully she is no longer on insulin(lantus), a diet change from dry food to all wet helped and she has been off insulin for a couple of years now.

For the others that suggested leaving more food out for a couple of days as an alternative to the pet sitter: Wet food can not be left out for days on end. Wet cat food's main ingredient is meat and just like meat for human consumption you can't leave it out for long periods of time. Just like it wouldn't be safe to leave an opened can of meat on your counter for days it's also not safe to leave an opened can of wet cat food out either.

Now on to why I need a pet sitter vs friends and family. I recently went out of town for the holidays and had a years notice, I tried in vain for an entire year to find friends and family that would be willing to come over once a day to take care of the cats, so unfortunately a pet sitter IS my only option.

Again it's not so simple as just putting out extra food and water, I need a pet sitter if I go out of town, thanks for the comments guys. I now know that if I was to go out of town with the family that I would be responsible for paying the pet sitter.

TinyDancer said...

Whenever I've traveled with work families I have had all travel expenses paid and my normal salary paid, maybe a little more but that's all. Everything else was my concern. Have you thought about asking a neighbor to come by or a friend who may just want to stay with your cats at your house? These could be options to save the $$!

less dazzled said...

Whoa Whoa Whoa!!!
No, you should never agree to travel without adequate compensation. If it turns out that the trip was a delight, than you can always write a nice note to your employer expressing what a great time you had. You have to factor in your overnight rate and the rate you would charge to be on from 7AM-10PM. This should NEVER EVER EVER be your normal rate! And of course they pay your travel expenses! Please don't act like that is a gift from God. It makes it that much harder for professional nannies to get their fair wage.

TinyDancer said...

I'm really surprised everyone dislikes traveling with their work families so much! I have done it a handful of times and was always an enjoyable experience for me. I just hung out with everyone and was an extra pair of hands/driver. I had great food, and had tons of fun playing games and doing whatever the family did. Other than an evening or two so the parents could go on their own it sure felt like a vaca to me. It was no more work than traveling with your own kiddos. Though I guess I could see how it could be a pain. Maybe I've just been lucky with the families I've been with!

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