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14th May 2024

The Renters Reform Bill could end the ‘pet privilege’ where only those who own their own home have the right to own a pet, according to a leading pet charity. Cats Protection says blanket ‘no pet’ policies are unfair and deny millions of animal lovers the chance to own a companion pet.

The UK’s largest cat charity currently takes in the equivalent of at least three cats a day due to landlords not allowing them in their properties. 

Senior Advocacy & Government Relations Officer for Cats Protection Annabel Berdy said: “We have an incredibly outdated and unfair approach when it comes to pets and renting the UK, where blanket ‘no pets’ policies are the norm. There doesn’t appear to be any sound basis for this, given the evidence that shows pet owners stay longer in their homes, and that the vast majority of pets cause no damage. 

“Refusing pets creates a ‘pet privilege’, where people who own their homes can benefit from the companionship of a pet but people in rented housing are either banned from pet ownership or will find it very difficult. Even if people do find rented housing that allows pets, they live in fear of a change in circumstances as they are fully aware of how difficult it will be to find another pet-friendly property.  Renters pay a huge proportion of their income on fees and rent, so they should be able to treat that property as a home.  

“Pet ownership is important to millions of people, helping us feel settled and providing companionship to all sorts of people. Many of us can recall our first childhood pet with great fondness – but the reality is that we are denying that special experience to a generation of children.”
For more information on Cats Protection’s Purrfect Landlords campaign, please visit

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Notes to Editors:

  1. Cats Protection, the UK's leading cat welfare charity, helps an average of 157,000 cats and kittens a year through its national network which includes around 200 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.
  2. Figures on pets causing damage can be found here: Purrfect Landlords key findings | Campaigns | Cats Protection
  3. Cats Protection was founded in 1927 as the Cats Protection League. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity.
  4. Cats Protection is a registered charity 203644 (England and Wales), SC037711 (Scotland) and is listed as a Section 167 Institution by the Charity Commission of Northern Ireland. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (06772997). Registered office National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT
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