Guests surprised we have cats?

Level 3
Baton Rouge, LA

Guests surprised we have cats?

We have had a number of guests stay with us who, upon arrival, say "oh, you have cats? I'm allergic." We try to make it abundantly clear that we have two friendly cats in our listing. It is mentioned  in the intro, they are in at least one of the pictures, and we have the setting turned on that guests must acknowledge that we have cats. I don't know how else to make it clear that THERE ARE CATS, but it seems like a solid third of our guests are unaware of them. Does anyone else have this problem? Are there any suggestions? I don't want our guests to be uncomfortable, and I also don't want to get dinged on my reviewes because of it...

6 Replies 6
Level 1
Toronto, Canada

Hey there.  This is Jeff from Toronto, Canada.  I've found this thread very helpful.  I have travelled and stayed in Airbnbs and I have a house with a spare bedroom and have been pondering doing Airbnb to make some extra income, but I have 2 cats.  Not only am I concerned about ensuring that the guests know that I have cats (although your profile with a pic of the cat in the cat tower looking directly at the camera seems to make it clear...), but I'm worried about my one cat (who is an indoor only cat but curious) escaping due to a front door open a bit too long to get a suitcase in.  Maybe I'll post my profile here when I eventually get it up for comments.

Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia


Hi Emily, @Matthew285 is right, some potential guests just won't read everything they should!


With something as important as pets on the property, it is a pity that Airbnb makes guests actually search out this information! What guests DO prominently see is 'Not suitable for Pets'! and it is not until they open the house rules section that you make specific mention of your cats. Also I did not see a photo of cats in your 12 listing photos, so I can understand how guests can pass over this information when viewing your listing. When they get to the 'Things to acknowledge' section, they just go....yeah, yeah and click whatever to get on with booking it!


It may be better to kick off your listing description with...."Come and stay in the Spanish Block with Emily and James and out two adorable cats. I can assure you we are all great hosts"!

They won't miss that Emily because it does bring an element of humour into the description and it is the first thing they will read under your profile picture.

I have found that humour is a great 'icebreaker' and you may find this will limit much of that 'solid third' of people who cannot comprehend what is being described.

Give it a go Em!




@Emily393 honestly, you could title your listing "Cats live here. Cats Cats Cats" and you probably still would get guests who are surprised you have cats.


It isn't your fault.


Level 10
Florence, OR

@Emily393 Because I know that few guests really read the listing or House Rules, once they have Instant Booked, I immediately send a message highlighting the few areas that I know the guests need to know before coming to make sure that they won't 'ding' me on it later in an unfair review (unfair, because it is their responsibility to read the listing). For example, I let them know there are many cooking appliances in the kitchenette, but no stove. Guests usually always read this 'confirmation' message from me. I also include this briefly in the check-in email I send a week before their stay (reminder no smoking, no unregistered guests, no parties allowed, things like that). No one has cancelled yet, but if they wanted to, I am fine with that, as it is within that first 24 hour period so I have time to re-book it. Other than that, I am not sure what else you could do that you have not already done! 

Level 3
Baton Rouge, LA

@Rebecca181 Thank you for the suggestion. I will start slipping it into the confirmation messages that I send out. I'm always completely miffed that so many people can manage to miss the message three times in a listing, lol. I know when I travel using airbnb, I read through everything, including at least a chunk of the reviews (almost all our reviews mention the cats, too, because they are pretty entertaining). I'll add this fourth layer to the roster and hope it does the trick!

Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Emily393   Since it seems to be a continuing issue for you, I'd do more than "slip it in" to the confirmation message. First line: "As stated in our listing information WE HAVE CATS so if you are allergic and failed to fully read the listing description before booking, you will need to cancel your reservation with us."

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