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Tips For Having Pets With Roommates

August 1 2023

The number of adults with roommates has been climbing steadily since the 90’s. There’s almost no end to the possible causes of tension between roommates. However, we’re going to focus on the one in our wheelhouse: pets. A Champaign, IL vet offers some tips on this below.

Try To Choose A Pet Lover

If possible, pick an animal lover. Someone who has grown up with cats and has had kitties of their own may not bat an eye if Fluffy pounces on their shoe or sleeps on their bed. However, someone who isn’t familiar with cats may be a bit affronted by this.

Set Basic Ground Rules

Lay down some simple but key rules. First and foremost: ask roommates never to feed, tease, or discipline your furry friend unless you give specific permission. That applies to their guests as well.

Safety First

Pets are curious and playful. This is cute, but it can unfortunately backfire: it’s very easy for pets to get into trouble by eating or playing with unsafe things. Have a discussion about safety and petproofing. Ask roommates not to buy toxic plants, and to be careful about leaving small or sharp objects out. Other potential hazards include chemicals, medication, plastic bags, and wires or cords.


Your actions and behavior will play huge roles in how things go. One likely (and reasonable) source of annoyance for non-pet owners? Finding fur everywhere. Go the extra mile with dusting and vacuuming regularly. Also, keep Fluffy’s litterbox clean.

Clear It First

Before finalizing agreements, make sure that your furry buddy is allowed and welcome. If that means paying a bit extra for pet rent, offer to pay the difference.

Don’t Expect Help

Hopefully, all will go well, and your roommate will be more than happy to help out with pet care on occasion. Just don’t assume that you have a live-in petsitter. If and when your roommate helps out, be sure to return the favor. 

Monitor Things

Pay attention to how your furry best friend and your roomie interact. If Fluffy leaves your lap to curl up on your roomie’s, things are probably going well. If she hisses and runs whenever she sees them … take it as a sign to move on.

Please contact us, your Champaign, IL pet clinic, with any questions about your pet’s health or care. We’re here to help!

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