Do I mention in review or not?

It does sound a bit nit picking to mention it. A cat is very happy to be left alone for a few hours and maybe they put extra food down when they left to allow for the lunch time feed. I don’t think you should mention it if all was okay when you arrived home.

About the possibility of future sitters passing on this host’s sits if they mention that these sitters left unilaterally: Maybe that would be a good thing, if this host wants sitters who do as they say they will. THS is about finding matches, after all.

Personally, I don’t know why any sitter would feed a pet something different if the host specified that they have a certain diet. It’s not your pet. The host is entitled to decide what their pet eats. Plus, you might make the pet sick, since you don’t know them as well as the host. In this case, the OP wrote: “… my cats are on a strict diet which they were aware of.”

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On the other hand the important thing here is the lack of communication not the act. In this you make it sound leaving early is the bad thing, but that is not, If its communicated and agreed on before.

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Yes for me I am want sitters who communicate any change of plans asap and we mutually agree a solution

These sitters had a last minute change regarding their arrival time but they communicated as soon as they knew . Not sure why they didn’t do the same when they left

I think I will have to update my welcome guide as while I do say no treats in it , I don’t specifically say no table scraps, turkey etc . I probably won’t mention that in the review

I’m torn as the feedback on this topic seems to be 50 50 split between I should say it V’s been nitpicky

The big picture is that I do go away most Christmas’s so would need a sitter most years . I’m aware of how hard it is to get Xmas sits . I also don’t want this to happen again , sitters leaving without checking with me . For me it’s the principle , sending me a message AFTER they have left

I’m flexible , if plans change . It’s just that they never communicated with me that they were wanted / needed to leave earlier
They just left and sent me a message after they left . This I am not ok with . I prefer more transparent communication

Communication with them was fine before that …

I think If there was a clearly agreed on time for leaving, it is not right to leave earlier without asking. For me, it is not only a question of communication it’s a question of being able to trust people sticking to their word. The turkey issue is even more important because of possible consequences. There were no consequences, OK, but I don’t think it is up to the sitters to decide what to feed the pets, especially when it was specified that they should have no treats. Anything outside the diet can be considered a treat. It could help to specify it but I think it’s common sense. I do agree that the best time to mention it was right after getting the picture not only to be fair to the sitter but also to prevent them from giving any further treats.
I’m a sitter myself and I like to follow the HO’s guide in every little detail.
Another aspect to be considered is the 5 star rating system. Are 99% of HWs and sitters really “equally perfect”? You can give 5 stars as a general assessment and rate another aspect with 4, maybe communication or reliability or you can give 5 stars in everything and mention it in the wording of the review. @BJane wording is perfect.
I would never be put off a sitting by a negative review by a HW if it is a factual review and I I feel it’s about time that we start using the grading system for what it is.

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Hmm, that’s difficult. From your description I expected that you’d made clear something like “our cats have a specific diet that should be followed with no additional exceptions”. I think instead of trying to list all the specific foods that can’t be added, better to make it clear that only the foods on the approved diet are to be given to them.



While I can understand that the communication around the sitters departure was not ideal, I would love to see the messages between you. Your use of “when the sitters could leave” implies that you wanted them gone promptly on your return. Is it possible that your message to the sitters implied some urgency and importance to them leaving as soon as you were back? Or even a little before? I can see then how they might make the jump to leaving before you arrived home if an opportunity presented itself.

Your pets are cats. They can safely and easily be left for a period of time. So there was no danger to the animals.

I’d likely not mention it. But it’s not unfair if you do. Just be sure to do so by keeping it in the appropriate context with the rest of your review.

I’ve had sitters overfeed my dog because she is always food seeking and they said she wasn’t getting enough food. She was visibly fatter and had gained 8 pounds when I returned (20% of her ideal weight) and it took months to get her back to her healthy weight. Sitters should not alter any animals diet. That is worth mentioning.

Thank you , that’s a much better idea . I’ll update my welcome guide accordingly

Is there a better way I can put it in my review .

Cats were fine but wished I knew about change of plans before they left

@violet123 you can rate the sitter on their organisation and reliability.
If you feel that they let you down in any of these areas you can deduct a star(s)
For the categories of clean and tidy and Happy Pets you can give them the full five stars.

You can say that on the last day of the sit xx left before the time that we had agreed and they did not communicate this to me until after they had already left my home .

Thanks . Think deducting a star might be a bit harsh would it

Give them 5 in everything than communication and then that’s honest but fair @violet123 - put the detail unemotionally in the review and talk to them privately about your issues. #allbasescovered

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I’m going to admit that as a catparent, my experiences with THS have been better than with using a friend, or hiring an independent sitter, or using a local small business that sent sitters. Prior to THS I had dropins and overnights – paid. What I found was that often I couldn’t even pay for what I wanted in terms of keeping to a schedule and span of time between feedings. Sitters had their own professional schedules. A friend once left me in the lurch because I was living in a studio at the time, and the cat woke her up too early!

THS has actually been much better, but it is a compromise with give and take. If the sitters had a change of plans that meant a long drive to a hotel and maybe wanted to get there before dark, that’s not an unreasonable request. It’s also not at all unreasonable for them to not get permission, but just let you know, especially as it was just a few hours. No cats were harmed here! It shouldn’t be a deduction.

The turkey thing shouldn’t have happened, but the fact that the sent you a photo, means they somehow missed it in the Welcome Guide or didn’t understand the significance of no means not at all not any ever. That’s something you should mention to them privately because it’s important. And maybe emphasize more in the future, verbally and in your Guide. It sounds like they were great sitters.

There are enough bad sitters out there – people who just should not be doing this – that IMO you could save the warning reviews for them.


From what you’ve said, I wouldn’t deduct any stars if they were no other issues but I would mention it in the review. I don’t think it’s ok for a sitter to leave before the agreed time without letting you know beforehand. I would just say something like ‘sitter left a few hours earlier than agreed which was fine but I would have preferred them to tell me before, rather than after, they left.’


It seems murky whether there was an agreement about what time the sitters “could leave.”
edit: missing letter

@Marion . . . I completely agree with your perspective - which you’ve put into words far better than I could. :slightly_smiling_face:

No it was explicitly agreed and confirmed multiple times - at. Video call , sit confirmation , in person handover . I had sent a message confirming time again the night before the sit ended .

They never responded until the following day when they informed me that they had already left . I was completely in the dark that they wanted to leave earlier until I got the message that they had left , which they only sent AFTER they left .

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Were they supposed to be staying until you got home? I’m just curious because if they were to leave before you returned anyway they may have thought that leaving earlier was not a problem. I primarily sit for cats and HOs almost always tell me to just feed the cats in the morning and then leave whenever I want. I’ve only had one cat sit where I’ve needed to stay until the HO returned and that was for a diabetic cat that needed injections twice a day.

@violet123 , this makes me think of an owner friend who had a sitter that was A in some categories and F in a very important category. My friend in, order not to ruin the sitter’s chances, gently mentioned the shortcoming but gave the sitter a 5-star composite score.

Flash forward. The sitter completed several more sits, a few that deducted stars. The last one, however, was very bad and caused the sitter to leave the site. I wonder whether a more critical review by my friend could have saved these other owners a lot of aggravation.