I think the last time I hired a cat-sitter, it was $15 a visit. That also included other household stuff, like watering plants, bringing in the mail, and putting our trash out on the curb on trash-day.
I paid $14 for my most recent petsitter. The first one I had was only $10, but this was in a different area of town. The newer one I think does spend more time with the cats when she comes...she left a note detailing how she had played with them and brushed them and so forth.
Thanks for all the replies! Obviously, the ideal situation is to have someone stay over. I'm sure the cats would enjoy having a person just hanging around in the house with them... but if that doesn't work, a pet sitter it will be!
One of the perks of living right on the beach in Hawaii is that people are dying to visit! When we went back to the mainland for a month a friend from CA flew over and he and his wife stayed for 3 weeks. They actually ended up leaving me $200 because they used the car. They emailed me everyday or called to let me know how the kitties were doing. They were even sure to pet them in their favorite ways.
A neighbor looked in on them for the remaining 5 days. I couldn't imagine my babies being all alone for very long. I've never even heard of pet sitters out here...with people coming and going so much you'd think it would be very needed.
It's lots of $$ (and lots of fun!!) but lots of work. For dogs, I charge $12 a day, but I go 3 or 4 times a day. So it's a huge job. But then, for a week, I can get almost $100... and if I have several jobs at once, I can be making a couple hundred dollars a week Pretty good job for a 15-year-old. I just have to be around all the time.
I guess my only problem is that I usually work every night from 4:00-8:30... which isn't too bad. I just wonder how many people around me would want a pet sitter. I had a friend who "house sat" for people while they were on vacation but she ended up living at their house for like a week at a time. I couldn't leave my kitty for that long!