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Covert cat ownership?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So we really want a cat. However, we are looking at moving in a few weeks / months so paying the outrageous $400 pet fee at our apartment complex (plus $35 rent / month!) does not make sense.

We are currently in a smaller 1br apartment (750 sq ft) and were wondering if anyone here has ever kept a cat "under the radar"...it will only be for a few weeks / months until we find a bigger place we want to purchase. Any suggestions? Will the adoption center call our apartment management? Any other concerns? Thanks!
post #2 of 16
Most shelters/rescues require proof of landlord approval before adopting to renters. Unless you plan to buy a cat from a breeder (although I'd hope that a reputable breeder would screen potential buyers just as a shelter/rescue would), I'm not sure if you'd be able to get a kitty in that situation.

While I agree that the pet rent and pet fees are outrageous, the landlord has the right to give you a lot of trouble if you don't pay them, so if you aren't willing/able to do so, it might be best to wait on adopting a kitty.

If the living situation is temporary as you seem to suggest, why don't you wait 'til you get settled in at your more permanent home before you bring home a kitty?

ETA: It makes me sad, that the reason that the fees are so bad is that so many irresponsible people don't clean up after themselves or their pets and leave expensive damages for the landlord/property owners to repair.
post #3 of 16
I had Tryon at my apartment for almost a year under the radar. My apartment had a two pet limit and I already had two dogs. But I didn't go out and adopt her... I found her on the street in very bad shape and when I couldn't get her into a shelter I decided to fly her back to FL with me (I found her in NY) and hide her out until my house purchase went through. And the ONLY reason why I didn't wait to get a cat until I was in the house is because I couldn't bring myself to leave her on the street to starve.

I don't recommend it.

First off, if you are planning on adopting they will call your landlord - as they called mine when I adopted Buddha (dog).

Secondly, you'll spend all your time trying to keep your new kitten out of the windows so the neighbors don't rat on you or so your maintenance guy doesn't see him/her when he's by mowing the lawn or fixing something at your neighbors apartment.

And then, as only murphy's law would have it, something will go wrong with your apartment that you need the maintenance guy to fix. There are no words for how complicated it was to hide Tryon out when my central air died and maintenance had to come in to my apartment to fix it. And then shortly afterwards when my sink backed up.... well lets just say I spent 4 days with a stopped up sink and learned rather quickly how to disassemble and reassemble a garbage disposal and snake a drain just so I could keep maintenance out of there.

My landlord also evicted a number of tenants when he found they had illegal dogs/cats.

If you know you are moving, I beg you to wait until you are already moved out before you get a cat. It is so not worth the hassle.
post #4 of 16
We pay the pet fee at my duplex....there was just not a point in chancing it for us. We can't afford to move, and we also would never want to give our babies away....so we were honest and just paid to have them with us. It's worth it
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I think we are going to wait. :P
post #6 of 16
A few years ago when we got our first cats my fiance paid his pet deposit when he moved in. At that particular place it covered you for the entire time you were there and you could have up to three pets. I took our first tiny kitten in the building while my fiance was signing the papers for the apartment. The office manager even pet him and commented on how tiny cute he was (5 week old kitten). We had our 2 boys and later on towards the end of the lease there we got our first puppy. We had some problems with the place and the way it was run and somehow our pet deposit was "lost." They tried to add $800 in fee's because we suposidly had pets there without their knowledge. They even tried to sue after we left.

Since then I have been very bitter about pet deposits and the like. We even did live in another place without paying them a dime for pet deposits ect. No one noticed and we did even have workers come in to fix things.

With our landlord now money talks. He didnt want the dogs in the house at first until I offered him a pet deposit. $50 per animal and he doesnt care what we do.

What I am saying is that it all depends on where you live, how the people act and who pays attention. Some places it doesnt even matter if you do the right thing or not because they will still screw you over.

Yea im still a bit bitter over the first one. lol
post #7 of 16
Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
Thanks for the advice. I think we are going to wait. :P

Stick around TCS though - you'll learn so much that you'd rather learn now, before you have your kitty.
post #8 of 16
Most shelters and breeders will call and check, however, speak to the landlord, we were required to pay a pet depsoit when we moved here, but when she found out they were cats and not dogs she said not to worry about it.

If not, then I (personally) would wait until you get the next place, but I know plenty of people have had even dogs under the radar of landlords
post #9 of 16
My apartment complex does the same thing, but I was able to keep 8-Bit under the radar for quite some time. I had to poney up the pet deposit when they were doing their "annual" inspections of the apartments. (They had never done them before, I have no idea why they suddenly refered to them as annual) The complex still doesn't know about Scratch. When we move, I plan on letting the land lord know that I have two cats.
post #10 of 16
Another thing to make sure when you fill out a pet addendum (most places in Indiana require this with the lease as pets aren't "allowed" in the regular lease...so they tack on the addendum, but I'm not sure about other states) you read the fine print.

When I was getting ready to sign a lease at once place, I freaked out because it said that cats had to be declawed! Luckily, it wasn't required (I spoke to the manager and she said as long as they had something to scratch on, and I kept their claws trimmed, it was not a problem), but I definitely would not have signed a lease there if I had to declaw my boys.
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by MuttigreeMom View Post
Secondly, you'll spend all your time trying to keep your new kitten out of the windows so the neighbors don't rat on you or so your maintenance guy doesn't see him/her when he's by mowing the lawn or fixing something at your neighbors apartment...If you know you are moving, I beg you to wait until you are already moved out before you get a cat. It is so not worth the hassle.
I had Rocket and Mica under the radar as well (they are with my FMIL right now) and its a huge hassle! I have to keep my balcony doors closed in summer so the neighbours don't see them, I had to hide the kitties anytime a maintenance worker came by it is a total pain. We are in the process of buying a house now and will move in after the wedding
post #12 of 16
Zissou was "under the radar"-- sort of. I wasn't paying the extra rent but the extra rent had a good reason. The landlords were cat lovers (had a couple of strays who lived in the shed, as well as their own) and they charged the rent because they were sick of irresponsible idiots who dumped their cats when they moved out. If your cat looked well cared for, they didn't ask you for the money. The manager came to my apartment a few times and picked her up and petted her and never said a word about not paying for it.

It doesn't sound like you have that kind of landlord.

My new place knows about the Z-Ster and it's only 10$ extra a month, plus a refundable deposit. I don't mind that at all. 10$ a month is a reasonable fee, after all, they charge more than that if you have 2 people instead of 1.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Our place is a big apartment complex with one of those management companies that owns different complexes in the area. It's purely about making as much money off the tenants as they can. I'm not worried about the neighbors (they don't know if you paid the deposit or not), but we do have maintenence workers come in from time to time. We've lived here for 2 years and are only going to stay for a few weeks / months and they won't even cut the fee down or anything.
post #14 of 16
that is so sad, but yup, the management is out for the $$$$! I agree that the $450 is excessive, as is the $35 extra. During the wait, maybe you could volunteer with a rescue group, and who knows, you may meet the cat(s) of your dreams..... meanwhile, you can vicariously enjoy the cats here - TCS is where I get to drool over the Bengals
post #15 of 16
One thing you could possibly do is to pay deposit for one cat, but get two or more black male cats....since they all look similar. That is what I did with three black cats, except I also got a white/cream cat and a tuxedo which never shows up at our windows....so I pretend I have two when I really have five.

One of our neighbors had 15 cats and two dogs under the radar. She was eventually evicted, but that was because she didn't have the money for the rent...and not for the cats. My landlord doesn't really seem to care since everything was practically destroyed even before I moved in.
post #16 of 16
I had 3 cats and a large dog before I moved into a house. I had one cat for the whole 6 months and the others I got about 3 months before I moved and I had the dog for about 2 months. They never knew the difference. If they did then never said anything. They can't really know for sure unless they do an inspection and they have to tell you when they do that. Or if someone tells on you.
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