Hello! This is my first time on THS, trying to find a sitter for my 4 rescue cats.
I’ve contacted 30+ people and not had any luck at all, so checking to see what I’m doing wrong!
I’ve messaged people with the dates highlighted in green, although there haven’t been many.
I was recommended to search a wider radius for people wanting to get away, and no luck.
I’ve contacted people that come up as available when i put the dates in the search list and they’ve either heading off abroad or haven’t replied.
We leave in just over 2 weeks so I’m panicking a little. I know I can find someone to pop in twice a day to feed them but they’ll miss out on the interaction as this is the first time we’ve been away since 2019.
This is likely to be the only time we get away in the next year too, so it’s a waste of money for an annual subscription if it never gets used again.
Any advice please do let me know!
Moderated to adhere to forum guidelines
It does not work that way. Almost all people have other plans. And people in your neighbourhood would often not be particularly interested in living at your place.
The idea is that people from somewhere else might be interested in your region. If they had that as a “Saved search” they will get notified. Could be hundreds. And those already had an interest in your area.
Dates might not fit, or they were maybe not interested in your kind of pet, but it is a much more efficient way.
Have you created a listing so sitters can apply? That’s the usual way most people get sitters. If not, I’d suggest you do that and ask membership services to help you promote it urgently.
Depending on your membership, you might be able to get a refund if you don’t get any applicants.
Welcome @Zoe5 !. It’s good that you posted on the forum because you’ll get help here! The best way to find a sitter is to post an attractive listing so sitters will send applications. Inviting sitters is very hit or miss for a variety of reasons. Many sitters are not available – the availability calendar is not helpful as many sitters don’t update it, or they may not want to sit in your location or for your type of pet.
It’s also best to post your dates at least a month or more ahead.
If you add your listing to your forum profile, experienced members will give you feedback to help you make your listing as good as it can be. In doing this, your listing will also reach forum members who may not have seen it on the website. Follow these instructions: How to add your listing or profile to your forum profile
Maybe we can get this happening for you!
Don’t you need an annual subscription to be able to contact sitters?
Hi Zoe! I’m confused, did you post your sit dates and not receive any applications, or are you just inviting sitters? If you haven’t posted the sit that’s the best place to start. As mentioned, THS may be able to help share it since it’s considered last minute. Good luck
Please add your listing here @Zoe5 as other members have said and then you can get some additional advice. Inviting sitters individually doesn’t generally work as the calendar is clunky and/or out of date.
yes, made a listing, but not much interest.
Your home and kitties look lovely!
I’m a sitter who travels using public transport. I’m pretty good at figuring out trains and buses. When I see this line however, I close your listing and move on to the next one:
There is a bus service that comes through the estate, but not sure how long it takes to get to Bedford using that, or how often it is.
At least provide some info to help out potential sitters who travel by public transport. “There is a bus stop 5 minutes walk from our house, line 123, it takes 45 minutes to Bedford station. It runs Mon-Fri every hour and every two hours on the weekend.”
Or just say, “I’m at postcode AA1 1AA” and I’ll figure out the bus stuff myself as maybe I can get to either Bedford or MK.
It might be an added bonus if you offer to pick up/drop off sitters at Bedford or MK stations since they are two different lines it may open up your listing to more sitters. Many sitters dependent on public transport appreciate that, then we’ll get around on our own while you’re away.
Now that you’ve posted your listing, folks in the forum can give you suggestions that might help boost interest. It would also help for you to contact membership services, because they can highlight your listing to sitters if it’s imminent.
I’ve made a listing but didn’t get much interest, hence contacting people directly. Thanks for the idea of asking THS for help!
Yes, I have that as I’ve made a listing in the hope of finding someone, but it’s not proving fruitful so far!
Yes, I’ve created a listing a few weeks back but not had any luck yet! Thanks for the idea of asking THS for help!
Hi @Zoe5 - here are a few tips for your listing that I’d add. Change cover photo to one of the cats curled up as will grab more attention than the garden, or a collage of the four of them as image one. Add an image of the water ski lake and restaurant as that’s a nice draw too. Add the bus times and routes etc to be helpful as another member suggested. Maybe list the type of sitter you think it would suit - remote worker, digital nomad, someone with family close by, wakeboarding nut etc - it all helps. If you could take a small family then add “family friendly” tab. List a few things to do that are interesting/touristy/historical in Bedford and MK. Maybe change the title to “Perfect low-key multi cat cuddling sit for digital nomad” - you have the advantage of super low maintenance animals, a nice looking house, good length sit. Just needs a bit more energy in there I reckon & you’ll be off
With a bit of massaging you will have a great listing. Try and take a step back and think about “marketing” or “selling” the opportunity to a potential sitter. Take a look at some other sits and see what they write.
The Introduction is where you need something to hook a potential sitter - there’s a lot of competition out there. Who you are, what you do, where you’re going, etc. The information about the cats is duplicated in Responsibilities (where it belongs) so can be deleted. You could simply mention their names. Also, as you are engaging a sitter, why send the dogs to the kennel?
The Home Location has good information, just needs to be beefed up a little. I would suggest mentioning the size of bed. Fab looking kitchen which you might mention would be great for cooking. And what’s in Bedford or Milton Keyes that would attract someone to your sit? And I agree with a previous poster about a little research into public transit to note for potential sitters (i.e. a car is not essential as the bus to Bedford stops X? where you can catch the train for a quick 45 minute ride to London (station?))
You have some great photos, I would suggest changing the order. I love the one of the cat upside down for a first photo. Delete photo of dog if you decide not to include them in the sit, or you include them, use the one of the dog and cat snuggling as a first photo.
I’ll be honest with you, the photo with the “Paintball not Guns” I found a little odd and slightly disturbing. Teh guns could be a little off putting. Quite the juxtaposition with the F&M basket!
If you make changes to your listing, it will boost it back to New, so prospective sitters will see it.
Yeah, the guns along with the animal heads everywhere would definitely put me off.
I’d want to know the proximity to public transport (as the listing says it’s accessible), since everything seems to be expressed in how long of a drive things are, and I don’t drive.
Personally, I would want to take the train to Bletchley from Bedford, and visit Bletchley Park!! I have Milton Keynes sits saved for that reason alone.
Curious about this comment. F&M is my alma mater (college/uni). Randomly some marketing outfit in Europe took the logo and used it for merchandise (sweatshirts, hats…and furnishings like this I guess). It’s become a running joke among alums and the school.
@Katie F&M Hampers from Fortnum and Mason The World’s Most Famous Cornershop First founded in London’s Piccadilly in 1707.
FWIW, those “guns” appear to be for paintball (thus the sign).
Tangent: Looking forward to having tea at F&M in a couple of weeks.