Should personality affect rating?

I wouldn’t apply if I saw that kind of comment in a review.


I hadn’t thought of the reason you left in your last sentence. That makes sense. But I suggest several things to do, or see in the area. Since we just have a single cat, we have no problems with sitters being away for a whole day, even overnights in some cases, and tell them so. Most do let me know they enjoyed doing this or that. Most recent sitter totally ignored my questions asking if they’d had time to do various things and never offered thoughts on what they enjoyed.

I appreciate your thoughts, and it makes sense. Thank you!

I guess I hadn’t set exact communication/updates, so that’s one thing. But I can’t imagine letting a week go BT without a word from my sitter. They are, after all, taking care of beloved pets and living in our home with all our possessions. Simple updates including “ I’m enjoying the sit”, “your home is comfy”, or “everything is working out well” would reassure me that all is fine and I can trust this sitter. I think back to people I’ve entrusted to babysit our kids…nice to know a bit about their personalities before handing over your kids or pets to them. Does that make sense?

Just wondering whether you had a video chat with your sitters before confirming the sit @Sadiejane as that can help in determining sitters’ personality and whether you feel a connection with them where this is important to you.
As others have said, their communication with you could be improved but if it wasn’t discussed beforehand then it’s something to remember next time.


Generally, it should not. Nonetheless, it might, be challenging to separate the two and be 100% objective. I am currently in such a situation. I found my latest host not necessarily unfriendly, just not friendly, not my type of person. It’s been three days since I completed the sit, but I still feel I need more time to distance myself from the sit and my feelings to write a review.


This is an odd one and I keep reading the thread with interest. Definitely think it’s wrong to ding them a star on personality. If it’s non comms based on what you asked for (not just anticipated) then that’s different, an alternative comms style is their prerogative… We have enjoyed all our almost 40 sits and communicated well with every HO. However, only one of those has ever asked us if we’re having a good time or love their house or anything similar. (She’s now officially our Italian Mama but that’s another story :rofl::it:) They’ve all asked & been sent updates on the pets (& home if applicable) and that’s your lot. And we’re super chatty, communicative people with everyone. Maybe @Sadiejane they just thought it was odd or a little invasive or you were simply making chit chat? Put it down to experience and make your expectations of how much you like to interact clear for the next time. #differentfolksdifferentstrokes


I cannot remember numbers for that, but I think the majority of my hosts have asked that. And I always answer, for example telling places or events where I had been. But not an exhaustive account of everything.

And generally I do not really ask about them. So I might say “I hope your trip is good too” or something, but not directly requiring an answer. With the exception of course of their return travel.

One time I found that there was too much communication from the owners.


Wasn’t really intending it as a competition on stats, more an observation @pietkuip . HOs on the whole aren’t interested in what you’re doing in your downtime as long as their pets are happy. That’s our overall experience & that’s totally fine. They’re on holiday and we’re responsible adults doing our own thing. Maybe they ask you more info as you’re a solo sitter and they want to check you’re okay? #whoknows


That is probably it. They are wondering if I don’t get bored etc.

Maybe also because I don’t have a car to get around to see “the sights”. The owners often think that their little village or town cannot have much of interest for a traveller. And of course it is not like that at all, for me it is a new and exciting place.


@Sadiejane I do understand. You sound like a friendly host who likes to interact- many hosts don’t! And many sitters also don’t want too much contact- after all they are sitting the pets & home- not the hosts! Obviously these sitters weren’t the best match for you in social terms. That’s one of the benefits of a video call- to see if you gel with each other. We have, on occasion, withdrawn our application after a video call when we didn’t feel like it was a good energetic match.

Regarding contact with sitters - even if you didn’t specify message frequency- a whole week of silence is definitely too long & in your shoes I’d be following up too! We always message daily - every evening-on short sits and every 2/3 days or less if longer- but always with agreement of the hosts. I guess that’s why they rarely contact us- they know they’ll be hearing from us regularly.
We had one first time host last summer who sent multiple messages the first couple of days- asking lots of questions, checking if the cats were OK, had eaten, not escaped etc. It was a bit much to be honest! They were lovely people & probably just a bit nervous having sitters for the first time but they knew we were very experienced so they soon relaxed and all went well!
Good communication- finding a happy medium- is so important! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Hosts vary a lot, as well as sitters, so finding a match is key, as @Lokstar mentions.

Some of my hosts have gone beyond offering sightseeing recommendations. Like a British pair introduced me to neighbors who asked me out for afternoon tea and a lecture. My most recent American hosts asked whether I might want to visit a local historical site and then set me up with a friend who volunteers there. She ended up giving me a private tour. Separately, I had mentioned that I was going to have lunch with another sitter and my hosts suggested that I invite her for the tour, too.


I am so I grateful for all the responses. Thank you all! I’ve learned a lot. In the future I will be more aware that some sitters won’t fully appreciate my Midwest, small town inclination for chattiness, sharing personal experiences. Haha! I do like getting to know sitters a bit and do like to know if they are enjoying the sit. If not, hope there is some thing I could do to remedy the situation. I think I will explain that upfront next time. My previous two sitters were retired and like me, they enjoyed our exchanges of experiences. One has become our friend and has returned for two years, hoping she can make this year as well.

Maggie8k and @Lokstar, your recent posts make good sense. The sitter in question was much younger and I have zoom calls with all potential sitters. We did have a great zoom call. We had what I thought a great conversation when first arrived. But texts over time was the problem, the nonverbal nature of text communication didn’t help.

Based on all these thoughtful comments, I noted all the important aspects of her stay and critter care and gave her a perfect 5!

Unfortunately I found last night she has left me a scathing review! It’s truly an unfair assessment and I’m feeling so bad now and struggle as to how to reply. I’m opening a new topic this morning…”how to respond to negative reviews” for help.


I think this is a really good point and helpful to me as a newer sitter. When I left my cat I liked early frequent updates to make sure he was settled and happy and after that didn’t want to pressure the sitter to send lots of updates. But everyone is different and to ask for HOs personal communication preferences and frequency of updates sounds like the right approach. As long as it isn’t every 2 hour updates I’d be happy to accommodate whatever the HO wants.

Wow! After all your consideration and then that’s the backfire. Sorry to hear it @Sadiejane. Digest it, take a little time and then write a fair and factual non emotional response. #onwardsandupwards


That’s unfortunate. Agree with @Cuttlefish about how to respond.

I’ve had hosts who were clearly interested in what I’d been doing activities wise, but instead of framing it as a question, which some sitters might see as intrusive or micromanaging, they’ve said something like, “I hope you’re enjoying the sit.” That comes across as considerate. And it potentially opens the door to more social exchanges, but without obligation or pressure. The sitter can engage if they like or just say thanks and not share if they don’t want to.

Personally, I’ve had no problem with friendly hosts so far. We often get into social exchanges. Like they’ll often send me photos of what they’re enjoying on their travels. One of my hosts sent me lots of photos of cats they saw on their travels across Italy, especially cats that looked like theirs. Another pair sent me tropical photos. A family sent me photos from their camping adventures in Yosemite. And so on. I find that friendly.

Unless hosts seem disinterested, I share lots of updates about their pets, especially cute photos. And with dog sits, if the dogs are physically and temperamentally fit, they usually come sightseeing with me. In such cases, my hosts automatically hear / see about our adventures. They often reciprocate. Like my next sit is a repeat for a pair who went on a sailing holiday and I briefly heard about their adventures during my first sit.


Thank you. Straightforward common sense reply. Yes.

Thank you! Can I put you on our Favorites list? :blush:

This is the host I strive to be! Thank you! I’ve only had two sitters over past three years, but both were friendly and interested in the area, and things to do, and sharing experiences from previous sits. We had great conversations. Nice to meet new folks.

Ironically I now remember my sitter mentioning she was surprised that all her hosts were so friendly and welcoming. Guess I took that to heart.

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Perfect. Thanks for this and all you wise advice in the topic. I think I’m almost ready to write, and skip opening a new topic. But it’s a good one…how to respond when you receive an unfair review.