Having trouble finding a sitter, first timer!

Hi All,

Despite several folks saving my profile and me approaching some of them, I have had no joy finding a sitter for my cat and dog, for this coming September.

I always check they are available as per the dates I need and then they simply come back with not available on those dates?

Am I missing something here? I am trying to plan ahead but there hasn’t been any applications to sit so I am wondering if the site just isn’t as straightforward as I believed it would be or current circumstances/uncertainty is responsible?

Some replies have been lovely and some haven’t replied at all but I don’t want to give up on the site, as it was recommended to us by fellow pet owners.

Any advice?

Many thanks in advance!

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Hi @Lesley and welcome to the forum and to TrustedHousesitters. I’ll touch on a few points that may help answer some of your questions.

More sitters have been waiting closer to the start dates over the past two years. September is still too far away for many to consider booking, whereas some sitters are booked into 2023. The variety of sitters and lifestyles are as varied as the sits. :slightly_smiling_face:

It can help to embed your listing in your forum profile. Forum members can then view it and give constructive feedback, or apply, of course.

How to add your listing to your forum username/profile

Also take a look at this post, and in particular Angela’s tips and consider those points.

Sitter/owner ratios

The most likelihood of success in finding a sitter is through the main website. However, if you do invite sitters, first check their calendar and make sure there aren’t any black lines through your dates as this means they are already booked for a THS sit. Other than that, for now I’d disregard the calendar colouring as not all sitters use their THS calendar.

Notice the spyglass search option in the green header bar. If you have questions, you can search key words there and find relevant posts. It’s good to do some reading on the forum as it can be really helpful. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, then ask and forum members will do their best to help.

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Hi, we joined a few days ago and listed some dates. I have contacted some sitters but unfortunately had no luck so im not sure what I’m supposed to do.

The site says to check calendars and if dates are marked green sitter is available. I only found one with green marked on those dates i needed but they said they are not available. The rest have white calendar with some dates crossed which i assume are not available.

Do you most find a sitter? How long after you post your dates do you tend to get requests or do you always message potential sitters?

Starting to panic as i booked flights now and may have to cancel.

There are too few sitters right now, as has been noted in other threads. Usually you just wait until a sitter sees your listing and applies. Forum members can help you to improve your listing and then you can boost it and see if you have any luck. Not many sitters update their calendar, so I would just invite anybody who might be a good fit based on the profile (it can take a long time / a lot of effort, though). We as sitters are on multiple platforms since the lockdowns happened and that might help HOs right now to increase their chances of finding a sitter. PS: You still have 10 weeks, plenty of time! A lot of sits are listed 2 weeks in advance.


Hi Monica
I know Farnham very well and have good friends there. I lived in Alton for 5 years. I can certainly agree that Farnham is a lovely area and there is a lot to do.
I’ve had a read of your ‘ad’ and looked at the pics. You have put the same picture of the garden twice, so could remove that in order to add another. A pic of the coffee machine could also be removed and maybe the pic of one of your children. It would be nice if you could add a pic of the bedroom the prospective sitter(s) would sleep in and bathroom. There are two pics of the lounge and kitchen (I appreciate from different ends) but maybe you could add a pic of your dog playing/running in the park.
You mention that sitters need a car, yet you say you live in Farnham which is a town and has a railway station and good transport links, so you might consider removing that so people without cars might apply. Also Guildford is a 20 minute drive from Farnham if sticking to the speed limits :blush:
These are just my observations and no doubt other members will have some advice.
As has been said, you’ve still got plenty of time so don’t panic just yet. I’m only sorry I can’t help but am housesitting at 2 houses over your dates.
Good luck!


H @Monica78uk it would be useful if you could put up photos of the bedroom and bathroom the sitters will use. Also mention how far it is to walk to the closest public transport, supermarkets, cafes etc as many sitters like us will not have a car as hire cars are way too expensive right now.


Not sure about other sitters, but I prefer to travel on a somewhat flexible & spontaneous schedule because you never know what may come up and that’s part of the appeal of this lifestyle to me. So if I were looking at your sit, you would most likely get a message from me saying “I’d love to sit for you but don’t know my schedule that far in advance, will be in touch a couple weeks before” - don’t panic and don’t cancel your flights just because you haven’t found someone to lock themselves into firm dates that far in advance!

If anything I would think your chances of confirming a sitter would increase closer to the start dates of the sit, but curious to hear whether other sitters agree or prefer to plan their dates further in advance.


Thank you for the suggestions. I will take more pictures and add more info to my listing xx

Thank you that is very helpful. As im new i don’t really know what to expect. I usually have a friend staying over and i consult with her and her availability and book around her but on this occasion we only had the first 2 weeks of holiday window due to husbands work commitments and she is away too. This is why i am a little anxious as we never booked something before knowing pets will be looked after…

Maybe that would be an idea for the site to allow owners and sitters to add some date window when they are looking to go and book once someone confirmed. (A thought but it may caise more issues)

I had someone else saying that its more likely to get someone a few weeks closer to our departure. I will be patient :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:


That’s not a bad idea. We usually don’t write to anybody if we can’t confirm anything right here and now, but have seen some very appealing sits that we perhaps should have written to.

Hi Monica, your post prompted me to write. We recently joined THS. We had a holiday arranged and posted all our details. I’d read that many sitters offer and agree to stay closer to the dates but with no response and only a month to go, I panicked. My good neighbours stepped in to take over the care of our cat whilst we went away. It was a relief.

The minute this was all sorted and everything was arranged, I had a response from a THS who was very happy to sit for the entire period of our vacation! They seemed just right for us but I could not go back and change everything again so I sadly had to let them down.
Next time I will try to relax and let things take there course without panicking!

Its a great site and I’m looking forward to meeting a sitter next time we go away. We may even housesit ourselves sometime as it looks so good!
I hope that giving more time, you will find a kind and lovely sitter for yourself.
Kindest regards, Linda


One month is still a long time to find someone. We usually use THS for last-minute sits.

@Monica78uk Obviously you have to put a start and end date when you list a sitting opportunity, but in your ad, you can state that the exact begin and end dates are flexible at this point (+/- 3, 4, 7 days or whatever). You might get applicants who specify their exact availability and then you could work around that. Good luck!

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As a house-owner, I try to think of it from the potential sitters perspective, so they will be interested in what it will be like for them during the period of their stay. It’s a bit of extra work, but I try to indicate what the likely weather conditions will be at that time, any local festivals or events that coincide, and definitely ensure that they can see where they will sleep and bathe. I was told of one sit where the house itself was comfortable, but the bed provided for the sitter was a sort of sofa bed where the mechanism was clearly felt through the skinny mattress, and extremely uncomfortable for more than a night. I try to provide everything to make sitters welcome exactly as I would a dearly-loved friend or family member; the nicest sheets, fresh soap, flowers in their room, an abundance of clean towels, extra pillows, etc. And as it’s their holiday too., so I try to make all the pet’s routines as straightforward and simple as possible to maximise the sitter’s free time.


Hi @Geiriadur thank you for sharing your caring attitude to welcoming your sitters. It is so important for everyone in a sit arrangement to feel comfortable and equally appreciated and It’s incredibly thoughtful of you to think about things from a sitters perspective … yours will be wonderful sit experiences for everyone involved …thank you.

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Hello, my name is Andrea. I am a HO in Napa, CA and have posted my first listing for a sit. So I don’t know what to expect. (I have attached a link of post in my profile). So far, I have received only 2 applications on the first day and one withdrew his application due to a scheduling conflict after one day. As a result, I have the following questions:

  1. How long should I wait before the sit date to see if other applications arrive before resorting to making other arrangements?
  2. Is there something else I can do to attract more applicants?
  3. Is the fact there are no other sitter reviews a potential problem?
  4. Are most sits matched? Or is there a sitter shortage?

I see that 14 others have saved the listing, but none have actually applied. I am reaching out to some of them since they have shown interest, but so far without luck yet.

Any other ideas, suggestions or words of wisdom?

Thank you for any help.

@apierlioni hello and welcome. It may be worth messaging the applicant to thank them for their interest and say you will get back to them as soon as possible. If they don’t hear anything at all from you they may just move on so an indication if interest is good and it buys you some time to wait for more applicants.
I had a look at your profile and I think it would benefit from having more photos of your home. Listings should include a photo of where the sitter will be sleeping and a photo of the living room would also be useful.
Your responsibilities section is excellent but more info on home and location would be helpful, as someone unfamiliar with the area it tells me very little.
Hope that helps.

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Hi Andrea,
I took a look at your sit and I can’t see anything wrong, it looks a delightful sit.
There are a few photos missing, as a sitter I would like to always like to see a photo of all the areas of the home I would be using for example the sitting room and where i am going to sleep. I would also want to know whether the pets are used to sleeping with you at night as i prefer not to have animals in my bed because I don’t sleep so well with them. This would be the criteria that i base my applications on.
I wish you all the best and I’m sure you will get a sitter soon.

Hi Andrea, I’m a HO myself and am just wondering about your reasons for wanting more sitters…. If the applicant that you have is unsuitable then I can understand you wanting more, but if the applicant is suitable and you just want a choice, as some people seem to, then I can’t really understand why. My view is that we only need one sitter/sitters and if the first or only applicant is suitable, we will accept them and confirm the sit. I can never quite get my head around people needing to have lots of applicants to choose from just for the sake of it, especially as I hate telling people they haven’t been chosen!


I fully agree agree with Foldor13, but I’m assuming that your one applicant is unsuitable for you.

  1. That depends entirely on you, but it’s always good to have a backup plan, especially if you really need to travel.
  2. The listing looks OK to me.
  3. Not really, although sometimes you can get some useful additional info through the reviews.
  4. There is a sitter shortage in some areas right now (from what I have been reading here and judging from the flood of invitations we get).
    Inviting sitters will take time and patience, relisting or boosting your old listing might me quicker / less work.