"The cat was the best part"

We offer a private-entry one bedroom apartment in the lower level of our home. As we have two dogs (black labs) and two cats (longhair), one of my biggest challenges is to keep pet hair from showing up in the rental space. I’ve had mostly 5 stars across the board, but there is that one 3-star rating because “dog hair found on the bathroom counter and towels, cat defecated in a flower bed within view of the kitchen table, loud noises and thumps heard from the main house” (our cat jumping off the perch). So I’ve been using every trick I know to control the pet hair issue and make the cats be more prudent and seemly in their toileting habits.

Our latest guests said they loved everything, it’s beautiful and very comfortable, but the best thing? The cat who slept with them last night! It seems they love the sound of rain in the night (Seattle area–it’s been very rainy) so they kept the door open. And our female cat decided to hang out with them. She is a big snuggler, so that’s not a huge surprise that she would make herself at home. They specially requested her presence for the next 3 nights.

Maybe I should give up on the hair-free expectations and list the space with complimentary overnight pet companions! Kinda kidding. I’ll continue to try and keep it super clean, but it was just so nice to have pet loving guests who see our furry family members as an asset and not a horrifying and unsanitary source or dander and disease.

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I would avoid your place if cats mentioned, and if not mentioned I would be livid if one came in my space or pooped where I could smell it. Best to disclose they are around to avoid guests like me who do not want them anywhere near.

RR

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RR – I disclose very clearly in the listing that we have pets and that the air ducts of our home are shared with the apartment. I specifically state that we are not a match for people with pet allergies or aversions to animals. That said, we do keep our pets away from the apartment to the best of our ability. The dogs are well trained (one is a retired companion animal, the other is show dog). The cats are not so trained, or well behaved, obviously.

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I will be there to take River Rock’s spot. I seek pet friendly listings because I assume that increases the chance of pets being present.

I allow pets in my listing and 500+ reviews later there has only been one complaint about pets and that was back when they shared my home and requested early check in.

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I am going to allow dogs in my new listing, if I ever get it finished… Next month it will be one year since starting the guest house. I am getting close though I plan on having it ready for labor day.

RR

I know you are doing it yourself, what has caused the delays if you don’t mind me asking?

KKC – I have considered allowing pets – I know that I enjoy taking my dogs with me when traveling. I just have some qualms about barking visiting dogs bothering the neighbors, poop pick up added to my cleaning duties, safety of my own pets, liability.

Do you charge an additional fee for pets? Offer extras to accommodate them? I’ve kept plenty busy with a no-pets allowed listing, but I honestly wouldn’t mind hosting pets, as long as it didn’t cost me excessive cleaning time or hurt the profit margins.

Weather, we had a flood event in Feb that washed out two of the four roads coming up which caused one of my workers not to be able to come up everyday then I had delays waiting for inspections. We had a long cold snowy winter, weeks where nothing happened because we could not get the roof deck inspection with snow on the roof (papered) We are on the home stretch now though. Drywall inspection Tuesday then the next will be the final. Hopefully about a month left. I have 3 guys besides myself on the job now, the 3rd guy is making a difference.

RR

I haven’t had these issues but I also have mostly one nighters. Guests are responsible for poop pick up and part of their fee includes a little poop bag dispenser I put in their room. I also buy a cheap fleece throw for the bed and tell them to take it with them. I only let guest pets interact with the dogs here if the owner says they are not dog aggressive. I also board dogs in my home and have a lot of experience as well as kennel insurance so I have different risks than the typical host would.

I do charge a pet fee. Mine is $15 per pet per night but I discount longer stays or multiple pets.

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These people are nitwits. Let it go. Their review will only reinforce what they chose to ignore.

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I loved it when I could host dogs and provided doggie treats and several little extras for them. But the HOA put paid to that.

But it’s dogs that are not allowed so I still host guests with cats (sorry RR :slight_smile: )

We have a couple of stray cats who wander around our complex and guests tend to love them. I’m always finding little saucers of milk or tuna outside the doors. (I have to warn guests not to let the cats inside as I don’t want any toileting disasters). So I can’t claim that we are a pet-free place but that’s okay as most guests seem to love our strays :slight_smile:

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I would definitely stay with you if that were in the listing! I’d be missing my furry companion and welcome the kitty (and dog) snuggles.

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Hah!!! I’ve had one complaint about dog hair so I changed up my listing description to let prospective guests that dogs, indeed, live here (along with myself). I also mention several times that I am “Pet Friendly” and this has brought me a ton of guests traveling with their dogs. A number of my glowing reviews feature the guest interaction with my dogs, One is a snuggler, one is a ball fool, and the other just doesn’t care. All of them are socialized to people and other dogs and things usually go smoothly. However…I have two vacuums and a lint roller and use these frequently. I mean daily. Not everyone owns a dog so cleanliness is the word of the day. My thought is that people who are uncomfortable with dogs swipe left when the read the description. My property is on an 8 acre vineyard with no fences and we have had a dog run away yet. They tend to hang with the pack.

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You could probably use your pets to your advantage. There was a thread several months ago about a host who used their cat to their benefit to attract guests who like animals. At least half my reviews mention how cool my cat is, and I’ve gotten a couple of guests who specifically picked my listing because of the cat. I put a picture of my cat in my listing and mention the presence of the litter box so there’s no surprises.

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OMG where are you located? I’m coming :slight_smile: it’s very simple actually. when someone books you text them immediately and say you have cats. It’s ridiculous to complain about a few cat hairs and that cats went to the bathroom in the flower bed. this is what cats do.

I kind of had the same issue and even if my cats were in the pics some people won’t look past 2 pics. So I changed the title of the listing to include the cats. Ever since I got cat lovers only.

When I travel I try to chose listings with cats. I adore cats. Dogs are fine too but cats are special :slight_smile:

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I am happy to allow pets because people have so few options and it makes them so happy. 95% of the time the treats I intend to offer must be put away because Fido is diabetic or allergic or something. I learned right away to be careful about that. Also, people sometimes are hopeful about how their pet will behave but aren’t always accurate (i.e. “never barks”, “well trained”). A new environment is unnerving for most living things. I make sure the guests communicate to me their plans for their pets while they are out.

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I am pet friendly - I can’t imagine traveling without our dog. I say in my listing that I am not the Hilton, that the place is clean but worn. It is not pristine, but it is a comfortable, reasonably priced two bedroom apartment with a full kitchen.
Since I put that little codicile in, I have limited not just complaints, but also the people who expect a hotel.

When you mention that pets live on the property, maybe you should ask folks to let you know their preference; whether they would enjoy the cat/dog company. I always love when resident cats visit when we travel, and would love for them to stay the night!!

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that’s the best ever. I like to think of myself as cat whisperer, so I like to interact with any other cat I could possibly find. And I do find cats everywhere I travel.

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I have just come back from Egypt and Greece and I drove my husband insane talking to all the stray cats. I was forbidden to touch them, understandably - but chatting was fine. It was lovely to see the supports for strays and the local feeding stations at the acropolis. I donated to the feeding charities who catch desexualise and release.

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