How to leave sitter's review if they failed primary task?

:clap:t3::clap:t3::clap:t3:I couldn’t agree more!

@Travel2Go I think focusing on what went RIGHT about the sit in the review first would be a helpful and positive approach. What did the sitter do well? What were you happy about? These things will help the sitter for future sits. As for the things you weren’t happy about, word it carefully and as sensitively as you can so as to help the person, not humiliate or embarrass them. I might say something like “Our cat has been so anxious since our return and it is not like her to be so needy. We would have liked if the sitter would have given her more attention and physical contact in our absence.”
I also agree with others that reaching out to the sitter privately is warranted as far as the house rules.
Just a suggestion.


I had a recent sitter who was wasn’t a failure - but only barely. She was really new to THS and had only one sit under her belt. I should have read closer between that reviewer’s lines, as well as taken more notice of what the sitter wrote (and didn’t write) in her profile. In essence, she was newly retired and “wanted to meet people”. Her focus wasn’t enough on the animal part of the Sit.

Her inattention led to mass chaos with my cats’ eating (two of the three are on special diets) that could have had serious implications. It was fortunate that it was only a four day sit!

In the end, I left her an “honest” review. She was very nice, very earnest, but I commented on my cats’ needs and that she would probably be more comfortable with “less complicated” sits. I did this because I wanted other HOs to be fully aware of this sitter’s limitations, since they could have serious repercussions.


I am new to TH and really concerned about the difficulty in alerting future owners to shortcomings in sitters through reviews. I have received a lot of 5* reviews and thought “no one is perfect.” And what their lack of perfection may be is important, as it will matter to some owners more than others. These 5* reviews also makes it difficult to give beginners a chance, since they will inevitably make some mistakes. Wouldn’t it be better for TH to insist in their reviews that the owners state one thing about the sitter that could be improved? This would take a lot of pressure off the owners and help us distinguish between an “ate my favorite cookies” shortcoming and an “under-petted our cat” problem. The same is true for owners. I’m sure sitters would appreciate knowing if my shortcoming was “didn’t give the sitter enough time to get adjusted” or “appliances didn’t work.” This would enable the next sitter or owner to know what to prepare for.

“Wouldn’t it be better for TH to insist in their reviews that the owners state one thing about the sitter that could be improved?”

I really like this idea. I just had a sitter (his first sit) and he fell short in my expectations. But he was good with the cats, and that was the important part. I sent him a separate email with my suggestions for future sits (which he took very well) and then gave him a 4* on that particular item. I gave him a good written review on what he did well, as I didn’t want to crush his chances of getting another sit.


So how do you find out if they’ve left a review? I’m a first time HO just completed first sit experience and it was a mixed bag -

Hi @Audreychloe as an owner you leave the sitters a review and you do this through your dashboard please see the link below.

Owners can request the sitters to leave their sit feedback

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I find that I’m in the same predicament, but I will go forward and leave them a honest review.

In my case, I think the sitter misrepresented herself as experienced in taking care of pets. The day of the sit, I clearly saw that wasn’t the case. The sitter seemed to contact me about things that would have been common sense to someone experienced with taking care of pets. I state this in my profile that I’m looking for a petsitter, not a housesitter as I have a senior cat and senior dog in my home.

Coming home, I saw things that were questionable as a dried ball of food which contained my dog’s medication. So my dog missed that dose for the day…which makes me think, how many times was she properly given her meds.

The sitter normally sits with her boyfriend, but this time she was solo. This leads me to believe that the boyfriend is the one that handles the petsitting duties.

At first, I wasn’t going to leave a review, but I realized I’m not helping the TH system. The only way that this site will truly work is if people give honest feedback. I feel like I would be doing future homeowners/pet owners a disservice if I wasn’t honest.


Overall, I’m going to leave them 4 stars for being reliable and self-sufficient. I don’t know if I should do 4 stars for pet care or 3 stars. What is your advice on that? The sitter was highly communicative for her stay and was very nice, but she definitely ranked on the low end of the sitters that I had. I would say it was average to a bit higher than average for pet care.

If you were really unhappy with the pet care, then go for 3. People are relying on your reviews to know if they can trust this person with THEIR pets. I will often try to read between the lines in someone’s review (or even their own profile) to determine how serious they are about the “pet” part of “pet sitting”.


I would just say that in the comments.

That is the nice thing to do for the sake of the community.


No, please, if they haven’t earned a 4 star rating, don’t give them one! I as a HO don’t constantly want to read between the lines! I want to know exactly how other HOs felt their sitters have done their job and I don’t want to start wondering what the others meant by writing around uncomfortable topics.

I truly hope you do not give more than 3 stars the thought of your fur baby nit getting its medication properly is frightening to me! Future prospective HOs need to be able to rely on honest reviews so please be honest


Update: I did give her a 4 star review regarding pet care and reliability. I was honest as you are totally right about. She left a me a review promptly right after I left hers…Sitter was probably not too happy with what I said, but it was the truth. I did say how there should have been things that came naturally to her if she really was experienced with taking care of pets. I also did mention that I was concerned about my dog missing her meds.

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6 posts were merged into an existing topic: Fear of making an honest ‘negative’ review

One owner who attacked me went on and on publicly about the ways I’d failed, so that, when I next applied to a sit, I addressed the review. Immediately I was invited to do the new sit and was told the other owner sounded crazy and they didn’t pay attention to that review. Readers do have the ability to detect unfairness and craziness, which is also how I diagnosed my attacker. I didn’t retaliate - she seemed so miserable.

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Hmm, I have been following this thread with a lot of interest. The topic is if the sitter failed the “primary task” of caring for cats. However, they are also caring for the home.

We have had almost a 100% awesome experience with sitters. We had one that went sideways in a number of ways, which I don’t want to go into here. Our pets seemed fine, although we didn’t get any updates about them unless we prompted our sitter. Once we arrived home, there were some red flags that concerned us. We chose to call the sitter and have a conversation about our concerns, which helped us understand to a certain extent what happened. At the end of our call, we agreed that we would not leave reviews for each other. This sitter has since received only 5 star reviews, and we are really happy that that they have had success as a sitter.

We learned a lot from this experience, however. For example, we now list that we don’t allow people to smoke/burn things other than the fire wood we supply. We also take time-stamped pictures of the state of our house before our trip, so that if a throw blanket is missing we can prove we had it before we left. We also learned to make sure our sitters have experience with stand-alone houses with yards, and are not just apartment-dwellers.

I don’t regret our decision to not leave our sitter a review. As others have mentioned on this thread, we all make mistakes and should have the opportunity to learn and grow. I try to assume best intent and both give and ask for grace.


How did you address your negative review? I have an unfair review as a sitter as well and need advice in how to approach the situation?

I think I already answered that above: I referred to it myself when next applying for something and was chosen anyway because owner #2 thought owner #1 sounded unbalanced. I didn’t attack back.

We are owners. And I would definitely review them. Just be honest! ie Took good care of our home but wasn’t attentive to our cat. We had discussed this prior to the sit so we were disappointed and wouldn’t recommend them if this is important to you. -
I would want to know as an owner. I may still have them as my sitter but I would be very diligent and ask a ton of questions.

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