A 'no pet' sit with wild birds and hedgehogs

A while ago I did a post about the difficulties of attracting sitters to a home with no pets. Because of the way the search facility functions it is impossible to include the ‘no pets’ filter in a search that includes any other pets. For example you cannot search for ‘cats’ + ‘no pets’ and so homes with no pets can get overlooked. It is mainly my garden that I need a sitter for, mainly to water pots and raised beds.

Anyway, what I did was add birds to my listing. I feed the wild/garden birds and although they wouldn’t starve if they are not fed while I am gone they certainly appreciate the food and they are wonderful to have just outside the window. I spend hours watching them and taking photos.

This seemed to work and I have acquired sitters for a couple of my sits and I have just added more dates so I am hoping this strategy continues to work.

Now I have also acquired two hedgehogs! :hedgehog::hedgehog: I am over the moon to have finally attracted them to my garden and I will have to add ‘cleaning up hedgehog poo’ to my list of responsibilities.

I’m curious to know if anyone else has a sitter come for the care of wildlife and garden, and as a sitter would it appeal to you?


Hi @Jilly hedgehogs & wild birds that sounds wonderful, I do admire you creativity.

Sitter members are as different as the sits and all will have their own motivations and preferences for the sits they apply for. I have done sits with and without pets, the longest without pets was six weeks but there was a house full of plants and a garden to care for, at the time the location and home were both a perfect win win for me and the owners.

Can we have a picture of your two new guests?



Hi @jilly we would love a sit like that.

On a side note we are also HO with no pets and just a few pot plants to water. We were inundated with sitter applications for our 5 month sit.


So glad you’ve got sitters lined up for your dates and I’m sure people will enjoy feeding the birds and hedgehogs. On a repeat visit to a sit a few weeks ago, besides looking after the cat the owners asked me to feed the wild birds and put out food for their hedgehog family.
As for the search, I just search the dates and never specify what animals I want, but just discount ones that I don’t want. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, which would be why @Crookie has been inundated with applications no doubt


@Crookie, I’m sure you were. A five month sit with no pets would be fantastic for many sitters, mine are mostly a week at the moment. Just before Covid I booked a 3 month one in Bulgaria but sadly I didn’t get to go.
For your 5 month sit were the sitters able to go away for a few nights? The one in Bulgaria was allowing absences of up to 4 nights. I had planned on doing a couple of short trips during the time.

We’ve done a couple of sits where hedgehogs visited the garden. We hadn’t been asked to feed them but were delighted to see them.

We’d be attracted to a sit with garden birds and hedgehogs to feed, or any other wildlife. I have seen a listing where putting food out for the badgers was one of the responsibilities.

We have a trail camera in our small garden. We knew we had visiting foxes, but we learned we also had a badger, and on one occasion an otter! We’ve recently had a hedgehog visiting too.


@Debbie it’s wonderful to be able to see wildlife in a garden. I could sit for hours just listening to the bees and the birds. I even go out with cup of tea in the middle of the night sometimes and just sit watching the moths and the shadows, it’s so relaxing. My sit is ideal for anyone who really needs to chill out and unwind.


@Jilly We love watching the bats at dusk at the right time of year too. It’s quite surprising the variety of wildlife we have as we are fairly urban, just a short walk from the centre of Cheltenham. We are lucky to have a stream running past the end of the garden and a former railway line that is now a cycle path crosses it just up the road. So we have wildlife corridors despite the busy roads nearby.


Yes i would. I tried to save baby birds lately but failed. But feeding wild birds i do manage…

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We do have dogs for sitters to look after, but we also have wild birds, squirrels and a couple of Spinys that we feed….


@Foldor13 that’s a great photo. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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@Jilly You found a great work around. Maybe plants and gardens should be a search category. As a sitter I would apply for a no pet sit. I’ve filled bird feeders on previous sits.

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I am glad to know that’s how the filter look. I would be happy to sit where there are no pets, but I have been filtering animals because I am not qualified for livestock. Thanks for sharing.

Also, I just applied to a sit that had a squirrel listed. :smiley:


Yes, it’s a bit frustrating that the search filter works like that.
What fun you’ll have feeding a squirrel. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

It would certainly not be a problem for us!

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Hello @HeatherQuinn and welcome to the forum. We encourage you to use the Introduce yourself section and share a little bit about yourself. We love to hear more about sitters and owners and their lifestyles. If you’re just checking the whole idea of house sittering out, that’s OK too. :slightly_smiling_face:

Volunteer moderator :canada:

We do have a cat but also feed the wild birds,squirrels & a fox. I always make this clear when first contacting our sitter to make sure that they are willing to do this . So far it hasn’t bern a problem.


Hello Rosina! And a lovely fox it was :wink:!


Hello, Kath. Yes he still visits every evening. So enjoy seeing the posts of you & Aaron on your adventures.

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