Time With Pet v. Time Touring

As a new member, I was preparing my listing and was wondering how to balance my cat’s need for company versus the sitter’s desire to tour the area in which I live. My cat is young and spoiled and wants company. The sitter is exchanging the sitting service for the opportunity to explore a new location. For example, Naples is a few hours from Miami. A round trip plus a day touring in Miami may take 10 hours. Is this something I should put in my listing or hash out in the video call?


All sitters and all home-owners are different, so different expectations can be set on both sides.
We often take sits for an opportunity to take a break during a long trip to relax.
But some sits we take to explore a new area.
Therefore it’s important that the HO make clear their expectations re time in the home - and it’s fair to expect a sitter to make clear what they are able to do…
In your situation, if you’re going for a week, you could state that over the course of the 7 days, you understand a sitter might be out for one or two 10 hour stretches but otherwise your pet not be left alone for more than 5-7 hours on the other days (leaving before lunch coming back by dinner time).
(BTW, personally not interested in your area but answering in the spirit that I appreciate when a home-owner is clear about those expectations.)
When a home owner posts that their pet cannot be left alone for more than three hours? I’ll pass it by. That’s really not reasonable for most unpaid sitters: IMHO too strict an expectation ceases to be a win-win.
However, we recently took a sit to deal with a few days of expected jet-lag and were in the home all but 2-3 hours a day! So if that’s what you need, just make it clear.


I agree with @ASASG be clear on what you would like and unless your requirements are super restrictive, you should have no problems finding someone who suits. Many.people work from home and are happy to only spend a few hours our and about. We rarely get going before midday and are rarely out later than 7 or 8.


Hi @ELight ! Welcome to THS and the forum. @ASASG gave you some good feedback.

If you add your listing to your forum profile, members can give you additional feedback. This is how to do that: How to add your listing or profile to your forum profile.

Here is some more reading material for you:
What should I include in my listing?

Appreciate the insights. I personally wouldn’t see the point of free pet sitting if my exploration time was excessively limited. But then I have a young cat that isn’t keen on being left alone. Tough balance.

Thanks again.

I appreciate the feedback.

Thank you!

@ELigh , just list your requirements in your listing. You will find someone able to satisfy them. As @Timshazz says, there are many digital workers who spend a lot of time in the home. In addition, you are generously allowing them to have time touring. Ten hours is a long time! A dog could almost never be left that long.


Just be clear about your expectations in the listing and talk about it on the video call. Make sure would be sitters know your kitten can’t/won’t be left alone for however hours you deem necessary. Yes, it might cut down your applications but it’s probably better to emphasis the kittens needs than have yourself worrying about her care when you are away.
Naples is a beautiful area and I for one wouldn’t want to take a trip to Miami from there. There is too much to see and do in the Naples area.


@ELight welcome to the forum! I see you are already getting great advice from our seasoned members but I want to chime in on the beauty of Naples, FL and surrounding areas. There is a great deal to see and do within just an hour or so from Naples. This includes Marco Island, Ft. Meyers, Sanibel Island…all so close with beautiful beaches, great shopping and great restaurants. Since they are so close, it would be easy for sitters to spend just a few hours away during the day instead of such a long haul to Miami.

I would not think many sitters would feel comfortable venturing out all the way to Miami where they would spend such a great deal of time away from your little furball. Those types of trips are really best done prior or after a sit such as yours. I would just suggest you list areas closer by that can be visited for shorter periods of time.


Thank you for your comments!


Really great feedback to my first post! And the comments about Naples are really appreciated.

I’m sure I will learn how to use these resources more efficiently but I can say I really feel the support of an animal loving community.



You are really not going to have a hard time finding a sitter for your baby. Your area is quite popular.


Not all sitters are tourists, and not all tourists are feverishly checking off sight-seeing boxes. :blush:

When I house sit I spend the majority of my time in and around the home. (and because of that, I choose homes and neighborhoods with which I will be comfortable)

I’m not just a “slow traveler,” apparently I’m a very slow traveler. :smile:
I really like what I call “micro-exploration.” Getting to know neighborhoods and watching nature change, seeing what’s sold at the local farmers’ market, and just mindfully noticing interesting stuff wherever I am.

And I’m often booking a sitting gig where I can periodically hang out with family or friends locally, not because I want to march through all the “important” sights the area boasts.

If I want to go full-bore tourist, I can book a hotel or airbnb!

THS sitters should always know that the animals come first. (and you can look for signs of this attitude in sitters’ profiles, applications, and interviews)

Your cat’s needs are important! You are allowed to advocate for her needs! :heart_eyes_cat:

(but yes, do politely detail in your listing about how much time you want the sitter to spend at home, so the right people apply and know what’s important to you!)

Post-pandemic, it is common for hosts to describe “spoiled” or “anxious” pets in their listings, and to detail how much time they enjoy / are used to having human company. We all get it!


@ELight We have 1 cat and he is used to us being home most of the day, so when I look for a sitter I would prefer someone that isn’t gone all day. I have found that sitters who work remotely and/or are nomdic fit what we are looking for.

In your listing, mention that you have a young cat that needs lots of attention and playtime and that you want the sitter to go out & enjoy the area but prefer that your cat isn’t left alone all day.


I have added my listing to the forum profile. Thank you for helping me on my first day. Lots to learn still but the support community is awesome.


@ELight Naples is a great place and you’ll have plenty of applications. I personally wouldn’t want to travel as far as Miami, and there are great places to explore so much closer to Naples. We prefer a mix of relaxing at the home and much shorter trips out to explore the local area.

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We cannot leave our dogs for hours on end as they are destructive to the house. I make this very clear to sitters. Having said that, we have a little studio apartment under the house that we encourage the sitters to stay in a few days before and after a sit so they can explore and get extra free accommodation. That works for us and for the sitters we have had so far. It’s best to lay out expectations ahead of time.


Hi, Debandbee - Two points about your response:
(1) It’s very thoughtful that you offer to provide “free time” before & after the sit for sitters to enjoy the area before a more constrained sit period. That signals an understanding of a win-win mentality.
(2) The Devil is in the details, as they say. One two hour “break” out of 24 seems very demanding. How would the pet-owners manage that themselves? But if the animals can be left alone twice a day, each time for 2-3 hours, that’s not too much to expect - especially if the home is close to places a sitter would enjoy exploring. And once we took a ssit that wanted us take only one short excursion per day: it suited us perfectly as we were coping with jetlag!
All of which is to say, clarity in communication is key!

Edited to comply with posting guidelines

We don’t go out much. It’s that simple. Or we get a Dogsitter in for the day. It costs us a fortune to go out to dinner

My requirements are they are not left alone for more than 2 hours total. If people don’t like that they don’t have to apply. That’s why we offer people to stay before or after. I haven’t had any shortages of sitters with a fabulous house in Spain