Why would an owner use a newbie?

I love your profile and am so going to take some tips.

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I think if you feel good about the profile etc, you know if there going to be OK to sit, all sitters need a 1st sit, I would have no hesitation on using a first timer, wish I could find one for this month

That’s great! Good luck!

Hi @brendanxx - When we joined we thought the same and were in your position having been Airbnb hosts for many years but totally inexperienced pet sitters . We didn’t even have any people we could think of to use as references as we had never looked after any friends pets before - instead we added the link of our Airbnb profile and started to apply with THS.
We did not have to wait too long before getting accepted for our first sit, and once we completed that sit and received our first THS review the second seemed easier .
As I write this, one year on, we are now on our 21st sit! -


I think sitters come with all kinds of wonderful experience and qualities to offer and ‘newbie’, as it’s being interpreted here, appears to mean new to TH. Even those who are new to TH may be folks who are not newbies at all with respect to house/pet sitting…not by any stretch of the imagination. Every HO sets out to find the best fit, but hopefully, also goes by feel and connection too. I’m referring to feel/connection playing into things early, before an HO decides to only entertain profiles with tons of sits, by filtering out the rest at the get-go. That approach naturally eliminates some very talented folks based on a narrow criteria/data-set that they established from the beginning. No different than it would in an employment situation. Members openly report taking “anything” just to “build up” their sit numbers so that they appear more attractive to prospective HOs; perhaps that is also valuable insight for an HO consideration at the first stage too…when setting their search parameters to include only those with high numbers. Something to think about anyway.

Hi @Leftcoastofcanada I agree with you that there is a distinction between someone new to THS versus those who have other external experience caring for pets or a home. However, if I was an owner searching for a sitter, I would likely not consider a sitter without references.

When I first set up my profile, I spent a considerable amount of time writing a detailed profile. I also reached out to a wide range of people who could support my profile in some way. I believe the website suggests getting three references but I see sitter profiles with none. If someone had not put that degree of effort into creating their profile, then I would wonder how serious they were about pet sitting, and by extension, how dedicated they would be to caring for my pet and home.

I agree with you that there are many elements to consider when selecting a sitter. Unfortunately, a sitter with no references would not warrant me clicking their profile.

This is my personal opinion.


As others have noted, sitters are much in demand at the moment so HOs may be more willing to go with newbies. Personally I’m fine with TH newbie sitters, especially if they are older like you and have some life experience under their belt. I find that many experienced sitters prefer longer sits, so going with less experienced sitters is often the only choice for shorter sits. I got a chance to go way for 2 nights next week, so posted on TH hoping to find a sitter. A newly minted TH sitter who lives in my town applied, we talked and she seems fine (trained as a vet in another country), so all set. It’s a win-win: I got someone for a shorter sit and she gets a chance to gain some sit experience.

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@Pawtastic My statement you’ve quoted is merely how I would approach the list of sitters. The point you’ve addressed, such as to what degree I rate security, age, or the review system is secondary; I’m addressing whether I would click to view the profile in the first place.

When THS recommends three references and has data to support higher success rates when provided, then I’m unimpressed when a sitter doesn’t comply. I still put that down to lack of effort, or not having an attention to detail or instructions, which are important characteristics of a good sitter, in my opinion.

Yes, references can be falsely created, but so can profile content, unfortunately. My reasons for my statement are still rooted in that all-important first impression, and for me if the key elements of preparing a profile were not followed, I would then put that person after others, for the reasons I initially stated. You need not agree with me; it’s merely my preference. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you for the suggestions and those made by helpful others. I have tried the ideas with no luck and no positive responses.
While following up on some thoughts i came across a couple of pay for service pet sitting sites and it looks like that may be my best option. I am thinking that this may be the future for me and i am probably quite happy with this. I’ll leave the listing up for a bit longer and see how it goes. Thanks for the support.

Hi @Leoandme I’m sorry to hear you still haven’t found a sitter. I know what a lovely area it is, and you have glowing references from past sitters. So many variables affect how quickly a sit is filled. I do realize how important it is to get things organized, but you still have some time before the start date.

I’ll suggest two easy tweaks worth trying:

  • I’d shorten the headline to your key features ‘Quiet cats in walkable area’. If you need help accessing your headline, here are the instructions.

  • I’d switch out your first photo to the one of both cats. Many people are drawn to the pets more than the home.

Volunteer Moderator :canada:

Hi @Leoandme like @Snowbird I’m very sorry to hear that this sit experience isn’t like your previous ones and I believe that is the key, the situation today is so different to pre COVID times, you did find sitters in Feb/March of this year, was that typical of previous times or did it feel different also?

You have wonderful reviews and there is still time to find sitters as across all locations members are becoming more and more active and we also have to bear in mind that travel is still problematic and plans may take a little longer to formulate and finalize.

"On the last day Barbara took me to the drive through PCR clinic and sent me off to the train station. She actually set the whole day if I so needed.
All in all if 10 thumbs is available, I would have no hesitation to give Barbara that. I would highly recommend international sitters to house sit for Barbara. You will not regret it"

I would not give up yet although fully appreciate the need to have Jinx and Leo’s care in place and confirmed.

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Time sorts all things. I have secured a very suitable sitter for my August dates and am (obviously) very happy about this. Plenty of time for my other listings.


Hi @Leoandme that is excellent news and indeed …

Thank you for the update, have a wonderful trip … may we ask where you might be going?

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Heading for the Upper Gold Coast to visit my Aunt for her 95th birthday. Much celebrating.


How wonderful … have a safe journey and an amazing celebration, please wish Auntie a very happy 95th from your THS community … That’s a lot of candle power :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


So glad to see you did this because I did the same…went on feeling. I’m getting really nervous now, though, as this will be my first time getting a sitter. I hope I did well following my gut more than reviews. I like how @anon39388349 picked up on cues from a video chat. I really should do that too. I see so many recommendations to “be in communication” but tbh, I don’t like speaking on the phone especially if I don’t know the person…I don’t know what to ask or say! Any tips on that by any chance?

I find that if I talk about our cat, her needs and her routine questions will eventually pop up in my head about how they would react in certain situations or how they feel about certain things. Same thing about caring for our home. I also find you can get a lot of information just asking what brought them to house sitting and what they like about it. For instance if they were to talk a lot about visiting new places but say nothing about pets I would maybe question their motivations. :slightly_smiling_face:


That’s a great idea! Thank you!

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Yeah we covered all that in emails. So now I’m like “ok what do we talk about without sounding redundant”. But I see what you mean…. I’m just trying to think of questions that will elicit genuine answers and not questions that await an obvious response to which people will answer according to what they know you want to hear… I’ll keep your suggestions in mind:)
Thank you!

A couple also shares the tasks. It helps with calming the animals.