Concerned about communication of sitter

Hi all, I’m a sitter and also a home owner. I have to go away on a month long trip over Christmas and it’s the longest I’ve been away from my pet. Last weekend I secured a sitter for this time away. I spoke with two potential sitters, one was older and very talkative (56), the other younger (24) a student in a gap year. The student asked a list of questions and when I went into this interview I thought I would choose the older lady as she liked to stay in and was also a home owner, so she seemed reliable. We chatted for an hour! However in the end I chose the younger one as she seemed more organised and in my opinion more in need of a sit due a European family visit coming up after my sit. The older one didn’t ask much about my cat. I feel like I made a mistake there.

The sitter I chose confirmed with my via WhatsApp on Thursday that she is still interested. She replied yes, still interested. She then saw my message saying I would like to confirm her and I sent another saying I will confirm her on the site.

The Friday I get a message on Whats App that she is about to finish work and will look at tickets in a few minutes. I thanked her around noon my time and then at 10pm my time I asked her how she went with booking the flights – she never responded and has not even seen my message.

I confirmed here on THS on Thursday and she confirmed the sit two day later. I have messaged her twice on the THS app Inbox and she has seen my message (marked read) asking if she booked her flight and she has not responded.

I’ve been anxious since last week – I’m not liking the lack of communication. My apartment is in Croatia and I’ll be visiting family in Australia for a month, and I feel like if she can’t communicate now – 50 days away from the sit – how is she going to be in my apartment? Will she even turn up? If she bails the day we are going to the airport I will have to re-book my flight last minute as I don’t have anyone here to come and sit for me and Christmas is too last minute to find a hotel, which my cat does not like anyway.

I’m so worried. What are my options? Or am I overreacting ?

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What is there to communicate about?

(By the way, I would not appreciate getting declined after a long interview.)


Did you get a phone number when you confirmed? I had a HO not respond to me via messaging and I needed to confirm times before booking flights. So I called her.

I’d almost always choose the mature sitter. But I’m 58 so I have a bias. We’ve all lived through a lot of experiences and problem solving with houses and pets. We also are more likely to be homebodies.

I have wanted to visit Croatia for years! Sadly I don’t take sits with indoor cats due to allergies.

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She wants to know if the sitter has gotten flights. That’s a pretty good indicator that they intend to come and fulfill their commitment.


It is not clear to me where the sitter is. I guess a gap-year student would be travelling in Europe without a definite schedule. There are trains, there is Flixbus.

I come from a sit with an anxious owner. I did keep her updated of my travel before the sit, but I felt that this was exaggerated. Other owners have not required this.

Yes I agree there are many options within Europe. But the HO mentioned that the sitter would be booking flights. She might be from outside of Europe.

I’m so sorry you’re feeling worried. I don’t really think the age plays a factor here but it’s just down to individuals. There’s no guarantee either that someone older would be more organised and you had a gut feeling about the one you chose.

Does the sitter have reviews to prove they’re reliable?

Personally we don’t book the flights that early as we don’t always have a plan together straight away - we might be trying to book sits before or after yours and stringing a bit more of a holiday in some hotels so it’s a juggle to fit it all into place - we don’t expect the homeowner to worry about that though - that’s our problem and when the sit is confirmed we plan to that. We have never cancelled - we are also trusting the homeowner that they won’t cancel as all our plans hinge around their trip too.

Maybe that is what she is trying to do? How far is she coming from?


Sure, and then the student might need to arrange visa before they could book a flight.

In Croatia, it would be safer to find a sitter who was a resident of the EU.

I don’t think you are overreacting. Airfare is high – especially around the holidays, and it’s a good idea when securing a sitter, to make sure they’ve thought that through. It’s why I prefer sitters who are already planning to be in my area at that time either because they’ll be finishing a sit or another reason. The sitter you chose may be fine and simply not checking her THS messages because everything is fine. OR she might be realizing the expense of flying near the holidays and unsure what to do. There are several recent forums about sitters asking for help with travel expenses, which should NOT fall on the homeowner.

You still have time to get another sitter. I’d send an honest email to your sitter. Let her know that you know airfare is high. You are NOT offering to pay her fare, but you need to know if the sit still works for her given travelling and to please get in touch with you asap. Make sure she has an offisite way to reach you. If you don’t hear from her within a few days, and can’t clarify that she will be able to get there – WITHOUT YOUR HELP – then by all means unconfirm her, try the woman you didn’t pick, and/or repost. You still have time!

In the future, when choosing a sitter, remember that where they are coming from and how they are going to get to you are important matters to discuss before you confirm.


Not if the person communicates well about their travel planning. I arrived in the UK a week before my sit. To travel around a bit. I messaged the HO when I booked my flights. I messaged them when I arrived the week prior. And I showed up on time. No one was worried about whether I was coming or whether or not I was having transit issues.


Airfares are sooo high in general and around the holidays. I am looking at 1200 dollars RT just to spend Christmas with my partner who is also US based. We are almost 5000 miles apart.

I am also not really looking at international sits right now. Too high of a cost.

Yes, both were long chats… We chatted about travel and what they are doing and my place, the city and what they need in town ECT.

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I have her number as we chatted on WhatsApp before I made my choice between the two. There were also two guys who I ad chatted to before these two women – one ended up going for a different sit and the other never got back to after the interview when I messaged him. So I had these two options.

The student sitter I confirmed is currently at home in New Jersey. I’m in Zagreb Croatia. She is coming to Zagreb and then going to visit family in Rome after the sit. Her profile also started she was looking for a longer sit over Christmas.

Eek yes I’d also be worried. As a younger sitter (not that young but definitely couldn’t be described as mature!) I’m really aware that we can come across as flaky or unreliable so I highlight in my profile and on any video call that reliability is really important to us.

Once I’ve booked a sit I’ll check in every so often just to let the homeowner know we’re still coming. That could be overkill but it’s worked nicely so far.

It’s hard because as a sitter I would hate to be cancelled on because I’d missed a few days of communication - especially if she’s travelling and maybe doesn’t have good phone signal. I’m often out of range and usually tell homeowners that I’m communicating with that I’ll be offline but sometimes I do forget. I’d give her a little more time to get it together and if nothing maybe reach out and say you’re getting worried.

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Give her a phone call!

I notified the HO when I was booked. I arrived for my UK sit a week in advance to tour around. Messaged the HO that I was in country. Showed up when I was supposed to.

I think it’s really smart to want tight communication around the sitters travel plans when they are coming from a different country.


She confirmed the sit on Saturday. And you are sending repeated messages, already getting worried on Tuesday. About something almost two months ahead.

She has family in Rome. If she has Italian citizenship, there is no visa problem.

You really should not be so impatient.

Just a semantics observation regarding the word “interview”. As Sitters, we are not “employees” and Home Owners are not “bosses”. The word “interview” conjures up that relationship.


@SarahJayne15 You should ask your sitter for a proof that she has purchased a ticket. I know some people will disagree and consider it a privacy invasion but the sit is 50 days away and holiday tickets will only get pricier. If she hasn’t purchased a ticket by now it is unlikely she that she will be a buying a ticket last minute.

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@PetSitterBug Yes, I agree. But this HO had been talking with four prospective sitters. It is worth it for a permanent job, but for a sit this is wasting many people’s time.