I have had hardly any problems with reviews about the cat since I put in the house rules not to book if you have a problem with a friendly free range pet cat in the kitchen during breakfast. A photo of the cat is my avatar, he is mentioned in the description and listed. However I have just had low marks for cleanliness and overall from a guest who said I cannot get 5 stars with a dog and cat around. I am sick to the back teeth of this issue. I am not pretending to be a hotel or restaurant, my kitchen is not even listed as a facility on Airbnb! Everything is clean and fresh smelling, however I cannot stop the cat from jumping up on the table etc… Any other ideas for how I can stop these guests from booking/reviewing negatively about the cat? It might kill my superhost status again.
One of our listings is part of our house, we do not use IB on this one, because of our cats (and the shared space).
Before booking, we ask the guest to confirm that there are cats in the house, and that they will go everywhere if they do not close the doors. About 1/3rd cancels because they have not read it the listing properly, the others still book, because they have cats themselves.
IB with this listing is a no-go for us.
I assume you have the cat listed in the guest acknowledgement section before they book? After I receive a booking, I respond immediately with a “Thank you for booking! I want to make sure you noticed that I have two cats in the house and though they won’t enter your room, they will be in the common spaces”. I allow flexible cancellation so if they missed this, they can cancel. I also confirm that they noticed I do not include parking and that they have to climb a flight of stairs to the bedroom. So far, this approach seems to do the trick for all three of these potential issues. It might help just to confirm it one more time. People often click through things without fully reading them and I would feel horrible if some one allergic missed it and suffered during their stay at my house.
Describe the exact behavior they might experience with the cat in a message to them before they book. Are you on ib?
And, post a photo of the cat here! What’s his/her name?
I think Cindy and Chris above gave you perfect advice. Thank the guest for booking and confirm that they understand you have cat that will be in and around while they are there…
I thought if they did IB they had to accept the rules, which in my case list accepting the cat first.
I think this is key!
Yes the photo of my grey cat appears with every message!
Maybe this is key. He will jump up in the kitchen and purr and mew because he wants to be friends. I will have to message people with that lol …
How emphatic is the rule?
Maybe make it firmer.
what does the rule say now?
This is now my second photo, encaptioned " Hi, I’m the Head Housekeeper. My staff (who live here too) will serve you with your breakfast, but only after I have had mine."
I also reiterate about both cats living here, as well as us, in my initial response to any kind of booking, with a request to cancel/ withdraw if this is a problem. It seems to be working so far, with a reduction in complaints that we live here as well!
My rule says there is a friendly free range pet cat in the kitchen, if this might upset you in any way please don’t book.
Seconding the advice to mention specific behaviors.
I do think there is a difference between knowing a cat is in the house and that they’ll be on your breakfast table/counters (I’m assuming that’s what you mean by “he’ll jump up in the kitchen”). Put it down to differences in family cultures, but I come from a pet-friendly family and would still find it highly unhygienic to eat off the same surface a cat sat or walked on after using the litterbox. My cat is allowed to sit on chairs, but not surfaces on which we eat or prepare food.
Yes I agree with that sentiment. I would chase him off but when I am not looking or when he thinks he has a soft touch around he will jump up. Very difficult to control.
At least there’s no litter box.
You can’t herd cats lol
I haven’t tried this, but I’ve heard of using aluminum foil on surfaces for a few days to deter them from the area. You’d have look up the specifics if you’re interested but we all know cats don’t train well . That’s why we love them! End of the day, you can only do so much.
Since photos are usually more effective than words, add a cute photo of your cat on the breakfast table, perhaps one dipping its paws in the milk …
Those that are over the top touchy or will ding you on having a cat on the table might think twice about booking.
Then enable the 48 hour grace period feature and follow up with a message of: there is a cat in the house and please help me modifying its behaviour by not feeding the cat at mealtimes as it might jump on the table otherwise.
I had a similar problem with my cats. Things that helped are a small water spray bottle and laying down some aluminium foil on the table. They don’t like the sound and your cat might just stop jumping on the table in the first place.
Yes the picture is of the cat on the table! He’s never put his paw in the milk but he would definitely ask for some.
You mentioned that you have it as your profile photo/avatar, but do you have it in actual listing as well?
I am going to guess that you can’t close off the kitchen to keep the cat out while the guest is eating breakfast for 20 minutes?
I agree with another poster. I do not think it is an issue of the cat being there, but an issue of the cat jumping up on the eating table.
I did not grow up with cats, but i had a friend who had several and I was actually surprised they allowed the cats to jump and walk all over the table and kitchen counters, etc. So…I definitely think it likely goes back to how people were raised, if for some this is just common cat behavior.