10 Steps To Hide a Cat From Landlord and 5 Reasons Shouldn’t Do That

Navigating the convoluted realm of rental agreements and landlord stipulations can prove to be challenging, especially if you’re harboring a feline friend that may not be approved by your building overseer. Landlords typically have reservations about pet ownership in their properties due to the potential for property damage and the unmistakable odor associated with cat urine. In some instances, their insurance premiums may even rise if they permit pets in their premises.

To successfully safeguard your beloved cat from your landlord’s prying eyes, it’s crucial to strategize tactfully. One of the first steps you could undertake is to diplomatically appeal to your landlord, requesting a deviation from their usual rules. Propose a pet deposit, an additional security measure to ensure that any potential damage caused by your feline companion will not lead to financial losses on their part. This deposit can be integrated with the regular security deposit and acts as an assurance that the landlord will not bear the brunt of any repair costs associated with pet-induced damage.

It’s important to establish a pet deposit value that is both reasonable and acceptable to the landlord. Typically, this amount ranges from $100 to $300. A negotiation of such a deposit may pave the way for you to keep your cat without any issues.

However, if your furry friend is already a resident in your apartment and the existing lease agreement disapproves of this, here are some creative solutions to prevent your secret from being discovered:

How To Hide Cats From Landlord?

1. Restricting Your Cat’s Visibility From Windows

One of the key strategies involves restricting your feline’s visibility from windows that face the entrance or any areas that your landlord, inspectors, or neighbors could potentially observe while approaching your home. An uninhibited cat lounging in full view is a clear declaration of its existence, an eventuality that you’d want to avoid.

2. A Secret Hiding Spot For The Litterbox

Secondly, consider investing in functional, stylish furniture that doubles as a secret hiding spot for the litterbox. For example, a storage bench or a side table that houses a concealed litterbox would work perfectly. During inspection days, a long runner or a similar cover could be used to obscure the entrances to these secret compartments, further disguising the true purpose of the furniture. Additionally, you can create a cozy hideaway for your cat by placing a comfortable carrier such as a Sleepypod inside. This not only creates a clandestine bed and storage area for the carrier but also makes veterinary trips less stressful, as the cat will already be familiar with its surroundings.

A pivotal part of maintaining your cat’s anonymity involves careful disposal of its waste. Opt for non-transparent bags when discarding cat litter, and ensure that your feline friend does not leave any trace in the neighbors’ yards.

3. Cat Toys But Not

To further blur the lines, select toys for your cat that aren’t typically recognized as cat toys. Many cat enthusiasts believe that felines are most amused by ordinary objects, like plastic rings or dropped bottle caps, which they delight in swatting around the house.

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4. Keep Cat-Specific Furniture Hiding

It’s also advisable to keep cat-specific furniture to a minimum. Opt for small scratch boards that double as beds, collapsible crates, and compact cat trees. Oversized litter boxes should be avoided. Keep all your cat-related items in a single bin and train your feline to be comfortable in a crate, enabling quick stow away when necessary.

5. Keeping Your Living Space Immaculate

Keeping your living space immaculate is crucial. Regularly vacuum your furniture and floors and launder your bedding, blankets, curtains, and other fabric surfaces that may harbor cat smells. Despite acclimatizing to your cat’s scent, visitors such as landlords or inspectors, especially those without pets, may detect the smell or even suffer allergies from it. Burn scented candles on inspection days to mask the cat’s scent.

To ensure your space is free from tell-tale signs of a pet, scrutinize your furniture for cat hair. If your couch is made from a material that’s difficult to clean, such as velvet, simply cover it with an attractive throw blanket. Use a black light every few weeks to check for traces of cat urine. Mark any glowing spots with chalk and cleanse the area using a potent cat urine cleaner. Protect your carpets with affordable, temporary vinyl flooring to prevent any accidental damage. Through a combination of these steps, you’ll be able to successfully keep your cat hidden from your landlord.

6. Storing Cat’s Kibbles

Storing your cat’s kibbles can be a subtle art that requires a combination of practicality and aesthetics. An efficient way of doing this is by procuring attractive airtight canisters made of porcelain or metal. The key is to opt for a non-transparent design that allows you to stash the kibbles conspicuously on the countertop, blending seamlessly with your kitchen décor.

7. No Using Pet Dishes For Food And Water

When it comes to feeding your feline companion, simplicity is your ally. There’s no necessity to purchase specialized pet dishes for food and water. Regular dishes, which you might already own, can serve the purpose perfectly. After every meal, ensure you clean these dishes, even if it’s outside your typical washing schedule. If you own a dishwasher, this process becomes even more convenient. For water, a regular mug can work well. If questioned by a curious inspector, a simple explanation like “I use it for rinsing after brushing my teeth” can easily deflect any suspicion.

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8. Non-labeled Cat Litter

Addressing the issue of litter management, investing in a reusable, non-labeled jug can prove to be highly effective. This allows you to avoid the ordeal of carrying out empty litter boxes. A practical solution is to buy Sterilite containers, cut an opening on one side, and simply turn it to face the wall during inspections. The unsuspecting eye of an inspector is unlikely to question a nondescript plastic storage container.

Camouflage is key when hiding your cat’s food. Store it in an old ceramic container that appears to be designed for everyday kitchen staples, such as flour or coffee.

9. “I’m Naked” Spell

The element of surprise is often the landlord’s weapon when it comes to inspections. Although state laws typically require landlords to provide tenants with a notice before entering the premises, some may attempt to bypass this rule. One plausible excuse that buys you some time before inspections is the “I’m naked” plea. This temporary delay can be used to swiftly remove any signs of your feline friend. Not only does this create an awkward situation, but it also serves as a distraction, preventing the landlord or inspector from conducting a thorough inspection.

To create an even more believable scene, you could tousle your hair and sheets or leave suggestive items like a vibrator partially exposed, indicating a hurried interruption. This clever misdirection shifts their attention away from any suspicions about a cat and might even hasten their departure.

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10. Keep Cat Outside

If you share your living space with another person, one of you could take the cat out for a stroll during the inspection period. Make this a stress-free activity for your cat by allowing them to lead the way on the leash and by avoiding any forceful tugging.

As a contingency plan, consider getting your cat registered as an emotional support animal. This certification, which can be acquired online, could be presented to your landlord if they discover your hidden pet. Alternatively, you can attempt to negotiate a pet fee. If you’re caught red-handed, you could tell your landlord that you were planning to bring in a cat after obtaining their approval. If all else fails, it might be worth exploring pet-friendly apartments or those open to pet deposits.

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5 Reasons You Should not Hide Your Cats From Landlord

Here are five compelling reasons why concealing a pet from your landlord can be a disastrous idea:

Risk of Eviction

Your rental space may have stringent no-pets-allowed rules, or perhaps pets are allowed but you are reluctant to pay the required pet bond, leading you to consider sneaking in your four-legged friend. So, why does a no-pet policy exist and what could be the worst-case scenario if you’re caught?

The no-pet policy is primarily put in place due to multiple considerations, such as potential allergies of fellow tenants, restrictions in the landlord’s insurance policy, or to avoid the risk of potential property damage (refer to point #3). If you clandestinely introduce a pet into a no-pet policy zone, the consequences can be severe.

You could face eviction, forfeit your rental bond, be forced to relocate, and have a blemish marked on your tenancy record. But, the situation can escalate even further. If your pet, say a dog, bites another tenant and your landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t cover such an incident, the tenant could legally sue the landlord. In turn, your landlord could press charges against you. Hence, eviction might just be the tip of the iceberg of potential problems.

Unpredictable Neighbors

Neighbors come with diverse characteristics and dispositions. You may find a neighbor who maintains a close rapport with your landlord and won’t hesitate to relay any juicy tidbits, such as spotting your adorable pet Fluffy in clear violation of the no-pet policy. In all scenarios, it is judicious to be a respectful neighbor, maintain honesty, and adhere to the established rules.

Unforeseen Additional Costs

If you reside in Western Australia, you might be aware that a pet bond is required when you move into a rental property with a pet (typically capped at $260). While this fee might seem exorbitant, it’s likely that it still falls short of covering the potential costs your landlord might incur due to pet-related damage.

Pets, despite being cherished companions, can inadvertently cause significant wear and tear. They might damage carpets, scratch doors, or ruin curtains. Regardless of how diligently you clean, your landlord may require professional-grade cleaning skills post your tenancy. Pet fur can be pervasive, infiltrating fan blades, cupboards, and air filters. Fleas and ticks can infest curtains and carpets. This meticulous cleaning is essential as future tenants might be severely allergic to pet dander. Hence, the hefty pet fee is justified to cover additional cleaning and damage repair costs.

Pets Aren’t Good at Keeping Secrets

You might be adept at maintaining secrets, but your pet is unlikely to share that talent. If your dog tends to bark or howl at odd hours, concealing its presence can become an insurmountable challenge. Nothing raises suspicion faster than a neighbor hearing nocturnal animal noises emanating from your property. Even cats, which are generally quieter, can be vociferous. Unless your pet is extraordinarily well-trained and silent, the risk of discovery is high and can lead to rapid reporting.

Unfair to Your Pet

Pets should not be confined within the four walls of your rental property, devoid of outdoor access. They require regular walks, breaks, exposure to sunlight, and changing environments. Keeping them restricted within an apartment can be detrimental to their health and overall well-being. Therefore, it’s crucial to plan ahead and secure a rental property that is pet-friendly.

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Q&A About 10 Steps To Hide a Cat From Landlord and 5 Reasons Shouldn’t Do That

Are cats fine in an apartment?

Yes, cats can adapt well to apartment living. They are generally less active than dogs and don’t require as much space or outdoor exercise. Still, you should provide plenty of mental stimulation and regular opportunities for physical activity within the apartment to keep your cat healthy and happy.

Can you be evicted for having a pet UK?

In the UK, it’s possible to be evicted for having a pet if your tenancy agreement includes a ‘no pets’ clause and you violate it. However, landlords are required to provide a reasonable justification for eviction.

Can landlords legally say no pets UK?

As of 2021, UK landlords cannot issue a blanket ban on pets. Instead, they can only refuse pet requests with good reason, like potential property damage or nuisance to neighbours. This is due to the UK Government’s Model Tenancy Agreement. However, be sure to check for updates or changes in law beyond my knowledge cutoff in September 2021.

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