Cats Protection is calling on landlords to give their tenants the opportunity to share their rented accommodation with a cat.
The charity claims that over the last year, moving into rental property has been one of the top five reasons cat owners are bringing much loved pets in to its adoption centres. It says that less than 42% of rented housing allows tenants to own a cat.
Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s head of advocacy and government relations, says: “More and more people are renting their homes either by choice or necessity, yet very few rented properties accept cats.
"This means tenants are missing out on being able to own a cat, while landlords may be losing out on attracting responsible and settled tenants.”
In order to tackle the problem Cats Protection has launched a new website offering advice and guidance to both tenants and landlords. This includes legal wording that landlords can add to letting agreements.
Ms Cuff adds: “We hear from renters who tell us most adverts state ‘no pets’. Often, the reason for not allowing cats is simply habit, with a third of landlords who don’t accept cats saying they didn’t proactively choose to ban cats, but instead followed a standard template or advice from a letting agent.
“The aim of Cats Protection’s Purrfect Landlords campaign is to transform renting so that responsible cat ownership benefits both landlords and tenants - happy landlords, happy tenants, happy cats.
“Becoming a cat-friendly landlord means advertising properties as ‘pets considered’ which ensures landlords stay in control and can make a decision once they’ve met their potential tenant.
“Our downloadable example cat clauses can then be simply added to existing tenancy agreements and they include tenancy conditions to require cats to be neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. This helps to ensure that cats are in the best of health and unlikely to cause any issues.
The charity also provides advice in helping tenants talk to the landlords and seek permission to get a cat. Landlords in many cases are likely to be flexible particularly if it means their tenant is likely to remain in the property for the long term.