First House and Cat Sit- Geneva

Hi everyone,

I am going to be doing my first house and cat sit in a week for a whole month! I am beyond excited but a little nervous too.

Any tips at all to make it go incredibly smoothly for all concerned?

Some basic questions too…

Have your hosts been very friendly or does it remain a “business” relationship? I imagine it would depend on all involved.

Has anyone ever asked for money for utilities?

Is there an expectation that you will find your way from the airport or has anyone picked you up?

Have you offered gifts upon arrival from your home country? Are they normally ok with you taking day or overnight trips?

What have your best and worst experiences been?

Just some thoughts to orient myself to the standard practices!

All the best!


Welcome and congrats @italia
Geneva is a beautiful city! Make sure you take that boat ride on the lake and have a good lookie look in town both for historical sites and endless delicacies in the bakery shops! Talk about eye candy!
Most of your questions you will find here in the forum already discussed at length. You will a yes and no to every single one of your questions! :crazy_face:

You and your HO will set the tone. Most of us are “meeting new friends”, some will last and some won’t but the memories and impact most definitely lasts. Talk to your HO’s, discuss a game plan and or any concerns you have.
Usually overnight trips away from home and pets is a no, most of us leave a little something on departure, or offer some other gesture of appreciation. You will find unexpected kindness. Just relax, big breath be you. Be honest in your convos.
Have fun searching the forum and enjoy yourself!


Hello @italia and welcome to the Forum!
I am jelly over your sit in Geneva…Switzerland is one of my favorite countries in the world. And to be there in summer…ok, picture me like Julie Andrews in the Alps. A girl can dream :national_park:

As @Amparo noted, there are so many resources here to make any and all experiences seamless. If you look up in the right corner and use the magnifying glass you can type in any subject and discover a wealth of information from our members. Another fabulous place to explore is on the home page towards the bottom where we have a link to the TrustedHousesitters blog.

Speaking as both a homeowner and sitter, I’d say communication is key to success. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Every situation is different - nuances, requirements, and you want to be as prepared as possible.
Above all, remember why we do this: for the love of pets, travel and the new friends you’ll make along the way.
we look forward to seeing you back here with updates on your adventures!
Karen S and the Forum Team


Thanks very much for the tips. I expect to have a wonderful time and I imagine it will flow organically. I’ll read the other posts as I saw some had specific experiences.

1 Like

Sounds like a great way to begin your petsitting journey. Lots of questions, and I’m sure you will get a multitude of various answers. Each sitting experience can be very different, depending on the circumstances. The main objective is the pets care and continual open communication with the homeowners. If any of your questions pertain to your upcoming sit, perhaps they can be discussed within the week before you arrive, with the homeowner. Expectations on both side should be understood, prior to the beginning of the sit. Best of luck and please pop in and let us all know how you are doing.


Hello Italia, bonjour, buongiorno e benvenuto! Your first cat sitting assignment in Genève sounds like a dream sit! I agree with all the previous answers and feel free to ask questions to the Homeowner.
Friendly Hosts: Most of our hosts are very friendly and have become good friends, especially on international sits, while a few choose to remain business like, so we go with the flow!
Utilities: Regarding paying for utilities, it is not uncommon for long term housesits. We did contribute to the heating and electricity cost, while housesitting in a chalet for 3-1/2 months during winter, halfway between Genève and Chamonix, but we did not have any pets to look after, just shoveling snow and keeping the house secure.
Airport pick up: If we arrive on an international flight and we are not renting a car, our hosts usually offer to pick us up at the airport, so that is a question you need to ask your host, since you are coming all the way from Canada.
Gifts? We have brought small gifts to some of our hosts, based on the relationship we develop with them prior to the sit, via video chats. One of the best gifts you can leave your host: a clean house when they return, clean sheets and towels!
Day or overnight trips? You need to ask the homeowner if you can take day trips and maybe an overnight trip, since you will be looking after just one cat.
Best and worst experiences? We have too many best experiences to mention and very few bad ones, after successfully completing 158 house sits in the USA, France, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. We are excited to go to Portugal for the first time, to housesit in September and October!
For a day trip outside Genève, I highly recommend the beautiful and picturesque medieval town of Yvoire in France, 24 kilometers northeast of Genève, on the south shore of Lac Léman (the official and correct name of what some people call Lake Geneva). You can get there by boat, bus or car (if you have one).
Bon voyage, Italia!


Hola @Maryse and Muchas Gracias! Your tips are most helpful and will no doubt assist many others in navigating their first experiences seamlessly.
Sending you and Jeff well wishes on your many marvelous journeys, including Portugal!

1 Like