How to hide your cat from landlord on inspection day
We don’t advocate for doing things that goes against the terms of your tenant or lease agreement but the reality is that many cat-owning renters find it a huge challenge to find a suitable home that allows for pet ownership. Here are a few tips we heard through the grapevine on ways fellow renters have managed to hide their cat’s presence from landlords on property inspection day.
Find a cat babysitter
Don’t bet on your cat staying quiet while the landlord inspects the property. Find a friend or family member to take care of your cat on inspection day. If none are available, see if there are any reputable cat sitters in the area (with the appropriate insurance) who may be able to take care of your cat for a few hours. UK cat owners could consider using services like Cat in a Flat. You could also consider putting your cat in a crate and leaving it in the car. Of course, make sure the temperature inside the car is maintained at an appropriate level.
Hidden cat furniture
Tenants who have regular inspections might find it a pain to store and hide larger cat furniture like the cat litter box. One smart way of getting around this by making use of hidden cat litter boxes. These are regular-looking furniture you can hide the litter box in. Just make sure to cover the cat’s entrance!
Hiding cat smell
Cat owners become accustomed to the smell of their cat so many won’t realize how different it would smell for someone who doesn’t own cats. Air out the cat odor by opening the windows a few hours before inspection time. Use pet-safe air freshener to further mask the smell. Alternatively, you could try get some brownie points with the inspector by baking and offering some cookies on the day! The smell of baked goods does a really good job of hiding pet smell.
Minimize cat furniture
Try to keep cat furniture to a minimum. For example, find ways to consolidate by getting scratcher boards that can also become a nice cat bed. Cats like climbing. Consider getting a collapsible cat tower or window perches (as long as the landlord can’t see the windows easily from the outside).
It’s important to vacuum regularly as cat furs can fly all over the place. Pay special attention to fabric furniture like the sofa and mattress.
Most landlords and estate agents that conduct the inspection aren’t going to be there checking every nook and cranny. Nor are they there to check whether or not you have a fugitive pet. The purpose of an inspection is to make sure there is no major red flags in the property (e.g. a constant leak) so you should be fine as long as your cat isn’t causing any damage and you have done your due diligence in keeping all of the “evidence” out of sight.