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Roommate's cat not wanted

Posted by flowerdream (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 28, 07 at 19:31

Hi, so i have a small problem, long story. My roomate and i live in a small 2 bedroom with kitchen, 1 bath, & NO living/common area. We have been living together since aug 05 and before we decided to live together we stated that no pets would be allowed. Then in dec 06 she asks me if her boyfriends cat can now live with us since he is leaving the city in june 07. She said if she cant keep it here she would be forced to move out. I felt it was inconsiderate to put me in such a situation but didnt want to be the reason for her to move. I unwillingly told her we could have a trail period in jan and then decide again if i was uncomfortable. I have been left wondering for 2 mo if the cat was ever going to move in. Then she texted me out of the blue yesterday (2/27) telling me the cat is moving in that same day. I feel as though i was pressured to answer her back in dec since i was leaving on vacation taht same week and now i dont want the cat in the apt at all, i dont want a trial period. She says she will keep it in her room at all times but i cant imagine her bathing the cat in MY/our bathtub and finding cat hairs around. I never grew up with ANY pets and i never thought i would be living with one.
My question is how do i talk/explain my side to her without sounding rude or inconsiderate myself...is it wrong for me to regret my decision and if not, can i just tell her to get rid of the cat? Please help me deal with this situation. THank you so much!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

First, I'm sorry that you grew up without any pets in your life. I feel that having a pet as a kid is a blessing and they make great companions.

I have both a dog and a cat. Cats are great apartment animals because they require very low maintenance and tend to keep to themselves. The only time the cat will ever approach you will be when it's hungry. Trust me, cat's know who's a cat person and who isn't and they tend to stay away from the latter.

I understand that you had an agreement with your roomate about pets but to be honest I think you are being very unfair and borderline immature about this. If you dislike animals this much then perhaps you are better off living on your own without any roomate or find a roomate who dislikes animals too.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

I agree,why not give the kitty a chance? They are pretty solitary animals that mostly keep to themselves. I dont even know my cat is here most of the time.
If she is keeping it in her room,I dont see what the problem is. CATS dont need frequent bathing in a tub,they clean themselves. They are very clean animals.
I think people who dont like animals are kinda strange myself...it's one thing not to want the responsibility of taking care of one~but if you arent the one feeding it and changing the litter,I dont see how you'd have much room to be offended???


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

What does your lease say with regard to pets?


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

I feel you are right to not want the cat there but then you did agree to a trial period, going back on your word will cause issues for you now no doubt. you should give the kitty a chance. you may find you like the cat or it may even go near you. cat are independant for the most part unless they need something like food or water. I have 2 cats mine have free run of my place but stay off the tables and counters. they are both different. one is an older male. he likes more attention, is very sweet and purrs on my lap alot. the other is a female less than a year old she likes to cuddle but not as much, she is more active and loves to play more than the other. I have always had pets so to me its normal. I like to play and interact with them. Plus pets love you unconditionally if you never had one you may not know what I mean but there is no harm in going out on a limb and seeing what its like to have a pet.

you need not fear her using the tub to wash him cats don't need a bath often, only if they get out and get flees or get in to something messy in the house they can't clean themselves of. I have not given mine a bath in over a year and they do not stink at all. Cats also do not like to be wet either.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

I HATE pets! Both cats and dogs! I have never found a cat that stayed away from me. My friends with cats say the opposite that cats know who doesn't like them and rub up on them. Cats are also TERRIBLE in apartments unless they have good owners. I have seen cats totally destroy apartments. I manage a 4-plex and you can smell the cats outside the building! Its the owners fault not the cats fault.

I have also seen cats that are easy to live with and would cause no problems. Good owner!

I've been around dogs all my life and like the ones who are obedient and don't jump on everyone coming in. Also the barking can hurt neighbor relations.

As far as the orginal poster: I think you should give the cat the pre-mentioned trial period. You might not notice it and perhaps it will be a well cared for animal that you might bond with. For you to change your mind now will leave your roomate in a tough situation. It would be different if they didn't ask or you said no.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

You need to get a better backbone, and maybe this experience will be one of the things that helps you stand up to pressure better. Most of us need to go through a few things like this before we realize the importance of sticking up for ourselves better.

She asked to change the original agreement. That was the time to ask for a delay (I've eventually trained myself--anytime I feel pressured, I say, "I need to think about it, I don't want to decide right now"-- and then to make a decision (even if it was an unpoopular one or had consequences you didn't like) and stick to it.

The situation for your roommate still stands: she has taken on the responsibility of this pet, and if she can't keep him in the apt. she has with you, she will move out.

That's not the world's most unreasonable position, depending on her lease obligation to you--she could decide she didn't want to live in your shared apartment for all sorts of reasons.

The situation for YOU still stands. Your roommate has said, "If I can't keep the cat, I'll need to move," and you decided that you wanted to avoid her moving badly enough that you were willing to try the cat.

I agree w/ nfllifer that the cat will have an impact on you, to some degree, though you have no idea now what it will be, and that not all cats ignore people. Some are quite friendly and want to be petted, and to sit on a lap; some are very curious; some just like to have people nearby. (I also agree that if you try to court the cat's favor, it will ignore you; and if you ignore it, it will want to sit in your lap, LOL! The only person that a cat likes better than someone who doesn't like cats, is someone who's allergic. And the third person on their list is the person wearing clothes of the opposite color--so they can shed all over them. Cats never respond to the visiting pet lover.)

Your roommate can keep the cat in her room, probably, but she'll need to keep the door closed, which might make the place feel very remote and unfriendly. There might be a faint smell on some days. The cat may meow and want to come out when the door is closed. It will certainly try to escape every time she opens the door; I can't imagine any cat being willing to ignore the rooms around them all the time.

You can keep the cat out of the bathroom quite easily.

You have agreed to a trial period, and I think YOU need to be the one to deal with the regret you now have--not her. See what the trial is like. Maybe you'll like the cat, and maybe you won't. But right now, esp. since you've never had a pet, you don't really know.

I wonder if most of your regret right now is just the anxiety that the unknown brings.

If it turns out you don't like the cat, you will have gained yourself a more carefully timed and gentler transition to your roommate moving out. And you will have extended the courtesy to your roommate of giving HER a more carefully timed transition to "needing to find a cat-friendly apartment"--if she's been a decent roommate, I think you owe her this. Especially since you already told her that you'd try it.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

What does your lease say about pets?

If you didn't want the cat you should have said no when it first came up.

Because you didn't, if she keeps the litter box clean so it doesn't smell. You might just learn that having a pet can be a great thing.

I am sorry you had to grow up never knowing the joy of having a pet. Time to get over it. If you ever have kids they will want pets and just come home with critters.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

I'm assuming, since you didn't mention lease issues, that either you are not in the middle of a lease, or that she was letting you know she would have to move at the time the lease is up (since the BFs not moving until June?--sounds like she was planning ahead).

In that case, your roommate certainly would be within her rights to move into a more suitable situation if she wants a change--for any reason--she's tired of listening to you snore, the house is too small, you're constantly cooking fish and smelling up the place, the water pressure in the shower is too low, or because she wants to get a cat. It was certainly not inconsiderate of her to ask--she could have just assumed you'd say no and found her own place, which would not be inconsiderate, so how does giving you a choice become inconsiderate? All she did was give you a head's up that she might be wanting to move out in the future, and that the reason for that is that she wants a cat, and that if the cat would be ok with you, she wouldn't have to move. I would say she was actually going out of her way to be considerate. If you didn't want the cat, you should have said no at the time. At this point, (and I'm assuming your landlord allows pets), you've agreed to the cat. You can change your mind if you want, but she's even more likely to decide to move out now, since she actually has the cat, than she would have been in the first place, when it was still just a possibility and she would have had a chance to explore other options. And one could argue that since you've agreed to the cat, and she's made choices based on that agreement, that you would really be the one obligated to move at this point if you change your mind, rather than her.

If you are in the middle of a lease, and she was threatening to move before the lease is up, then I would agree she is in the wrong, but you still should have spoken up and said so at the time. At this point, you've agreed to this.

Why have you "been left wondering for 2 mo if the cat was ever going to move in."? Why didn't you just ask her? You probably should not be living with a roommate if you have so much trouble communicating what you want.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

I think its too bad that your roommate is giving you an ultimatum that you either accept her AND the cat or you can get a new roommate. I don't see how you are being unfair. You and the roommate agreed before you moved in that you wouldn't have animals. Now she is changing the rules. Why is she making her boyfriend's cat your problem? Perhaps she is using the cat as an excuse to move on.

Like talley_sue_nyc said: "The only person that a cat likes better than someone who doesn't like cats, is someone who's allergic.

So true!

A number of my friends have cats. One has 5. When I visit, they are all over me for attention. I have to sit in the kitchen so they don't swarm me on the couch! I am able to pet them a little but if I don't wash my hands, they get puffy and I break out in hives within about a half hour. If I stay longer, I start to wheez. I have the timing down about how long I can visit before its time to go. I don't complain to my friend. Its her house and she can do what she likes.

Another thing. It grosses me out to watch my friend's cats come out of their litter box then jump up on her kitchen counter while she is preparing food. She has to constantly remove them while she fixes food. I don't like to eat at her house because of this. Or I eat chips!
Other issues to consider about cats are that some of them spray, shed hair, scratch furniture, nocturnal activity, and yowl to go out if they were ever allowed outside. At least that has been my experience with the cats I used to own. Where the cat will stay when your roommate isn't around? It might yowl from loneliness if confined by itself for hours at a time. Can you ignore this?

Has your roommate said how long she wants to keep the cat? Her boyfriend is moving out of town in June. Does she plan to eventually join him? Does he expect to take the cat back at some point? Worst case scenario. What if your roommate brings the cat home and she moves out anyway, what would you do with it?

Who knows? You might like having a cat. But I'd make sure you and your roommate are on the same page. Especially regarding details like where the litter box will go, who will clean it, and how often.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

"I think its too bad that your roommate is giving you an ultimatum that you either accept her AND the cat or you can get a new roommate."

Why? I'm not trying to be snotty, I'm seriously curious about your reasoning? The OP didn't say anything about the roommate threatening to break a lease, so assuming that's not happening, why is this a problem? Roommate situations (or any living situation that doesn't involve a marriage license and a house deed) aren't expected to be for a lifetime. If the roommate's living needs have changed (now she wants a pet, before she didn't), what's wrong with moving out? And if nothing's wrong with moving out, what's wrong with letting your roommate know why you want to move, and that you'd be willing to stay if your new need (or, ok, want) can be accommodated?


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

"I think its too bad that your roommate is giving you an ultimatum that you either accept her AND the cat or you can get a new roommate."

Why? I'm not trying to be snotty, I'm seriously curious about your reasoning? The OP didn't say anything about the roommate threatening to break a lease, so assuming that's not happening, why is this a problem?

The roommate didn't have to say anything about breaking a lease. She made her point when she told flowerdream ""if she cant keep it (the cat) here she would be forced to move out."

My reasoning is this. It is a problem because flowerdream clearly stated all throughout her post that she DOES NOT WANT PETS. The roommate knew this when they moved in together.

What I wonder, is why the boyfriend can't just keep the cat at his place until he moves in June?

It seems to me that flowerdream has been a good sport and is trying her best to be diplomatic. Maybe her roommate is overbearing and is difficult to talk to? The only "lack of communication" that I see is with the roommate. Flowerdream hasn't changed. She still feels the same way about pets that she did when she and the roommate first moved in together.

It is the roommate that is ignoring the obvious.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

Is it an ultimatum? Or just a fact of life?

I guess it all depends on the delivery.

And perhaps the point of view or point of bias. You hate cats, so you see this as a selfish ultimatum from a cat owner.

I like cats (and I focused on those words "have to move out" which seem more neutral to me that "threatened to move out"), so I see this as someone saying, "my desires in an apartment are changing; do I need to move to get it, or can I stay?"

I also don't see that somehow the roommate is obligated to stay (unless there's a lease situation, perhaps, but maybe not even then), certainly not at a cost she's not willing to pay (being unable to have a cat).


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

"And perhaps the point of view or point of bias. You hate cats, so you see this as a selfish ultimatum from a cat owner."

Where does it say that I hate cats?


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

"My reasoning is this. It is a problem because flowerdream clearly stated all throughout her post that she DOES NOT WANT PETS. The roommate knew this when they moved in together."

Yes, I get that flowerdream did not change and roommate did. But the roommate is not trying to force the cat on flowergarden. Roommate is volunteering to move out. I just don't understand what is wrong with saying "My living needs have changed. I now want a cat, you still don't, therefore, I'll be getting my own place." Which is basically what roommate is saying, with the addendum of "but if you would be ok with the cat, I'm happy to stay."

"What I wonder, is why the boyfriend can't just keep the cat at his place until he moves in June?"-- It really sounded to me like the roommate was planning ahead; that boyfriend was moving in June and sometime between now and then needs to come up with a home for the cat. (Although I could be wrong. And I don't think flowerdream's even around reading these responses anymore, anyway...)


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

"Yes, I get that flowerdream did not change and roommate did. But the roommate is not trying to force the cat on flowergarden. Roommate is volunteering to move out."

The roommate wants a cat, flowerdream doesn't. The roommate is perfectly within her rights to say what you (quirk) said: "My living needs have changed. I now want a cat, you still don't, therefore, I'll be getting my own place."

I don't see anything wrong with saying this. I just felt that flowerdream was being unduly pressured to have a pet she didn't want. Why did the roommate need to move the cat in 6 months before the boyfriend leaves? Why not closer to June? Like a month or a couple weeks before? Especially knowing how flowerdream feels.

Flowerdream said they moved in together in Aug. I'm assuming their lease is up in Aug. Its possible that flowerdream or the roommate can't move (or afford to) until the lease is up.

I think it would be better for all concerned if the roommate told the boyfriend that she can't bring the cat to her place until he moves or tell him her roommate doesn't care for pets and see if he can find another friend who will keep it until the roommate gets a place of her own.

I hope it works out for flowerdream. Wherever she is!


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

dreamgarden; ok, you are assuming they are under a current lease. I assumed they were not (living together for 1-1/2 years, no mention of lease in the OP) or that the "threatened" move was to happen at the end of the lease. That's the difference...


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

Why doesn't flowerdream flip the situation around. Your bringing in a cat and I will be moving out.

I don't think its fair to agree to split rent and then have a life style change and expect the other tenant to pay for everything.

I also think flowerdream is long gone.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

You hit the nail on the head, nfllifer.

Another 'hit and run' poster who registered that day, put up a post and evaporates.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

quirk-

Regardless of whether there is a lease or not, the point remains that the roommate knew flowerdream didn't want pets before or after they moved in together.

I'm sure flowerdream would have thought twice about getting a place with her had she known she would be faced with either accepting a pet (or a new roommate) only 1.5 years later.

nfllifer said-"Why doesn't flowerdream flip the situation around. Your bringing in a cat and I will be moving out. I don't think its fair to agree to split rent and then have a life style change and expect the other tenant to pay for everything."

Good point. Moving is expensive and time consuming. Don't you think it would only be fair that the one having the "life style" change be the one to move, not flowerdream?

Wherever she is?!


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

"Don't you think it would only be fair that the one having the "life style" change be the one to move, not flowerdream?"--but the roommate said she would move! She didn't just decide to bring in a cat and make flowerdream move if she didn't like it ----"She said if she cant keep it here she would be forced to move out." (from the OP)

and, "only" 1.5 years later? Seriously? I've never known anyone going into any living situation, roommate or otherwise (other than buying a home) with an expectation (hope maybe, not expectation) of it lasting more than a year. Sorry, anyone getting a roommate who is going to be upset if the roommate wants to move out 1-1/2 years later has unrealistic expectations. And flowerdream's roommate offered to move out if flowerdream didn't want to accept the cat. I still can't see anything wrong with that. How many years do they have to live together before it's ok for the roommate to want to move?

(I know, why are we still discussing this. It doesn't effect either of us. But it's interesting to see how other people think sometimes, when it's so different from your own thought process...)


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

" How many years do they have to live together before it's ok for the roommate to want to move?"

As many years as either one likes, who knows? Sure people change, circumstances change, but moving is a pain. I know I wouldn't want to go to the bother of getting a place with someone just to have to move out at the end of the year (or 1.5 yrs).

"But it's interesting to see how other people think sometimes, when it's so different from your own thought process..."

I agree. It is interesting...


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

Hi, its me! I didnt disappear altogether. Im actually surprised at the responses ive gotten, thank you all for posting. So to clarify a few things:
-we are not under any contract for the lease. We all have the option of moving out whenever but the remaining tenant must find a new roomate w/in 1 mo or must end up paying the whole amount of rent.
-we arent supposed to have animals (stated on lease) but lots of people do and its not enforced.
-about the boyfriend moving in june, i wondered teh same thing, why cant he keep it till he moves?? I think he is moving to another state, not sure.
-about making a decision so quickly, i was leaving for 2 weeks in dec like 2 days before she aksed and she told me she wanted an answer before i left so the cat could come while i was away. I didnt have much time to think about it and i think i quickly just said yes to avoid discussions while i was packing. I also didnt want to be the reason she had to look for a new place to live
-my roomate and i get along, but she is quite aggressive at times and i am a nonconfrontational person, thats why i was left wondering for 2 mo if the cat was coming, etc.
-i am quite happy not being raised with pets, my life is no different and certainly no less (i also must say i am seeing someone who feels the same way i do so our "future" kids will not be having pets either =) And there is nothing wrong with that!!

so after posting i decided i should just stick it out and see what happens. The cat stays in her room and her door stays shut 24/7, which does keep the apt super quiet and not welcoming. The litter box is in her room but right where the door is so if she is gone for a weekend or few days you can definately smell an odor in the hallway. I dont notice the cat unless she comes home and starts talking to the cat in her room (which i find odd) or the cat is meowing, or unless she is constantly coming in and out of her room with the door being shut each time. Yeah maybe if i decide i dont want the cat here it would be a selfish decision since i dont notice the cat, but i dont think thats wrong, esp since we did say NO PETS before we moved in. Im really torn on what to do, and if i am even going to do anything.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

Hi, flowerdream.

I don't think there's anything selfish if you decide you don't want to live with the cat; since you said you'd give it a try, I thought you should follow through with that, but if you try it and don't want to do it permanently, that's certainly ok. I just didn't think there was anything selfish or inconsiderate about your roommate's request, either. It would have been selfish if she declared she was bringing the cat and you would have to move out if you didn't like it; her offering to move if you didn't want the cat or to stay if you're ok with it seems reasonable.

Sounds like you guys are working it out, great.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

"and starts talking to the cat in her room (which i find odd)"

It must be your lack of experience w/ pets that makes you think this is odd. People with pets talk to their pets often. Hopefully not in the exact same way as they talk to humans, like about the movie they saw last night, but they do talk to them.

I hope everything works out for you. And I still say, this is an experience that could teach you to have more of a backbone, to stand up for yourself more even if it means a confrontation.

one great way to be assertive without being confrontational is to have a rule that you make NO decision under pressure. If you feel even the tiniest twinge of being pushed, or of being unsure, you say, "I can't decide this right this minute; it's not fair to ask that of me. I'll think about it a little bit and get back to you." That buys you time to be clear w/ yourself, and to steel yourself/

Also another note: You would not have been the one to make her look for a new place to live. SHE would have, bcs she was the one asking to change the basic living agreement. Don't let yourself take all the "blame" for situations in which there isn't any blame to go around.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

The thing that bothers me is the cat being stuck 24/7 in one room for its life! That's terrible and it would be much better if she found another place entirely so you could both be happy and the cat could have a life.


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RE: Roommate's cat not wanted

"-i am quite happy not being raised with pets, my life is no different and certainly no less (i also must say i am seeing someone who feels the same way i do so our "future" kids will not be having pets either =) And there is nothing wrong with that!!"

I agree. It is unfortunate that there are people who will call you a "cat hater" just because you don't have (or want) them. It is good that you are seeing someone who feels the same way about pets. Good luck with your present situation.


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