Renting with Cats

Are you a renter seeking a pet-friendly property, or wanting to get a cat? Are you a landlord looking for responsible tenants who will look after your property? The information on this page explains how being 'cat-friendly' can benefit everyone - including the cat!  

Advice for Tenants: Click here
Advice for Landlords: Click here

Renting with cats – advice for tenants

happy cat in the homeQ: I want a cat but my landlord won’t allow them, what can I do?
For too many people who rent owning a cat is a distant dream. Faced with a rental market that frequently operates blanket ‘no pet’ policies owning a cat can seem impossible. Some renters may have been lucky enough to find cat-friendly housing, but live in fear of having to move, aware that cat-friendly properties are few and far between. If you live in rented housing and are not allowed cats, there are ways you can reassure your landlord that you’d be a responsible cat owner. Start by speaking to your landlord and letting them know you’d like a cat. Even if your tenancy agreement doesn’t allow pets landlords may be willing to be flexible, particularly if it means a tenant may feel more settled. You can help reassure your landlord that your cat is unlikely to cause a problem by taking a few simple steps which can be found here: Cats Protection - Renting with Cats Guide

Q: I have to give up my cat because I can't find a cat-friendly landlord – what can I do?
Having to rehome a cat because you can’t find a rented property that accepts cats can be a heart-breaking experience. If you’re having trouble finding a property where you can keep your cat, you could try the following:

Pick up the phone: many adverts may state ‘no pets’, and this can be off-putting. But in some cases a landlord might be flexible once you approach them. Try phoning local letting agents and landlords and explain your situation. By reassuring them that you’re a responsible owner and your cat has been neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas, some may be happy to give permission.

Put together a Pet CV: this will tell prospective landlords about your cat. It should include vet records so they can see the cat has been neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and protected against fleas and other parasites. It may also include details about your cat’s character, how they like to spend their time, if they use a litter tray and how they interact with people and animals. Take a look at Cats Protection's Example Cat CV

Ask for help: if you need to move and still haven’t found a property, try asking a trusted friend or family member if they can temporarily look after your cat. It may give you some time to find a more suitable home, or your landlord may be more inclined to allow cats once you’ve been a tenant for a period of time.

If you still feel unable to keep your cat, read our advice here: Rehoming a Cat Safely.
Also see Other useful links & contacts at the bottom of this page.


Renting with cats – advice for private landlords

happy cat happy ownerQ: Why should I be a cat-friendly landlord?
More and more renters are now seeking pet-friendly properties. Cats make a house a home and the benefits of happy tenants is obvious: they’re more likely to stay for longer and value the home they’re renting.

Cats Protection has example pet clauses for tenancy agreements that allow pets and encourage responsible cat ownership. The suggested clauses contain conditions to ensure tenants have their cats neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas. Not only is this good for the cat’s welfare, it also reduces the risk of any issues arising. You can download a copy from the Cats Protection website: Example Pet Clauses

Q: I want to be a cat-friendly landlord – what should I do?
The first step in becoming a cat-friendly landlord is to advertise your property as ‘pets considered’. This will ensure you can make your decision once you’ve met your potential tenant and know more about their cat. Letting people know you’re willing to consider cats is a great way to open up a wider pool of potential tenants, but keeps you firmly in control. More information can be found on the Cats Protection website at: www.cats.org.uk/private-landlords

Suggested tips for landlords:

  • Ask owners about their cat: ask your prospective tenant to put together a ‘Pet CV’ to find out more about their cat. It should include vet records evidencing that the cat has been neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas plus details about the cat’s habits such as if they use a litter tray.
  • Request to meet the cat: if it can be arranged then meeting a tenant with their cat gives you the chance to reassure yourself about their suitability for your property.
  • Create a standard responsible and reasonable pet policy or clause for your tenancy agreements: this should require cats to be neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas, and limit the number of cats allowed.


Q: How can I prevent cats damaging my rented property?

As a landlord you may have concerns that a cat will damage fixtures and fittings. The reality is that cats rarely cause any issues. 

Some landlords are concerned about flea infestations. Any vet will be able to prescribe effective and safe parasite treatment. Flea control from a vet is more effective than ‘off the shelf' products. Environmental treatments in spray forms are also available to use in the home. Requesting vet records can give peace of mind that a cat has been regularly checked.

Another concern sometimes raised is that of cats scratching furniture in a furnished property. Scratching is a natural behaviour for cats, but most are happy to do this outdoors or use a scratching post. Ask your tenants to ensure they have suitable scratching posts available for their cat in the correct locations. Remember that in the unlikely event of a cat causing damage, the costs can normally be recovered through a standard deposit.

Some landlords believe that their property is not suitable for cats. However, in most cases, there is a cat suitable for any property, including flats and properties without a garden. Some cats are suited to living indoors, perhaps due to a disability such as being blind or deaf, or an illness that makes them vulnerable to picking up infections outside. Most good rehoming charities can offer assistance to landlords and tenants to help match the right cat to the most suitable home.

Cats Protection Purrfect Landlords


Useful links & contacts:

Cats Protection Helpline: 03000 12 12 12
Cats Protection's Purrfect Landlords: www.cats.org.uk/purrfectlandlords
Dog's Trust 'Lets with Pets' website: www.letswithpets.org.uk
Cat Chat's guide to Rehoming a cat safely and successfully
Cat Chat's Feline Forum (for advice and support): Feline Forum


Thanks to Cats Protection for supplying information and images for this page.
Cats Protection's Purrfect Landlords campaign: www.cats.org.uk/purrfectlandlords