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How Much Should You Tip Your Cat Sitter or Groomer? Tips & FAQ

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

pet groomer

How Much Should You Tip Your Cat Sitter or Groomer? Tips & FAQ

A gratuity (or tip) is a sum of money a customer gives to someone who provides them with a service. It’s expected to tip the folks who wait on us in restaurants, the person who does our hair, and the Door Dasher who delivers us our late-night Netflix-binge snacks, but tipping ethics are much less clear when it comes to the folks providing pet-related services.

If you’re not sure whether you should tip your groomer or cat sitter, we can help. It’s customary to tip between 15%–20% of the cost of the service, but there are factors you should consider that may make a lower or higher gratuity more appropriate. Read on to learn more.

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Why Should I Tip My Cat Groomer?

It may not seem like it, but pet grooming is physically demanding. It’s a skilled trade, and becoming a groomer requires training. This is not a job that just anybody can do.

Cat groomers not only help your pet look their best, but regular grooms can keep your pet’s health in check. As fastidious self-groomers, cats spend much of their day licking themselves and, inevitably, ingesting some of their fur. Fur ingestion can lead to hairballs, which can be annoying for both you and your kitty and, in severe cases, may even cause dangerous blockages. Groomers can reduce such risks and keep your kitty mat-free and clean right down to their skin.

Grooming cats is especially difficult because they tend not to sit as well as their canine counterparts.

Tipping your cat groomer is a great way to say “thank you” for their hard work, patience, and the strides they’re taking to keep your kitty looking their best and being their healthiest.

Hand giving money close up
Image Credit: Vlad Ispas, Shutterstock

How Much Should I Tip My Cat Groomer?

The amount you tip your professional groomer can vary depending on how long and involved the groom was, but a good rule of thumb is to tip around 15%–20% of the grooming cost. However, there are some factors you should consider when determining just how much to leave.

Quality of Service

Did the groomer meet or go above your expectations? Did they do what they could to ensure your kitty stayed comfortable during their groom? If so, consider tipping a bit more to show your appreciation for their dedication to quality service.

groomer wiping cat with towel
Image Credit: Standret, Shutterstock

Grooming Complexity

Did the groom require a substantial amount of time to complete? Did the groomer untangle mats and knots by hand? Did they need to use a specialized grooming technique to get your kitty looking their best? If so, you should consider tipping closer to the 20% range to acknowledge the extra work required.

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Why Should I Tip My Cat Sitter?

When you’re going away on vacation, you need to hire someone to take care of your pets for you. A cat sitter will come to your home to ensure your cat’s needs are being met while you’re gone. They will administer medication, if necessary, too. Sitters will also sometimes take care of other duties, such as picking up your mail, taking out your trash, and watering your plants, ensuring that not only your kitty but your home will be well cared for.

Additionally, cat sitters can run into a myriad of issues while caring for your pets. If your kitty were to fall ill or escape, the responsibility for care would fall onto your sitter. With your permission, they will take your pet to the veterinarian to ensure they get the care they need to get healthy.

cat sitter petting a cat on her lap
Image Credit: larisa Stefanjuk, Shutterstock

How Much Should I Tip My Cat Sitter?

The amount you’ll tip your cat sitter will also depend on how long you’re away and the extra duties you require them to perform. As with groomers, however, a good rule of thumb is to tip between 15%–20%  of the total service price. Here are some other factors that can help you determine a more precise tip percentage.

Change of Plans

Were you supposed to return home on Sunday but, due to a travel delay, had to stay away an extra day or two? If you require more service from your sitter than what was originally agreed upon, you may wish to tip on the higher end of the scale.

man pulling out money out of wallet
Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

Additional Work

If you requested your pet sitter perform additional duties that may be outside of their typical scope of care, you should tip more. This can include tasks such as bringing in a delivered package, picking up your mail, and ensuring your trash is on the curb for pick-up.

Unexpected Surprises

Anything can happen when you’re away, and dealing with an unexpected pet- or home-related emergency can be extremely stressful. If your sitter has had to deal with unforeseen circumstances in your absence, you should tip more.

Woman hand giving money
Image Credit: Vlad Ispas_Shutterstock

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What if the Service I Received Was Poor?

A gratuity is meant to be a “thank you” for someone who provides a service for you. The better the service, the higher the tip should be. However, if your cat groomer absolutely destroyed your cat’s coat or if your sitter skimped on their duties, you shouldn’t feel obligated to tip. Additionally, if you’re unsatisfied with the care you service, you should communicate your concerns with the groomer or sitter and their manager. Constructive feedback will help them address gaps in their quality of care and improve the services they provide in the future.

When and How Should I Tip My Pet Professional?

Typically, tips are given to cat sitters or groomers when the service is complete. This allows you to confirm the quality of the service provided did indeed call for a tip.

Gratuities are generally provided in cash, though checks are also acceptable. Some groomers or sitters may have online portals through which you’ll pay for your service, and often, these portals have a tip option you can add on when you pay.

sending money using mobile phone
Image By: Kaspars Grinvalds, Shutterstock

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Other Ways to Celebrate Good Service

Sometimes, tipping cash feels impersonal, especially if you’ve been using your cat groomer or pet sitter for some time. If you’d prefer to give them something different to celebrate the good service they’ve provided you, here are some great options:

  • Buy them gift cards for coffee, food, or gas.
  • Leave them a well-written and thoughtful review on their social media sites to help them get more traffic.
  • Comment or like on their social media posts.
  • Write them a meaningful thank you card.

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Final Thoughts

As someone with over 20 years in the restaurant industry, I can tell you that tips are never expected but always appreciated. If you feel that your pet sitter or cat groomer did an excellent job in caring for your beloved fur babies, a 15%–20% tip is great. You shouldn’t ever feel obligated to leave a tip, however, especially if the service you received was less than stellar.

Featured Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

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