Shocked by what HO asked

Hi All
Had a HO video call where the (first time) HO said they were looking for someone that wouldn’t punish their cats by hitting them! I was somewhat taken aback. I assured the ho I had never hit an animal (or person for that matter) and THS was built for pet loving sitters like me that would also never think of hitting an animal regardless of what they’d done.
I assured the HO anyone found to be hitting pets would be removed from the platform and should be reported to the relevant authorities.
Anyone else had HO’s say something that took you back?

WHAT? If someone did this to my pets I don’t know what I would do. This is outrageous, but I think even on a pet sitting platform people like that can be found.
Thankfully the new review system now allows owners to be truthful about these people.
By your description they were not from THS, but even though…

Yes exactly @Pawtastic. It was a new HO member.
I did read a shocking article that talked about how a number of pet abusers went on to be the most evil people in history (serial murders etc) as it shows any empathy.
BTW. I do hope while their are some sitters that don’t need to be on the THS platform they are not physically abusing any animals.

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If this had happened to me I probably would never trust anybody again with my pets.
I am even very choosy when I need to look for a new cleaning lady. The first months I am always around or come back unexpectedly after leaving the house while she works. Only when I see that our cats aren’t scared of her (except when she is using the vacuum :rofl:) I trust her enough to come when I am not there, which happens often due to my job.

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Wow! It’s an interesting insight into the things that worry homeowners. I’ve had a lot of HOs say they’re worried but not get more specific than that. I’ve always kind of assumed they’re worried about partying (I’m fairly young) or me flaking on them so I’ve tried to reassure on those fronts.

Never would cross my mind that they’d be worried about animal abuse. But i guess it makes sense, there are some weird people out there.

Maybe naive of me but I hope the majority of sitters are here because they love animals!

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As in most countries the cleaning jobs are done by people from different countries and cultures, which sometimes means a very different relationship to animals. Not that I consider all people of these countries as not pet friendly, but when I see, for example, how cats and dogs living on the streets in certain countries are treated, I am wary when it comes to someone coming from there, and who will spend a lot of time in my house.
So what if a little kick lets the cat tumble down the stairs when it’s in the way? You never know so I better make sure. Thankfully my current cleaning lady loves my two kitties :two_hearts:
Of course I don’t assume that sitters would do this.

That’s horrendous to think someone treated their cats like that. A violation of the very worst kind. If I was a HO and that had happened to me, I’d be very trepidatious moving forwards but thankfully, I do believe there are far more decent ones who would never in a million years even raise their voice to an animal let alone a hand.

@Pawtastic. You are right that unfortunately in some countries relationships with animals isn’t good.
The HO of a sit I’ve just completed in Spain told me she had to speak to her neighbours in the above flat as their 2 young sons she caught throwing stones at her black cat. The Spanish think black cats are unlucky! Fortunately they stopped after she explained it was her cat and not a stray cat but still.

It’s sad that there was a distinction — clearly whether it’s a pet or a stray, no one should think it’s OK to throw stones at any animal, black or otherwise.

One of the good things I notice when traveling is how some countries take care of strays communally. Like when stray dogs and cats aren’t afraid of strangers and look well fed, it makes me think well of a culture.


I understand their concern, but am surprised that they felt they needed to ask. Had a previous sitter hit their cat? And if so, how did they know? That bit I find creepy.

@richten1 I think your reaction to the question would have reassured the pet owners enormously and I am sure they offered you the sit ?

I too would have been shocked at the suggestion that I would even consider this as suitable treatment of a pet.

Maybe a negative experience with a friend or family member who previously looked after their cat ?

Hi @DianeS
Not sure but as they were first time posters on THS it wasn’t through this platform if that had unfortunately happened.

No. They went with a friend to sit instead.
Not sure why they felt they needed to mention it. I didn’t ask as I said the shock probably stumped me for a minute.

It’s an odd thing to say, because if any prospective sitter were a screwed up animal abuser, would a host saying something like that prevent abuse? Or would any person like that admit that they’re animal abusers? Seems illogical to me. With such folks — illogical and lacking trust — THS isn’t a good fit.

Sometimes, when people say or do extreme sorts of things — like say what they did — those are good signals to pay attention to. Like even if someone like that offered me a sit, I’d pass. Because what other irrational crap might you have to deal with as a sit unfolds?

Why are you shocked? That’s a completely valid concern for a pet parent to have and discuss. I’ve discovered the best way to avoid problems is to clearly articulate everything you provide as a service and ask questions about what the other person provides as a service. No one using this site should assume anything about strangers and their way of life / the way they do business. You have to ask about your priorities.