Staging for Pet Owning Sellers: CATS

 Staging for Pet Owning Sellers

Part 1 - Cats

When you list your house, you hope it will sell quickly, being a pet owner can make the selling process a little more difficult and time consuming.  Here are some suggestions that may help the sellers, the agents and any potential buyers feel more comfortable working with a house that has pets.


Vacuum every day! If you have more than one cat, your cat sheds a lot or has a fur color that will stand out vacuum twice a day or as often as is needed.  A house full of cat hair can be a huge turn off to buyers, even to buyers that are cat owners themselves.  Be meticulous in your vacuuming, make sure you don’t have pet hair that is visible under/on furniture, fixtures or appliances.  Use lint rollers for cloth furniture and other areas that are difficult to vacuum.  Buyers or their children that have asthma or allergies will be less inclined to even finish looking at the house if the cat hair is a visible problem.


There are two smells that can be particularly offensive to a prospective buyer when they are viewing your home: must and mildew smells, which can signal a leak or flooding problem, and that stinky litter box. Few things are worse than a dirty litter box; it can derail a potential buyer from purchasing your home with just one whiff. Clean the litter box daily! Keep that litter box fresh by getting the waste out of it as quickly as possible. Use a cat litter with air fresheners to control odor, buying a high quality litter will be worth the expense in the long run. Be sure to “touch up” the

litter box before each showing. Replace the litter frequently.  You might even consider washing the litter box every time you change the litter. Use soapy water and a small amount of bleach, this will cut down on bacteria and help keep smells to a minimum.  Last you may want to consider keeping the litter box in a well ventilated area like a garage or in a bathroom with an exhaust fan.  Try to put it in a location that the floor around it can be mopped with a disinfectant, this will keep the room its-self from adding to the odor.


Cat owners typically keep their cats shut in a specific room, if at all.  This should be used as a last resort.  It can be annoying to a prospective buyer; keeping track of a sellers cat while trying to see a house can be distracting as well as annoying. If it is possible, take your cat with you when you leave for a showing, see if a friend or family member would be willing to care for it during the showing.  There are pet day cares or maybe your vet’s office will kennel your cat during the day, however this can get expensive.  If you don’t want to spend a fortune on animal boarding and you don’t like the idea of your pets being locked up indefinitely, you have other options. They just might require work and forethought.  Keeping your cat in a kennel at home can be challenging, but may be feasible for some.  Most importantly, you have to keep your house clean. 

Be sure to note with your agent anytime you have an animal in the house and any special instructions, this will help eliminate confusion and worry for everyone involved.


Comment balloon 5 commentsJenifer Lower • January 27 2012 09:32AM


Thank you for the tips.

Have a great day!

Posted by Collette Sarmento, 781*258*9718--Your Agent For Life (Cameron Real Estate Group) about 7 years ago

Jenifer, these are important suggestions and amazing images. You are so right about disclosure given potential health reasons for the buyer. In my experience, cat lovers are a perfect match for former cat lover homes. And more so when the potential buyers see how much the cat or cats are appreciated and not stressed out by the selling process.

Posted by Emily Medvec Qualifying Broker, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (Hello Realty Partners) about 7 years ago

One option for hiding the litter box is this litter box in a plant I had one when I had a cat and no one knew the difference as long as I kept it clean!

Posted by Elizabeth Straessle, MRP, ~Military Spouse~ (All American Home Source Realty, LLC) about 7 years ago

Hi Jenifer,  Good information,  Sometimes it is a turn off when the clients see and smells the air in the house and they decided to move on.  Have a great day!

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) about 7 years ago

Good Evening Jenifer, This is a wonderful blog as pet owners do not always get the advice they need. it is a very important topic. Have a great evening

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) about 7 years ago