Sitters, PLEASE read the listing before applying!

Quite right. I read the OP’s post as saying “why aren’t people reading my listing carefully before applying.”

Since everyone who has responded thus far says they DO read listings thoroughly before applying (or at the very least, advancing an application), we’re all stating what we – as people who fit the criteria OP is after – see as some red flags in the post. Mentioning that many 5* and seasoned sitters would be inclined to skip this one is an answer to what is, I grant you, an indirect question.

I mean, fine if people want to use this space to vent. But maybe then add a disclaimer that says they don’t want additional feedback!


I bet that’s annoying. Maybe put couples 45+ ONLY in your title so it’s very clear. As others have said the dreaded 5 applicant cut off causes panic in sitters with the outcome that you have wasted applications and have to start again. That said sitters can press the apply button securing a ‘place’ and then read the listing. I’ve done this a number of times and once I’ve read it I discard my application if it’s not an appropriate sitting, such as they want a couple or doesn’t suit me.
As an aside anyone who is asking what pet you have really isn’t worth bothering with! :grin:

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Thank you! That is exactly my point. I’m not looking for a critique of the listing. We have always been able to attract quality applicants. Our upcoming sit is months away, so I’m really not worried about that not happening this time around. However, I’m very disappointed that I’m having to constantly turn down applicants who DID NOT READ ANYTHING. How can you not know that the sit is for a Balinese cat in a 55+ community in central Florida, when that’s the title of the sit?


To a group of sitters on a chat board who not only read her post but her listing as well. Kind of ironic. There’s a saying: know your audience. She chose the wrong audience.

Let people respond how they choose. The need for people on these boards, as well as moderators, to be the thought police and hall monitors and stifle conversation has just pushed more honest conversations about THS to other places outside these boards.


As a sitter I appreciate detailed sit descriptions and I actually take the time to read them so I can make an informed decision on whether or not to apply. In consideration of time I focus my attention first on the responsibilities to ensure my skill set aligns with what is required to care for the pets. If not, I don’t bother to apply or finish reading the profile. Then I read the home/location description to ensure the home is accessible by public transportation since I don’t drive. Then I read the profile. If I like what I see across the entire listing I apply and schedule a video chat. Sometimes I miss the 5 application window because I’m reading the listing. As an American who only has international sits throughout Europe and Asia I have to be very particular when applying for sits since I have to take into account applying for visas, entry requirements by country and the length of time I’m allowed to stay in each country. I think I spend more time calculating the number of remaining days I have left in a particular country and waiting for visa approvals than applying for sits. It’s feels like mathematical musical chairs.

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tell it to TH – tell 'em to change the 5-applicant rule. It’s dumb!


Still I think you may be doing yourself a dis-service with the contract requirement, as it means a large pool of very well-qualified sitters will not apply.

I would think that hardly any experienced sitter on this site would be willing to sign a contract. As a result, it might be that 90% of those you’d be interested in, don’t bother applying. And instead you’re mainly attracting the ones you don’t want. (and who by not-reading didn’t even realise there’s a contract part in the listing)


We now call out explicitly in our welcome section that if it’s clear you have not read and acknowledged our listing when applying, you will be rejected. That has helped a lot. We also send an abridged welcome guide and provide a few other details before doing a video call.

Goal is to save everyone as much time as possible.

I haven’t seen your profile but it also may be worth skimming your listing to check for readability and formatting.

I’ve come across several profiles that are effectively just a series of run on sentences or typed out as a single paragraph with no breaks to indicate subject changes and no highlights or formatting to indicate what’s most important.


@bakindoki the OP’s listing couldn’t be any clearer, or precise, which is why she is so frustrated. I totally get you haven’t read it but I just wanted to clarify that point. If I were in the USA I wouldn’t hesitate to apply, even with the requirement of a contract, upon thinking about it. Sounds a great sit for a suitable person/s, though the OP is requesting a couple (totally her perogative). Just a little detective work as mentioned previously to see the listing - aka that term again about abbreviations /slang etc - “busy body” :laughing::rofl:


All good. As mentioned, didn’t see the listing so was more so sharing generally. If none of my comments applied to OP, no worries.

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I thonk the new 5 applicant limit compels sitters to apply without reading the entirety of listings - i know i’ve done it - but then will scrutinise things more carefully (and I will immediately withdraw the application if I find anything which contradicts my previous enthusiasm for the sit, such as necessity to sign a written contract!). I think this stipulation challenges the ethos of THS, and if a HO doesn’t feel able to trust the sitter, possibly an alternative (paid) service should be investigated.

Conversely, some listings seemingly comprise a cut and paste of everything from the welcome pack, which I really don’t want to read at this initial stage of the application process. A brief, clear synopsis, with lots of good pics is best (in my opinion).

@SiobhanFL, you say you ‘have always been able to attract quality applicants’, so what do you think has changed, now? Have you amended your listing at all?

When we’re ready for a video chat, we’ll have read and re-read the listing and made a list of main points, together with prompts for questions we may have about the pets, the home or the area. Anything less surely implies a lack of interest or a sloppy attitude, which may have wider implications for care of pets and homes.


I have in my title as a HO something like “ONLY COUPLE OVER 40 FROM X” and in 70% there are other people applying like girls of 21, single men from Y, etc.

They are just blocking my listing and the possibility to apply for other sitters with this totally ridiculous 5 applications limitation.

When I am in a good mood I just delete them immediately, when I am in a bad mood I send them a really very bad message, hoping that they never will do that again.

This people that even can’t read the TITLE should be blocked from THS. How can someone like that really take good care of pets.

It’s wasting my time and my nerves. I really hate it.


Oh Siobhan, how true and how much I sympathise having had the same experience.
In the years of Andy we had applicants who applied and had already done a quick search on how they could get to our small island to see how viable it was for them. And they applied really quickly. After all it doesn’t take but a few minutes to put a search into your browser.
One of the applicants we had for a sit, after having video chats with three and selecting one, when we accepted just said thanks but i’ll let you know by the end of next week so what can you say to that? …. except I withdraw my offer and start the whole process again.
The quality of registered sitters on THS has greatly deteriorated since Andy and the new THS owners marketing practice.

Edited to meet Community Guidelines.


In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve not read through the responses here…yeah, ironic. I just finished breakfast in a shop in Thailand and I’m going exploring. I’m not on a sit.

Anyway, I’m really sorry you’ve gone through this. I’m more than a bit shocked, although it explains what I’m experiencing on the sitter side. I’ve all but given up on sitting and I had been fully nomadic, really enjoying my furry friends as I traveled.

I read listings thoroughly…really thoroughly, even looking through all photos (which must include the babies AND the house or I don’t consider it). I also read the reviews (again, a must have, learned through experience). I can’t imagine a responsible sitter doing differently. Again, I’m really sorry. I hope TH changes its policy. I’m finding opportunities gone by the time I do my due diligence.


Agreeing with the problem of the 5 person policy…and on top of that, I am an American with the time zones against me :roll_eyes: by the time I even see the postings that I have so thoughtfully ‘favorited’ in the UK, they are already under review.

I have been planning a 2-month trip to the UK since last summer. I still have two weeks open in the middle (when I’d hoped to visit Scotland) and I can’t seem to even get an application in. By the time I get my notification of matches for my dates and locations, it is full evening in the UK, and the roster is full-up.


As far as I know you as a pet owner can decide whether you stick to this 5-application limit or not. In my eyes it is one of the new unreasonable control measures by TH. It should be up to the pet owners to put the limit. Do if you can choose and put the limit higher it could help eliminate part of the overhasty applicants.


@BeckyOnTheHill - that isn’t a current option even though some members have been asking for it.
Previously (by THS own admission) a small minority of listings received many applications. At that time homeowners could pause applications at any time so they could comfortably manage the situation. That has been taken away from them and now we are all dealing with the rule of five.
Again a case of using a sledge hammer to crack a nut!


It’s so frustrating, even if you are in a European time zone. I’m trying to sit in a particular country atm. I’ve secured one sit there luckily but literally as soon as the alert goes off I’m on it but often already filled up. Thus making the point of an ‘alert’ pointless!!!


Totally agree. It’s a case of one policy causing unintended consequences. Even raising it to 10 would be better and, as you say, letting owners chose if they want to apply it. However THS seem very intransigent in their position which makes me think it’s probably linked to some premium thing they’ve got lined up. I. E. If you pay more money to them you’ll be allowed to apply to more sits/get priority etc. Like many good ideas, airbnb etc, these things turn into profit making over mutual aid.


How frustrating this must be and presumptuous of a potential sitter who feel their time is more valuable than yours.

My husband and I are brand new to TH sitters and are very excited about our first sit in VA this summer. We had an enjoyable video chat yesterday. They will find we are a great fit for them and we are looking forward to caring for their home and ‘kids’ :dog2: :black_cat:
I read everything in great detail before applying for it. As it should be so as to not waste you, the homeowners time and energy. We’ve only applied to this one so far. We are 42 years married and have house sit for friends and family. We enjoy it very much.

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