Do Sitters Prefer Longer Than a Week Sit?

I’ve posted a week long sit but I’ve had no applications. Wondering if sitters prefer a longer sit. We are retired and are quite flexible in the duration of a sit. There have been 5 other sits posted in our general area and they have all received at least one applicant. Their sits are a minimum of two weeks. Sitters what do you prefer?

I do anything from 3-4 days to a few weeks. Depends on where, when and pets involved. I’m petty flexible, just depends on whether a sit as a whole attracts.


As sitters, we really enjoy local weekend or week long sits. If doing an international sit, usually two weeks is the maximum we like and we will then combine the sit with our own personal travel. One of our first sits was a local one which was a month long. We absolutely loved the pet and the location so repeated that sit about seven times! You’ll probably receive different answers from sitters as everyone will have their preference of length.


It’s hard to tell if you’re asking the right question here. Is the length the only point of difference between your sit and the other local ones you’re comparing yourself to? A week is a standard amount of time, so it’s more likely to be an issue of some combination of responsibilities/ amenities/ location/ tone of the listing.

Maybe you could add your listing to your profile and people here could give you feedback on any issues and how you could address them?


@lolrj Do you have the instructions on how to add my listing?

There are differences…we have chickens, basic wifi, and live in the country.

@emmieo a one week sit is a very standard amount of time. Is there a possibility of a more glaring issue preventing people from applying to sit for you?

Bad reviews would be my number 1 - either you’ve got bad reviews or you have given past sitters bad reviews. Instant no, it’s not worth the risk.

Other things would be you offering pull out sofa beds, your house is blatantly untidy in the pictures, you have an excessive amount of animals or the care for your pets/home is too demanding.

These would be instant no to us and you would likely always struggle to attract free labour sitters.


If I need to fly there, I prefer 7-10 days minimum. If I’m driving there, I’m open to a shorter sit. You can also write in your listing that you’re flexible with days, that if someone would like a longer sit you can consider it.

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Do you mean you don’t have high-speed internet when you say “basic wifi”? If so, slow internet is a nonstarter for many sitters, especially telecommuters. Some sitters don’t mind, but that can easily thin your applicant pool.

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Hi …

Here’s how you apply your link to the forum post so you can get feedback here: How to add a listing or profile link to your FORUM profile

I had a quick look and, as far as I can see, there’s only one sit in Ontario with chickens atm titled “Country Living, Hens, Jazz & Mindy”. If that’s you, here are some things that potential sitters may find off putting:

  • quality of photos: many are dark and don’t really give a sense of what the rooms the sitters will be using are like. Good photos of the bedroom offered, kitchen and bathroom are particularly important. Sitters have a lot of choice so they naturally gravitate to homes where they can clearly see where they will be staying/using. Lovely pics of the dogs and hens but no need for two photos of eggs, for eg (although it’s lovely to have fresh eggs of course!)

  • the wifi issue is pretty big as many sitters are remote workers and need good stable wifi. If there was any way of improving that it might help.

  • A lot of expected garden/yard work like weeding and mowing would be a turn off for me as I have my own garden to maintain. I don’t mind watering/collecting veg but wouldn’t want to take on lot of gardening duties. That would be more like a working holiday. Perhaps for a week that’s not necessary?

  • A couple of sitters comment on the amount of work the chickens are (and then there’s the bad review, which happens sometimes I know). Again, this goes back to the ‘working holiday’ point. You might be lucky and find someone who adores chickens and mucking out but many people will see cleaning coops etc as a chore. Not saying this to be negative, it’s just feedback on why you may not have had applications when there are so many other sits on offer in Ontario.

  • A lot of sitters don’t like any kind of cameras present (if you search on the forum you’ll see discussions about this) as they feel they are sometimes used to check up on sitters, something one of your reviewers mentioned.

Hope that’s helpful. Good luck finding a sitter.


Given the choice, I do prefer longer sits. However, I also apply for shorter ones if I find them attractive and/or convenient to fill in the gaps. Thus, I don’t believe the length of your listed sit is a reason for the lack of interest from the sitters

We’re with @BJane on the listing feedback @emmieo - you need better, lighter photos especially of living & sleeping space. Think estate agent or Airbnb presentation style. Be super clear on your responsibilities and don’t make them too onerous, this isn’t workaway. That bad review (& your response) are unfortunately doing you no favours. Go for new pics & a fresh look at the intro saying “ Calling all country, nature and chicken lovers for a comfortable stay” or similar and see how you do. Make the changes and relist to boost it. High speed Wi-Fi is almost a must for lots of sitters now so that could be another blocker. Can you buy a booster? Why don’t you stretch the dates to 21 May to 29 May so it’s not just 5 days for all that travel and work? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it’s solvable am sure. #givethetweaksatry


We fulltime sitters and we do sits that are one month or more. Like the most full time sitters .

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I am doing a petsitting tour of England now. I started with three weeks in Cambridge, that was the first that I applied for. It was perfect, also with plenty of time to explore the town.

Then I saw a sit in Bath in June, and I got that. I liked that city a lot when I visited ages ago. It is “just a cat”, and a week was suitable.

Then I filled it up with sits in between. I am now a week in a cottage in the countryside. Long walks with an enthusiastic spaniel over footpaths through the fields. (The dog can be left alone for at least eight hours though.) That is very enjoyable when the weather is nice, but I would not want to be here for a long time, it is a bit isolated.

A disadvantage of short sits is that one hardly learns one’s way around inside the house (steps, low doors etc) and where everything is. And on Sunday, I will start in the next house, with two active dogs in a more suburban setting.

So this kind of life would get exhausting in the long run. I am retired, and this is a wonderful way of exploring the country and see how people live. But such short sits are not suitable at all if one would need to get some work done.


Our preferred choice is sits of around a week, but could be a bit longer if travelling further though.

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Your question has been posed before and discussed here on the forum many times. Here’s one discussion I found by searching, fyi:

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I’ve just read your troublesome review experience- wow! Having read both sides… double wow! This is a classic mismatch between HO and sitter. I think I’d address some of the issues raised by the sitter in your listing to get on top of it up front and pre empt any sitter reading the car crash review very very long back and forth tit for tat essays. It sounds horrible …. the point is nobody knows the truth apart from you and the sitters and so I’d personally steer well clear and not want to risk it myself.
You could delete your account and start again with a new account I suppose….?

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Ah. Sitters aren’t applying for your sit because of the responsibilities and the review, not the sit length.

The review could have been overcome by a balanced response, unfortunately it wasn’t, so you’ve made your own bed there.


They could, but it’s highly unethical so they definitely shouldn’t. I don’t believe anybody should be suggesting it.


A lot of factors come into play for this. It depends on the sitter’s situation. Some of us live this way, so have no home to fall back on. Because of that, longer sits are always preferred, but shorter ones can sometimes be invaluable for ‘filling the gaps’ between other sits.

I’m not sure there is a perfect criteria for finding a sitter.

That was probably the most unhelpful comment ever, right?


Yes you’re right of course regarding ethics- but it is a way out for somebody who is genuinely remorseful and hopefully they learn from the experience and come back as a much better HO next time having themselves ‘learnt a lesson’.
I’m somebody who believes in forgiveness (I worked in Restorative Justice with young offenders and victims) and I believe people can redeem themselves if they work at it.