Less than half of private rented homes allow cats – so tenants miss out on joys of living with feline friends
Letting agents have been blamed for the lack of cat-friendly rental homes.
Cats Protection said that only 42% of private rental accommodation allows cats.
Speaking for the charity, Jacqui Cuff said: "We hear from renters who tell us most adverts state 'no pets'.
"Often, the reason for not allowing cats is simply habit, with a third of landlords who don't accept cats saying they didn't proactively choose to ban cats, but instead followed a standard template or advice from a letting agent."
The charity has now launched a new campaign, offering guidance to letting agents and tenants to help tenants own a cat. The guidance says that properties should be advertised as "pets considered", so that decisions can be made on a case by case basis after the prospective feline tenant has been met.
A downloadable example clause says that tenancy conditions can require cats to be neutered, vaccinated and micro-chipped.
The charity says that private tenants who are allowed to own cats often stay in the property longer, look after it better and feel happier.
Cuff said: "The reality is that cats very rarely cause problems for landlords. In actual fact, many cat owners tell us that having a cat is what makes their house a home and helps them put down roots and value the home they're living in."
Broadcaster Andrew Collins said: "Cats are more than just much-loved pets - they're part of the family and the heart of the home. For me, a home without a cat isn't a home at all.
"They've got an important role to play in the lives of many people - from helping children understand about caring for others, to providing a lifeline to pensioners who may otherwise feel isolated and lonely.
"It's heart-breaking that so many renters are not able to own a cat, but this needn't be the case.
"Cats Protection's campaign is a major step forward in modernising how cat ownership is viewed in a rental market that many people now rely on.
"By helping landlords see the benefits of happy, settled tenants, we can help more tenants experience the joy of sharing their lives with a feline friend."
The campaign has an excruciating name - but surely does have a point. (EYE and our hapless dog are currently in the benign-ish ownership of two cats, both ex-strays.)
The campaign is launched today at www.cats.org.uk/purrfectlandlords