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Does Airbnb Allow Cats? 2023 Info Guide & FAQ

Although most cat parents don’t travel with their cats, more travelers are taking their cat companions with them when they hit the road. Although not as popular as dogs, cats go with their owners on about 22% of the trips they take, and when they do, pet owners need to find accommodations that allow cats to stay. Like hotels and rentals, some Airbnb properties allow cats, and others don’t.

Since every Airbnb location is different and run by a different host, some Airbnbs prohibit cats and dogs. There are various reasons for this seeming lack of a specific answer. Some Airbnb hosts are allergic to cats and don’t want them inside their homes because it could cause an allergy attack. Others worry that cats will leave behind a lot of fur and hair that needs to be cleaned or that a cat will accidentally break or damage something, including their furniture. Then, of course, is the problem of cats spraying their territory, which most cat owners would agree is something that any homeowner would want to avoid in their home.

You probably have more questions about traveling with cats and staying at an Airbnb. For example, does Airbnb show if a location or host is cat-friendly, and how do you select an Airbnb that allows cats to visit? To discover those answers, read on. We have them below as well as information, tips, and advice about staying at an Airbnb with cats and what to do when your favorite furball is tagging along.

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Does Airbnb Highlight a Location if It is Cat-Friendly?

Determining whether an Airbnb location and host will allow you to stay with your cat is quite simple. You need to filter your results using Airbnb’s “House Rules” filter. Using this filter, you’ll only get results that allow you to stay with pets, although some have more specific rules that only allow dogs, cats, or other pets. Once you’ve asked the website to filter, you’ll need to look closely at each host’s requirements to determine if cats are allowed.

For its part, Airbnb recommends contacting the host of any location where you wish to stay before booking to ensure that cats are allowed. When you do, the host will let you know and provide any other specifics you might need when staying in their location.

woman with cat using computer
Image Credit: ORION PRODUCTION, Shutterstock

Are There Extra Fees for Staying at an Airbnb With Cats?

Although many Airbnb hosts will let you stay at their location with your cat, the vast majority charge an extra fee for permission to do so. Like the rates to stay at an Airbnb, which can vary from state to state and city to city, the rates to stay with a cat also vary. From the research we’ve performed, the average seems to be about $18.00 extra per night, although some hosts charge less and some charge more.

Some Airbnb hosts charge a pet fee per night, while some only charge a one-time fee. Also, some charge an additional cleaning fee if you stay with your cat to cover the extra cleanup cost to vacuum hair and disinfect furniture for their next guest.

This difference in fees is another reason it’s best to contact the Airbnb host before booking your stay, as the cost to stay with your finicky feline might be more than you’re willing to pay.

Is Airbnb Required to Let You Stay With a Cat?

One thing to remember when using Airbnb is that every location, and every host, is different and uses different rules following the guidelines put forth by the company. For example, Airbnb states that there can be no discrimination based on color, religion, nationality, gender, and other factors.

These factors, however, do not include house pets like cats, dogs, birds, and other animals. In other words, while you might want to stay somewhere with your cat, no rule or regulation will force an Airbnb host to let you. There are, however, some exceptions to the regulations, as you’ll see next.

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Image Credit: Nattakorn Suphatheera, Shutterstock

Are Service Animals Allowed at an Airbnb?

As we mentioned, Airbnb doesn’t force its hosts to allow common, everyday pets to stay at their locations. However, under their Nondiscrimination Policy, Airbnb states that anyone with a service animal must be allowed to stay at an Airbnb location1. Furthermore, Airbnb says that guests are not required to disclose that they have a service animal when booking their stay.

That said, the Airbnb host can ask whether the service animal is required due to a disability and what work the animal has been trained to perform to help its owner. Also, as a guest, you must let your host know about your service animal before you arrive just out of politeness. There might be a situation in the host’s home that would make staying with your service animal uncomfortable or unsafe.

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Are Airbnb Hosts Required to Let Emotional Support Cats Stay at Their Location?

Some people have cats that provide emotional support to relieve their loneliness, reduce depression, or help with anxiety. The rules about emotional support cats and other animals vary from region to region, state to state, and even city to city.

a woman hugging her cat
Image Credit: U__Photo, Shutterstock

Locations Where Stays with an Emotional Support Cat Are Not Required

Although your cat might be providing you with significant emotional support, Airbnb hosts in most locations are not required to allow you to stay at their site with your kitty. They can also charge extra fees just like they would with a regular house cat. Plus, if they choose, they can refuse accommodations to anyone who wishes to stay with an emotional support cat.

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Locations Where Stays With an Emotional Support Cat Are Required

Some states require Airbnb to let you stay with your emotional support animal, including a cat; New York and California are two of the biggest. If you travel to an area where these requirements are in place, the same regulations that apply to service animals apply to your emotional support animal.

Even if required, there are still rules you must follow if you travel to an Airbnb with your emotional support cat. For example, they must be housetrained and must be under control at all times. Also, you can’t leave them unattended at your Airbnb location, and your cat is not allowed to enter areas that would otherwise be considered unauthorized for you as a guest.

Lastly, if you’re in an area of the Airbnb that is considered a public space, your cat must be leashed, harnessed, or otherwise under your complete control and may not roam around freely.

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Image Credit: Teksa, Shutterstock

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How to Quickly Determine if an Airbnb Location Allows Pets

We mentioned earlier that it’s easy to see if a particular Airbnb location allows pets, including cats.

Below is an easy, step-by-step list of instructions to help you find out even faster:

Step 1. Open Airbnb in any browser or on your phone.

Step 2. Enter your preferred dates and other pertinent information about your stay.

Step 3. Click the “Search” button.

Step 4. Click “Stays.” (Top left of the screen.)

Step 5. Click “More Filters.”

Step 6. Scroll down the page until you see “House Rules.”

Step 7. Click the “Pets Allowed” box.

At this point, all the search results will be Airbnb locations that allow pets, including some that allow cats (and some that don’t). Remember, however, that even though the properties allow pets, some may not allow cats for one reason or another.

Can Airbnb Hosts Make an Exception for Your Cat?

If you’re dead set on taking your cat with you when you travel and you want to stay at a particular Airbnb location that doesn’t allow cats, all is not lost. One of the best things about Airbnb is that they let you communicate directly with any of its hosts worldwide.

Thanks to this allowance, you can always contact the Airbnb host where you want to stay and ask them directly if they will make an exception for your cat. Some might say no, of course, but some might say yes as long as you convince them that your cat won’t be destructive. Your best bet is to be as friendly as possible, explain why you want your cat to stay with you, and make sure your cat is calm, cool, and collected when they travel.

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Image Credit: Mimzy, Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen today, some Airbnb hosts allow cats, and some don’t. It’s relatively easy to determine one from the other using Airbnb’s “House Rules” filter. It’s also recommended that you contact the Airbnb host to ask them directly if cats are allowed and any additional rules or fees they have. In some jurisdictions, they might also be required to let your emotional support cat stay with you.

We hope the information we’ve shared today was helpful and that all your questions about staying at an Airbnb with your cat have been answered. Traveling with your cat can be a wonderful experience for both of you and make your trip more memorable. If you’re traveling with your friendly feline sometime soon, we wish you the best of luck!

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Featured Image Credit: Alex Zotov, Shutterstock