Confused about protocols for applying for sits

@cas @viv

Several days ago I applied for a sit for Nov 5-7. I was in the 0-3 applicants group. Not only have I not heard back, but they haven’t bothered to read my message. The sit is for next week, so it would be nice to have some idea of what they’re thinking. In the meantime, I keep looking to see what else is available or it will be an Airbnb that weekend.

And, yes, if there is a certain area I want to house-sit at, I apply for all the sits I like and see what comes through.


Hello Angela
And thank you for your prompt reply and to move my query to a more relevant thread.
I’ve noted all you’ve written and am up todate with everything on my profile and looking forward to my second sit as I type! The first sit I’m undergoing at present and it’s just perfect.
Thank you again for your assistance.
Yours sincerely


Congratulations @viv you are obviously doing “things” right … we look forward to sharing in your exciting THS journey … where are you sitting now and where are you going next?

England SE … not sure where next; dependent upon whether I’m “chosen” by the sits I’ve applied for!

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Hey Rebecca!

Sometimes even I as a HO post dates and then get surprised the next morning that so many people want to sit my monsters. Be aware of the fact that HOs know that you will see whether they have read your inquiry, and they might shy away from doing that so they don’t feel pressured to respond right away.

Having said that, when you post a sit for a few days in the future, you as a HO have a responsibility to get back to people on short notice - they applied on very short notice and still have to make travel arrangements. So - this is truly bad behavior, and they should be chastised for it.

I wish you luck for that sit, it’s still a few days.

crossing da fingers

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@elmi4711 Thanks for your point of view. If I was a HO (which I’m not), I wouldn’t wait too long to book a sitter.

Sometimes I wonder if HOs realize that they’re not the only ones making arrangements. I have to book flights, arrange transportation, book Airbnbs. I can’t do that at the last minute.

And honestly, while it would be nice to have that sit, it’s becoming difficult to feel enthusiastic when the host isn’t.

Yeah, @Rebecca_R - you know… I’m the only HO I know… oh, no, my ex also… ok, I’m the only one I can speak for.

And while I try to be upfront, communicative and - I’m german, I get anxious if the plan’s not watertight - lock things in as quickly as I can, and I try to make sure the sitter is not bothered and can plan their stuff too (some need sitters, you know?), I believe not everybody is that way, just like not everybody in general is super self-secure, antsy, a nice person, or empathetic, or interested in the wellbeing of others.

I’ve read very positive stories in the forums here and I’m happy about that, but I have also read some where I had to shake my head and say “what were those people thinking?”

In the end, both “sides” need to make arrangements, book things, get their act together, coordinate, juggle a hundred things for such a trip, and in their heart, I believe everyone knows that, too.

I personally always try to provide some flexibility in the dates… which essentially means I lock - german style - my travel plans down, then add buffer days and then post that. Since I insist on getting to know the sitters anyway, and have always enjoyed staying at least a half day with them - often more -, that’s a no-brainer for me. Some people seem to exchange hellos and keys in the doorway which would creep me out…

Just my view of the world, of course.

Also, @Rebecca_R - go for a different sit. I wouldn’t wait too long for a short-notice one. They haven’t responded a week before the sit, you shouldn’t care more about that than them.



@elmi4711 I applied for that sit because I was going to be in the area anyway, so it was just going to be added on. If I don’t get it it’s not a big deal. There’s not really any others to apply for.

It’s good to be on the forum and get views from both sides.

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It can’t hurt at this point to leave another message for the homeowner asking if the sit is still available and re-confirming your interest. They may have filled it already, made other plans and just not taken it down, or just busy with other things and not trying to be rude. I had that happen once because the owner was not used to using the site and a bit technology impaired. They apologized and I was chosen for a future sit. Good luck!

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@Southernsitter This morning I got an automated notice that they cancelled the dates. It’s fine, it was a short sit and I was only trying to fill in dates. You’re right, it could have been any number of things. But, a quick note saying “thank you for your interest” is appreciated.


Hi, I am a sitter making applications for Christmas, and I am just wondering how come owners are sooo dithery and slow in showing interest! So you see it works both ways. They seem to have endless excuses when they do eventually reply, whilst I am actually waiting to book flights before they get too expensive! Don’t they kind f realise we need to plan our trips?
I have tried mentioning this but most of the messages, ( even for sits with next to no applications) go unread for days.
I don’t get it.
I have a specific place in mind so I can’t just fire off lots of applications as there are hardly any sits there. It really is like watching paint dry…
What is your experience?
Best, (Newbie) Anneliese

I seems to me that one in four HO never reply at all. One of the four responds quickly, and the other two eventually respond. What have you found when you applied to about 4 sits?

Hi @Turtle, there have been a number of threads which cover your question. The simple fact is that we’ve all had those owners that never acknowledge applications so it’s best to move on and look for other opportunities. If they haven’t had the courtesy to reply in a reasonable length of time, then maybe they’re just not the ones you want to sit for as communication is so important between owner and sitter. There are many more lovely owners out there who do the right thing so keep applying and good luck.


For me as a HO it’s really important to find the right sitter as soon as possible after the listing is online. Therefore I even find that the messages on THS take a very long time to arrive. I check my emails regularly in order to read the incoming applications and to answer them as soon as possible. Actually do I get nervous when it’s two weeks before the sit and the sitters still haven’t booked any flights. Of course this could be because of the still quickly changing rules concerning corona, but I want it as fixed as possible that I can plan our departure. It’s not as if a HO doesn’t have any scheduling to do before he or she leaves.
I also find it very important to communicate more than once before the sit, because first I feel I get to know the sitter a little, who is a complete stranger I trust my cats and house with and second there are always questions coming up I never thought of asking or answering. So in order to find the best suited sitter it’s important to me to not wait until the last moment. The best ones might long have walked away by me not responding.


I wish there was more like you. We get really nervous if a sit is confirmed then we don’t hear anything for weeks.
All our planning and research is done before and during the application/interview process so we try to think of reasonable questions to ask just to keep in touch. Would a “hi, how are doing” message be acceptable?

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Yes, certainly! It doesn’t always have to be a lengthy conversation, but a quick hello, we have just booked our flights or we have read your welcome guide and were wondering about…xyz…or simply “just wanted to check if everything is still going as planned” is fine. It’s only a little reassurance for both sides.
I would ask if you enjoyed your current sit and where you go next.

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Another question……sorry. When pet owners are reading the applications do you immediately decline the ones you know you definitely don’t want and just leave the maybes in the list? I’ve always wondered how people do it.

No worries :blush:
It depends on why I would want to decline. Last time a sitter from Texas applied and from her first sentences I knew she hadn’t read a word from my listing. During these unsure times I only accept local sitters or those who are already in Europe but nobody who has to travel internationally to come to sit for us and I put this right on top of my listing so it’s almost impossible to overlook. She never even mentioned our cats, only that she loves to travel and meet new people. This one I declined right away. So far this was the only one I was sure I would never accept.
All the others were from 'yes, sounds great" to “possible but not perfect”.
To me it’s actually a gut feeling which makes me tend to a certain sitter. It might be in the wording of the application or a picture. It’s hard to explain.
There was one applicant, a 70 years old German woman, who wrote the application not addressing me but our cats. Even if she sounded really nice this put me off. But as I knew that this actually had nothing to do with her sitting quality I didn’t decline right away.

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If I have booked a sit way in advance, I don’t wait for the HO to check in. I drop them a line periodically, saying hello and letting them know everything is in place. I then let them know I will contact them again as the date gets closer. I know this puts their mind at ease.


We never know if it’s the correct thing to do or not. We usually message them when our travel arrangements are in place to let them know we are definitely coming. I’m a bit OCD and like to book flights and ferries well in advance. Thank you for the reassurance. It’s good to hear another sitters point of view.

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