Sitter is Requesting to Cancel for Non-Emergency


I would like to get some feedback and insight on this manner. As someone who has been on the platform for a few years, I’m used to last minute cancelations.

With this particular sit, it’s at the end of Aug. The great thing is that it’s not at the last minute. Also, I do appreciate the sitter’s timely communication.

I woke to a message this morning from the sitter. She is saying that her friend needs her help in Aug. Her friend is in the U.K. The sitter says that she is reaching out to me and her other sit to see if we can consider replacing her. Her wording is asking if I will consider unconfirming the sit - not that she is outright canceling.

The thing I confirmed this sit 3 months ago. I feel qualified sitters have already cemented their summer plans. I think it would be difficult to find a suitable sitter. Even though I live in a popular area, it has taken me quite sometime to find suitable sitters in the past couple of years.

I’m a bit torn as I don’t want to unconfirm the sit as this doesn’t seem to be an emergency situation. However, I’m not trying to “force” anyone to do a sit.

Has anyone here rejected a sitter’s request to unconfirm a sit?

I will most likely repost the sit, but I’m looking to see how I can respectfully communicate with the sitter that I’m disappointed and annoyed with the inconvenience. She isn’t a new sitter. She’s a retiree with quite a few sits under her belt.

Again, if the sitter was going through an emergency - I would completely understand. I just wish people wouldn’t take confirmed sits lightly. This isn’t like changing a dinner reservation. It’s an extreme disruption.

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I’m a bit torn as I don’t want to unconfirm the sit as this doesn’t seem to be an emergency situation. However, I’m not trying to “force” anyone to do a sit.

How is refusing to cancel the sit not forcing them to do the sit? You can’t get anyone else unless you relist and you can’t relist unless you unconfirm.

She’s given you almost 3 months of notice and it doesn’t have to be for an emergency but for “extraordinary circumstances”. Her friend needing help could be the extraorodinary circumstance. She could be having an operation or medical treatment or any one of a hundred other valid reasons.
If you want to tell her you are disappointed and annoyed then do so but unconfirm the sit and relist so you can get yourself a replacement. Tell THS you’re not happy and let them deal with it, if it breaks their terms.


No, it is not.

You will find another sitter. And if you cannot find one for free, you can find one for a fee.

Standard time of quitting a job is two months notice in Sweden. This is just a free petsit.


I imagine this experienced sitter with good reviews had to wrestle with the idea of canceling your sit. The best sitters are highly conscientious and take to heart the inconvenience it could cause a HO. The three months notice is generous and allows time to repost.


Like yourself, ‘qualified sitters’ also have lives that extend beyond our role in this capacity, complete with the unexpected changes and challenges that life tends to throw at us.

Your sitter is doing exactly what I would do if I needed to, and politely requesting whether there is any possibility of you finding an alternative sitter. They are also giving you plenty of time in which to do so, which is surely better than leaving it until the last minute and inventing an ‘emergency’ situation.

Yes, it’s inconvenient for you. No, it’s not an extreme disruption. Better to put your energy into finding a new sitter who is willing and able to commit to your sit than to pursue someone who has expressed that they would prefer to withdraw from the agreement. I think you’ll have a better experience all round in doing so.

Best of luck!


I didn’t not state that I was refusing to unconfirm the sit. Please reread my post as I said I prefer not to unconfirm, but obviously in the end it’s not up to me. The sitter really has the upper hand of doing the sit or not.

Trying to hold someone hostage to a sit isn’t beneficial for the H.O, sitter, or pets

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Apologies, I took “I don’t want to” to mean you weren’t going to.
You appear to have relisted now anyway. Good luck with your search.

I am currently enjoying a 16 day cat sit.
My joy was quickly brought down, when I was contacted today by the Home Owners saying that they want to return home early, just as soon as they are able to reschedule their flight.
I feel a bit miffed, the reason given was “bad weather”, as in rain, not monsoon conditions.
Oh well, not a lot I can say when the owners clearly want to come home.
I console myself that I have had a great 9 days with a gorgeous cat, in a lovely home & location.


Your feelings are legit. The HO’s broke an agreement. There’s a difference between cancelling a sit with three months to go to find a replacement and cancelling a sit already in progress.


It’s a pain to lose your confirmed sitter, but at least you have enough time to find another.

Circumstances and each sitter’s (or host’s) sense of commitment will vary. I take mine seriously. Like I had sits booked before my husband and I decided to move cross country and by happenstance I took a new remote job at the same time, one I was unexpectedly recruited for. Despite that, I kept my sits, juggling everything. Like I left for a sit mid-packing, before movers were scheduled to arrive. I rushed my part of the packing and my husband finished the rest of our share. Then the movers came a day after I returned home from a second sit during that period. And I started my new job while on that second sit, which wasn’t ideal, but I didn’t want to let my hosts down. Now, I’m just wrapping another sit — one I’ve enjoyed, but wouldn’t have taken at this time, knowing that travel abroad and a big time difference make it harder to get settled into a new job.

I’ve seen posts about some sitters canceling for much less significant reasons, but I take commitments seriously. I mention that, because you’ll normally only hear about people who’ve canceled, not those who kept their commitments. Likewise with some hosts, who are inconsiderate and cancel for flimsy, entitled reasons.


I hope you’ll note this in your review, which can help other sitters potentially avoid those hosts.


I understand your frustration—something you thought has been locked down is no longer and you’re thrown back into the uncertainty of finding a new sitter. But I would hardly say all the qualified sitters have been taken! Even as an experienced sitter we rarely schedule sits more than a couple months out, because I do take the commitment really seriously and won’t accept anything I’m not sure we can do. Unfortunately, that’s kept us from applying to some really great sits because the HO posts so far in advance.

If I were in your shoes, I would let the sitter know you’ll unconfirm for now and try to get a replacement. Ask her if she’ll agree to stand by her commitment in case you aren’t able to find anyone (in good faith), for your peace of mind. But I’m sure you’ll find someone, there are a lot of good sitters out here!


Have the owners mentioned that you can stay for the allotted time? That could be uncomfortable being in the house with them but it would be a nice gesture if they were to say you could stay or perhaps pay for alternative accommodation?


I agree. She has given plenty of notice. It should not be too difficuklt to get anther sitter. I have taken a few sits that have started within a week of me applying. Actually doing one very soon in a lovely location that I only spotted a few days ago. I don’t often book sits a long time in advance, as realise things can crop up. Frequently have a quick browse only when I know I have some time available to do a sit. Good sitters are always around and many do not sit continuously, but lead busy lives and fit in a few sits between other things.


Trust is important, but alongside this is generosity of spirit. The sitter will have not wanted to do this to you, but has had to make a tough decision and balance your needs with the undisclosed private needs of their friend. I like the sound of your sitter, they’re hoping you’ll be generous of spirit and release them without rancour. The thing is you’re doing them a huge favour- one day ou might need a favour from them, so pay it forward perhaps.


My 2 cents if she does do the sit she would most likely be bitter. I know it might be hard to find a replacement but thankfully you have 2 months give or take, who knows someone else may have their sit canceled and looking for a place. I recently had a sit cancel as the woman broke her foot, I found a sit that was reposted as the sitter canceled
so win win

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off topic but pietkuip 2 months that is impressive, may I ask does the employee have the right when one is terminated from job is there any protection notice ? US the etiquette is 2 weeks but now that is not always a option anymore as new employers want people to who can start right away

It’s cases like this that the higher membership levels can help (paid hotel). I feel your pain.

There’s 3 months to find a sit. The sitter doesn’t have to be on stand by, that seems ridiculous to me.


You’re wrong about how sitters operate. There are many people sitting ranging from people looking for cheap getaways to permanant nomads. There are some sitters who like to get sits months in advance. There are sitters who are location shopping and flexible. The ones who book in advance are not necessarily “better.” It’s a preference.

Just cancel the sit so you aren’t wasting time. You can then report the sitter to THS if you feel her reason wasn’t an “extraordinary one.” Probably they won’t do anything because she gave a reaon and they seem to accept both sitter and host reasons without a lot questions. But reporting it is the only way it will be part of a record, so if this is something the sitter does habitually, there could be consequences.

And probably with a 2 month lead time, you’ll find someone who doesn’t have to be forced to sit which isn’t a thing.

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