Question about requesting couples

Hi Owners! I’m actually a sitter and have been expanding my search for my 2024 travel season. I found two sits that really peaked my interest and had my hopes dashed when both would only accept applications from couples.

Would someone kindly provide any insight on the value of a couples sit versus an individual sit? I’ve been single most of my adult life, am exceedingly responsible, and neither of these sits are particularly difficult in terms of the the pet or home responsibilities.

Of course, as I type this I thought, “Maybe the issue is that they don’t want a single person to bring a stranger (ie: someone they picked up) into my space.” THAT is something I totally understand and would have no judgement about. If that’s the case, would it helped if I applied and explained that I’m old and not into picking up strangers? LOL

All respectful feedback is appreciated. Thank you Owners for sharing your space and your pets with us!

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Hi Alex,
Answering from a solo sitter’s perspective. It is often puzzling to see that “couples only” or similar language when a sit does not appear to be one where that makes sense. (Some HOs will specify that the home is remote and requires maintenance, or they prefer that someone is around for security and/or pet mood.)
I don’t see why you couldn’t apply. I know, it may be pointless. But perhaps some people don’t even consider that a sitter may be traveling alone and are used to the world of couples so they use that language.
It is also possible that the sit is more labor- and time-intensive than the listing indicates. I can think of a sit where I really could have used a fellow sitter.
FWIW, I would not bring up that you are uninterested in bringing some rando/randos home with you, if for no other reasons than who wants to sit for someone who actually thinks that way.

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I am a home owner and I prefer couples, because in case one of the sitters has to leave due to an emergency situation (medical or family) there’s still someone to stay with the cats.

My cats are both seniors with medical issues, who need regular medication and it’s not easy to simply let a neighbor or a friend take over, even if we give them clear instructions before we leave. We found that they don’t take this too seriously, because a situation like this probably won’t happen.
I would trust none of them to know what to do and all our friends are definitely no cat persons and wouldn’t know how to give medication in case the cats don’t take it easily, which they normally do, but sometimes they refuse.

Otherwise I wouldn’t care if there was one or two people doing the sit and for shorter ones, like a week long, I am fine with single sitters, but definitely not on longer ones.

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I am sitter too, and I am also put off by “couples only” sits. But in 2019 there was such a listing for a very desirable sit and location. I went ahead and applied, and asked for the reasons they want a couple. They told me it is because the house has three floors, many many plants and a pool to maintain. But they asked for a video meeting with me anyway. And I got the sit! That was before the 5 application limit, so It felt good to be the chosen one among many others… (all couples?). So yes take a chance and do ask them for the reason for wanting a couple, it will show interest in the responsibilities.

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Very good point! Thanks for the perspective.

If a sitter has an emergency, in all likelihood their spouse/partner will have to go with them. I always ask for a local emergency contact.

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Here are some advantages of pet-sitting as a couple.

Flexibility: A couple may offer more flexibility in scheduling, as they can coordinate their arrival/departure times based on the HO’s preference. This was especially true before the new overlapping sits block.

Security: Having two people in the home may provide an added layer of security, both for the pets and the property.

Problem-solving: When challenges arise, a couple may be more adept at problem-solving, bringing different perspectives and skills to overcome any issues that may arise during the petsitting period.

Companionship: Two people provide more social interaction and playtime for the pets, reducing loneliness.

Division of Responsibilities: Tasks can be divided based on individual strengths, ensuring comprehensive care.

Emergency Preparedness: Two caregivers offer backup in case of emergencies, maintaining consistency in care.

Reliability: With two individuals committed to the job, the chances of schedule conflicts or disruptions decrease.

Balance of Energy and Personalities: Different individuals bring diverse approaches, offering a more enriching experience for your pets. While I am a dog person, my husband loves cats more.

Social Preference: If the homeowners are a couple and they are planning to meet/interact with their pet sitters, they are most likely to select a couple.

P.S. We do see a lot of listings where the HOs prefer a single sitter. Over the years we have also received a lot of rejections with the message that their preference is for a single sitter, although that wasn’t mentioned in the listing.

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I have a combined membership and have sometimes invited singles and sometimes invited couples as sitters. I don’t have a preference. I’ll admit to occassionally worrying about single sitters having strangers in my home, but I vet sitters thoroughly so this hasn’t been a big worry. It’s possible the homes prefer couples because there is a lot to do or maybe difficult to handle dogs. If they don’t state an actual reason, I might apply anyway as you can apply to more than one sit at a time and if you are declined it doesn’t count against you.

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We are a male couple and often come across ‘singles only’ and ‘female only’ - so, although dont agree with it, it probably evens out and we have to accept its up to the home host who they prefer to invite into their home.

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@BunnyCat So neat and comprehensive, it looks like a chatGPT answer :wink:

Hi @alexformerlyinmadison
You’ll find for a variety of reasons why a HO would request a couple, single people, younger, older, male or females. When I started it used to bother me but you realise you win some, you lose some because of who you are.
I recently applied for a sit where the HO said her cats had never been around males before so she wanted a female sitter. I also had one that declined me as this young single lady HO wanted a sitter to stay overnight prior to the sit. I guess as an older male she wasn’t comfortable and I get that!
On the other side I’m currently on a sit for first time HO that said she chose me as I’m more mature than other applicants.

I have seen sits advertised that have said they preferred couples and I have applied and been offered them. One of the reasons I was told was due to being a bit out of the way and thought a single person may be lonely. Another home owner went for a couple for their sit but then discovered they had been extremely noisy in their outdoor pool, which neighbours had not liked, so contacted me when they had another sit available. Even if it does say only couples, it is always worth applying. You never know, you could be lucky.

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We don’t have our sits strictly limited to couples, but mention in our listing that we strongly prefer couples. We live on a remote place, almost 4000square meters of land, and with a higher than average numver of animals. It’s quite a job for one person. And for us it feels more comfortable to know that someone who’s not familiar with the country (we never get applications from people who live in Thailand), the language and the environment is not staying alone. If a single sitter applies, we’ll take it serious, but also discuss our thoughts on this with the applicant. I must say that the couples who did a sit here said afterwards that they agreed the sit in our place is best done by a couple.

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I’m part of a couple and I wouldn’t generally apply for a listing that specified they were looking for a single person. To me I think they must have a solid reason so I’ll respect it. We’re two women so if it’s a sit I really like the look of and they say they’re looking for single females because the animal doesn’t like men I would potentially give it a go.

I’d also maybe apply if it was a sit I really wanted and they hadn’t had any applicants or it was very last minute - but most of the sits I really want are ones everyone wants so I haven’t encountered that situation yet!

Thanks for pointing this out. I don’t think I’ve run across any listings yet (of course, I’m very new) that expressed singles or females only. On the other hand, if it said females only I may not have even tracked the exclusion. LOL Best to you both in your travels!

There is literally zero question that this is an AI generated response - or something canned that THS has in a database somewhere - except for the postscript. sigh I’m a writer and it just kills me to see this - especially when I came here looking for HO’s actual experience and perspectives.

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Hi @alexformerlyinmadison

I just wanted to pop on and confirm that THS don’t use AI-generated responses on the Forum :slight_smile: anything you see from the Forum team is written by our own fair hand!

This post has been made by a member, and in this case, I’m 100% sure that @BunnyCat is a real, live person! :slight_smile: of course, they may use AI software to summarise their thoughts, but that’s not for the Forum team to judge, as the information they’ve provided is helpful!

Jenny

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It doesn’t bother me in terms of a person’s preference - I mean, I might turn down something that felt uncomfortable to me as a single female traveler - but it does bum me out if the sit is something that really appeals to me. Some of the responses have made a lot of sense: amount of responsibility for pets or home; remote location; emergency concerns. I feel more confident now about what to look for in a listing that might be a non-starter and whether or not I would reach out/apply anyway as a single. Hope you’re having excellent travels. Sounds like we’re on a similar path.

Thank you so very much. This is exactly the perspective and insight I was looking for. I believe I would likely read your listing and do mental gymnastics trying to make it fit because Thailand is a preferred destination but with some clarity would realize that it’s simply too much for one person, especially when you add the remoteness and language barrier. I so appreciate you taking the time to respond. Best to you.

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I completely understand this. As a person who has lived through multiple aging pets and a couple of them with significant medical issues, I sympathize with not trusting strangers to know what to do. Since I’m not on the HO side I don’t know how easy this is to do but when I filled out my sitter profile there was an option to list your experience with geriatric animals and animals that required medication so maybe you can filter for that?? I would hope so as it seems extremely important when you have older/ill pets.