Airbnb vs TrustedHousesitters

Hi @cmalexan . Another point to consider is would an Airbnb guest take on the full responsibility of caring for your cats which could mean taking them to the vet, giving them prescribed medication or whatever the vet recommended if they were taken ill, or worse, if their health deteriorated to the point where you had to make the decision to have them put to sleep? A THS sitter would do this as this is part of the responsibilities we take on. An Airbnb guest is using that platform for a holiday, not to undertake these responsibilities AND paying to have to do so.


Because homeowners want sitters whose main focus will be the animals!
They want sitters with lots of pet care experience, who will cuddle them and exercise them and do whatever it takes to keep them safe and happy!
And they can see from our ratings that we will fit the bill, that we show up on time, prioritizing and adoring the animals.


I am looking forward to more experiences with TH.

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Hi @cmalexan. You can’t compare the two forums. The profiles, references, and reviews on THS concern experience, knowledge, and dedication specifically regarding animal care. That’s what we come for. Airbnb people have no such vetting and it’s certainly not the reason they are coming to stay. Some may be lovely and take it seriously, but how will you know which ones? I think you’d be taking a big risk, with your cat’s safety in the balance.

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How well vetted can an AirBnb guest be? All you know about them are very brief reviews left by hosts who have probably only hosted the guest for a night or two. As others have said, your pet is not a prioity for them. Travel is. I spent last weekend cleaning up copious amounts of dog vomit, making two trips to the emergency vet, washing soiled blankets, spot cleaning carpet, administering medication, monitoring a sick doggie and keeping in close touch with the owners. And this was the third sick dog I cared for in the past three months.

And how well will that patron care for your home? THS sitters are there for the purpose of caring for your pet and your home. THS sitters maintain your home – some have even done repairs, clean it, do laundry, garden, collect mail and packages and keep it secure. Sightseeing is secondary. Plus, no money changes hands. To me, it’s the proverbial no-brainer.


As I only have two healthy, young cats, I don’t think there is a lot involved in cat care. But I take your point
and look forward to more TH sits to experience all the wonderful things you talk about.


I have no experience with ABnB but I used to have two healthy cats until our neighbors, who looked after them when we were away, forgot to feed them. Our tom was so stressed that his fur was kind of oily and didn’t look good at all. Soon after he suddenly developed some health issues and I am very sure that this is because he was so stressed out. Even now I always see when I get back that he doesn’t feel good when I am away for a couple of days working, even if my husband is at home.
However when a sitter takes care with lots of attention to him and giving him his cuddles it’s like when I am home.
Cats seem to be self sufficient and independent but they also are very sensitive animals.
However they can also be very sensitive and that’s why I would never rely on someone who wants only to travel and who’s main focus is not on the pets. I would rather have someone staying at my home for free and be sure that his or her wanting to do sightseeing is secondary to caring for my cats and home than earning a few Euros for renting it out.


Aww, @anon39388349, that made me tear up a little. Both because he got so stressed in the past, and because sitters love him up enough that he doesn’t get stressed. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :purple_heart:

On a recent sit, the cat In my care was not allowed in sleeping quarters because the HO is allergic.
The cat was really lovey and affectionate, and I just adored her.
I ended up sleeping on the living room floor so that the cat could cuddle with me at night. She really enjoyed it and purred on me for the whole night.
I do admit that it was partly for me, as there’s nothing better than cuddling with a purring cat. :heart_eyes_cat:
(I can’t recommend this arrangement though, as the floor was fairly painful to sleep on! :crazy_face:)


@luckycat a story that can only be told by a true pet lover! Reminds me of our last sit with a queen size mattress and 3 pets…some nights one of us would go out to the couch to spread out a bit, and some of the pets would follow us out there. We’ve always enjoyed sleeping with animals :heart:


I did something similar on a recent sit. An older doggie was no longer allowed to sleep on the bed because of possible bladder leakage. I couldn’t take her crying to come up, so we both slept on the couch, which she was allowed on. Animal lovers all.


I took care of 4 young cats. Within hours of the HO leaving, one of them shattered their leg and had to go to the vet. I had to carry them in a laundry basket through the entire village to get them there. Then I went daily to visit them, bring them treats, try to get them to eat, coordinate between the vet and the owner, etc. That was my job as a house sitter. If I was an airbnb guest paying YOU to be there, my call to you would have been asking who was taking over caring for the cat because that is not what I signed up for when paying for a place to stay.

Being young and healthy means little.


I get so sad when HOs don’t let the animals sleep in the room. :frowning: I love having a creature cuddle at night or waking with a cat on my head.


Thank you all for your responses, but I would like to report that my housesitter that I confirmed 2 months ago
for a 3 week trip to Egypt starting mid January has cancelled. And he had the best reviews. This is what I am
talking about when I started this post. It is only my second time having a sitter. His reason is that he has a friend
with health issues and may need to be nearby. My house is about 40 min from him. A paying person might
not be fabulous with the cats, but I am pretty sure they would be showing up!

That is awful! I am so sorry that happened to your poor kitty and you!

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@cmalexan , I’m so sorry this happened to you. Very inconsiderate of the sitter to wait until this late date to let you know — unless it was something he also didn’t foresee. If you relist right away (and possibly sweeten the offer with use of a car), you might find a good replacement. Where are you located? You can start by adding your listing to your forum profile, so it will reach readers of the forum.
Here’s how:

And @Angela_L may be able to boost it and with your permission, advertise it on social media.

Especially in these uncertain times, it’s always a good idea to have a plan B. Best of luck. Your trip sounds awesome.


Thanks, Mars.

Thanks gracefulwolf.

Hi @cmalexan - I am so sorry to hear that your sitter has cancelled - It is so unprofessional of him to leave it so late to inform you - please re list ASAP, there may still be time to get a replacement - Good Luck!

One thing I would say is that you should try to not keep comparing THS with Airbnb, and In doing so you are painting a false sense of security around having Airbnb guests that I am concerned may backfire on you- I took a look at the last weeks Airbnb host forum and picked out a few quotes for you to see -

I did not include any from hosts complaining of damage done to their properties or of guests creating excessive noise and disturbing their neighbours but just randomly selected some from hosts suffering because guests don’t always show up…

These are all quotes taken from comments that Airbnb hosts posted in the last 7 days

“Hi We’ve just had guests cancel for tomorrow”

“What should I reply to a guest who is due to arrive this afternoon but has just requested a date alteration for March”

“Guest coming 27-30 December has had to cancel”

“Our 2 bed flat has had several cancellations this month and next”

“My Christmas booking has just cancelled.”

I am not saying Airbnb guests not showing up is common, it isn’t , but neither is THS sitters not showing up common. Unfortunately though, things happen and there will always be a very small risk using either platform.

However this does not alter the main fact of your original post - In the vast majority of cases TH sitters do turn up, and when they do, they have come knowing that their number one priority is to care for your pets - The vast majority of Airbnb guests also turn up, but when they do, your pets would most definitely not be their number one priority.


And, I would like to add, the HO can choose someone local to avoid travel disruptions!


Agreed. I have had to cancel airbnb reservations for multiple reasons, up to and including, I just didn’t want to go there any more. Sometimes I give a few months notice, sometimes a few hours. I don’t give it a second thought because there is a policy in place for cancelling and it’s automatically handled, including any penalties I have to pay. I have NEVER, in my years of sitting, cancelled a sit. Outside of a dire emergency, I never would. I’m unsure of where this idea that airbnb guests are so much more reliable is coming from. Most of my friends are nomads and travel full time. They all cancel airbnbs regularly. A friend just cancelled literally a month worth in 5 different cities. You pay the fee and move on, no big deal. No one cares about the impact on the host because cancellations are built into the business model. I certainly wouldn’t feel more obligated to keep my reservation.

A friend of mine rents his place on airbnb. He said the other day that since covid started, there is about an 80% chance his reservations will cancel.