Is it normal that cat-sitters don't send regular updates?

Hi everyone

I’m Lili this is my first question in the forum. We have a British shorthair and we have used THS four times now

Every time we ask the sitters to send us as much updates as possible and not to be shy that they might interrupt our holiday. It is even in our listing description saying we want to get updates

The first couple was amazing they sent us updates like 4 times per day and even a voice message of her purring

The other 3 we’ve had to almost ask every day how is it going. Even though we interview them each time and we ask them to come one day before to meet them and we always tell them how important it is for us to get updates.

Don’t get me wrong the sitters have been super nice but it seems like we need to beg to get updates and is not like we want pictures 24/7 twice per day would be enough

My question is do cat sitters don’t see the need to send updates? Why wouldn’t they do it when we ask them specifically to do so? Do you have any recommendations on how to get cat sitters to send pictures?

I will always follow the owners’ request re updates, although think 4 times a day is rather excessive (I appreciate you didn’t ask for that though). It is usually much easier to take interesting pics/videos of dogs than cats, so that could be a reason. I would think an update every 2-3 days would be enough but everyone is different. You’d certainly hear if there was a problem so, if you don’t hear, assume everything is fine and try to enjoy your holiday. We are trusted Housesitters after all :wink:


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When a homeowner tells me send as many updates as possible. I agree to send it once every night. All photos and written text all at once. Otherwise it’s every 2 to 3 days. Once a routine is reached, the updates become less interesting to the homeowners because they know the pets are happy and safe. Updates 4 times a day is like 24/7. If I agreed to 2 updates, I would have sent it though.


I will send photos every day if the owners seem receptive. I would do it twice a day if an owner asked, but that is more than many owners need… Sometimes it’s hard to capture an interesting photo of a cat that often!

Some sitters feel that even once a day is too much of an imposition on their personal time, but that is not how I feel. It really takes just 30 seconds to snap and compose a text.

I have a cat, and when I travel I ask the sitters for updates the first couple of days, and then every 3 days if it’s a sit over one week. This is more to reassure myself that the sitter is still alive and at the house, than to see photos of my cat!

If the sitters are not complying with your request for updates, perhaps you need to be more emphatic on your video call before confirming, and stress how important that is for you.


I send updates daily or every other day for all animals. But, sometimes, cats can be more elusive - I recently sat a pair of cats and it took one of them 2 days to show herself so I could get pictures. Dogs, on the other hand seem to be around all the time, at least with me.

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Hi @Lili1! You state that you wish sitters to send you updates twice a day very clearly in your listing, so I think you have every right to expect that.

Based on the replies you’ve received here, it might be good to emphasize (maybe during the video chat and in thd Welcome guide) what you wish to see in the updates. I guess that you don’t need “interesting” pictures twice a day, just to see the cat and that everything is ok, like just a normal picture of your beloved cat sleeping, eating, doing what she normally does. That way, the sitter wouldn’t feel pressured to capture “a special moment” twice a day.


I sit dogs and cats and send frequent updates. I’ve offered — no HO has ever had to ask me to.

As you clearly state you would like updates at least twice a day in your listing, applicants are well aware of your preferences and should accommodate them.
I will give daily updates on cats on shorter sits (up to ten days ) but even with that I feel the pressure to always be looking for photo opportunities. The write ups can get pretty repetitive as cats tend to have their regular daily routines and sleep lots.
I don’t think I would apply for a sit wanting more than daily updates as not sure what I would say that frequently unless you want a quick pic of them eating, sleeping etc.


Honestly, if your listing says you want twice daily updates and your calls and handover notes, and welcome guide says it too, then I think it’s poor form from sitters not to honour your request.

I agree with the others, we update once a day on shorter sits, unless asked for more updates, and every 2-3 days on longer sits. It’s sometimes hard to think of quirky updates twice a day, but if you’re happy with a ‘all good here’ or ‘snoozing peacefully’ and a photo, then we would absolutely send two updates a day.


I’d suggest not overthinking things if PPs want daily updates. They’re missing their pets, who normally are intertwined with their daily routines. Some are worried or maybe feeling guilty that they left them with strangers. They just want to know they’re OK.

They’re not demanding studio portraits or calendar-quality images or essays. Like I send these types of snaps with next to no effort.

The tortoiseshell cat wanders the neighborhood most of the day, who knows where. The other cat is super skittish. She spent many hours perched high up, on a shelf. She stared at me as I fell asleep, like she was considering whether to smother me. I let her set her own pace, if she was going to warm up. If she didn’t warm up, I would’ve sent photos of her in her perch, one after the other. The captions would’ve said something like: Day X of hoping that Paula warms up. No luck yet.


We agree with @botvot - if that’s what you’ve asked for then that’s what you should get. As an aside IMHO, it’s a lot to send pics twice a day, once would be our max on a short sit and once every few days on a longer sit. However, it’s not us in there and you made it clear so put your foot down and mark the sitters down a star for comms when you finish or they’ll simply do it again @Lili1


“Normal “ is that a sitter complies with the frequency of updates that you agreed on .

Most of our cat sits the owners have been happy with updates every couple of days -unless there was a problem in which case they would want to know immediately. I would be happy to send a daily photo if that was what PP asked for . Although it will inevitably be the same pose regularly- sleeping in their bed , eating their food , sitting on the windowsill.

Personally I don’t think I would have agreed to a sit where 4 a day was required but your sitters did and so should compile with that .

Maybe also make clear that you are not expecting studio shots or different locations just a snapshot of what they are doing right now … although if they are an outdoor cat that spends a lot of time wandering off - that may not be possible.

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That’s not fair. We love to get pics of our gorgeous Gertie Gert and GeorgieGirl when we are on holidays and fully understand that most people would like regular snaps and updates on how their fur babies are. As pet lovers, I would think it natural to want to send updates to the pet Mums and Dads.

We, as Pet sitters would want to make sure the owners were having a great time and not worrying if their pet is being cared for lovingly. So would happily want to send happy snappy updates.

Oh I took this as another chance to show of our gorgeous 2, to people that love pets. Lol


I think a once a day update is enough and I have done a few sits where people have no wifi for up to a week as they are at sea or in the last case in Antarctica. I send photos especially funny ones and people can send me a message any time. I have never had anyone unhappy and do lots of repeat sits. I always make sure we decide betwen us what is reasonable. There are also big time differences if they are in Australia and I am in UK.
I have also had people say every couple of days is enough. Lots of happy pets, and that’s what really matters. I mostly do cats, the dogs are my brothers


@Chrissy Oh look at those adorable faces!


I usually send daily updates, unless people tell me explicitly that they don’t need or want it.
Usually what I do is send one photo a day and at least a little comment, and sometimes more if the owners seem enthusiastic and respond.
If someone tells me they need frequent updates, I’d definitely do it. Twice a day would probably be the most I’d feel comfortable with because I don’t like using my phone all day :smiley:

Arthur and Pipper both 2


What breed are they? Unbelievably CUTE!!

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Sealyham Terriers , quite rare, as they don’t have big litters of puppies.