Advice for HO with Multiple Pets

Wow! 27 sheep! But unlike cats, they can be herded. We once sat for 13 cats. 6 were indoor and had full reign of the house and 7 were separated and in their own “catio”. All in all it was a great sit.
We were not at all scared away from a listing with so many pets.

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Good point @Colin! Good luck with the sheep. At least you’ll have plenty to count if you have any trouble sleeping.

Thanks for letting me know @lmhale!

Hi @MEMcDME. You’ve already had so much great advice, but I love how responsive you’ve been, so I’ll add my 2¢.

  1. On a high level, think about things from a sitter’s view. The issue is every sitter’s unique. But you can think of sitter personas: Local, Cat-Lover, Dog-Lover, Traveler, Giver, etc. You don’t have to target all sitters; think about your ideal sitter, craft a persona, then focus on that. When done, you can add stuff to appeal to another ideal type of sitter.

    1. For example, long stay = nomad. Many pets = cat-and-dog lover. Maybe a couple, as there are so many pets.
    2. A less ideal but still great sitter might be a nomad cat lover/couple with a giving personality (LL: Acts of Service), because your dogs seem quite manageable, and your purpose of visiting your husband is heartwarming.
  2. On a practical level, remember to view things from a sitter’s view. Especially the thumbnails from search. For example, here’s yours with some of the “competition”:

    1. The water is pretty, but does it really spark joy? Also, the 6 pets is easy to see, so let’s counter the possibly daunting feeling with a cute pet pic. Personally, I like the two below better, but actually you had several tantalizing options:

      1. You could also use a photo editor to make a collage for the thumbnail: water + cats + dogs!
    2. Besides the thumbnail, there’s the headline and the dates. You want to be very concise/catchy in the front of the headline, since that’s what people see. You don’t need to convince them; you just want to get them to click to learn more.

      1. Let’s see … compare these:

        6-Week Sit: Trying to Visit Hus…
        Help me see deployed hubby…
        Help me see deployed husba…
        Flx: help me see deployed hus…
        Flex: help me see deployed hu…
        6 wks; help see deployed hus…

        1. 6 wks is nice to know; as is gentle dogs. But trying to visit your deployed husband while he’s back is the most important, to me. You could also view it as the biggest eye-catcher and most distinctive: there are lots of long sits, lots of great pets. I could be biased as Acts of Service is my LL, but perhaps that’s really whom you want to target.
        2. Why “Flx/Flex”? You may want to be flexible about your dates. In general, this is helpful, but especially as your start is around Christmas/New Year’s, when it’s a sitter’s market. If you can get one sitter to fill the first week or two, then getting a second sitter for the remaining 4–5 wks should be much easier. (You could just have one sitter do the handover to the other.) At the very least, consider being flexible about dates and put that in your listing. And for now, focus on getting a sitter for the first week before committing to anyone for the back half.
        3. BTW, if you want to check in advance how much headline runway you have, I think the font is “Poppins.” I don’t have that font on my Mac, but you can use this site to preview: W3Schools Tryit Editor
  3. Many pets: I’d like to know if I’ll have to stay up late, get woken up at night, have to wake early, like for dog potty/walks. You could specify this, or perhaps give an example of a typical day for you; e.g., wake at 7 am, let the dogs out, feed cats; 8 am feed dogs …

    1. Are they both doodles? Under the dog pics, I see only “Mix-Breed” for Seemo. I think the app shows more pet info, so just be specific in the listing text.
  4. Transport/car/location: I presume no car use is included; okay. But if I drive in, may I park in your garage, or is there ample street parking? Can you include a google map with the nearest cross streets? If I’m carless, that would help me figure out stuff like how close is the nearest grocery story, or whatever; or public transit routes to get around the local area; not to mention public transit options just to get there in the first place. Just make my job (as the potential sitter) easier.

  5. Be proactive about favourites. If you’re above basic membership, then you can tell if anyone favourites you, right? I just did as a test. You may want to send them a message to start the conversation. Otherwise they may end up committing to another sit and be unable to help.


We’ve done 3 dogs & 2 cats, 7 cats, 1 dog & 3 cats and more. All different, all totally fine and actually simpler than some single pet sits TBH. Really depends on the HOs & the routine. I like the challenge & energy of lots of pets in the home


Will watch for future opportunities. Thanks

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Hi @geoff.hom, I wanted to really, genuinely thank you for taking the time to not only look at my listing but offer such thorough, detailed and thoughtful suggestions!!! I loved your first point about not focusing on targeting all sitters, but rather focusing on finding the ideal sitter for my listing.

I did the photo collage for the cover photo and changed the listing title. I will also add times and more detail to the section for pet responsibilities. I changed the listing to make a vehicle available in case accessibility of the location is a concern. Your point concerning making the dates flexible is very duly noted. I will revisit that in the listing as well.

Again, your input is very much appreciated!! Thank you :slight_smile:


Very much agreed @Cuttlefish! I actually find the 6 easier than when I just had 2 cats. The schedule runs like a well-oiled machine and since they are surrounded by buddies all the time, they mostly forgot that mom is there!

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Megan: You did a great job with your listing and your home and pets look wonderful. My husband’s family is in Maryland and we visit a few times a year. We just completed a great Thanksgiving sit in Silver Spring. You may mention something about New Year’s festivities/fireworks in Annapolis, because that may draw in some folks. Also, I know this may be hard to do in a short time period, but you may want to consider setting up your second bedroom as a guest room for this time period. You can often get great deals on second hand furniture. Many sitters don’t feel comfortable staying in the host’s bedroom and having a dedicated space with closet and draw space for a 6 week stay may be a draw. If not, please make sure that you let them know that you will clear some draw and closet space for them in the master, as living out of a suitcase for 6 weeks would not be very comfortable for many. Best of luck connecting with your husband. Lynn


Thanks @Southernsitter!! Great ideas! I actually cleared most of my closet to accommodate the sitter but forgot to mention that on the listing. I will also be sure to put details about Annapolis around New Year’s!

Hi Megan! Congrats on getting an applicant!

Many sitters apply to multiple sits, and of course you want a good fit. So let’s see what else we can improve.

  • From the start, sitters build a mental model of your sit. It starts with the first wish/search/thumbnail/invitation, then viewing your listing/photos, then applying and messages/chats, then they finally arrive. You want people’s expectations to match reality.
  • Top-down, consider how sitters may find you.
    • They may search for the city of Annapolis:

      There are 151 sits, with most in Washington, D.C. So you want to be sure you show up in a DC search.

    • Searching for Washington, D.C.:

      164 sits, and you’re there. Great! If you weren’t there, you could change your location to DC or nearby, then explain in the listing where you actually are.

    • Now let’s check the common search criteria. It’s Christmas, and we have the big “Christmas Sits” button:

      99 sits. Demand for sitters seems especially high around Christmas! Most importantly:

      :warning: You’re not showing up under Christmas sits.

      Why? It’s not your start date. Look at the second listing in the pic. Dec. 28–Jan. 2. It must be your end date and how the algorithm determines a “Christmas sit.” All the sits I saw there ended by Jan. 3.

      If you want to show up under Christmas, some options:

      • Contact Membership Services and ask how they determine “Christmas sits.” Ask if they can manually add you, or if it requires you to have dates in a window.
      • Before/after contacting MS, you can split your dates. E.g., Dec. 28–Jan. 3, then Jan. 4–end. See if that works. Explain more in your listing, like when you explain flexibility.
        • I see you changed your dates to less than six weeks. In case you didn’t know, you can have multiple dates open at once. That can be helpful because maybe one sitter will want to cover both. Long sits are often highly desired; it’s just that they’re often planned more in advance.
    • What about other search criteria? “Family friendly” could be a good fit: lots of cute pets. Do you have enough room? Some families may be just a mom and her kid. There are 71 “family friendly” sits, so I feel most people just do that unless it’s truly not (e.g., HOs don’t want kids in home). The only official guidance on this is here:

      Consider marking “family friendly” and maybe just a short paragraph in your listing: “Family friendly: The pets would love it! In terms of room, there are x bedrooms, y couches. We can brainstorm.”

    • :exclamation: The big criteria is car included: Only 17 sits! Huge opportunity to get attention. Some need a car, but for others a car is just a huge perk.

      • Instead of the collage with water, what about your car? After all, is your home on the water? Is that the view from your home? Is that the view in winter?
      • You can add the car into your headline as well. Like at the end, or you may even fit it in the front. You can also add “Flexible dates!” if you like.
      • In your listing, separate the car info into its own paragraph. It’s key for some. Include whatever info you think helpful, like year, how big, but esp. automatic vs manual.


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Have you thought about offering for sitters to stay extra at your house on either side. That is if you are happy with that. Some people who are fulltime house sitters would be attracted to this sit so they dont have to pay for accomodation in the gaps. We had some sitters who stayed on an extra few days and saved them money on hotels.


Hi @Del, thanks for the tip. I made sure to specify that the dates are flexible.

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To me it’s not a matter of how many pets, but how much work is involved.

For example if the dogs don’t need to be walked and they have a dog door. Or if they have a fenced yard for potty breaks vs having to be walked on leash several times a day.

A consideration for me with regard to the number of cats is if the pet parent uses high quality cat litter that is easy to scoop and keeps the house from smelling.


Hi @geoff.hom, thank you for the continued input!! I didn’t realize that I can have multiple dates open at once. I haven’t had any luck yet with applicants. One lovely couple applied but they were only interested in a few day stay. I’m running out of ideas and really hoping to find the right fit soon. I added a short paragraph about the car. I’m making additional edits based on your recommendations. If you can think of anything else to add, I would be truly grateful!

@MEMcDME I think being promoted on social media may be helpful, especially if your reason for travel is shown. If you’d like TrustedHousesitters to do that @Angela-HeadOfCommunity will need your consent. Please direct message her if you would like her to do that.


Hi @MEMcDME as @Snowbird has said we can publish and promote your listing on our Social Media channels, do let me know as I will need your permission, you can Direct Message me.


Still no luck. I made arrangements with a local pet sitter until 1/9 and adjusted the dates to avoid the deluge of holiday sit listings. Fingers still crossed!


I met with a sitter at the beginning of the week and they seemed like a great fit but had to back out this morning. Back to square one. Still trying to stay positive but I start panicking a bit more each day. Would appreciate some happy thoughts :slight_smile:


Would try to be on multiple platforms, if you aren’t already. It helped us through the Covid times when nobody was traveling, now HOs seem to be the ones who are having a hard time. Good success and merry Xmas!