Social housing: Cats in your community

Social housing providers recognise the positive impact cats have on their owner’s lives and are happy for their tenants to own one.*

If you rent your home from a housing association or local authority, you’ll want to make sure your cat doesn’t cause any issues for you and your community.

Having your cat neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas is the best way to protect your cat’s health and welfare, and prevent problems such as unwanted kittens.

If your housing provider does not allow cats, there are steps you can take to talk it through with your landlord. By taking a reasonable and responsible approach to cat ownership, there may be a way to ensure everyone is happy.

 

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.

Neutered – a simple procedure to prevent cats from breeding - find out more

Vaccinated – to protect cats from illness and disease - find out more

Microchipped – to ensure cats can be swiftly returned home if they become lost or injured - find out more

Treat fleas and other parasites - find out more

How can I get financial help with neutering?

Neutering is a simple procedure that prevents cats from breeding and helps them lead healthier, happier lives.

Cats can start breeding at a very young age, so both male and female kittens should be neutered from around four months old.

Having your cat neutered prevents unwanted kittens being born and also helps your cat stay healthy. Neutered cats are less likely to fight, which can lead to disease, injury and infections and are also less likely to roam, spray or make loud ‘calling’ noises.

Cats Protection offers financial help towards the cost of neutering for people on a low income.

To find out how we can help, call our Neutering Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 or click here

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.

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.

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.

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.

Useful links

Preventing fleas - Help and advice guide - click here

Cats in communal gardens - find out how to prevent problems - click here

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

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

References

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 129 social landlords. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30 January - 23 February 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted by housing provider type and country.