I think it’s important to mention the hunting. I assume that the cat has a cat flap so you can’t control whether it brings prey indoors. That is worth mentioning also, and whether the cat flap can be closed so the cat can’t enter with gifts. You couldn’t do that without the owners consent, of course.
I have a cat that occasionally brings gifts. I tell sitters that if that happens, they can shut the cat flap for a couple of days and it usually stops the hunting
@Maggie8K, exactly. I have had cats most of my life and do not have any problems cleaning up barf, poo, pee, hairballs, or the occasional mouse head or tail that is left on the carpet. I have always taken it in stride. This was indeed something entirely different.
@temba the owner did say the cat was a hunter (which I have no problem with), but she said nothing about the fact that the cat regularly brought the prey into the house. As stated above, I have no problems cleaning up various cat-related things, but this was on another level entirely.
@Lassie, It did help that I eventually closed all the cat flaps but one, which was large enough for the cats to get through but was rather too small to being in larger prey like she had been catching. Unfortunately, I did not discover this trick until the last couple of days of the sit.
I’ve just read your draft reply @Laurel and I think you’ve worded it well.
Your sit review is for us, the other sitters. Please be honest in your disappointments. I want to trust that the sitters before me have helped improve the situation and have truely reported their experience. Maybe the next sit at that home WILL be a 5 star stay.
@Laurel Based on everything you’ve mentioned, I would conclude the HO did not let you know exactly how she would like things done and would strike this from your review.
@Laurel I like what you wrote and the other comment is right. Before dealing with cats, I would not necessarily get what “presents” meant. Plus seeing a dead mice is different that a cat who will catch the mice and then eat them alive in front of you. My daughter would have the stomach for that but not me. You already received your review so there’s no point sugar coating. I’m not saying write a mean spirited retaliation review, just exactly what you went through. We need more honest reviews on this system. It looks weird to me that almost everyone has nothing but 5⭐ reviews
I was just sending a mail to trusted housesitters a mail with the recommendation to add mandatory fields to the pet owners descriptions. the more sittings I do the more I am getting tired of unclear information regarding the pets.
I had a similar situations like you.
- A dog could not be left alone at all. The neighbors complained because he was constantly barking only when I left for the shops. Back then I was to afraid to write a negative review because i didnt want to get a negative review because I gave them one. But this was back then. Now I have many 5 star reviews so I would bother to much anymore.
- Two cute and nice but totally untrained golden retriever running away all the time in the field and never listened when I was calling them. Two times they where just gone and i found them later at the house. The owner said its normal. They only know fields and forest and are used to walk without a leash. It was super stressfull.
- I had at least 3 cats that been not as cute as the owner described it in the profile, for example one always wanted to sit next to me but at the same time tried to hit me a few times or another one attacked my feet when I was walking to close to fast(and i am an absolute cat lover and I always give my best and understand them really good). I dont mind anxious cats at all and I would still do the sitting, but it should be mentioned in advance. But I also think that especially with cats the cat owner dont always know how their pets are alone with others.
If I have to much to complain I dont write a review at all anymore. Maybe I would write them a private message with some advice.
@Laurel I like @botvot’s suggested words but you could add … and [cat name] must have overindulged a bit hunting as they got an upset tummy and left a mess on my bed. I would leave out the word adorable, as that is not.
You can always ask ChatGPT to draft you a factual non emotional review and pick some words out of that to use.
Lastly, if it wasn’t a 5 star sit, don’t be fake, stay true to yourself as @Snowbird recently encouraged us all to do (in a different scenario) and rate it accordingly.
Most homeowners are not going to read every word of every review, so just drop the matter of the ding for tidyness. Arguing about it will get noticed, and make it worse.
There are two issues here which should be addressed in the HOs profile. If both of those issues aren’t addressed in the profile, and you weren’t told about them before taking the sit, you should warn other sitters. The first is that one of the cats is proficient hunter and brings in prey, and sometimes pukes it. Second, not finding out you couldn’t leave the dog alone for more than three hours, which is just bait and swtich.
I think your review sample gets the message accross, but also agree that ChapGPT may be helpful. Most HOs are NOT going to check your Feedback to a HO who gave you a 5-star review, so you could give the sit less than 5 stars, but the number of stars you give the sit is not as important as getting the information out. You should write the HO and let them know that as much as you enjoyed the sit, it is very important to share this information with sitters before they agree to the sit. You could also even offer them suggestions for how they could be both honest and still attract sitters. It’s not that hard! They’d just need to find someone to come a couple of times during the sit so that the sitter could have a few hours to themself. If the neighbors are so friendly they could drop off treats, they could maybe come by to dog sit while the sitter goes to Paris.
Simply speaking to the HO about problems during your sit isn’t providing an incentive for them to make improvements and it isn’t providing a “heads up” to thousands of unwitting sitters. Like me.
Please write the gory and the glory!
(I just made that up)
For our sakes,
Sorry Deb, I dont really understand your comment. Maybe language barrier, I am not native english. Why shouldnt I write to TH? I worked for companies before and if it is a good company they take feedback seriously and if not than not. You mean the glory of my sittings? Sure there was, but it wouldnt be related to the original post to list my glories here. Did about 26 housesitting so far also went to people to do a second sitting, so I guess I saw glory and no glory.
Hi @christin - she’s saying please write the review of the dodgy HO on their listing so all the future sitters can see it and know to avoid! You’re both saying the same thing
Maybe it was ME who didn’t understand!
I’m so glad you wrote back for clarification.
My intention was to say that reading your feedbacks about your sittings is tremendously helpful to me, who someday might like to sit in that same home. Also, your comments help me ask important questions that I would never have thought of before you posted.
What I must have misunderstood is that I thought you were graciously speaking only to your host HO about your experiences, the good (the glory) times and the bad times (the gory).
I totally agree about you sharing with TH! There are ways the platform could improve our stays by their software development. But we do have to make them aware of our needs. Yes, agree, please share with TH.
And, in our message exchange, you’ve reminded me that many readers are not native English speakers. My writing needs to be clearer, without the slang in particular. I hope this time my comment is clear. And, I look forward to reading yours again.
Technically that’s true, if she didn’t ask how long the dog could be left. But HOs should be upfront about how long their pooch can be left, as this really shapes the experience of a sit. However not all HOs may think to do that, which is why the TH site should have a field for this info.