You've dreamed of becoming a cat owner but there's one little obstacle - your landlord says you can't have a cat. Should you just give up or plan to move? For many, moving is not an option but there's no need to give up yet. Instead, try some of these suggestions to persuade your landlord that indoor cats are not a drawback and are even a benefit.

Money Talks

Get in touch with your landlord or management group and tell them you'd like to add to or modify your lease. Offer to pay an extra deposit to keep a cat and/or a monthly fee (usually around $25 - $50 dollars).

For Those with Service Cats

If you have a disability, it's possible to demand that your properly registered service cat be allowed. Service cats do many things, including alerting the arrival of a seizure, using the phone in an emergency, waking an owner up who has a sleeping disorder, and calming an owner during a panic attack.

Assurances Of Good Behavior

Assure your landlord that you will be a responsible cat owner. Tell him your cat will be spayed or neutered and point out the behavior benefits of doing this (including no marking, less meowing, less aggression). Point out that indoor cats are useful for keeping the rodent population down. Remind him that cats are clean and don't have to leave the apartment to go to the bathroom like a dog does. Include promises that there will be no flying fur or smell. You can even offer to toilet train your cat to eliminate smells altogether. Do some research and tell him that, in selecting a cat, you're going to ensure that he is apartment-friendly. Another idea is to suggest that you foster a cat for a shelter for a limited time in order to prove to the landlord that you can be a responsible pet caretaker.

On another note, if you already have a cat and are applying for a no-pets-allowed apartment unit, glowing references from other landlords on your capability as a pet owner might sway a new landlord your way.

Good Apartment Cat Breeds

When you start looking for cats, consider their breed and personality. A Siamese is usually too vocal for an apartment while an Abssynian is almost silent. Look for a low-activity cat (older cats are a good choice), an independent cat, a quiet, docile cat, and a cat that requires little grooming (preferably a short-hair). Here are a few breeds that come to mind:

  • American Shorthair
  • Russian Blue
  • Scottish Fold
  • British Shorthair
  • Abyssinian

Have A Plan

Address any issues that could come up from owning a cat. Although you're doing everything you can to avoid any issues, present your landlord with a plan for any behavior problems such as excessive meowing, scratching, or marking. There is a lot of information on the web about cat training.

Some Types Of Training And Tools For Cats:

  • Clicker Training
  • Target Training
  • Positive Reinforcement Training
  • Ultrasonic Sound
  • Repellant Spray
  • Water Spray Bottles


If you decide to move, check for a "pet addendu...