My father had a cat in the house that i am opening up on Airbnb. I have spent the last 3 days, from 8am-11pm with few breaks in between, decluttering, cleaning, laundering, defuzzing and organizing the home. Everywhere I look there is CAT HAIR… caked behind the furniture, in the crevices of the sofa, in the books and crannies of the bed, in the surround sound speakers!!!.. how can I be sure to get all of it. I know how picky guests can be and I fear if they find a single hair they’ll claim dirty.
Anyone with cats… help!
In my current listings I write out house quirks and rules and sneak in there for the guest to tell me what kind of treat they’d like… I do this within the first 12 hours of a booking so if they are uncomfortable and want to cancel they can without a penalty… should I add “you may find some cat hair, but the space has been professionally cleaned” in my rules or “other things to note” or is that a complete turn off?
Having just had someone stay who was allergic to dog hair and hadn’t read the listing warning people with allergies not to stay I am not sure that works. She asked if she could vacuum the place even though I pointed out it had been professionally cleaned before the previous guests (who had a dog) and I had cleaned it myself afterwards but may have missed some stray hairs. My usual problem is with people allergic to cats asking if it is okay to stay as I mention cats have lived there in the past (two years ago) and my own cat sometimes goes in if people let it. Anyway it has occurred to me in the past that rather than requiring people avoid places which are listed as “pet friendly” there is an option to state that a place is not suitable for people with cat/dog/bird allergies and allow guests to filter them out.
Added: as pointed out there is a box “Pets live on the property” (which I tick) so even more frustrating people don’t check the listing who have allergies. Maybe “cat/dog/other allergies” should be something guests list on their profile so it automatically warns them.
Depends. Do you plan to allow pets? If so, I wouldn’t worry. If not, how about ticking the box that says (WTTE) that “Pets live on the property” - at least until you are sure the place is hair free.
Good points. I tick that box as well so it is doubly disappointing that people don’t think to check it if it is ticked.
I have cats and it is mentioned in my listings but it will never be foolproof.
Of around 120 bookings I have had 3 guests complain that they could smell cats in the house. Once said in the review it was ‘overpowering’ and another guest actually bought a can of air freshener and would spray it in the kitchen even when she went in there for a few minutes to do her washing up (This after I deep cleaned every surface with scented sanitizer and then again with bleach & put 2 plug in air fresheners on max setting in there after she continued to complain). None of the other guests have mentioned it and I have asked random guests who were particularly approachable and friends who all say they could not smell anything. I just put it down to a minority of people are just over-sensitive to pets & are ‘better suited to hotels’.
People allergic to cats are NOT usually allergic to the hair, as is the case with dog allergies. It is the cat’s saliva which is the allergen.
Do not open up until the space is ready, that means no hair.
Yes. If it means replacing all of the furniture, the carpet etc then thats what you’ll have to do.
Keep vacuuming and once you no longer get any hair after vacuuming, rent a carpet shampoo machine and shampoo the carpets. Let it dry out for a few days. If it still smells like cats (and get someone with a sensitive nose for this test) then rent an o-zone generator and let that run for 24 hours. I’m only assuming there’s a cat smell even though you didn’t mention it.
The people who owned my Airbnb used to own a dog. You can’t tell now though. I still find dog hair in the carpet sometimes. Especially on the stairs and under the fridge/stove/dishwasher.
My cat died 10 years ago and I’ve gotten all the hair out now but the inside of my home has been almost 100% remodeled.
Clean as best you can. In your listing summary include the truth—A long time resident of this home had a cat. We’ve cleaned extensively however this rental may not be suitable for people with cat allergies/sensitivities.
Or make it pet friendly—DONE! No warnings needed.
Sadly Hudson1, you have to get the cat hair out. I don’t think it matters what you state in your listing, I believe that if a guest finds it you will get dinged in the cleanliness department.
I’m not sure the professional cleaner was very thorough.
This may sound weird, but it might work for your pesky cat hairs:
There are cleaning companies that specialize in “crime scene” clean-ups. They will thoroughly remove all blood and bone fragments, where a violent crime was committed in a house or other building.
If they can clean-up from mutilated dead bodies, they can remove all cat hair. Call your local police and/or coroner’s office for a recommendation.
Quite frankly while I understand allergies well, I am not able to accommodate them nor assume responsibility for them. I can speak to the remedial efforts we have in place, which are substantial, and the perssonal sacrifices I made to minimize them. But there are too many variables to guarantee a hypoallergenic home.
When I started on Air there were two onsite geriatric Himalayans. Onecat went to that big kitty litter box in the sky, while Twocat went to the cottage. She is 19 April 4. We had one too many guests who did’nt like cats, So we suffered.
We and other feline fanatic guests are at the point of playing with the neighbour’s cats while they visit us in the backyard, which has turned into a 401 for felines. But I miss having cats terribly.
Perhaps there would be more confidence in your home if you installed air purifiers in the room. There are special air purifiers for rooms where pets live or lived.
This will work perfectly in conjunction with regular general cleaning of the room. Such air purifiers have reinforced filters, as well as increased sensors of sensitivity to wool and dust in the air. Corgi lives in my apartment. True, she is only half a year. But for now, even my allergy-friendly friends can withstand visits to our home.
And if you have already taken care of getting rid of wool, then such a cleaner will simply give confidence in cleanliness.