Pet Parent expecting too much?

EDITED: THANKS FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS I WAS PUTTING FEELERS OUT ONLY. WE ALWAYS FiND GREAT SITTERS IN THE END! Pet Parent with 2 spoilt horses and 2 spoilt cats, plus wild birds all who need feeding (5 years with THS). Am I expecting too much to ask a sitter to stay in our house (which is very pretty and comfortable in a lovely rural area) and not go out all day on trips. My pets need attention during the day which only leaves a few hours in the afternoons free. I only ask because a sitter said I was too restricting as they couldn’t go out on their all day 9 to 5pm outdoor adventures. ??

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That might be ok with some folks but I would also have to turn down such a sit. Cats that can’t be left alone? Do you yourself never leave? Of course you should post your requirements as you see fit but it might limit the pool of applicants.


@JuliePetParent it won’t be a match for everyone but you only need to find one sitter that it suits and I can see that in the past you have had sitters that really have enjoyed it.


Of course i go out but my pets are my priority and no i would never leave any of them all day without food.


Thanks many have enjoyed just being here not going out all day.

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@JuliePetParent Is the sitter not feeding the animals according to your instructions? When I’m sitting I feed and exercise the animals in the morning before I go anywhere. Then repeat when I return. I’ve never cared for horses or cats who needed more that two feeds a day, especially cats and horses. I’m a little unclear what your animals require that they aren’t getting as you mentioned that they were being left without food all day which is concerning.

My two cats are super social and need more interaction than many cats do. One lives outside during the day and will often wander off if he doesn’t get enough attention, so having a sitter who enjoys hanging out here matters. We work at home and only go out a few times a week for a few hours at a time, that’s just our lifestyle, so we look for sitters who are looking for a relaxing retreat, not the ones who want to see and do everything across three counties. Plenty of sitters seem to be looking for that, as long as they aren’t bound to the homestead 24/7. It’s great that the one sitter acknowledged they weren’t the right fit, but that’s just one person. I think the most important thing is to be clear about what your animals need and hope to find a sitter who is looking for that type of sit.


It’s a lovely place.

You’ve been on THS for 5 years with several successful sits, so clearly there are sitters out there who are a good match for your situation.

If this is your current sitter saying your needs are too restrictive - was this timing made clear before confirming the sitter? Did you and the sitter discuss the amount of time they could be out of the house at all? I see on your listing that the horses need to be fed 3x a day, which to me means morning, mid-day and evening, but it seems like this should be made explicit, particularly for someone coming from far away who likely wants to explore.

ETA: I am putting the onus on discussing the amount of time a sitter can be away equally on sitter and HO, the important thing is to discuss it prior to confirmation.

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Yet your listing sounds completely different:

The [cats] are no trouble as they spend much of the day sleeping and weather permitting like to go out at night.

And then your listing mentions:

the Snowdonia National Park just a 25 minute drive away

This suggests that one could go hiking.


Based on that, I would indeed think: great, let’s get at least 1 or more hiking trips in while there! Attend to and feed horses and cats in the morning, head out to Snowdonia for a great hike, and come back somewhere mid to late afternoon., attend to horses and cats again.

Not that I would do that on a daily basis, but with a national park within close reach, I would certainly find that an attractive reason to apply. E.g. I love hiking.

And having looked after lots of cats and horses, I’ve personally yet to meet a ‘cat who spends much of the day sleeping’ AND wants me to be around when he/she does that; or a horse who can’t be left alone during the day.

Yes, you’re asking too much.

For context, I’m a telecommuter and I’ve done sits where I’ve never been apart from the pet, but I’d still avoid listings that require it, because I figure the hosts expect paid service without paying. I don’t want to interact with folks like that.

Expecting too much? You should only expect as much as your listing describes. Your listing seems in conflict with your expectations. One of those two need to change.


I’ve been fortunate to be one of @JuliePetParent’s sitters but before she introduced her beloved horses to the listing. It was such an enjoyable sit in a beautiful location and I loved it. The cats could definitely be left alone to go on outings which didn’t happen daily. One thing I now would address, Julie, is the health of dear Snowball, being 22.
Re Dawn and Elsa: Is there any flexibility re the middle feeding so that sitters could enjoy a full day out or half a day e.g someone else feed them for that meal? Are sitters required to muck out stables or pick up poop in field? This should be in responsibilities if so.
Was it only an applicant who thought it too restrictive or an actual sitter booked as I haven’t read anything negative in reviews by your sitters?
It is an equal exchange of free services so sitters I feel are entitled to have about 4 hours daily to themselves with the odd day excursion if they want to.
I know how much your horses mean to you but put yourself in the sitters’ shoes and see if you can be a little more flexible.


I tend to go out for a maximum of 4 hours, and not every day, if I’m looking after dogs but if cats would expect to go out all day, 9 or 10-4/5. Usually cats can be left dry food to snack on during the day & maybe have wet food morning & evening. I’ve never looked after cats that had 3 meals a day. I’m also surprised that the horses have 3 meals a day. Your most recent sitter only mentions going down to feed them in the morning.
If you were to be more flexible this sit would definitely suit me but I wouldn’t want to be restricted to being around to feed the cats & horses at lunchtime

Often it is possible to take a dog along with you. Dogs don’t tie the sitter to the house in the same way as this OP’s cats that supposedly want company while sleeping or that need you to be home while they are out and about.

I like to take a dog along on long walks in environments that are new to me. And if they are well-behaved, to have lunch at a sidewalk restaurant. Or to a beach.


As others have noted, your listing conflicts with what you’re stating here. The listing is pretty casual but your request here is pretty demanding. Although the animals sound lovely, it’s unusual for cats and horses to require that much one-on-one time. And if they do, you really should hire and pay someone since what you’re asking is really a service, not an exchange: 9-5 = a job.

A couple other side notes: horses are generally fed 2x a day, so the 3x sounds like it’s thrown in so people can’t go out. And there is no mention in the listing about feeding birds.

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Yes, I often take dogs out with me if I can & have mentioned that before in a different post. I’ve taken some out all day on walks, with my lunch and a meal for them, even introduced dogs to areas their owners didn’t know about.


You are expecting too much for some sitters. As others have already said you should make it clear in your listing what your expectations are. That way you don’t waste the applicants time or your time in getting to a call and discovering incompatibility. Plus you won’t fill up the 5 slots with applications that then need to be cancelled to open your listing again.
I work while travelling but I would expect to be able to leave the house during the day at weekends so your sit wouldn’t be for me but with correct expectations listed you should still be able to find sitters you would obviously just be fishing from a smaller pool.

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Have you found someone @JuliePetParent as it says no sitter needed? :crossed_fingers:t3: