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Are you a social housing provider looking to allow cats in your properties?

While this is encouraging, 89% of social landlords who allow cats do not have policies in place requiring cats to be neutered and 93% do not have policies in place requiring cats to be microchipped or vaccinated respectively* – simple steps which ensure cats are well looked after.

Unneutered cats can have litter after litter of kittens and this can result in unwanted and stray cats in the community. The solution is a responsible and reasonable policy on cat ownership. Take a look at our example policy.

A pet policy covering cat ownership is simple and helps everyone know where they stand. By including conditions that cats must be neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and treated for fleas, issues such as overbreeding can be avoided.

What should a pet policy include?

Download our example pet clauses to see how pets can be allowed and responsible cat ownership encouraged.

It clearly sets out conditions of cat ownership 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 here

Essential cat care: keeping cats in the best of health

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
  • vaccinated – to protect cats from illness and disease
  • microchipped – to ensure cats can be swiftly returned home if they become lost or injured
  • treated for fleas and other parasites

Financial assistance

Cats Protection can offer financial assistance towards the cost of neutering.

Visit our financial assistance page

Case study: Stroud District Council, Gloucestershire

In 2013, Stroud District Council in Gloucestershire, having consulted with tenants, rolled out a new pet policy to its sheltered housing tenants to allow pet ownership with the permission of the Council.

Previously, tenants had been allowed to bring existing pets when moving in but were not allowed to acquire new pets. Councillor Mattie Ross felt this ignored the obvious benefits of pet ownership, particularly with tackling social isolation and improving mental health, and wanted to improve the pet policy.

The new policy allowed sheltered housing tenants to keep a pet with the Council’s permission and specified that cats must be neutered, microchipped and have up-to-date vaccinations. This new policy was a hit and in 2014 was extended to all of the Council’s social housing tenants. The requirement for cats to be neutered has helped prevent problems with multi-cat households and stray cats and feral cat colonies.

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.

Cats Protection staff and volunteers are experienced in matching the right cat with the right owner. You can use our Find-a-cat tool to search for indoor-only cats.

Useful links

Becoming a social housing Purrfect Landlord - click here

Cat Guardians: peace of mind for tenants and housing providers - click here


** and *** 5.
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.

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