New house owner feeling disappointed - is it me?

I advertised for a short five day house and cat sit and only received replies from new sitters without THS references.
Decided to contact one person who failed to turn up to a meeting, and rung 2 hours later to say that the post had been deleted and thought they’d been declined. Given a second chance, and after waiting another two hours, they still hadn’t arrived. I didn’t feel comfortable with their response, so declined the offer.
Then received an offer from someone with many references. Feeling hopeful but they advised that they are interstate and arriving the night of the day we are leaving. I’m not comfortable leaving the cat as something could go wrong - borders closed, planes delayed.
While I don’t want to leave the cat in the Cattery, at least I know that he is safe and being looked after.
What do people think? Am I being picky? The reason for joining THS is the guarantee of reliable sitters. This isn’t my experience so far.

1 Like

Hi and welcome.

  1. Is there a reason why you are set on holding in-person first meetings? That was not my experience as a sitter even pre-pandemic. A phone call should be sufficient for screening from both the sitter and HO perspectives.

  2. Once everyone agrees, I prefer to meet the HO and do “handover”–but it’s not always possible. The people traveling interstate with good references are more than likely reliable. I assume you are in Australia since you refer to the possibility of closing borders (the US and Canada have not closed in-country state borders at all)

  3. There is nothing wrong with a cattery in many cases. As you say, you know that the cat is safe and cared for. In the past, as a cat owner/person, I appreciated that feeling.

2 Likes

Hi & welcome,

Have you tried contacting sitters in your state? Yes, this adds time but you may find a pot of gold. 100% understand Aussie border issues as following it all from here in NZ.

The other option would be to Skype/Zoom with the interstate sitter ASAP & see if they’re suitable. It’s 100% possible to make it work to your specifications.

There are some awesome sitters around & sorry a newbie let you down :-1:.

2 Likes

Hi @SiriusBlack1 - It sounds to me that you have first-time nerves which is understandable. You original choice let you down ans you should call THS to report this to them.
Now though, you have an experienced sitter booked. You should have a video call with your new sitters and discuss your concerns - maybe they will put your mind at rest? They might currently be on a sit closer to you than you think? Maybe you could ask them if it is possible for them to come the night before you leave, either to stay in your house if you have the room or could you pay for a night in a local hotel for them?

1 Like

Sorry you’re finding the process frustrating, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, there are no guarantees of anything. Sitters are human and have their issues. THS makes it easier to connect with reliable sitters but there’s really no way for them to guarantee anything.

Second, it’s pretty unusual to want to do an in person meeting before the sit. In all my years of sitting and all my sits, I’ve only done that twice and only because I happened to be in the same town doing another sit. I would not otherwise do an in person meeting. I don’t blame you for not trusting them after they failed to arrive twice though.

Third, these are strange times. With covid, most people are not following their normal sitting patterns. People on both sides are less likely to want to travel for a sit due to the almost guaranteed complications that will arize. What you’re experiencing not is not a typical experience, IMO.

For the person who will be traveling, I would suggest you ask them to arrive the day before and then either they stay with you or you put them in a hotel at your cost.

2 Likes

Hi @SiriusBlack1 welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters.

Thank you for coming to the forum for help and advice and I see you’ve received some excellent feedback already from some of our experienced sitters.

The first time of using Trustedhousesitters can be a little daunting but as well as your fellow members here on the forum our Membership Services Team are available with help advice and support to reassure and guide you through the process. The website blog also has very helpful articles such as this one … Member Q&A | TrustedHousesitters.com
10 questions to ask before your sitter arrives | TrustedHousesitters.com

Please feel free to ask any questions on the forum and also Direct Message me if you feel I could be of further help, I have been on both sides, owner and sitter, with many years of experiencing the win, win, win of just how well TrustedHousesitters works, especially for those very important members who rely on us to keep them safe and happy at home.

Welcome again.

Angela and the Team

3 Likes

Hi there and welcome
Lately there are more and more threads about pet owners being let down by sitters, unable to get one up to their standards or changing their minds at the last minute. It makes me wonder if it’s always been a problem or we are just hearing about it now we have this forum.
Firstly, it has been a holiday period and everyone has been busy but now they may be more focused on the sits that are out there. Australia is having a real hard time with border closures and no international travel so there may be less sitters out there. COVID has changed a lot of people’s priorities.
And lastly, please don’t judge other sitters by your first experience. There are Mavericks who seem to not understand the “trust” part of this concept. 99% of us are reliable, dedicated loving pet lovers who would only let someone down in a dire emergency.
Keep looking, there is someone out there perfect to look after your pets. We usually use video calls to set up a sit. They work perfectly and we can have a virtual wander round the house and grounds and are able to see where everything is. Why not leave your cat at the cattery, neighbours, relations where your potential sitters can pick him up when they arrive. You then have peace of mind that he is being well looked after and if there are any delays he is in safe hands. Then they can take him back to his own safe familiar environment. Just a suggestion.

Keep trying please, there is the perfect person out there.

5 Likes

Many thanks for the warm welcome and wise advice.
The main lesson for me is - to trust my intuition, if there are doubts.
I agree with Colin that there are some first time nerves. But looking back over the reasons for the doubts - one person being unresponsive and the other risking delay in covid times - I believe that I have made the right decision to use the cattery this time.
Once again, I appreciate the camaraderie in this forum.

1 Like