What to leave for our sitter

We are leaving our home and cat with our sitter soon. Is there anything (in addition to the Welcome packet) that we should leave for our sitter? Should we leave her some cash for any unexpected events? What are some kind things to leave? Thanks!

1 Like

This article is good


@jojodey I hope you have a great first THS experience. Generally speaking, the most important things that you can leave for your sitters are a clean and tidy home, a comfortable bedroom with space in drawers/closets, space in the refrigerator and pantry , plenty of pets supplies, and clear instructions for your home and pets. Many hosts ask their sitters if there is anything that they need in advance, because this is often personalized, especially if this a rural sit and/or if the sitter does not have a car. Hosts often supply a welcome meal, but I would not do that without first asking, since food preference and allergies vary. Enjoy your vacation.


I agree with Southernsitter - a clean, comfortable home!
I usually leave essentials (outside of obvious things like cooking oil/salt/pepper/spices) such as coffee, creamer, milk, eggs, fruit, and sometimes a bottle of wine or beer if they drink, if they are non-alcoholic drinkers, I leave them gift cards from our nearby coffee shops.


I always like it when I arrive to a clean and organized house that has good supply of hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, and a host who welcomes our family to eat and use whatever we want. We normally don’t end up eating their food but it’s always a nice feeling when they offer. The house sit that I’m at right now literally has in the welcome guide “mi casa es su casa” . We feel appreciated when hosts feel grateful


I agree with everyone else about making sure you provide a clean/tidy home. We have a toddler so I put away all her toys and baby items as most of our sitters don’t have children and frankly her things could be a nuisance to those that want a calming sitting experience.

We always get the house professionally cleaned before our departure. I want our sitters to feel comfortable in our home so I do my best to make sure our guest quarters are as close to an “airbnb” as possible and that they know where any “back stock” is located like - biodegradable poo bags, leashes, doggie water bottles, dog car seatbelts, paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex, cleaning products, detergent, trash bags. I show them where first aid kit, fire extinguisher, extra towels, linens, blankets are kept too in case they need them. I really want them to feel like this is their home while we’re gone - so while all of that is in the welcome guide I’ve found that most sitters appreciate being shown so they don’t have to “look it up” to find something they may need quickly, they already know.

After many posts here saying that quite a few sitters prefer an empty fridge - I now ask sitters before they arrive if they would like to enjoy our perishable fruits/veggies or if they would prefer I remove them? (I donate our food to a shelter if they prefer a clean fridge.) I show them the drinks they are welcome to consume if they choose as well as offer anything in our pantry. I also have a quick cheat sheet on the fridge of our Vet, emergency Vet, neighbors numbers and our two emergency contacts nearby. I also almost always leave our kitchen with a pretty floral arrangement because I love flowers and I think it’s a nice gesture.

TBH it’s a lot of work. I think of it like all the things I would do if a close family member or good friend were coming to visit. When we return we always bring some sort of thank you gift.


@jojodey it is truly up to you as to if you want to leave something for the sitter, but nothing is required or ever expected. We did always leave a gift basket for the sitters that included local travel info (coupons, attractions, etc) as well as bottled waters, breakfast snacks and a few sweet treats (and a bottle of wine if they said enjoy it). It wasn’t necessary but I felt they were doing me a MAJOR favor by staying with our little girl Sassy in our home and they appreciated it as well.

Just go with your heart and it will lead you the right way!


That is fine of course but as a sitter I do not expect hotel standard. I am a guest in a home where people live with pets. I am then also a bit afraid that my cleaning at the end of the stay might fall short of the HO’s standards.


New here - living in Switzerland.
So far I cooked for the sitter on arrival and drove them to the shop. Logically spices and things like oil/vinagre is available, as tea and coffee. Did show other essentials but understood the system does work like “living for free - rest the sitter organises itselve”.
Now heard from a sitter “got an envelope with money, or vouchers, or even vouchers for sport lessons or beauty treatments”.
Please… what is expected and normal average?
Thank you

Btw… sheets in the washing were a highlight for me! So amazing!!!


@heike.trojer1 welcome to the forum. You sound like a very considerate and welcoming Home Owner.

Nothing is expected aside from a warm welcome and a clean home with a comfortable space for the sitter to feel at home . A sitter shouldn’t “suggest “ anything more .

We always appreciate a warm welcome … that shows we are not being taken for granted …that we are welcome guests ( not hired help )

We haven’t had a home cooked meal (yet) … butHome Owners have made us feel welcome in their own personal ways …… some of these have been:
cut flowers from the garden
in our room,
a bottle of wine and a card,
a re- heat meal in the fridge from a luxury store
a pass to a local attraction …

We appreciated these but we don’t expect them.


As a sitter, I would not like that. I would become suspicious: “Do they think I am too fat and out of shape?” :slight_smile:

I did not really like it when they left money for me. I thought that I was like a kind of guest, and I would wish to be treated like socially equal.

So yes please, the welcome meal with the pet owners, that is what I like.

1 Like

You are a very thoughtful homeowner


Hi @Kelly_U,
Your post struck a cord with me as I’ve just finished a local sit on Sunday for the week. The HO said they had a lot of amazing cheese and could I please say I liked cheese and eat as much as possible! There was some amazing cheese that probably cost the same as my weekly shopping budget! So I gladly made a big dent in the cheese selection.


Hi @jojodey. I agree with everyone else that for sitters is arriving to find a clean organised house with the kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom of particular importance.
Access to condiments is helpful. If there’s some welcome supplies that is very nice but not needed.


Our home is farrrrr from hotel standards :rofl: as I mentioned we have a toddler and there are sticky little hand prints everywhere in addition to a playful young pup.

We don’t expect the homes we sit at to look like hotels because they’re not but I wouldn’t want to use my daughters bathroom if it wasn’t cleaned up before. This is just what we do as homeowners and I certainly don’t expect every member to do the same nor do I expect our sitters to “deep clean” our home before we return. To me providing a clean tidy home is a sign of deep respect of all the work and care our sitters will in turn be doing for us.


We have also have had a homeowner ( also with children ) who requested that we arrive a couple of hours after they left so that the cleaner could come in before we arrived .
They also asked us to leave by a certain time in the morning telling us not to clean because the cleaner would come in after we left and get it ready for their return later in the day .

We of course tidied as we went along as usual . It was a very relaxing sit knowing that a cleaner would be coming in after us .


In Queso emergency you’re welcome to all our cheese :rofl:

I’d return just for the cheese alone :drooling_face:


I agree… though I realise “while packing for the family - same time cleaning and having the perfect tidy home” is quite a big challange added to the stress of leaving!!!
this is what I realise more and more :wink:

1 Like

That’s super nice that you get your home professionally cleaned!
No children here, but even myself sometimes think about just paying for someone to come clean because I’m usually so tired after cleaning when I have family guest with little children :smiley: , that is why we have no shoes in the house rule and just cleaning after oneself, so only minimal cleaning needs to be done before sitters arrive or when they leave.

1 Like

I was the “house cleaner” until I got pregnant and would have continued as you say it’s a lot less to clean up but now it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve made to pay for a cleaner. We just can’t keep up otherwise and it’s important for our child’s health too since she’ll eat just about anything off the floor :rofl:.