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No Pet Policy - Allergic to cats

I rented out my place recently and then the guests left and I was experiencing symptoms similar to a cold. I am allergic to cats and wondered if they brought a cat to the house. I know that their clothing or luggage may have cat dander and I may have been indirectly exposed. They are renting my place again and I have a No Pet policy with strict penalties. How can I ensure that they are abiding by the house rules? I rent out my place when I am traveling so the guests have the entire place to themselves when they rent. Just wondering how other hosts deal with this issue and how can I see if they have brought a pet to the house. I have a security deposit and wondered how hosts can determine that a cat has been at their house (vacuuming up cat hair? what other telltale signs)? Thanks!

It’s not cat “dander” that causes the allergy, but rather the airborne elements of saliva.

ASK guests if the own cats. They are not breaking your rules if they own cats and leave them at home when they come visit.

How can you be 100% sure guests are not bringing pets? Be there to check them in. If you can’t do that then spend the money for cameras.

MOST people would not bring a cat, unless they were attending a cat show. Cats do not “travel” as well as dogs do.

Without photographic evidence of a cat in your house, or access to a CSI level evidence analysis laboratory, you can’t determine if guests brought a cat.

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Don’t you have someone to manage your property when you aren’t around. If not, it’s probably worth getting someone for when things go wrong/to check guests in or out.

Also look at getting video for your entrance.

In terms of these guests I would just ask them. Just ask if they have cats as you had an allergic reaction (if that’s what it actually was and you know this) and are checking with people who stayed recently.

This happened to me once and I still have no idea if guests brought a cat. I rent out a whole house and do have surveillance cameras. Since people don’t let cats outside to pee in the yard, then you really cannot know for sure if they brought one inside.

One time I noticed (after guest departure) that the area rug underneath the coffee table looked like something was clawing at a certain spot. Keep in mind I have never owned a cat, and really am not familiar with their behavior at all. I don’t like cats and am allergic. I can’t recall the other reason I started to suspect they “might” have brought a cat. But I think I ended up recalling the guest asking if I allowed cats.

Keep in mind when this guest initially contacted me, she called me on the phone through another listing site. I answered her questions and at the time my listing was pet friendly. When she asked if I allowed cats I gave her a definite no answer. At the time I didn’t see it as a red flag, as I know there are a few rental owners who will allow cats, and not just dogs.

Then later I looked on camera and it was really difficult to tell if the guests carried in a cat carrier. The cameras aren’t as good as the ones I have now. But the object they carried in and left with definitely had the shape of a possible animal carrier.

And all of my guests get greeted upon arrival. Guests can leave an animal in the car until after check in (if weather isn’t too hot) and you would never know. Unless it is a dog barking, there isn’t a way to know if they bring a cat, unless evidence is left behind.

I do have cameras but they are located on the outside. Since they rented before I was not there to check them in this time.

They have access to the garage and so I won’t be able to see if they brought a cat via that entrance since the cameras are in the front and back entrance only. Do you have cameras inside the house? I feel that may be an invasion of privacy.

Someone suggested that if I find cat hair that would be evidence, or if the cat scratches the furniture or if I find any cat urine (I hope not) since it would smell.

Helsi - I have had difficulty finding a reliable house manager who doesn’t want to charge me an arm and a leg. But I’m still looking. Do you have any idea how much I should pay (hourly)?

I have a video entrance.

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