Mostly OK sitters but cat box neglect: how to review

What kind of review would you leave if sitters were mostly ok, but left a cat litter box HEAVING? It was clearly several days’ accumulation. I don’t want a retaliatory review, but I feel I need to be honest about this, as that was one of their main duties… It looks like the cat may have had an accident on the carpet as a result (which they did clean up, sort of). Advice/thoughts?

Hey Katherine, have you spoken to the sitter since to ask them what happened?

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Hello Katherine,

I would like to wish you a warm welcome to the TrustedHousesitters forum. Here you will find lots of experienced members that can offer helpful tips and advice. I hope that you connect with some of them and find it useful.

I am sorry to hear that you had a housesit where all of the pet care duties were not carried out as you had hoped. Did you communicate this to the sitters after the sit? It can be very helpful to reach out to the sitters and give some feedback and ask if they had any issues carrying out any tasks during the sit. Clear communication before, during and after is often the key to helping things go smoothly.

There are other forum topics which have discussed a similar issue and advise on how to leave a review and this might prove helpful to you.

That’s awful, and I’m staggered that a sitter would be like that. I personally hate litter trays, much preferring cats who go outside, but would never dream of leaving a tray like that, but would immediately remove any poo as soon as I saw it.
So sorry you’ve had that experience. As suggested reach out to the sitters but you should mention in your review, as diplomatically as possible, about the dirty litter tray.

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Nobody enjoys cleaning a litterbox, but it is one of the most important duties when cat-sitting… The smell alone would drive me crazy! I scoop multiple times a day when I have foster cats (my resident cat goes outside).

I’m on some cat Facebook groups and it is astonishing that some cat owners apparently think that scooping every 2-3 days is enough. Yuk! Maybe she is one of those people.

if you asked her to scoop more often and she didn’t, I would definitely mention it in the review, so future cat owners are aware. You could drop some stars for “Pet Care” and explain why, e.g. “Anna took great care of the house but may need to be reminded to clean the litterbox at least once a day. Pixie’s litterbox had a few days worth of waste when we returned. As any cat-lover knows, cats avoid a dirty litterbox and go somewhere else. We suspect that Pixie did this while we were away”

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I’m a sitter:

I think you need to rate this down heavily. Its basic pet and house care.

If they neglect something like that, what else do they avoid doing?

There are many great sitters out there that don’t get opportunities because inconsiderate sitters do. Please consider a 3 star rating or below. :pray:

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Hi @katherineusc - I would say that litter box maintenance is a very important part of cat care.
You are able to review the sitter on five categories so simply give a mark for each one and then comment on any aspect of the sit that went particularly well and other areas which didn’t.

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You can put 5 stars for 4 chapters and only 3 for the chapter concerned
the average will be 3 or 4?

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I guess so - I think it’s personal but frankly speaking, this is a platform for animal lovers.

If they are happy to take a sit and not even provide an appropriate level of competence, I don’t think I’d ever give more than 3 stars.

4 stars is “good” in my book and I’d feel like a monster for leaving any animal to tiptoe around its own waste due to my laziness

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@katherineusc Hello and welcome to the Community Forum. :slightly_smiling_face:
Honesty is always the best policy in my opinion and extremely helpful for future homeowners when they are deciding who to entrust with the care for their precious pets and homes. As @Lassie said, ”Nobody enjoys cleaning a litterbox, but it is one of the most important duties when cat-sitting…” I completely agree it is one of the most important duties when cat-sitting.
As @Carla-Moderator mentioned, did you discuss this with the sitters after the sit? If not I would suggest asking them if they had any problems with regards to undertaking the tasks required during the sit. Hopefully the other forum topic titled ‘House sitter was good, but one thing went wrong - What to do’ will help you to complete a constructive review, and remember ’words’ as well as the star ratings are very useful when it comes to writing reviews, they provide a lot of information for others, not only for homeowners but sitters too.

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Hi @katherineusc. Sorry that’s terrible from your sitter. As someone that has looked after 10’s of cats for decades a clean litter tray (especially for indoor cats) is one of the essentials! You feed/provide water, play/attention and clean the litter tray. Basics really.

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I think you need to tell the sitter so they know not to do this again. I’ve gone as far as to make a daily checklist for my sitters and cleaning the litter box is on it twice (AM and PM). It’s critical for cats to have a clean place to go! When you review I would give less stars (2 or 3) for Pet Care and mark the other areas as you feel are appropriate. Overall, I’d go pretty low on the stars as cleaning a litter box is right up there with feeding the pets.

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Sad to hear that your sitter didn’t meet your expectations on several issues. Cat care and cleanliness is just a basic part of petsitting, and should NEVER be overlooked. An honest review is important for all parties, however, it may be helpful to have a conversation with the sitter to determine how they dropped the ball on several issues. All the suggestions posted here are spot on for reviewing this past sit, and for you during consideration of potential future sitters.

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@Peg really like the daily checklist option. As sitters, we always appreciate clear expectations and instructions for each pet.

I don’t mind cleaning litter trays at all, and would usually clean it 2-3 times a day (if it’s the fun, clump-like sand!). I like a clean toilet, why would kitties, with much more advanced noses, have to use a stinky loo?

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So @katherineusc, you started this thread and have had a lot of responses, what do you think?

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I’m the same @botvot . Although I have more experience cleaning up dogs’ poop, I think cleaning up cats’ poop is a lot easier, and I actually (weirdly!) like using the large scoops with holes/slits in. The biodegradable cat litter sticks to the poop too, so it’s not even that messy.

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@BillyBonnieBenji Same! I find it very satisfying to scoop, clean out and level the litter tray. Maybe it comes from my horsey background of clean and level stables, but it has definitely moved over to cat litter cleaning now :rofl:

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It feels to me like a tiny version of those Japanese zen sand scrapers :joy:

@botvot Yes! that is exactly what it feels like, thank you for bringing up that comparison as I will picture it every time I clean a litter tray.