Cancellation by sitters

Do they give a reason why they’re withdrawing? If I were you I’d contact some others who’ve applied if any of them seem promising. Also, maybe screen your choice by their past reviews and how seriously they seem to take it. I would never cancel a sit unless something extreme came up.


That’s very disappointing and disheartening for you @FJLOVER. I’m wondering whether your chosen sitters are fairly new to THS as there’s been such a huge growth in membership and I fear many new members are not fully aware of the Code of Conduct and T & Cs. A cancellation must be agreed upon by both parties and for an extraordinary reason. Did they offer why they were cancelling? We’ve read on the forum of other examples of this happening so you are not alone. Sadly some sitters see a more appealing sit and have no hesitation in cancelling an already committed one. I hope you have been in touch with Membership Services re the situation you are experiencing.


I’ve seen the same complaint from another HO who experienced a rash of sitter cancellations last year, after never having had it happen before. I agree with Timmy that the 5-applicant cutoff plays a role in this—it’s completely changed the application process for sitters; now, when searching for a sit in a desired location, listings may be scarce and disappear quickly, so sitters apply for and accept sits that they may not have chosen before the change was implemented. Then they later cancel if a “better” sit comes along, or simply if they change their mind about wanting to take on that not-quite-right sit. It’s truly unfortunate that the process now encourages hasty decision-making as opposed to allowing for thoughtful choices by all parties. You mention that you post your listings months in advance; I imagine that a lead time of just a few weeks will minimize cancellations (less time for prospective sitters to change their plans), but also increases your stress level of not having a sitter in place…sorry for the frustrating situation.


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Love your clever name. Thanks for your input. Two of the cancellations seem to just have changed their minds, got cold feet, whatever. One said that a personal situation had occurred that made them no longer available. One indicated that a conflict had arisen after they committed. It is incomprehensible to us that an applicant would not be sure they are available (barring of course unforeseen illness or family emergency). We were unaware of the new cut off and perhaps that is making applicants react without careful thought. If so, that policy sb reconsidered.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Conclusion Of Pausing Application Test - Updated Post

Hi @FJLOVER you are still able to contact sitters who applied and you declined. Maybe reach out to them to see if they are still interested. It happened to us when we were looking for our sitters last year. We ended up getting fantastic sitters who were the 19th applicant (in the days before the 5 application limit) who we had declined due to choosing another sitter.


Yes we did reach out to another qualified applicant after this last incident. They had already taken another sit. I agree with other contributors that this is a process that should not be rushed. We take time to evaluate all applicants and choose ones that look like good prospects to interview. Certainly only allowing five applicants is not conducive to finding the best sitter.


I am new to this group and this topic is one of the things I worry about. I have 3 separate sitters coming for 3 separate sits over the next 12 months, 2 of these are from overseas. I thought once you accepted a sitter, there was no further opportunity for others to apply. It would be good to have a standby for just in case. My first sitters have confirmed air fares and have planned an extended stay in this country. I plan to be in touch again soon just to make sure everything is on track for March. I can’t see what else I can do.


99% of sitters honour their commitments. Once they’re in then they are in! It’s part of the trust of the system. At least 80% of our sits are international and I’m proud to say we’ve never cancelled. In fact two international HOs cancelled on us, one with a very flaky reason so it happens both ways. Stay in regular touch with them all and the relationship will be stronger too. Good luck :+1:


When we do international sits (which weve done nearly50 of) I am in constant contact with the owners to give them confidence we will honor our commitment. I give them our FB page to track where we are, let them know when we book our transport into their home country, give them our updated phone number as soon as we get our local SIM, confirm arrival and departure times and modes of transport, along with handover plans. Once we accept a sit we take that commitment 110% seriously. It would be unthinkable to withdraw at a later date just because we got a better offer.


Hi @FJLOVER. I’m still confused on what happened.

You don’t have to pause the listing manually. Also, in TH terms, a verbal agreement isn’t a commitment. A TH commitment is described here:

  1. A sitter must apply to a set of dates on a pet parent’s listing.
  2. The pet parent must then confirm them as their sitter via the message thread in their inbox.
  3. Lastly, the sitter must then go into their own Inbox and in the message thread click ‘agree to sit’.

After the sitter has confirmed via the TH website/app, this happens:

If you confirm a sitter via the platform, this will automatically decline other sitter applications you’ve received and notify them that your sit is no longer available. You may wish to still send them a personalised decline message as a courtesy.

With all that said, here are some suggestions/notes:

  • Since you currently seem to be experiencing some sort of “cancellation,” don’t pause your listing prematurely. Let the system do it after the sitter has formally committed. And until then, keep interviewing applicants. You may want to let them know you’ve invited another sitter (if you have), but that statistically you’ve seen sitters not commit, so that’s why you’re still interviewing.
  • If they formally commit and then cancel, then let TH know so they can at least let the sitter know this is frowned upon. For more info, please see:
  • Premium PPs have sit cancellation insurance:
  • You asked “how to encourage only applicants who are willing to stick to their commitment?” You can veer toward sitters with more reviews, or perhaps local (less things can go wrong). Couples (if one gets sick, the other can pick up). Retirees (more flexibility? more money/experience to fix issues?). Parents/families who sit together (more responsible?). Really I’m just brainstorming here. There will always be exceptions all around.
    • You can put something in your listing, like “Only serious inquiries need apply. We’ve had several sitters confirm and then cancel lately.”
    • You could ask the sitters what they would do if they had a personal emergency before the sit (e.g., sitter has car totaled).
    • Or ask them their MBTI (Myers-Briggs).
  • PPs should always have backup plans, emergency contacts, etc. Some things are outside the sitter’s control.
  • If you link to your listing, we can all give constructive criticism on it. Who knows?

That’s very thoughtful of Timshazz. We do stay in contact as well, at least once a month to “check in”. It’s also for our own sake: it happens that the sit dates change a bit and we like to buy the cheapest tickets (with no refund).


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Hi! For the first time this year I had two sitters cancel on me. Fortunately I had not confirmed them yet on the TH website, but was just about to. Once gave me the excuse that a two-month sit was too long (this is specifically mentioned when I posted) she wanted to split the sit (impossible, and this is also mentioned). The other person, spoke with us several times by whatsapp chat and he seemed so enthusiastic and a perfectly good fit. My husband said that we should confirm him the next day but before I could, he told me that he’d just realized that the plane fare was too much for him because of a price increase from the spring. He could not afford the cost of the ticket which baffled me since I would presume that before presenting yourself as an applicant, you would have explored flight options. Anyway we finally at the last minute basically ( I was very frustrated) an applicant popped up and she was available. I almost thought it would be another letdown but once we confirmed her, she sent me her flight itinerary to Venice within 30 minutes. She’s still sitting and we are very happy with her. She’s doing a wonderful job of taking care of our fur babies and is very clean /tidy in the home as well.
Some prospective sitters keep you in a sort of “limbo” and while they’re still undecided, you’re stuck waiting to either confirm or move on to examine other possibilities. It can be frustrating but this didn’t seem to happen in the past. I missed one sitter by my own fault because I was traveling and not always on my computer. When I finally got back online and contacted her, she’d accepted another sit so it was back to square one…

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Hi @Val_Sco sitters who have a change of mind before being formally confirmed in the THS system haven’t cancelled on you. It may seem so in your mind as they should have done their due diligence before applying e.g. checked out flight prices. But now that THS has implemented pausing listings after 5 applications, sitters have to rush in their applications to be in the first 5 before they get locked out. Unfortunately that’s the reality now. So until your sitter is confirmed in THS they can have a change of mind about your sit & pull out of the application process. @geoff.hom has some good tips above for you.


Hi Val_Sco. If it wasn’t a confirmed sit through the THS website, those sitters did not cancel. The initial application is not a commitment to take the sit. This is a mutual exchange, once the application is submitted, both sides communicate to determine whether it is the right fit. It only becomes a confirmed sit once you formally invite the sitter through THS and they accept.


Yes, I’m aware of that. In fact one cancellation had been confirmed through the platform and I had to ask her to decline so I could look for another possibility.

It is not possible for a sitter to cancel a sit that has not yet been confirmed.

It seems that both these sitters did some due diligence then decided, before confirming, that the sit was not a good fit for them which is entirely the correct thing to do.

Unfortunately, since the new 5 maximum application rule came out sitters now have to check fine details after applying. If they take their time checking for the price of flights etc before applying ( as we used to do) they will probably not get the chance to apply anyway.

In your example, I would be annoyed at THS, not the sitters


This topic is beginning to change direction from cancellation to pausing. We will be moving those topics from now one

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