Sitter leaving

I had a scheduled sittter for 2 weeks. I was having a destination wedding. My sitter left after 2 days due to a family emergency. I was stressed due to my wedding, but this added another level of stress. I was able to get neighbors and other friends to cover. Is this something that happens often? How do you avoid from this happening in the future?

Wow. So glad it “worked out.”

This seems like a good question to add to a conversation at the inital chat, “what back up do you have as a sitter if there is an emergency on your end?”

HO’s are smart to have a plan b whenever possible in their back pockets.

I am sorry to hear that this happened and I am sure it is stressful. That is good you were able to find people to cover. While I don’t know any official stats, I imagine most sits happened as planned ,with no cancellations or needing to leave early. The thing about forums is they can skew negative so if you get a bunch of owners also sharing the same experience, it doesn’t mean this is a normal occurrence.

Like anything in life, there are no guarantees and things can happen. Essentially, each sit is an agreement between two parties with THS and similar sites essentially serving as a platform to connect people. They really can’t make any true guarantees about an owner’s experience or the quality of sitters-they are not an agency personally vetting sitters and directly facilitating these ‘matches.’

I don’t know what sort of assistance they offer in helping secure replacements, but again, they are not an agency. The sitters are not employees or contractors that can be dispatched where they are needed.

I imagine the overwhelming majority of sitters would only cancel, or leave a sit early, if it was absolutely necessary, and ultimately it is the owner’s responsibility to have a back up plan should this happen. I do not know if you suspect this person was being dishonest, but in the event they were, again, I think this is extremely rare.

My mother in law died while we were on a sit about 6 hours away a few months back–she had been sick with Alzheimer’s for many years and my husband was totally fine to drive back up without me–he had grieved her long ago and my ‘moral support’ wasn’t necessary. I stayed by myself there for a couple of days while he went to the funeral.

Don’t let this experience put you off using a sitter again and congratulations on your wedding!


I think it’s pretty rare but the first thing I would do (and expect the sitter to do) is contact THS to help secure a last-minute replacement. I’m glad you managed to get coverage but one of the reasons I use THS is for the support in case something goes wrong. Granted, I don’t have experience with problems arising, but I’m assuming THS member support will be there if needed.


As a sitter, I always ask the HO if they have anyone nearby that can help in the event of an emergency. We don’t anticipate anything happening, however we’ve also been on sits where the HO has gone no contact a few days before we were meant to leave and left us wondering if we would need to hand the care of the cat off to someone else.
We’ve also been in areas with crazy weather that has caused transport delays, so we always ask who the backup would be if something happened that prevented either them or us from reaching the home. Sometimes it takes HOs by surprise and they reach out to someone and ask them to be the contact person. At this point, we no longer accept sits that don’t have a plan B.
I’m sorry this happened to you, and I’d say it is an unfortunate exception. Congrats on your wedding and I hope you managed to have a lovely, stress-free day!