Looking for a place with a cat?
In general it is far easier to rind a rental property with a cat than a dog, which makes them more accessible as a pet for people who are in the rental market.
So I am currently renting with a cat and while I love my fur-baby, it certainly makes it a little more difficult finding a place to live.
I have found in general that land lords tend to like older cats. The general idea being that older cats have less energy, are house trained, and are less likely to damage the property. I was lucky in this aspect as my cat was going on 11 years when I applied for my current place.
You may have more trouble with a cat under 2 years old since they will have much more energy and could be more destructive. In these cases, its great to have a written reference from a previous landlord/real estate agent since their word/opinion would be in higher regard. I also made a little flyer for my cat that I submitted with the rental application with a cute photo and a little blurb about her age, background, and personality.
Talking with the Land Lord
Your landlord may have reservations about letting a cat into the property, and that is okay. Don’t be defensive and grouchy when talking to them, listen to their concerns and answer them calmly and respectfully. They may try to negotiate the rent amount, give you some stricter leaving conditions, or request to meet the cat themselves.
Just remember that you want to give you and your cat the best possible chance of success so you may need to be flexible. However, more and more properties are open to pets and it’s more likely for them to accept your pet than not. After all, they want to fill that space so they can make money too.
You got approved, now what?
Make sure that you follow the rental rules. If the place where you are renting has furniture, make sure your cat does not ruin it! This is best resolved by giving the cat scratch posts and scratch boards, and using rewards when they use them. If they are persistent with the furniture, you can take a spray bottle with some water and give them a small squirt. My cat hates water and even the sight of the bottle is enough for her to know she did wrong.
If/when they have an accident, especially if it involves carpet, clean it up as fast as you can. You can read my article about cleaning cat carpet accidents for more information on how to clean those messes. Essentially you are trying to be a model tenant not just to keep living in your current place, but by the end of your lease you can ask for a reference for both you and your cat and this is greatly help when looking for your next place.
Final Thoughts on Renting with a Cat
Thankfully in this day and age, renting with a cat is not as hard as it first might seem. Sure it can limit some of the place you can live, but in return you get to live with your favorite feline housemate and that in itself is a great reward! Just remember to be a good tenant, clean up after your cat (and yourself for that matter) and they rest should be easy!