Renting with cats: finding your Purrfect Landlord

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

I have to give up my cat - can you help?

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: Put together a ‘Pet CV’ to 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. If possible, provide a pet reference from a previous landlord to confirm the cat had not caused damage. Take a look at our example here

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, call our National Information Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 for help and advice.

Why does neutering, vaccinating and microchipping matter?

Ensuring a cat is well cared for is in the best interest of landlords, tenants and cats themselves.

We recommend that tenancy agreements include conditions on cat ownership to avoid any issues arising, protect the cat’s welfare and ensure everyone knows where they stand.

This includes requirements that cats are:

Neutered – a simple procedure to prevent cats from breeding - click here
 
Vaccinated – to protect cats from illness and disease - click here

Microchipped – to ensure cats can be swiftly returned home if they become lost or injured - click here

Treat fleas and other parasites - click here

Cats Protection can offer financial assistance towards the cost of neutering - click here

Boy and Badger's story

Boy and BadgerWhen Anna and wife Mhairi moved to Bristol in 2017, they were looking forward to the birth of their first child and life in a new city.

But first they faced the major challenge of finding a new rented home where they could keep cats Boy and Badger.

Anna explained: “We had major difficulties finding somewhere, as so many adverts all stated ‘no pets’ and many places wouldn’t even let us book a viewing once we told them about the cats. Sometimes it was best to arrange to see a property first in the hope of meeting a landlord or letting agent so they could see we were sensible people and responsible pet owners, before then asking about the cats. Eventually, we found a brilliant private landlord that would take the cats which was a huge relief.”

Caring for your cat in a rented home

A cat is a great source of companionship, fun and laughter, and you’ll want to ensure your pet is well looked after.

As well as being neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas, your feline friend will also need regular vet check-ups as well as ongoing preventative treatment to protect against fleas and worms.

You can find lots of information about looking after your cat in our Cat Care section, as well as guides on how to help your cat settle into their home or moving home with cats.

Keeping your cat happy and entertained

You’ll want to ensure your cat is happy, and investing a little time in ensuring your cat has plenty of toys and activities will prevent your cat getting bored.

Scratching is a normal behaviour for cats, so every home should have at least one scratching post to reduce the chance of sofas or other furniture getting damaged.

Toys are also essential to ensure your cat gets plenty of stimulation and activity. Pet shops stock a wide range of fun toys, but you can have just as much fun coming up with your own homemade creations like these:

Making feeding time fun: Cats love different ways to make feeding time more interesting. Hiding dry food in a clean, empty egg box will give cats the chance to enjoy batting their way to their food.
 
Catnip knots: Most cats love catnip and will spend hours engaged in energetic play with it. For a simple homemade toy – which also finds a use for odd socks – simply fill a sock with a couple of tablespoons of dried catnip, knot the end and trim off any excess.
 
Toilet roll puzzles: Collect a good supply of toilet roll tubes and stack them on top of each other to create a mini wall of tubes, secured with sticky tape. Hide a portion of your cat’s daily allowance of dry food or a catnip toy within the tubes – cats will love using their paws to fish out the goodies hidden inside.

You can find out more about enrichment activities by watching our enrichment video.

What is a suitable cat for a rented property?

Cats make fantastic pets, not least because there’s normally a cat suited to any type of home. Whether it’s a top floor flat or a three-bed semi, cats can be happy in all sorts of properties.

While many cats will enjoy having access to the great outdoors, many others are better suited to indoor living, making them ideal for flats or homes without gardens.

Cats who are blind, deaf or have some other disability are best kept as indoor cats, while other cats with certain illnesses can lead happy, contented lives indoors.

Take a look at our indoor cats page for more information.

Morrisey and Zoidberg's story

Morrisey and ZoidbergBrothers Morrisey and Zoidberg were adopted by owners Katie and Frank from a rehoming charity.

Because of their background, the couple were advised that they were best suited as indoor cats. This meant they could be perfect family pets for the couple, who live in a second floor flat with their son Isaac.

Katie said: "We've always made sure Morrisey and Zoidberg have plenty of stimulating toys and activities, as well as scratching posts. They've never caused a nuisance to any of our neighbours and they live happy, contented lives as indoor cats."

Adopt a cat from Cats Protection

From indoor cats for flats to older cats suited to life in sheltered housing, we have lots of cats available for rehoming to suit all types of homes.

If you rent and have permission from your landlord to own a cat, our Find-a-Cat tool will help you find the right one for your home.

Advice to landlords and tenants

Useful links

Preventing fleas - Help and Advice - click here

Cat Guardians - peace of mind for tenants and landlords - click here

Indoor cats - advice on how to treat indoor cats - click here