How well should a pet sitter follow homeowner instructions?

@Juno1956 - The bottom line is, whether your instincts are correct or not, this sitter does not seem to be a good fit for you so all concerned will be happier if you select another one.

To be fair to the sitter’ 1/2 ’ can easily confuse - is that a half or one to two?. It is always best to use words to be totally clear.

In our current welcome pack it says
…“. has a vet-prescribed anti-flea/tick chew once a month… just break it in half and give it to her”

I am sure that makes perfect sense to the home host but I am confused so will have to clarify before it is due to be given . Do I break it in half and give her the half or do I break it in half and give her both halves?


Do what is requested in the ‘instructions.’ If you want to do things not discussed, then ask.
For example - on a return sit, I asked about taking the dog with me on the train/bus/tube to the farmers market (a short trip) and then to the meetup in London. HOs said it would be Flynn’s first train trip but if I was comfortable, they were. So we did.
Or in the US, where there are dog parks, I ask if not mentioned in the instructions. A few people have said no, others have encouraged it.


@Juno1956 I feel you! Both hubby and I are extremely detail oriented (also in our jobs) and we frequently have to accept (and remind ourselves!) that others are not. We are very likely a pain in the bum to many, but we sure do appreciate this quality when we come across it in someone else. Hugs and go with your instinct. There are enough cat crazies out there who also wish to follow your instructions to better extent, I have no doubt.

On another note, sometimes we are left with instructions like this: “Feed the cat twice a day”.
??? How much food, what kind of food, what time, where is the bowl, where is the food and of course more questions. So you see, it’s not just about you as HO, it’s just that some people are, and some aren’t detail kind of people.


As a HO I would interpret those instructions as 1/2 can of food 2 times a day…. Very straight forward.

I have a Welcome Guide ( word doc) that on the last page has the following:

‘A Typical Days Schedule’

7 am. Feed cats 1/2 can each of canned food plus 1/2 cup dry food each.
Scoop litter trays and refresh bowl of water.

3pm Feed cats 1/2 can of canned food each.
Scoop litter trays

9pm Feed cats 1/2 can of canned food each
If “Fat cats” dry food bowl is almost depleted give another 1/4 cup of dry food, otherwise he will wake you early to be fed.
Scoop litter and replenish if needed.

No room for interpretation (I think)


I love a daily schedule, wish more HO’s would include one. It is so helpful.

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Thanks for your input. The 5-week sit starts on 11/1/22 (November 1, 2022), so I should have plenty of time to find someone else.

I would suggest a HO does a walk through with a hard copies in hand for both the THS and HO go through each item and see if there are questions as you go through it. This is what I do with HO and it works well.


@Juno1956 Oh dear. Sounds like you’re not comfortable with this sitter. If it’s not a good fit then there’s lots of sitters that may be a great fit.
I always follow any written instructions of the HO. The HO know their pets better than us so instructions about the pets are super important. House instructions are also their for a reason.
Think it comes back to trust and respect.

@Juno1956 - If it starts on 11/1/22 that ship has already sailed :wink:

I thought that too :rofl: (but then saw the USA :us: comment)

Catches me out every time! :joy:

If you meet sitters before hand than you are choosing people in your country. I thought the purpose is for us to travel. I am from US and would be in Europe starting October. I have applied to more than 30 sits and been declined. They want to meet you. I thought purpose is traveling.
Also if someone is going to be your sitter, when she comes home, have to know babies names and all their specialties . Welcome guide is for that.

Yes, I am looking for a sitter who is local and that I can meet beforehand.

I’ve found that not everyone that comes to sit is necessarily traveling. Some people may be having construction done on their homes, so they want to stay local, or the sitter may be a college student living at home who just wants to have their own space for a few days or weeks.


The reason why I joined was to have two things I love . Travel and pets. I guess it is going to change. I will be doing hostels and visit Europe.
Thanks for info


Don’t give up @Grandma - we pretty much do all international sits and definitely all long distance. Just keep trying :raised_hands:

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After all the refusals I got, I gave up. Not applying . Time to pose but still travel.

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Find someone better for your longer sit! :blush:

If she’s not very responsive, doesn’t really seem to be a cat person, and can’t be bothered to read the instructions carefully, she’s not good enough for your kitty!

You want someone who adores cats, who’s happy to respond to you and keeps you updated, and who carefully studies the instructions.
And there’s plenty of sitters like that on THS!

In my opinion as a sitter (and a HO in the past), you are not expecting too much.


Thanks! I contacted her and unconfirmed the sit. She didn’t seem at all disappointed, so I probably dodged a bullet.
Now my quest for a new sitter begins.


I’m a sitter

Good luck!