Do You Allow Cats?

Level 3
Kelseyville, CA

Do You Allow Cats?

Hello All,


For the second time in 3 months I’ve declined a request that included a cat. I’ve edited my listing: “Cabin unsuitable for children and cats.”  Our listing specifically states that we are dog friendly.  


My questions to the Community:  

1)  Will Airbnb drop my position in the listings because I’ve declined 2 requests in 3 months?


2)  Are there other out there Hosts who accept cats?  (I am a cat lover who is cognizant of the behavioral issues and potential damage when a cat is brought into a new environment).  If you do, how do you structure the Security Deposit (because I’ve read that Airbnb doesn’t support claims for damage done by pets)?


Thanks so much for your feedback!




1 Best Answer

Yep. I find it really really sad and unfortunate that hosts dont act as if cat's are legitimate pets. Ive had both dogs and cats, and my cats have never caused me any property damage where as dogs have chewed on things, had potty training issues, cause noise... It's really messed up that there's this bias against cats. 


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28 Replies 28
Level 10
Balearic Islands, Spain

As a cat lover and diet of expert on cats.. It's curious that any well minded cat parent would willingly remove a cat from its home to take it on holiday. 


Cats are creatures of habit. They want everything today, to be just like it was yesterday. Moving them from place to place is hugely upsetting for most cats. 


Better to have a friend take care of them while you're away. The cats will thank you for it. 

@Elaine701  I agree- cats are quite territorial, and are more content to stay home than to  be moved around. Dogs are territorial, too, of course, but far more to their owners than to a place. They pretty easily adjust to new environments as long as their owner is there (although I've found cat people attribute much more personal attachment of their cats to them than I believe cats actually have). Dogs can get noticeably depressed if their owner is away for a long time, cats seem unfazed as long as they get fed and a bit of affection.


But I've known a few of what I refer to as "dog cats". They will follow you on long walks, far outside their territory, and just generally seem more doglike than catlike.

A cat in pain can be quiet, doesn’t mean they’re not in pain. Likewise with affection and attachment towards their owners. Just because they are stereotypically aloof creatures and aren’t as expressive as dogs doesn’t mean they don’t feel the same strong feelings dogs can.  

We left our cat with my parents to attend a wedding out of state knowing good and well that a lot of hosts will not welcome us if we brought her just because she’s a cat. While we were gone, she got all the attention and affection she needed. She slept with my parents every night, she had lots of playtime with them, and she got fed more treats than we would typically giver her. At one point I even thought that she wouldn’t bat an eye when we came home and would probably prefer my parent’s care since they spoiled her rotten. But the day we came home, she left my parent’s side to stick to us like glue again as if we never left. I used to think this way too-- that cats aren’t loyal to their owners like dogs are, but that day absolutely changed my mind! 

Our cat is many ways a “dog cat,” but I hate that to credit my cat for having such traits, I have to refer to her as “dog-like”. It undermines what cats are truly and similarly capable of. And so I say, My cat is simply a CAT who is clearly capable of doing and feeling things dogs can. She’s no dog cat. She’s a cat.

Not my cat! He's a super social Bombay and gets really depressed if we're away too long. He cries and sulks and occasionally becomes disordered enough to use the couch as his litter box- yes even when we have friends taking care of him and the box is being cleaned.  It would not be reasonable to find a friend who is willing to give up their entire life to just go live in my home 24/7 when they have their own families and pets to care for.  Seeing a friend for just 1-2 hours a day does not ease my cat's fear that he has been abandoned or the boredom he feels the rest of the day or evening. We've tried as hard as we can to find friends who will spend at least one of the nights sleeping over (and we offer pay) but this is again, not a very reasonable request when people have their own lives. Plus it adds to our travel stress to have to put clean sheets on for them before we leave, and also change out their sheets when we return! I would be so, so relieved if he could come with us on more trips.

I am a super serious cat-parent and don't relish the idea of taking her out of environment. Furthermore, not everyone books an AirBnb for holiday/vacation. I currently have a need for temporary housing while moving-I don't have many options. I will say that I am lucky that my cat adapts quickly to a new environment and is well-adjusted and well-behaved.

Level 4
Washington, DC

We've taken our cat on three trips in the two years we've had her -- usually week-long or longer family vacations. She's been on several planes and long car rides, stayed in both Airbnbs and hotel rooms and is a purrfect guest (couldn't help myself with the pun). She's never destroyed anything, uses her temporary litter trays easily, and is overall quiet and very friendly to every new person she meets. We keep her contained to one room or space so that she has a quiet and comfortable area to learn is her safe space, and she's usually is able to settle in within a day.


Can't say the same about some dogs who've joined these trips. Constant barking...

@Rebecca1458 I agree. A host has the right to say they don't want pets, but I think if you are pet friendly, you should expect to get a cat once in a while.


There is a lot of misunderstanding about cat behavior. Our kitten who was habituated to travel very early loves to get in a carrier and tag along. My friend who has a rescue comes with her on work trips and sleeps happily in her lap or in the window. People constantly cite clawing and urine marking, which in my lengthy association with animal rescue is something good owners typically take steps to make sure are curbed. The individual who travels with a cat is probably a little quirky as its not widely accepted, and they likely know their pet's behavior quite well as they constantly have to make the case for hosts to accept them. They aren't going to risk serious damage or making things worse for future travels by getting a bad review.

@Laura2592 Thank you for seeing cats in such a good light! Hopefully we can stay at your place in MD! 🙂 I was considering stopping by Frederick for our road trip this year, but due to the strict schedule, had to skip MD altogether. Part of the reason why I even ended up in this thread is because we’ve been getting ignored by some “pet-friendly” hosts we’ve reached out to and I feel like part of the reason why is because of our cat. It’s been a disheartening search and really delays our time in landing a good spot because some hosts prefer to leave us on read instead of responding with a reason as to why they are reluctant to welcome us. 😞 If only they knew that our cat is really good and copes well in new places!

Level 1
Flagstaff, AZ

At an AirBnB with my cat right now! It did take awhile to find one, and wish that Air BnB would add a filter unique to cats (and maybe other small animals). The key is to know your cat. Mine has traveled all of her time with me, and while she does not love the car settles in well to new places. She stayed at family members' and friends' places first to see how she'd do. I brought her water fountain, a small scratching post, two beds, and of course a litter box. And a lint brush to clean the one chair she's become attached to here! I traveled without her earlier this summer so I think she's very happy to me with me and has been much more snuggly than usual! This is also a trip where I am primarily working remotely and seeing friends at the rental (I'm in my former hometown). I likely would not have brought her if I was going to be away all day.

Level 1
California, United States

I love cats but am very allergic. Since I only rent out half the time, I cannot risk the cat hair and dander left behind no matter how good the clean. Wish I weren't allergic but it is what it is. Many people. I have the same concern about denying requests regarding cats. 

Cat allergy is an immune response to proteins found in a cat's skin cells, saliva, and urine. Symptoms can include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and asthma. Managing a cat allergy often involves minimizing exposure to cats and using allergy medications.

I currently accept any pets (up to 4) without a fee in my listing, but I am considering adding language prohibiting cats, because I have lost a few potential bookings to people who have cat allergies. (Which I understand, even though I am obsessive about cleaning after each guest, and store all cat supplies in the basement when not in use.) 


It's really difficult to find a good spot in our small guesthouse to place a litterbox. The first "cat guest" I hosted shredded the fabric cover on the bottom of one of the bed's box springs. After that, I added a scratching post for when I know a cat will be visiting and that helped. I can tell when cats (or dogs) have been on the beds, which is prohibited (we provide pet-friendly bed covers that guests can use if they are unable to keep their pets off the beds so that I don't have to wash the bedspreads quite so often).


The main thing that has kept me from prohibiting cats is that I don't want to add that restriction to my listing title (seems negative), and I fear that guests will ignore it anyway (as they do with much of the information I include on the Airbnb site).



Community Manager
Community Manager
Suffolk Coastal District, United Kingdom

Hi @Margaret1463 👋


You've got a great post here but I fear it may got lost as the original thread is from 2021. 😮

 It may be worth starting a new conversation and ask any questions you may have about Hosting cats/pets in general!  ...


I think you'll get some great support off experienced Hosts too! 😊



Please follow the Community Guidelines

1) Airbnb may not penalize your listing for declining requests based on pet policies, but consistent declines could affect your overall hosting metrics.

2) Many hosts accept cats with structured security deposits to cover potential damages, despite Airbnb's limitations on pet damage claims.