New Pet Parent: No takers for our listing. Should I worry?


My husband and I are new to THS after my parents recommended it to us. I have just posted our second listing, asking for a sitter over Easter. There haven’t been any applicants yet, and I’m not sure how long it usually takes and if/when I should worry?

We posted our first one for February half term and we got responses within half an hour and all five initial applicants within a few hours. So maybe we have been spoilt?

I have modified our listing a bit after the first one, so wondering now if that’s put people off? For our first listing we gave sitters the option of either using our spare bedroom (a small room with a double bed against the wall) or master bedroom (with king sized bed and TV). We really wanted to meet our Sitters the night before we left and, after our first experience having done that and great feedback we received, we thought that, on reflection, offering the master bedroom was a bit unnecessary if they’d initially have the spare room on their first night anyway. I also changed the title of the listing for this time.

After having read some topics on here, I’ve changed the cover photograph. However, when searching, it has the original cover in one search but the new one in another. Not sure what’s going on there.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


@LouF hello and welcome to the forum where you will find so many helpful members willing to answer any questions or concerns.

You state you just listed this sit…how long has it been up? I suggest you give it a few days as the Easter holiday gets filled quickly.

I see you have already added your member profile to your forum profile so you are one step ahead. If you don’t get a desirable applicant by the end of the month you can list a “Last Minute Sit” within seven days of when it’s to start.

Good luck!


Hi @LouF
I think your listing looks great and is very welcoming. You also have great feedback from your first sitter.
I presume you put pics of your cat first but when I click on the link I don’t get one until the 3rd photo.
Your description of the spare bed against the wall could be off putting to couples although it wouldn’t bother me as a single sitter. Is there a wardrobe in that room and drawers?
Try to be patient, especially if you’ve only just posted this, and don’t compare applications with your first time. I feel sure you’ll get some interest.
Good luck!

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Hi @LouF . I agree with @Smiley, your listing looks great so hopefully, you will get applications soon.

Sitters often find themselves reading between the lines when reading listings and you saying “It has a double bed up against the window with a wardrobe behind the door, so would be best suited for a single person” could be mistakenly translated as " We really want a single person but will take a couple as a last resort"

If I was you I would delete that paragraph completely. It is an unnecessary negative. The bed is clearly shown in the photo so you are deceiving no one and, to be honest for a short sit, at worst, that would only be a minor inconvenience.

Good Luck


Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for your responses. I have taken your collective advice and removed the bits where i describe the spare bedroom. As you say, it is in the photograph. I now simply say that they can use the spare bedroom and it has a wardrobe with drawer space.

With regards to the cover photo, I initially had the front of the house. Then looking at other adverts, their photos were generally ones of attractive rooms or their pets. So I changed the cover to our conservatory with Sophie sitting on the chair.

However, in your experience - what is the prime motivator/main draw-in for sitters? Is it a picture of a nice looking house or is it a picture of the pet? (e.g. I have a nice photo of Sophie looking straight at the camera or of her curled up on my husband’s lap).

Thank you all so much for your responses :smile:

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Everyone is different in what attracts them to a listing. Some want photos of the pets, some like nice scenery, some want an interior photo of the house. If the sit has dogs, I like to see them as the primary photo so I can see what size they are. Not so important with cats, but your 3rd photo (Sophie) would be my choice for the primary photo.

You can use your headline to sell the sit. Provide information in the first few words that isn’t obvious from a thumbnail. For example, I’d say “Near London and countryside, easy cat…”

Good luck.


Just a thought for another time - in this situation, I would have slept in the spare room that night and put the sitters straight into the main bedroom.


I think it’s too wide a shot and doesnt really focus on Sophie. Although a nice room, it’s not a ‘big draw’ photo. I’d go for a closer-up photo of Sophie - the one in all her glorious tuxedo-ness looking at the camera would be good. You’ll need to add it to the ‘House’ section and then click on cover photo.

It looks like you have an applicant now so you’re hopefully on your way to finding someone :slight_smile:

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You have a lovely house, nicely decorated, very clean, modern and a super sweet looking kitty so don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with your home or kitty as it’s listed.
As Debbie said, Easter is a busy time to go away, so you have more “competition”, as more people look for sitters: maybe not as much as Christmas, but still, a lot of listings (that are gone now) have been advertising for Easter. That could explain why your first sit got filled quicker.
In regards to the pictures, they are great, you listed everything, and again, don’t get discouraged, as this time of the year is busier. Maybe look for a plan B (neighbour, friend) just in case, if it can help make you feel better, but I’d say you’ll start getting applications this weekend. It is Paddy’s day weekend, so in some places, people are busy celebrating!

I think your posting is fine and I would totally be interested. However, I’m headed to. The UK in two weeks and have had my three house-sits booked for about five months already. I think there are those that like to have everything buttoned up far in advance, and those that do not. I think that listing for 3-4 weeks out over a holiday period kind of reduces your pool of potential sitters. However, I’m sure that given your location and your pet, you won’t have any trouble finding someone.

For the cover image, both a nice house photo or a cute pet photo can be similarly successful at catching a sitter’s attention; sitters seem divided about which they’d prefer to see. I’m drawn to clear, bright cover shots that show an inviting area of the house with the pet(s) lounging somewhere in the photo—your cover image is in that vein; however, the portrait format of the photo means that it shows up in search results with a less-than-ideal crop:

[Edit: I had inserted a screenshot here of your listing as it appears in the search, but it was deleted by a moderator, so I must have broken a rule! If you want to see what sitters see, just do a search for your location (add the “cat” filter if too many results pop up). This is also a good way to check if your listing stands out amongst the “competition.”]

Your full photo displays pretty greenery outside the appealing glass wall, but sitters scrolling quickly through listings will only see the cropped version with your cat surrounded by dark chairs and a busy-looking tabletop (in actuality it’s not cluttered at all, but the reflections and computer cord make it appear that way at a glance). Your conservatory is a lovely room and would make a great cover shot if the photo could be retaken with a few tweaks: shoot in landscape format and frame the shot to highlight the windows/outdoors, clear the tabletop of all but the decorative centerpiece, and perhaps convince your cat to lie on the couch instead (her coloring blends into the dark chair). :black_cat:

Alternatively, your deck (seventh image) is very inviting—I think a similar photo of the deck that shows a bit more of the grass and includes your cat sunbathing would be a wonderful cover shot.

Unrelated to your cover shot, but while viewing your listing, I noticed that several of the photos are duplicates—the last two appear earlier in the lineup, as does the fourth-to-last image; I’d recommend deleting those. Other than that, your listing looks great and I’m sure you’ll be successful in finding a sitter!

Admin Notice: post edited to comply with posting guidelines

One more suggestion—as you can see, only the first few words of the title are displayed in the search results, so to maximize its impact, you might consider revising the title to impart information not otherwise shown. For example:

Affectionate Cat in Peaceful Countryside Town, Walkable to London Transport

Sitters can see your cat is a gorgeous tuxedo :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: from your cover photo, so you don’t need to “waste” valuable title space on that; you can tell them about your cat’s personality and home location instead. I’m not sure how many characters THS displays, but I think the above revised title would be cut off to show something like, “Affectionate Cat in Peaceful Countryside…”
Thus, if you want to highlight the great location, you could switch the wording so that comes first:

Peaceful Countryside Town Near London Transport, With Affectionate Kitty

I would let the sitter know that they are welcome to choose which room they prefer.

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Where are you located?

Hi @Berna , I’m not sure who you are asking. For any poster, you can click on their name to see whether they’ve added a link to their THS profile to their community forum profile. If they have you can click on the link (or copy and paste it, if it doesnt click).