What do people make of being asked to visit a sit to be introduced to a cat and be shown the house a few days before the sit starts?
I’ve never been asked this before, as I’ve always been shown these things upon arrival for the sit. A HO has just requested this for a short sit, and the sit is about a 2 hr drive away.
I have been asked to meet a day early for the quasi handoff when the petparent has an early flight. But only when it is known that I will already be in the area. I would not do this if it meant a 2 hour drive and I wasn’t sleeping over.
Is there a reason they can’t meet and do the handoff the day that you start? Or do a video walkthru and then let you pick up keys from a neighbor? Is there something tricky about the cat that requires face to face? (I am caring for a special needs cat right now.)
Not that they’ve mentioned. The cat looks normal and healthy, and nothing out of the ordinary on the listing. Didn’t mention anything about leaving early.
I don’t think I would feel particularly positive about such a request. i’m a busy person, and definitely don’t have time to spend 4 hours driving just to be shown where some cat food is! Honestly I worry that may be a bit of a red flag, it just seems pretty ridiculous and a little entitled to think someone would go to all that trouble (nevermind gas $$$) for what sounds like an extremely routine sit.
If it were me, I would just let them know that your schedule won’t permit this, and you’d be happy to do another video call if there are some additional things they would like to go over before you meet with them the day they leave. If this in any way is a result of their nervousness about not knowing you very well or not having a lot of communication thus far, this should settle that nervousness.
I joined a new local app here in Sweden and this requirement is in most of the entries, even when it is for just for walking the dog (which would usually be in the same town). That is before time and dates are agreed.
Could it be that your HO was used to doing it this way? Instead of the video chat that is common on THS?
There was also this thread: Hotel nights pre sit at HO request?
Going by that thread looks like most people would expect the HO to host them if they wanted them to arrive early.
That doesn’t show respect for your time and effort. You decide what you’re willing to do, but judging from the many threads / comments I’ve seen in the forum, few HOs would presume to make such an ask and even fewer sitters would be willing to do it.
Thanks. This was my gut reaction too, so it’s helpful to hear other’s views match.
We’ve done that with several homeowners that were new to the site and a bit apprehensive. But we were already in the area and it was at most a 30 minute drive to their homes. Unless the cat has special needs (insulin, other meds) I would think you could do it in a video call? Are they aware you are 2 hours away?
I don’t mind it at all. In fact, this is my preferred way of pet-sitter-host introduction.
It isn’t always possible to be “shown these things upon arrival for the sit”, as it is pretty common for hosts to leave before a sitter arrives. Personally, I do not appreciate blind handovers as I absolutely hate barging into someone else’s territory without previous acceptance or welcome (sniff) by pets.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work, as it requires that both parties are at the same location. So, yes to an introduction visit whenever possible, but no to a two-hour one-way drive request for the introduction meetup.
I prefer to visit , and meet the pets before the HO leaves so we can become acquainted. I’ve been asked a few times and have no issues with it. I realize some people don’t feel comfortable with that, yet this way you can be shown around , as well as not surprising the pet /s who don’t know you. Thats just me, but everyone has different comfort levels. I usually mention to the HO that I like to arrive a day or two early as well so this can be arranged.
Yes I agree and have often come the night before. But it sounds like in this case they are asking them to just drive 2 hours each way for a short pre-visit a few days before with no lodging provided. Would you do that? I guess that just seems very different to me than what would be a “warm handover”
Agreed. I’ve come a day or so early for sits, with homeowners offering to put me up for that night, before they left. That gave us time for a handoff in person.
That’s an entirely different thing to me (and various other folks) versus, hey, sitter, please take four hours or more in the days ahead of a sit to come and give my pet and me a preview.
It’s important to keep in mind, from the HO perspective, that HO’s are entrusting the entire contents of their home and the lives of their pets to someone. Yes, one can take out insurance, but the point of a handover for me is not just about showing a sitter where the food is. It is about making a personal connection to the person we are entrusting to take on this responsibility, and beginning the sit with a feeling of mutual trust between sitter, HO, and pets. Building that trust should be just as important to any reputable and conscientious sitter, even if it means arriving a day early to avoid a hurried, last-minute handover. It would definitely be a red-flag to me if a sitter was not willing to make the time for a proper handover.
I did this when I first started housesitting but it was my own suggestion which was welcomed, particularly by a couple of new owners to THS who were nervous. I wasn’t working, enjoy driving so it was a pleasure. However, now with lots of experience, I wouldn’t agree to that and especially not for a cat.
I’ve arrived a day early for a sit a few times. I also prefer an in person handover.
That’s not what the post is about. It’s about going all the way there a few days before and then coming back.
@RR12345 Twice I’ve done that, but at my suggestion. Once was a drive of about 1.5 hours but it was my first equine sit; the other sit was quite close to me, but for a brand new member. As others have said, unless there is some complication, requesting a two-hour drive is a big ask in my book.
I appreciate the HOs who state this upfront in their listing so that I can choose to apply or not. I have been letting the HOs know during the interview process what day and time I can get there. I did have one HO ask if I could meet their nervous dog a day or two before the sit and I stated I couldn’t. My other sit was an hour and a half away. I hate saying no but felt I had to.
In this circumstance, the ask goes well beyond what you described, which many sitters are open to doing.
I’d ask you, if you support the request that’s being discussed, how about you drive your pet four hours total, plus face time, to the potential sitter’s home days before a sit was to begin, so you could start building trust. I bet more sitters would consider that vs. the request that was made.
I might consider it if it were a long sit (e.g. 3+ weeks), if I had time and if I liked driving. But not for a short sit.
I guess the owners may be new members and want to see how you interact with their cat and if you’d actually show up etc.
I agree, it would probably be better for them to invite you to stay with them the night before so that you can at least have a long handover period.
Do they know you’re two hours away?
I once did something similar, because I wanted to visit the area for another reason. It was a good meeting and a good match. However, a month after our meeting (and 6 weeks before the start of the sit) they cancelled! Their previous sitter became available and they chose to go with her! I was floored. I’m telling you this because there is no guarantee.