The Humane Society of the United States advises pet owners to never sign a contract that says pets are not allowed, even if the landlord verbally states it’s okay to have pets.

The tips below also ensure your landlord stays happy.

1. NEUTER YOUR CATS. Intact cats can get territorial. Male cats pee on walls and furniture to mark their territory and it might be quite a challenge for you to find all the pee marks. Female cats in heat also make a lot of noise and try to scratch holes into screen windows and doors to escape and look for a mate.

2. MANAGE FUR AND ODOR PROBLEMS. before they get out of hand. Vacuum and sweep regularly. Provide enough litter boxes and clean them regularly. If you smell something odd, troubleshoot immediately; ask cat groups for valuable advice on what pet-friendly cleaning products can effectively get rid of odor.

3. KEEP YOUR CAT INDOORS— AND PREOCCUPIED. Play with your cats daily. You might also want a window cat-bed; the view keeps them entertained. It’s cheap, plus you don’t need any technical skills to get it working – it sticks to clean windowpanes via huge suction pads that miraculously stay in place.

4. RENT AN UNFURNISHED UNIT. Just in case your fur-baby is like any other normal cat that likes to scratch furniture, using sofas and chairs that your landlord doesn’t own will keep you in the clear.

5. HAVE YOUR PETS VACCINATED AS SCHEDULED. In case your cat escapes and scratches or bites a neighbor, you can at least assure your neighbor that your cat gets regular rabies shots.

6. GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS. It helps when they know you’re a decent, hardworking person who happens to have cats, not “that neighbor with the cat from hell”.

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s July 2017 issue.