I am an Australian currently living in Germany, and have listed my first application for a sitter to look after my fur-baby. I travel a lot, and it will be quite a long sit (I will be visiting family in Australia for 5 weeks). The THS community looks wonderful and I would like nothing better than to know my cat is safe and comfortable at home while I am away, but I am nervous about leaving my baby alone with a stranger. I suffer from anxiety, and keep running ‘worst case scenarios’ though my mind. Any tips?
I wish I could completely reassure you - but probably won’t be too successful. But, I am on sit #51 now and the worst that has happened for me has been a plumbing problem that we got fixed in a few hours and a goldfish dying on a sit (although many other fish have survived my sitting).
There have been no problems with the cats, dogs, snakes, chickens, horses that I’ve sat, except for the goldfish.
Spend time talking through your anxiety with potential sitters and find someone who you feel will help you feel comfortable. When is your sit? I’d love to spend 5 weeks in Nuremberg.
Thank you for your kind reply - it does help. Also reading the ‘first sit experience’ forum helps… the worst things people had to content with seem to be uncleaned houses and bad communication… my brain definitely envisions worse
The sit is between 7 August to 12 September… I would like to post the link on my forum profile, but I’m not sure how to!
It should be easy-ish to find on the main site though.
Hi, Teresa, Appreciate your honesty! It is a bit daunting to leave our dearest pets with people we may never have met before. However, I hope you can find comfort in the success of the THS community. I really encourage you to continue with being totally honest with house sitters and asking for what you need to feel comforted - lots of pictures, updates, etc. Take good care!
Hi @Demonia89 and welcome to both TrustedHousesitters and the forum! How wonderful that you’ll get to see your family back in Australia… in the meantime let’s see if the community can reassure you and reduce the anxiety you’re feeling about leaving gorgeous Sidney while you travel.
I’d just like to say that in over 100+ sits we’ve had only a couple of less than good experiences… in the great scheme of things worst cases are rare on both sides, especially if communication is strong from the beginning and all aspects of the sit explored and discussed openly and honestly. I think the fact that you are being open about your concerns is a great sign of your sensitivity and shows your need to make this work for everyone from the very outset.
I have added your listing to your forum profile for you so that you can get some extra feedback from your fellow members, and I hope your worst cases soon turn into best cases and Sidney and you both have an amazing 5 weeks. All the best, Vanessa
Teresa, I can understand your anxiety, as we had it when we first started with THS, but rest assured, your baby will be in the best of hands. Our little girl was a rescue with a lot of anxiety, and we were worried if she would be treated the way we thought she should be. Well…she was, and when we would come home, we would find a very relaxed and happy little girl. THS relieved all my nervousness and guilt about leaving her behind. You are going to love it!
Hi Teresa, I can feel you as I’m an over thinker and I make so many possible scenarios in my head and in the end they never happen.
I’m currently on my very first sitting and in July for the first time ever we are going to leave our two lovely kitties with sitters from THS. I’m an expats like you and I don’t have many family members around me that also know how to take care of a cat. Someone needs to take care of them and for us this is the best solution as it will allow our cats to be in their environment and maintain their routine so this means less anxiety for them (more for us…lol). We also purchased the membership with insurance so in case anything happens we’re covered and also all sitters are ID verified so we can always contact THS customer service and they will be able to find them…lol
I hope this can reassure you a little bit
We are coming up to our 6th housesitting experience as we travel to Germany from Canada and leave our 17 yr old Beagle and 2 yr old rescue GSD that we’ve had for just 6 weeks. Previous sits looked after our old black lab too, but she has since passed away.
Every time we’ve had housesitters, it’s been an awesome experience and some have ended up as great friends. We like to talk over Zoom or Skype, show them around the home and introduce them to our pets first.
I will print out a routine and put it on the fridge and make some videos to demonstrate how I feed them as we use canine enrichment devices such as feeding Kongs and lick mats. I also ensure there are plenty of home-made treats in the freezer.
Every time we’ve gone away our sitters have sent daily photos and videos which while not necessary were very reassuring, so you can ask for them to do that.
THS has made travel so much easier, as I can recall in previous years, the only thing to do was put them in kennels, and I would not dream of sending my rescue girl back to that type of environment.
My biggest tip is to get the communication going with your sitter well in advance and get to know them and help them get to know you and your cat.
Hello Dear Heart @Demonia89 (love your handle)
Being nervous is a very good and natural state of being.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned in this community is to trust and allow. Things may not be “perfect” but we learn as we go and the going gets better as long as we keep going.
Welcome and best wishes
We left for 10 days and used Trusted Housesitters for the first time. I was anxious about it too, but everything worked out just great. Our dog got to stay home and keep his usual routine rather than go to a boarding kennel. It seemed weird at first to think about strangers staying in our home, but that worked out perfectly too. Everything was just as we left it. We had good communication with the couple that stayed here prior to their arrival, and the website provided us with enough information to reassure us everything would be okay. We were able to read what previous pet/homeowners said about them and how things worked in general, which helped too. We will be doing it again.
Hi @Kathie and welcome to our community forum. We are very happy to hear about your positive experience of using TrustedHousesitters and to see that everything worked out perfectly. This is generally the case… we have many very happy members (and pets!!) and your feedback will be so reassuring for new members. Thank you for sharing and thank you for helping to reassure @demonia89.
Congratulations @Kathie and thank you for sharing your success story. I will highlight one part of your post that jumped out at me …
This is key for all members, and listening to our gut instinct is the other that helps a successful match. I remember the first time I left a sitter in my home - I didn’t have pets & I knew the sitter personally - and I was still anxious. I went on to have that same sitter at my house each winter that I travelled and all went well. Sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith, and I’m so glad I did. More than seven years later, I’m still enjoying THS.
As a house and pretty sitter in Tucson AZ… I myself actually prefer to have great communication with the owners. Not what they are doing on their vacation, but to make sure they are okay, they know they’re property/babies are doing okay. Last but not least, to make sure they come back to their loved ones and property safely.