Hi From The UK Peak District. I'm A New Sitter Member Needing Help Getting Started!

Thank you, I’ll have a look through these threads

Hi @Chester23 please don’t get disheartened, we all began in the same way, as a “newbie”

I have know sitters who were successful on their first application, others with multiple applications before they were successful.

I’m fall into the latter group … When I first started it took 2 months and numerous applications before I got my first sit. I’m not always successful when applying for sits now, even though I have many reviews and many years experience.

Don’t give up and don’t think age either experience, ability to meet or exceed expectations, being active and able to take full responsibility and care for homes and pets is what is important, not a number.

One change you could make on your profile is your lead photo, which is lovely but when we survey members looking for sitters and ask what attracts them when viewing a sitter’s profile, they almost always comment that they prefer the lead picture to be of the sitter with a pet or pets.

Sitting locally when possible is another recommendation for getting started … this article from our website blog has some good tips and there are many more helpful articles on the blog …

Good luck, never give up on your dreams and if you need help you are in the right place …


Hello and welcome to the forum,

I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but don’t get discouraged by rejections. Don’t take it personal. It happens to new people and it happens to people with lots of experience. Just keep plugging away and as others have suggested, if you’re able to apply for last minute sits, local sits, or sits over particularly popular time (holidays) that can help your success rate. It’s all in the numbers and given the large number of sits in the UK, your chances should be good to get applications accepted.

Dan and Nan


Thank you Dan and Nan for your encouragement. I’ll keep soldiering on!

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Thank you for your encouragement. I am now looking for local sits, nothing appeared yet but fingers crossed.

By lead photo do you mean my small profile photo of me? My first photo on the preview I can see is me with my cat. I am puzzled by this as someone else made the same comment. Which is the first photo you can see?

Hi @Chester23 I’m going to Direct Message you …

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Hi @Chester23, don’t be discouraged, lots of sitters get off to a slow start and have to apply to many sits before being chosen for one. Declines without feedback are common. Often this is because the system automatically declines other applicants once a sitter is confirmed.

Homeowners may have liked your application, but they can only choose one sitter and the difference might simply be that another applicant had a similar hobby or job to them. We often find we share hobbies or jobs to the homeowners we sit for. I’m a swimming teacher in a school for children with learning difficulties and our homeowners have included teaching assistants, teachers and someone who worked for an organisation supporting people with learning difficulties. We’ve also sat for a keen runner and we are involved in Parkrun. It’s just a case of keeping applying until you are successful

Your profile looks good and you come across as likeable and very capable. Applying for local sits or last minute sits (especially short ones at popular times) is a good strategy. Our first sit wasn’t especially local (it was in Bedfordshire and we are in Gloucestershire) but it was a Bank Holiday weekend and it was fairly last minute! Once you have your first sit and your first review, it becomes easier. You do have 3 very good references.

Good luck and keep trying. I look forward to you updating us with news of your first sit!


Thank you so much Debbie. I am much cheered by your words. There is hope yet…!:grin:

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I doubt it - I hadn’t even noticed your age! People are looking after your pets and your house - you won’t even be there!

Thank you Sarah!

One of the approaches I took was to find my first sit close to home and offer to go and meet them and their pets ahead of time. This way I built their trust and was one step ahead of those coming from futher afield. I was accepted and as a result of the experience I got an amazing review. I did this a few more times with the same results. Once you have a few great reviews people start approaching you. Good Luck. H


Welcome @Chester23. Don’t get disheartened. It took me 23 applications to get my first sit when I joined roughly a year ago now. Since done 12 sits.
My advice would be to apply for last minute sits and local ones that you may meet the HO prior to the sit. A few sits with hopefully good feedback should help you in future getting more sits.


Applying for only two sits and being rejected is absolutely nothing to get dispirited about. You also shouldn’t worry about getting feedback as to why you were rejected - just put it down to the pet parents feeling that somebody else was a better fit. It could be any number of reasons such as the fact that this is your first sit and there are no reviews (follow advice on doing local sits first - there are plenty in the Peak District), a previous sitter applying, a dog parent feeling that you are more of a cat person, etc. Age and being solo certainly don’t come into play. I am a 71-year-old cat sitter and travel solo but have no problem getting sits and then being invited back for repeats. However, I do have 65+ 5* reviews backing me up. And, yes, even with that background, I do still get rejected, just the luck of the draw. Once you are up and running with a couple of sits under your belt, you will be fine. Just don’t take it personally when you don’t get a reply.


Many thanks. Having heard a similar story from so many others I realise I have been dispirited far too soon! I am looking locally for a last minute sit so fingers crossed. I found it odd that you don’t get any feedback but it seems that is par for the course. Many thanks for your support . You must have been a sitter for many years with 65+ reviews behindyou. Fantastic!

Thank you for you reply. Yes, it seems that finding a local sit is the best way to start. I am looking for a last minute local sit so fingers crossed - and to meet up with the pet owners prior to the sit sounds an excellent idea. Thank you

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Since so many sits are posted in the UK, I encourage you to consider trying local sits, especially ones that are short notice in order to land a few sits and build your sitter reviews on THS. Your profile is great and thorough.

Thank for your kind words. 23 applications before you got a sit! I am not sure I would have had your tenacity. Well done for persevering. I am looking out for local last minute sits. Ironically all the local sits are months away and all the sits I should like to apply for in Scotland are last minute. Hey ho, hopefully all will work out eventually. Thanks again for letting me know I am not alone in failed applications.

Thank you so much for your comments on my profile. I am eagerly hunting for a local short notice sit as that is the excellent advice I have been given by a number of people. Many thanks for getting in touch

A very big thank you to everyone who much such useful suggestions . I am very pleased to tell you that after changing my main photo, adding a few more photos and looking for a local sit I have now been accpeted for my first sit! Localish (and hour and a half away) and in a couple of weeks time. I am very excited. Thank yu all!


Congratulations @Chester23 that’s fantastic news!