Anyone out there Hosting and owning a cat?

Level 1
Grand Haven, MI

Anyone out there Hosting and owning a cat?

I was wondering if a lot of hosts own a cat where they rent?  I rent out my lower level and I miss having a cat.  I haven't gotten one because I know a lot of people have cat allergies.  


Has anyone had issues or lost out on reservations because of a cat?

1 Best Answer
Level 2
Wentworth, NH

I have actually had people book my cabin due to the cat ambassador!  He spends nights with me in my home, but waits at the cabin and greets guests.  I have a picture on the listing explaining his role.  Only once a person didn't review the listing and had a cat allergy.  People miss their pets when traveling and having a temporary pet makes them happy!

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28 Replies 28
Level 2
Berlin, Germany

Hi Marion,


I think it's not a problem to host while you have a cat. There are many people who love cat (like me). But you should clarify it in the description that you have a cat and they have to make clear if they decide to stay with you. 


For safety, you should always inform guest about it in every guest's request/booking.

Level 10
Scotland, United Kingdom


I had a booking cancelled due to my feral cat that lives outdoors.

This year I had a significant number of guests with food allergies, food intolerances, food fads and allergies.


I have now made my listing clear that such guests should not book with me as my family home is not suitable for such people with specialist dietary needs or personal needs. Period!


Level 10
San Marcos, TX

Nothing can replace the companionship of a dog or a cat. I have two of each, yet I keep them out of my guest areas  to eliminate unneeded allergy problems.


I had one guest who was sweet enough to inquire for his girlfriend who was extremely allergic. Although my home and screened porch are petfree, she could have gotten sick by walking up my stoop where my cats sit at times. I told him that and he didn’t book.


If you miss having a cat, I think you should get one. Be mindful of keeping him/her out of the guest areas, if you can. Just be willing to miss out on the occasional booking.


Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Marion320   I don't think the number of people who are allergic to cats would in any way significantly impact your bookings. As others have said, just make sure it's clear in your listing description (and take a photo of the cat for your photo gallery) and to make doubly sure you don't get guests who have somehow neglected to register any of that, when they request to book, send them a message asking if they are fully aware that you have a cat, and stress that no one with cat allergies should book with you.

Thank you Sarah, this was very helpful.

Level 2
Calgary, Canada

Marion, in my experience, many guests look for homes with friendly and cuddly animals. Our dog and cat are the main attraction at our listing! Get yourself a furry companion 🙂

Level 10
San Diego, CA

I have a cat and my guests usually love him.  Sometimes he sleeps on their bed and they love it... I tell them to keep the door shut if they don't want him in their room.  This has not ever been a problem. 


Someone with cat allergies tried to book - she asked me to vacuum and clean extra and put the cat in the garage..... so I declined her.  Why would anyone with cat allergies book a place with a cat? Insane.


Get a cat, post a picture on your listing so they know you have it.  Some of my guests first question was "where's the cat?"


Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

If my dog could read, I think all my past guests who've fallen in love with her would be corresponding with her regularly and sending her birthday and Xmas cards 🙂

Level 1
Albuquerque, NM

Thank you, ladies-I have a cat and was reluctant to look into hosting, but your posts have been very helpful! I'm in Albuquerque, NM, and will soon have two bedrooms available that I thought about using.

Level 10
London, United Kingdom

The cats are one of the main attractions at my listing. I host long term guests who are often missing their pets back home but, even when I hosted short term, the majority of guests loved the cats and most mention them in the review.


Of course, I make it crystal clear on the listing and in my messages that I have cats. I even say in my house rules, do not book if you are allergic to, uncomfortable with just don't like cats. Occasionally though, you do get guests who choose to ignore this, because they like everything else about the listing.


I have had guests with cat allergies but, so far, none of them have had problems staying here because the bedrooms are spotless when they arrive. They just need to keep their bedroom door closed. The communal areas are large enough that they don't need to come into close contact with the cats. Still, I'd prefer not to have guests with cat allergies. I don't think it's fair to me to have to stress about their allergy when they could easily have booked somewhere without cats.


Far worse though is the occasional guest who is actually terrified of cats. This I find highly irritating. It's pretty uncomfortable to host a guest who screams or jumps every time they see a cat or asks me every five minutes if the cat is going to attack them. Having said that, those guests have always left feeling more confident around cats than when they arrived. My cats are very chilled though.


Now, my Easter egg question in the house rules, which every guest must answer, is cat related so they have no excuse whatsoever to ignore the fact that I have three cats. This seems effective in driving away the cat phobes.


I doubt that I have lost many bookings because of the cats, certainly not enough to make a big impact.


If I had to choose between my kitties and Airbnb, the kitties would win hands down.



@Huma0  I had never realized that anyone was terrified of cats until I read a few times on this forum hosts saying they had a guest who was terrified of the cat. 

Level 10
London, United Kingdom



I have had some guests who were ambivalent, but a few who were clearly terrified. Sometimes it is a cultural thing, sometimes not.


The one that stands out most to me is a young lady from China who was studying here in the UK. It was clear as soon as she arrived that she had a major phobia. Within the first few minutes of the house tour, she asked me multiple times if the cats would bite or scratch her. She would jump a few feet in the air if a cat walked past on the opposite side of the room. Whenever she came home, her first question would be, "Where are the cats?" as she looked frantically around.


One time, she came home and asked her usual question. I told her, well, Grigio is over there asleep in his bed. She asked if she could stroke him. Progress! I said sure. She gave him an awkward pat on the head and he woke up and yawned. "That's means he's going to bite me!" she exclaimed. Poor cat was very confused. 


At this point, I had had enough. I told her politely but firmly that I had hosted hundreds of guests and none had ever been bitten or scratched by my cats, so if one of them did bit or scratch her, then she must have done something very wrong. That put an immediate stop to the biting/scratching questions and comments.


I remember posting about this and several people suggested it was a cultural thing, but I really don't think so. I have hosted so many guests from China and most of them loved the cats. Certainly none of the others have ever seemed frightened of them. Even this girl had a friend, who was also from China, visit. The first thing the guest did when she arrived was go straight up to a cat and start petting it.


To be fair, this particular guest was very odd in very many ways, but a sweet girl. She seemed unable to cope with the most basic things in life and I really have no idea how she'd managed to get by alone in a foreign country for a year. I'm pretty sure there were some mental health issues there.

Level 1
London, United Kingdom

Hey there,


I also have a cat atm and am considering renting out my entire place, including the cat so that guest would essentially have to be the catsitter. Has anyone got experience with such an arrangement?


Thank you, Nora

Level 2
Lakewood, WA

Nora!     Me too.      Anyone, anyone out there that rents out their whole home and leaves the cat(s) at home???          Thank you!       Denise, Fluffy _ Tiny