The art of purr-suading landlords

More and more people in Scotland and across the UK are privately renting. Many people in this type of housing are unable to become pet owners, as it is common for landlords to prohibit pets. A Cats Protection survey of our network of adoption centres and branches that rehome cats found that over half of the respondents said it was 'very' or 'extremely' difficult to rehome cats into homes privately rented from a landlord. However, proactivity from tenants and simple changes from a landlord can help to improve the situation and allow cats to find a loving home in rented properties.

Cats Protection's top tips

Tenants:

Tenants looking for homes with pets can use search functions on some websites to find properties that allow pets. The Dogs Trust scheme Lets with Pets has a list of pet-friendly letting agents and landlords who can help you find somewhere both you and your four-legged friend will be happy.

If you don't want to move, creating a dialogue with a landlord or letting agent about the desire to have pets can lead to the consideration of pets and the circumstances under which they can be kept. Being honest can help the landlord or letting agent make a more informed choice and allow an agreement to be reached which suits everyone, ensuring any pet adopted can make your house its home.

Landlords:

We encourage landlords to consider pets and include a responsible and reasonable pet clause in their tenancy agreements. For cats, we suggest this should require neutering, microchipping, vaccinations and a limit on the number of cats allowed in a property.

Advertising properties as 'pets considered' can allow individual situations to be assessed and increase the pool of potential tenants. This still allows a landlord to be in control of their property whilst being open to the possibility of a furry flatmate!

Case study


Cats Protection's Tain & District Branch recently had two 11-year-old cats, Fat Cat and Kizzie, relinquished to them due to an owner moving from one privately rented property that allowed pets to another that did not. The cats had been with their owner from a young age and were well behaved and gentle natured. Sadly, the owner had no choice but to give the two cats up to Cats Protection for rehoming. All too often we get cases like this and cats needlessly given up to Cats Protection for rehoming.

More information

Cats Protection believes that people who rent should not be deprived the companionship, affection and love cats can bring to a household. We are currently conducting research to find how many people in privately rented properties are denied the chance to own and keep cats. We shall be working with private landlords to encourage them to have responsible and reasonable pet policies that allow tenants to have cats. We hope this will reduce the painful separation some owners have to go through when they move to a rented property which does not allow pets. Our aim is simple: to increase the number of cats that find their "purr-ever" home in rented properties.

Cats Protection is the UK's leading feline welfare charity, helping around 200,000 cats and kittens every year through our national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 adoption centres. Our work doesn't stop there, however: we also provide an array of cat care information via our publications, website and Helpline; promote the benefits of neutering to prevent unwanted litters and seek to educate people of all ages about cats and their care. For more information on the work Cats Protection do, and how to get involved, our Speaking up for Cats page has details of our different advocacy campaigns.