What to Do If Your Roommate Got a Cat Without Asking

Living with a roommate can, at times, be challenging. In some situations, you will require a little compromise. However, there are things that you can’t stand or bear. It all narrows down to you…where do you draw the line?

  1. Check lease to see if pets are allowed
  2. Speak to landlord who may be concerned that cat could damage their property
  3. If they are not on the lease, you can evict them at any time
  4. If you are both on the lease, create a roommate agreement to agree terms, such as they are responsible for damages

Probably you can overlook certain things like them borrowing your shampoo and failing to put it back or even finishing off your favorite cereal without asking you.

But getting a cat without asking? Wow!! That’s pretty a big step. They are probably looking for trouble, right?

These are your options:


If You Don’t Love Your Roommate’s Cat, and Want to Get Rid of It

You are not a pet person, or you don’t love cats, or you feel it’s too much responsibility? Keep calm; by the time we are done, you will have all you need to kick your roommate’s pet out of the door.


Check Out the Lease

lease agreement

The first thing to do is to go back and review the lease. Check out what it says concerning pets. Are pets (animals) allowed into the premise? If yes, what kind of animals are allowed? Can you own a cat as a tenant?

If the lease indicates that cats are not allowed, then you are safe. You only need to notify the landlord, and he/she can kick your roommate within 3 days if they fail to comply.

Take time to study the lease thoroughly before notifying the landlord. If you are both responsible for the contract, both of you could end up being thrown out for the same reason – lease violation.

Look at the clause that talks about security deposit in relation to pets. Should your roommate pay more security deposit for owning a cat?

Another must check clause is the quiet enjoyment one. In this case, your roommate’s cat is violating your quiet enjoyment time, and you can use that against them.


State It Categorically That You Don’t Want Pets (A Cat) In Your Apartment

Please tell your roommate that you wouldn’t like to live with a pet and a cat for that matter.

It would be great if you told them at the beginning. If you had not mentioned it to them before, then you can let them know that you don’t support the idea of having a cat in your apartment.


Report The Matter to Your Landlord

anxious man making  unpleasant phone call

Report that your roommate got a pet without getting permission. Pets are known to cause damage to property, and many landlords don’t like pets in their apartments.

The landlord will take the necessary action and evict your roommate. If you can’t pay the full rent, the landlord can let you go early without losing your security deposit.

Before reporting to your landlord, talk to your roommate first. Give them a chance and hear them out…you don’t want to look like a snitch.

Maybe you can sort out things amongst yourselves. If you can’t reach an agreement, then you can escalate the matter to the landlord.

Are you scared that your roommate will find out that you sold them out? You don’t have to. You only need to make some smart moves.

First of all, is your landlord a trustworthy person? I mean, someone who can keep secret?

If yes, then you only need to approach him/her and explain to them what’s happening. Tell them that you don’t want them to apprach things head-on.

Together, come up with a reason for them to show up at your apartment (a cover-up excuse – make it a little bit realistic).

Your roommate might decide to cover up by taking out the cat at that time. Be creative; don’t let them get away with it.

Also, don’t be quick to execute this plan. Lay low for a couple of weeks then ambush them when they least expect it. Make it hard for them to sense a rat.

If your landlord can’t keep secrets, then I guess you will have to go the hard way. Be bold and face them!


Give Your Roommate Notice If They Are Not on The Lease

What happens if your roommate is not on the lease, and they have brought in a cat without asking?

It’s easy. If your roommate is not on the lease, it means that you are the one in charge. They have no authority over the apartment, and you can evict them anytime.

If they can’t get rid of the pet, give them a 30-day notice to vacate. Check out your state laws before kicking them out.


What Happens If I’m Subletting?

When you are subletting from someone else, you usually don’t have many options. Why? You are not on the lease and basically have no authority over the apartment.

The best thing to do if you are subletting is to talk to your roommate and come to an agreement.

The other option is to talk to the person on the lease (the one you are subletting from) to either talk with the landlord and your roommate and agree on something neutral.

If you cannot strike a compromise and you want out, then give the person you are subletting from a 30-day notice. Notify the landlord also that you will be moving out.


If You Have a Pet, and It Won’t Get Along With Your Roommate’s Cat?

cat scarted of dog

This often happens. You have a pet, say a dog, and your roommate brings a cat, and they can’t even see each other.

When this happens, how do you go about it?


If You Love Cats. and Your Roommate Might Be Taking Advantage of That?

woman playing with cat

You love cats and boom your roommate gets a cat without asking. Maybe they brought it in as a fun surprise. A tricky situation right there, right?

It all narrows down to you. Would you love to live with a cat? You might be a cat lover, but you might not like living with it in a shared apartment.

Take your time, think things through, analyze the pros and cons, and make an informed decision. Don’t just act out of spite!

Don’t get overwhelmed and act on the spur of the moment. Remember, you will be living with this four-legged friend – there’s some responsibility that comes with that.


I Previously Got Something Without Asking – Should I Deny My Roommate Their Little Moment in The Sun?

If you got something without asking, you probably set the pace that anything is possible…you can get anything without even bothering to ask!

So, your roommate went ahead and got a cat. He/she got you really good there. Probably you got something small, and they have blown matters out of proportion and got a cat.

How do you handle that?

From the stats, they have a strong point against you. The first thing to do is to ask for their forgiveness. Admit that you betrayed them for getting what you got without asking.

Make them see you were wrong and sorry about what you did.

Try to convince your roommate that getting a cat is different than what you did. You did something small. Then go ahead and explain to them how getting a cat without asking is a big deal.

It should not be a debate or trying to point fingers. Who did a bigger thing than the other. ? No, it all has everything to do with an honest conversation.

Don’t try to justify yourself and demonize them – it might not end up well! Commit that in the future, you won’t get anything again without asking.

Promise each that going forward, you will be consulting each other before getting anything new.


A Close Friend Is Allergic to Cats

You have this close friend or even a girlfriend/boyfriend you can’t live without, and he/she is allergic to cats. Do you ruin your romantic or social life by tolerating your roommate? I bet not!

Your friend(s) used to come along, and now they can’t because there is a cat in the house. I think the best way to do is to show the cat the door or get rid of your roommate.

Let your roommate know that they are violating your right to enjoy your rented space. They are also interfering with your social, or romantic circles.


Your Roommate Won’t Take Care of Their Cat Well

Your roommate gets a cat without asking; things go on well for some time, then all of a sudden, they start being irresponsible. They stop taking care of their pet well. They even keep the cat locked all day long.

Maybe they got bored with the cat, or they are just lazy.

The cat is dirty, feeding it has become a problem, it’s malnourished.

They have even shifted the responsibility of taking care of this four-legged animal to you. You are suffering, and you feel that this is too much responsibility on your shoulders.

The first thing to do is to talk with your roommate and have them become more responsible.

If your roommate has never owned a cat before (probably they got it on impulse), then it’s high time they got some lessons on how to take care of cats. Have them enroll in some classes for some basic training.

If they seem not to change, then call the place where they got the cat in the first place. Have the cat rehomed.

Some homes won’t take the cat back. After all, it’s “your” cat now.

If the cat can’t be rehomed, then report the matter to the authorities.

With this guide, there are no buts! Now that your roommate got a cat without asking, you know what to do. Thank me later. Be that roommate that you desire!


Things You Must Do Before Letting Your Roommate Keep the Cat

1.   Agree On Who Is Responsible in Case of Damages

Cats can be destructive at times. It might leave some poop and pee spots. It might even damage property.

So, who takes care of those damages? What happens to your security deposit?

Make sure you make it clear that in case of any damages (caused by the cat), your security deposit will remain intact. Your roommate will cover any damages.

You can have him/her sign a roommate agreement which I talk about below..


2.    Agree On Rent Sharing

Now that your roommate got a cat, they are using up more space than you to accommodate the new roommate.

Should you pay an equal share of the rent? I once lived with a roommate who had a girlfriend that lived across the street. Eventually, they moved in together in our apartment.

I had no problem with that – they used to pay more rent, of course. The same should apply when your roommate gets a cat.


3. Draft A Roommate Agreement

You have to agree on the dos and don’ts. Here are some of the top things to include in the roommate agreement.

  • Will the cat eat food scraps?
  • Who will do the cleaning? Especially cleaning after the cat’s mess
  • How often does the cat take a bath?
  • What will be your responsibility as far as their cat is concerned?
  • Who will take care of the cat when the roommate is away? How long should they stay away?
  • How long should the cat stay indoors? How often will they allow it out?
  • Will the cat be allowed to go into your private room?
  • Does the pet require training? Will it get the training? Who will pay for its training?
  • Will it be allowed on the furniture?


4. Begin with A Trial

Don’t just welcome the cat with open arms. I don’t mean you become cold. No, start with a trial period.

Have a feel of living with the cat before you can make up your mind. What are some of the tests the cat needs to pass before allowing it to stay?

Agree on when the trial starts and ends. What to do and what not to do within the trial period. Can the trial period end prematurely? Who will be responsible for the cat after the trial period?

Make sure that everything is clear and down on paper.


Getting Pets to Get on With Each Other

This is how to start introducing your pets.


Separate Your Pets

If your pets aren’t getting along, the first thing you need to do is to isolate the newcomer. Separate the two using say a door. This allows them to smell each other and interact separately.

Separating them doesn’t mean getting somewhere to put them. No, you can isolate, for instance, the cat and allow the other pet to roam freely within the apartment.

When feeding them, put their eating and drinking bowls close to the door to kick start the bonding process. Don’t keep one pet locked for so long – reshuffle them often.

Remember, the new pet also needs to familiarize itself with its new home.

Allow the two pets to interact a couple of times a day. Start by supervising them…do not just leave them together. Increase the interaction time with time.


Don’t Rush, Introduce Them Too Each Other Slowly

introducing pets to each other

Introducing two pets usually takes time. Tossing your two babies in a room together, probably won’t work. 

Start slowly, be patient – they are soon going to get along. The first interactions should not be too long. A few seconds will work the magic.

Increase the interaction time as the days go by. Things are soon going to be easier – they are may end up being the best of buddies!

Their introduction may take longer than you expect. Don’t give up yet…it might take some time.

Some animals have lived alone all their lives; it might take some time before they learn to live with another pet.

Keep up with their progress, and be sure to involve your vet.


Allow The Pets to Have Their ‘Safe’ Zones

Each pet should have a territory (‘a safe place’). A place they can retreat to any time they are uncomfortable.

Place their crates or beds in different areas to create a feeling of safety.


Take Both of Them Out On a Walk

Animals can begin to feel comfortable being around each other by walking together. It gives them time to bond effectively.

Avoid giving them harsh orders; you might worsen the situation and make things tenser. Take them both out using a special cat leash so you can keep things ordered.


Show Both Animals Love

Give the two pets attention and show them affection. Ensure that each of them is feeling loved and safe, especially the new animal.


Living with Your Roommate’s Cat

For those who have handled cats, you understand better than anyone else that, at times these things might seem strange.

You need to know them, so you know they’re normal and it’s not that your roommate is doing something wrong with their cat

Here are some of the things you need to note if you are sharing a space with this fur-child.


Cat Hair Is Inevitable

cat hair falling off animal

Hair will be everywhere. We all shed hair when we shower, and so do animals…that’s a fact of life! Cats have more hair than us – they are going to shed it more.

The best way to avoid eating it is by wearing different clothing for cuddling and cooking.


Don’t Feed the Cat Without Asking

Always consult your roommate on when, how much, and what to feed their cat. You might give it  some treats and boom; the cat is always coming to you for them.

Your roommate might not like it when their pet has gained extra pounds.


Keep Common Areas Sparkling

Cleanliness is mandatory if you are to live with a cat. At times the cat will throw up or even tear some pillows in the living room. Someone must clean that up.


Don’t Leave Food Unattended

Typically, animals are foodies. Don’t leave any food within reach of the cat. It’s better safe than sorry.


Always Have Emergency Numbers with You

Now that you are living with a pet, you have to emergency phone numbers. But, the pet belongs to my roommate? I know – trust me, the pet also belongs to you.

What happens if your roommate isn’t around and the pet if it’s dying? Do you just stare at it helplessly?

It is scary to see the pet suffer and a nightmare if you have no idea what to do. With emergency numbers with you, you will always know who to call when the need arises.


Safety of The Cat Is a Priority

The moment you begin living with a cat, safety becomes different.  With house cats you have to ensure that you open, unlock, close, or lock the front door every time you step out or come in. You also need to be careful how you leave windows open.

Say you need to take lots of items in your car. Instead of carrying all the things at once and leaving the door unattended, go for say, two trips. The cat might want to step in or out every time you go or come in.


You Might Have Found a Companion

Cats are playful. Whenever you are dull and need a little play, the cat will always have you covered. You can also bring the cat outside whenever you are going out for a walk.

You might find that at the end of the year with all the bonding, it can be so hard to say goodbye!


Writer: Shem M

writer shem m