Will people trust me to cat sit for the first time?

Hi everyone, nice to meet you all ! :slight_smile:

I just found out about the opportunity of house/pet sitting from a family member who is currently doing it at their own home. It really opened my eyes to the convenience of being able to travel to different places and take care of pets in their own environment. I am actually planning to start doing it next year in the UK ( I am from France )

Even though I don’t have any professional experience, because I have been living in an isolating rural area all my life. I have taken great care of our family cat for 5 years now, who is like a brother to me. I am extremely attentive and protective when it comes to my own cat, so you can trust that I will treat any pets I’m sitting for as if they were my own !

As someone who is neurodivergent, I have a strong empathy towards animals. Taking care of someone’s cat(s) while away will allow me to stay grounded and connected even when I miss my own cat !

Would it be challenging for someone to trust me on this platform as a new (almost ) user without any references? Any advice would be appreciated, thank you very much x

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Can you get someone who knows your skills in caring for animals to write you a reference for your profile? I did that at the beginning and it was super helpful. I asked a friend who runs a rescue and who was involved in helping me get settled when I adopted a dog. My first dog.

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Lulubelle gives great advice. As an owner, if you applied for a sit with us with no previous sits/reviews, I wouldn’t exclude you as a possible sitter. I would definitely pay attention to any letters of reference in your profile though. If you dealt with any unique or unforeseen circumstances with any pets, make mention of the details. Showing good problem solving and critical thinking concerning pets would be a positive.

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Try finding a few house sits nearby which will enable you to acquire a few references before applying abroad. Good luck!

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Now with the holiday season, there is great demand for sitters. My first sit on THS was last Christmas, so if you are available, this is a good time to start. If you want to travel, just apply abroad. Send applications to several sits, because HOs can take forever to decide.

(And it sounds like you are much more experienced than I was!)

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Does my parents count ? They are the only people who I can think of

Thanks this is great to know ! I guess it will depend on the individual how they are comfortable etc.

I have notion of non-violent communication, but I’m not sure it this is helpful with pets haha

I would love to do that, the problem is that there is no ‘’ nearby ‘’ as my family and I live in a tiny hameau :confused:

This is great to know about holidays, I don’t think I could start this early yet, usually how much time before we know if we are accepted or not ? Example, when I would need to buy my trains tickets !
Ahh I dont really think myself of experienced, just caring a lot … I wish I could have more experience by doing this so finger crossed that things will go well when I decided to start this journey :smiley:

Yes, it would be difficult to obtain long-distance train tickets for some days in the holiday period.

But still, there are often “local” trains that can take you quite far without reservations.

Some HOs decide really fast (within hours). Some dates just expire without them choosing anybody.

Thank you for the infos, I think the best thing I could do is take a sit that is far away from the actual date so it’s never last minute :pray:t3:

Welcome @Mattythekiggy you will get lots of good advice on this forum.
It might be best to start with a sit closer to home - look for one in the country you are living in - France ? either on TrustedHouseSitters or on another pet sitting site Nomador .

It definitely helps to have a reference or two .
Can you offer to look after a friend’s, neighbour’s or family member’s cat and home to get started and then when you have done a great job ask them to write a reference about you ?

Thank you for the warm welcome, this forum seems full of beautiful advices and people ! :smiley:

I will try to see on Nomador, because on the THS website there is nothing near me sadly. We don’t have any friends or trusty neighbour, especially when it comes to animals, as we are almost off-grid in the countryside :s This is indeed a very difficult situation for me.

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I thought you had to have 3 references to even join THS as a sitter?? You did when I joined in 2019.
Do you have ANY acquaintances that can write a short reference for you regarding your responsibility/maturity/reliability, that sort of thing? Employers, teachers, present or past, family friends or relatives that could say something about your character?
Write yourself a good profile spiel. Why should they pick you? You’re basically creating a resume for the job of sitter and highlighting the reasons you’ll be the best person for the job.
Once you have a sitter profile, start applying for sits and just keep trying. People are more likely to choose a sitter with previous reviews and references, but sooner or later someone will take a chance on you. If you get a good review, then you have a foot in the door and the next ones will come.
I did have the 3 required references but I applied for 7 sits before scoring on the 8th. (Didn’t help that half of them were in a very popular touristy area and there were dozens of applicants for each!) Once you have a couple of reviews, it’s easier to get more. Just don’t get discouraged if you have to apply for a bunch before you get the first one.
You might get lucky with sits that are last-minute. Maybe their arranged sitter cancelled or something came up quickly and they need someone “now”, so they might be willing to take a chance on you with few references.
Before you apply, take a quick look at the logistics of getting there – plane/train tickets, travel time etc. to see if it’s feasible.
Bonne chance!

Welcome @Mattythekiggy
You will get sits but you’ll have a better chance of this with local sits and last minute sits in less desirable places until you start building up your reviews.
I started last on THS in June 2022. It took me 23 applications to get my first sit. I’ve just completed my 19th sit. So keep applying for sits and don’t give up even if it feels like you are pushing a snowball up ill to start with!

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You should join and then try and get a couple of local sits. I’m pretty unusual but as long as someone is kind and feeds/cleans for our cats, I’m happy. Although we have 1 adopted cat who was feral so she’s not too sociable. Her kitten (cat now) is more so but still not a lap cat. So I’d have you to sit if I needed a sitter. If you’ve grown with cats, you love them. Both my daughters adore cats.

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We did not put any references on to begin with, because we didn’t see the point in getting friends and family to write them, as they are totally biased. But what we found was if home owners know your story about why you are doing what you are doing, they will like and appreciate you for who you are.
In March 2023 we started with zero references, and within 6 weeks we were doing it full time (in the UK, so larger market in comparison to France). We love it!
The one thing I would recommend to help get you some bookings and reviews quickly, is to focus on closer to home to start with, as home owners know that you will turn up on time, without flight delays or long journey problems, so that puts you one step ahead of others that live further afield. Also, if you speak French, focus on French speaking places, as again that will put you one step ahead of non-french speakers, as their pets will understand French command words or praise words too.

Good luck

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Thank you everyone for your time! I ended up having a discussion with a house owner and feel better that I have a chance to do it, because of my personality and truthfulness !

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Also, does a reference of my family count if I took care of our cat for 2 weeks when they went on vacation ? All alone, thanks !

Very nice and happy for you, I relate a lot for the ‘’ appreciate you for you ‘’ :slight_smile:
This is really great wow, I would want to start in France, I think the thing that might be difficult for my family to let me do it in France is the global security that is ongoing right now in the country, they fear for my safety and don’t feel comfortable I take the train to go in a big city :confused:

That’s why I thought going abroad first would be better as they are more comfortable, since the trains tickets are weirdly much cheaper than to stay in my own country also ?