Confirmed sitter will arrive later than agreed

We’ve just had a similar experience but with the HO. When we checked in on the time they’ll return on handover day (they’ve been gone 3 months for visa issue so a little different!!) they casually said “oh yes we booked our flights last week, back about 9pm”. Errrrrr. That doesn’t work. Please can you find someone to walk and feed the dogs in the afternoon as we have another sit to go to (luckily only an hour away but then had to do an additional trip last week to do a pre handover & get keys as the other HOs needed to leave by lunch :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:) & it did get sorted. BUT. Lesson learnt. They’re new HOs & just thought we’d stay the extra night. They weren’t being unkind, just new to this arrangement. Will gently go through “comms improvements”:wink: when we connect on their return. #allfineintheend


So we also require a minimum one full day of overlap at the start of our sits.

Moving forward, I would encourage you to be explicit very early in conversations about the cut off time for when you would expect the sitter to arrive…if a sitter is arriving the day before we leave, I would expect most likely an AM or mid day arrival at the very latest. If that’s not an option, I would then say arrive the evening before the start of the sit, which is two nights before we would actually leave.

We have had to dismiss HS that were unsuitable during that orientation day so we take it very seriously and, like you, want to make sure they’re set up fro success and only feel comfortable if there’s a solid overlap.

If you live in a popular area, I would dismiss and find someone else to cover since they’ve gone quiet and you’ve already said that the proposed arrival time is unacceptable or hire your back up.

If sitter knew you were leaving first thing in the AM the next day, then yea, I’d say they’re taking the pi$$, but if they didn’t know, they may have thought an evening arrival would be fine even though you thought you communicated clearly. Idk. Takeaway is, in future, be very clear about exactly what the latest acceptable time is as I can understand the confusion if you left that last bit of information fluid.

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There is not much in it for the sitter then.

I see quite a few HOs on the forum that prefer locals and a bit if a distrust of nomads and travelling sitters. But for us, once we are on the road, we really need the accommodation and the HO has hardly any risk of a cancellation.


@belluca just to let you know that even with the overlap rule . Sitters can apply for sits that start on the same date that another sit ends .

I hope this information is useful.

Yes, I know. I do it this way so that sitters whose sits end on the day I’m actually leaving, but are already in my city and could do a handoff sometime earlier, can apply. It may be a small # of potential sitters that this would impact, but am trying to ease the burden of the overlap rule after reading here how it has affected sitters.


You’ve titled this “Confirmed sitter will arrive later than agreed” but that’s precisely what has not happened. You agreed a date but never a time. The sitter is arriving on that date.
You also talk about re-reviewing responsibilities so you’ve already covered these and your welcome guide will have everythign they need.
You missed setting an arrival time requirement and now seem to require more handover than I have had for 90+% of my cat-sits. It seems to me that the person you should be annoyed at is yourself not the sitter.
If you think you can re-list and get a new sitter then cancel the sit and do that but do it sooner rather than later. Just don’t be surprised if this sitter complains to THS that you cancelled a sit when they were following all agreed requirements.
If you don’t want to find a sitter or pay for a sitter then patch up the relationship with this one, make sure your welcome guide is complete, make time in the morning before you leave to go through everything that you need to.

Whenever I’ve seen references to hosts or sitters not specifying time and date of expected arrival and departure, I’m befuddled, because it seems like an absolute necessity to cover. To me, a host should automatically cover that at the outset and, even if they don’t, how does the sitter know what time to arrive if it’s not already been discussed, so wouldn’t they automatically ask?


@Sher, as you have her phone number because you did a FaceTime call before confirming, why not actually ring her to see whether you can both resolve the situation rather than relying on messages?


Probably depends on the sit? For me, I might not think of it at the time if the sit is months out and is uncomplicated. The sit I’m on right now, we did discuss because one of the cats needs twice-daily subQ injections and the HOs were leaving first thing in the morning, wanted me here at 7am for the handoff so they could make sure I knew where the cat’s common hideyholes were, what they meant by “a unit and a half” on the syringe, etc.

But as a HO, I’m fine with leaving the keys in the mailbox for a sitter with multiple excellent reviews. My cats are young and healthy, my Welcome Guide is detailed and up-to-date. We’ve got a local who is a regular, and I just text her when we’re out. She lets herself in whenever it’s convenient for her. I text her when we get on the flight home, and she leaves the keys in the mailbox whenever she feels like going.

That makes sense for what you’ve described but if you know you want an overlap to do an orientation, as an HO (as is the case here), you would mentally do the maths to ensure you have that built into the sit. If I’m leaving on a Friday, I’m gonna tell an HS to arrive on Thursday and plan to be there for pretty much the full day, i.e. arrive on Thursday accordingly at start of sit day or come the night before (Wednesday).

If your scenario is different and you’re not even doing a handover, it’s not really a similar use case to what is being described here as you wouldn’t care about an overlap and therefore don’t have to worry about having specifics locked down for overlap time.

What seems to be missing here is the key ingredient to a successful HO sitter relationship… FLEXIBILITY. If I’m reading this correctly the sitter (for what ever reason) will be delayed but still arrive in time for your departure. Your response seems to lack that key ingredient and may have triggered significant concern in the sitter. Regardless I hope it all works out in the end.


Yup, I’ve done both sits where you overlap and ones where you don’t. But even then, we discuss when the host is leaving and when I arrive, because we need to coordinate so the pets get care.

Plus, in various cases, I haven’t booked my flights yet, because I hadn’t planned to be in their location otherwise. Sometimes, I book so I have time on my own first, sightseeing, before starting a sit.

I do prefer a local sitters. At the time, she appeared to be the best fit. My past sitter was not local, and he was wonderful.

Correction, I do NOT prefer local sitters. Sorry

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@bakindoki so you’d prefer for sitters to arrive on Wednesday when you’re departing on Friday?

We always ask when PPs would like us to arrive and to leave, but some people aren’t keen to declare when they’ll actually be leaving before the sit has been confirmed. We’re happy to arrive on the afternoon of the day before a sit when there’s an early departure planned but really prefer not to spend the entire day with hosts, and definitely wouldn’t agree to arrive 2 days before their departure. It never takes long to do a comprehensive handover.

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Thanks to everyone for the good wishes and the feedback. I truely appreciate your input!

Can someome please tell me how to close this topic? It has run it’s course.

That’s great @Sher to know that you have a solution- what was the outcome has the sitter been in touch ?

No, preference is for sitters to arrive the day before our departure (am preferred), so we set the sit start to be the day before departure to allow for time to walk through our pet’s routine, etc.

If an HS is unable to arrive the morning the sit starts, then yes, that would mean arriving the night before the sit starts, which would be the night (or day) before the start of the sit and two nights before our departure.

If that arrival time or overlap is a problem, we are totally ok with that and can find someone who it is ok for. Our sits def aren’t for everyone and that’s totally ok.

In actuality though, we’ve found that most our HS are 1. Totally fine with starting the sit with an orientation and 2. Are actually grateful to have such a flexible arrival window (not start date/time, which is set very early on) as it allows them to connect more easily from what they’re doing before (or after) without having to worry about paying extra for accommodations elsewhere. We are totally fine with people arriving early and just hanging out/exploring a bit (sans responsibility) to get themselves oriented, and also appreciate it when HOs are able to give us that option if we need it.

The other thing we like to account for (esp. depending on where the HS is coming from) is buffer time for travel. If an HS is coming from far, I will almost always suggest they book to allow for ample time before the start of the sit /is always better that being k late. because you never know what will happen with flights, etc. So yes, that might mean two nights before we leave as opposed to one and tbh, erring on the conservative side in order to make sure you arrive in time for sit start date and time is just common sense in my opinion, as orientation is mandatory for out sits, not the travel buffer window, which should be planned for separately if needed…too many travel horror stories about it getting cut too close and it’s very important to us that the orientation day happens, I.e. people are on time for the sit start, I.e. early means you’re on time :joy:

The new process to close a post is to choose a solution so that people know your issue was resolved, but from what I read, posts won’t be closed so a to allow others who may benefit from the topic to continue conversation on them in future.

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@Sher - as you are the original poster you may be able to request the topic be closed by tagging in a moderator such as @Carla or @Jenny. I am not sure but it’s worth a try.