Should I leave a review?

I had a client over the weekend who did not disclose to me that he was bringing his “service cat.” When I found out the cat (and his girlfriend, who he did not disclose was coming either) was in the facility, I confronted him about it. He told me it is his service animal blah blah blah. I told him he should have disclosed that, as my daughter is deathly allergic to cats and can’t be anywhere around them, and that space is the only space that she has when she visits that is "safe."
He told me he would come after work and go somewhere else for the remaining 2 nights. I told him the damage has already been done, he might as well stay but I will charge the cleaning fee. He said no, he would leave and he did vacate and left the facility about halfway cleaned.
Here is my problem. To be honest, I don’t really want to give him a review at all. I think he was inconsiderate and deceitful in bringing the cat, but on the other hand, he vacated without any hassle.
No clue what his review will be for me.
What would you do?

Would you want other hosts to have this guy in your rental? You really have an obligation to other hosts to review your guests honestly. Be honest and unemotional in your review but state the facts.

Do remember - please - that the reason hosts write reviews is for the benefit of other potential hosts. We need to know about your experiences so we can evaluate the guest.


Why one earth wouldn’t you want to give him a review.

Reviews are there to help other hosts judge on whether a guest is suitable for their listing. Wouldn’t you want to be warned that a guest had done this ?

They will want to know that the guest brought along a cat and his girlfriend without telling you, putting your daughter in danger as she has a severe allergy to cats. He didn’t pack them in his bags during a forgetful moment - this was his intention all along.

I would leave an honest factual review and also put in a claim for any extra costs you have for having one extra person and any special cleaning you need to pay for to have the house deep cleaned to remove any danger to your daughter.

By the way my understanding is that you can’t have a cat as a service animal as they can’t be trained to perform tasks, but can be emotional support animals.

Going forward if you don’t do so already do mention in your house rules that your daughter has a severe allergy to cats and that they shouldn’t be brought onto your property.


With a really severe allergy, you really won’t want to have cat owners booking. Cat hairs get nestled into suitcase and clothing fibers. It can take years to de-hair a house after a cat has left.


I get the impression (perhaps mistaken) you think if you don’t leave a review, he can’t review you. That isn’t the case. He can’t see your review until he reviews you but if he submits one it will appear after 14 days regardless of whether you review him or not.

Please leave an honest review. Bringing pets and people that aren’t paid for and disclosed is a serious violation even if you love cats and have 10 of your own.


Just to flag; Airbnb state that service animals don’t need to be disclosed in advance of arrival. You have my sympathy with this as I’m also allergic. Luckily we don’t have to deal with this in the U.K.

Yes I am glad we are in the UK, so don’t have to worry about unexpected animals as my son is allergic to cats too.

I wonder whether in the US that also applies to ‘emotional support animals’ as cats can’t be service animals - under Airbnb regulations.

Yes it’s probably emotional support. I don’t really understand if this is a similar thing or not though …

I am not sure of the reason, but yes you are correct that a cat is not recognized as a serivice animal. In the U.S. only dogs and miniature horses qualify as service animals.

I would ask Airbnb to have him removed (not that they will) based on the grounds that he is trying to exploit their new assistance animal policy. At least they may note his account. There is no such thing as a service cat. If it was truly his emotional support animal he would have used that term, but he screwed up and called it a service cat.

Airbnb is allowing people to bring service animals and emotional support animals without requiring the guest to disclose this information. And also requiring hosts to not charge a pet fee or extra cleaning for emotional support animals. This guy just wanted to bring his cat. I sure hope that cat didn’t spray in your house.

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Is this a shared space? Air is also suggesting hosts to note in their house rules if they are allergic to certain animals. This is all such a crazy policy they created.

There are a few service cats, rare, but certified. One works with a diabetic, epileptic who has a fear of dogs. The abuse of the term service animal for pets is deplorable. It’s the equivalent of getting a disabled parking pass when you don’t meet the criteria.


Even though there are trained service cats…are they “recognized” under the definition of service animal. I could only find information saying that the ADA only recognizes dogs and miniature horses. But I thought I read somewhere recently that they were expanding this?

According to the US government in charge of the scheme only dogs can be certified as service animals

Other animals such as cats can offer emotional support.