Sitters applying just as an intro but not for my dates

Ability to find ways to overcome challenges despite the obstacles. :clap:


I live in the middle of nowhere; in a place that seems very appealing, but that has some quirks - not least of which is that it’s difficult to get here!
It’s helpful if a sitter understands that as most people don’t.

If a sitter with great reviews and who needs/wants/loves to be local to me, and who understands the implications of getting here and being here, sends a message to say hello and ‘maybe next time’, I don’t think that’s rude and I certainly don’t think that it’s ban-worthy! On the contrary - I’m more than happy to hear from them.

As a host, I’m not obligated to offer a sit to anyone, but I am able to consider people, perhaps at short notice, later down the line. As a host, I’d much rather be able to contact a shortlist of possible sitters than have to start from scratch with fresh applications.

The last time I posted dates, for every application that I could even consider, I also received a couple that were pointless; a total waste of my time and theirs. People seemed to be applying for anything… Maybe it was a family applying for a sit that I clearly specify isn’t family-friendly? Sometimes the messages said “Hi, I’ll look after your cat” and no more than that. Perhaps the sitter didn’t refer to me by name, didn’t mention my pets, didn’t understand where the sit was, or just said they’d like to look after my animals because “they’re cute”. The quality of applications was surprisingly low and even when the listing made it clear that it wasn’t right the right sit for them, they applied anyway, undeterred.

It can be very time-consuming for hosts to sift these people out, so if someone wants to make my life easier? Yes please!


Morning all - a gentle reminder that each member might use the website differently to get the outcome they want within the guidelines provided - some will be quite content to have messages from members not currently available, while others will not and might find this annoying, and it is for each to decide. As @Snowbird has indicated, if it’s something any member feels strongly about, a short note in your listing will help (in the absence of another option currently).

Let’s end the conversation of “bans” now before this gets “overheated” as a topic and veers off course … as this would not be an outcome in this instance.

Thanks everyone.


Thank you @Snowbird and that is an excellent idea. When I see an indication from a homeowner that they only want to hear from sitters who can definitely do the advertised dates I wouldn’t contact them. We should respect homeowner preferences as they should respect ours as sitters.


We appreciate everyone’s input. In the future we will put our preference in our listing. Living in a touristy area makes ours a very popular sit. If everyone who wanted to come here applied when they can’t actually do the sit, it would be overwhelming for us as homeowners. We do look at all the sitters that mark it as a favorite and have thought that maybe we should just offer it to some of them before we even make the dates public. For now, we have the sitters we need so this is all something to consider later.

Admin Notice: Post Moderated

To keep this conversation relevant and of benefit to @Jennifergo who originally asked the question in anticipation of getting helpful feedback and advice from our community we have removed those comments which had a different intent, became overheated and took the topic clearly off course.

Thank you for treating both parties equitably @Angela-HeadOfCommunity

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Yes, I ALWAYS apply immediately when my search turns up a Match. I want Rome and Cats only. Dates not really important if a HO is a frequent traveller all year long. I cut and paste then apply - done in 60 seconds!

I agree with withdrawing the Application immediately…saving the HO work to decline me…and avoiding irritating them! That is the LAST thing I want to do.

Thanks for this excellent tip Saltrams!


What have your responses from homeowners been, when you apply but not for the dates listed?

I saw a listing that I just loved, but the dates wouldn’t have worked. I saw from past reviews that the owners travel frequently all year long, so I’m watching to see if she posts other dates. But she didn’t strike me as the type that would like receiving an application as an introduction.

The only person I speak for is myself. The very few times, and I mean rare times, it has been well received. I have been successful in acquiring a sit for a future date, not always. In fact I had someone change their dates to accommodate my availability. It opens that door to build a good rapport.
It’s all about how you present yourself and communicate. You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself and what you have to offer that serves the needs of the pets and HO.

Also don’t discount yourself or the HO. You don’t know what “type” they are till you connect.


Thanks @Amparo! I’ve seen you post often and really value your input. Next time, I’ll give it a try :slight_smile:


Most people find it difficult to reject or say No to others. I can apply for 10 Rome sits over a week…Christmas heavy travel.

7 of 10 Decline me, no comment, commit to someone else within hours

1 will Decline, add a negative to neutral comment “wont work, but will keep you in mind then, another sitter booked”

1 will Decline with a neutral to positive comment, “may travel then, good luck”

1 will Decline, add an encouraging comment “will travel frequently, will touch base then if dates work”

I have been searching for Italy sits since joining THS in Apr 2022, with a date range May1-June30. But No matches ever found…so I am trying this alternative “open a dialog” method. ESPECIALLY hopeful when I see a frequent traveler HO has multiple sits throughout the year (family, work etc)

I look quickly for some common ground in the HO profile listing, lead with “Me too” type of sentence.