When should a HO disclose possible pet problems?

Hi Everyone!

I’d love to hear the thoughts from sitters. One of my cats sometimes suffers from anxiety. During these times, he does not always use the litter tray. It is quite rare and has only happened 3 times in his life (he is 5 years old). It is related to big life changes, such as when we introduced a new cat into the household and when we moved house. It does not require any veterinary care or medicine. We’ve had it all checked out. He is in perfect health. It is just part of who he is. Of the 8 house-sits that I have hosted, it only happened on one of those sits. And, chances are, it may never happen again.

So, the question is, as it does not require any special care or treatment and may not even happen during your sit, when would you expect me to disclose that there is a chance it could happen? On my listing? Or, after you apply to house sit, but before a sit has been finalized? I’d always disclose it before any agreement was reached. Just not sure if it is something that you would expect to see on the listing.

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Well why not tell the truth like you told us? “Such problem happened once. We hope it will not happen during your stay.”

If you receive several applications, if you can chat before you make your choice, tell them more.

It’s better for both parts to anticipate

You won’t risk any bad feedback. It’s never good to hide what may happen. You will feel guilty.

Trust is essential on both sides. Sitters may not face the problem but If they do then they will have been warned.

If sitters are afraid to take the responsibilty then they don’t apply.

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I think its good to be honest and mention it even its a rare occurence. Our very first housesit was two years ago in Australia for a month over Christmas. It was arranged from overseas and the hosts were first timers too. Two beautiful cats. The issue for us was they failed to mention that one/both cats like to leave ‘offerings’. We counted 10 episodes of finding poo or vomit around the house- even on the carpet & sofa once! We had no experience of cats before but suspected this was not normal. However being new to THS and desperately wanting our 5* review we said nothing at the time.
We left before their return so messaged later to check the cats were happy chappies. The owner told us, laughingly, oh one puked on my bed and the other poo’d on the floor- but we’re used to them leaving offerings and love them anyway! :thinking:
We found it very disrespectful not to have been warned in advance.

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I don’t think my query was clear. Sorry for the confusion. Just to be clear, I am not asking if it is necessary to disclose it.

I would always disclose it, before a sit is agreed upon. I 100% agree that it would be disrespectful and dishonest to not tell sitters about it, or, to tell them after the sit was agreed upon. I want the sitter to know what they are getting into.

I don’t want to get a reputation that I even considered not telling a sitter. :innocent:

My question: Is it necessary to go on the listing?

As an example, if I did not put it on the listing and you applied for the sit, and I email you back saying “hey, just to give you the full picture, this might happen with my cat. Do you still want to do the sit”. Would you feel that was acceptable? Or, would you feel that I should have said it on the listing?

Thanks for the input so far Provence and Lokstar! I appreciate it! :smiley:

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Hi Gerrym
I would say, since its a rare occurance for your cat, it would be fine to discuss it with a potential sitter after you’ve made contact- as you suggest above. Clarity at any point before a commitment is made is the important thing. By the way you sound like a caring owner and I did not get the impression at all you would mislead sitters! Its great to ask questions like this.

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I agree with Lokstar. Everything needs to be discussed before making a commitment. But to get back to your question. As a sitter, I don’t expect things that rarely happen to be mentioned in a profile. I’m only expecting information about things in a profile that is guaranteed to occur during my sit. Then I can decide whether I can or want to deal with it before an application.

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You know what ? I thought the meaning of “disclose was " hide”.
It’s the contrary
So i made a mistake. I don’t use dictionaries enough… My advice was given if you had hidden the truth. Sorry for that.

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I agree that anytime is fine because it is so rare. However, I have another POV. If you disclose this in your posting (since you’re going to do so anyway), making it clear as you did in your query that it is rare and has only happened in one of eight sits and only three times in five years, I would be impressed by your integrity and gain a lot of confidence that you will be completely honest with us about what we can expect.

Thank you for being such an open and concerned HO!

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Hi @lifephasenext happy Friday, welcome to our community forum … Thank you for your contribution and joining in the conversation, please introduce yourself would be great to hear about your TrustedHousesitters journey you must have had some great experiences over the five years of being part of our community.

Thank you again and we can’t wait to get to know you better.

Angela & the team

Agree. The whole story would make me less fearful of taking that sit. Sitters are given huge responsibility and need good information from owners for a successful experience.

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I would disclose it when shortlisting and before deciding on who to pick. It’s a good way of making sure you get the right person who will be unconcerned with it as a problem should it arise.

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Hello @RosieB it’s great to have you joining in our community forum conversation and discussions, please feel free to introduce yourself to other members and to the team.

Can’t wait to get to know you better and hear about your TrustedHousesitters journey.

Thank you and welcome.

Angela and the Team

I think being upfront about everything is best right from when you list. Why waste anyone’s time - especially yours?

if someone is going to be put off by a rare mishap (or your furniture or your garden chores or that your neighbour plays loud music), better they don’t apply than apply and you meet or spend time on a video call and then have to decline, later.

I have just met a dog that I’m still healing from the dog’s scratches and the bruises he left me as it was so over-excited when I arrived - and would be every single time you came through the door. It wasn’t clear in their ad, at all, and I’ve decided not to do the sit, meaning we both wasted time in the first place.

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On my last sit, I warned the owner while she was away I found vomits on sofas, on the floors of the living room and bedroom. I was anxious one of her cats was ill.
i took a picture of the vomit and asked her if I had to call the vet
She answered it was usual, ther consequence of "herbe à chats" (cat herb ??? ) they ate in order to get rid of their hair.
What I have not been aware of before…
This time the owner answered quickly. Since my return, I asked her how was her (adorable) dog, I asked too if she could be kind enough to fill up the feed back. NO answer
I insisted, explaining I had applied to another sit, and that the owners would be curious to see comments on my last sit, she answered she had NO time to do it… before next week end
How long does it take to fill up feed backs ??