Wedding Woes

You're probably going to have to wait for a new living situation.

Dear Prudence,

My roommate in my new apartment says she has pet allergies and that I can’t get a cat. I do not know her personally, as she is a subletter brought in by my former roommate. Previously I had received permission from my landlord to have a cat, and my former roommate had agreed to it. I went through the adoption process and was preparing to bring my cat home, but when I told my new roommate, she said no. I offered to keep the cat in my room and buy Claritin monthly. I am conflicted, because I want to respect her health, but I am also struggling to be told what to do in my own room. Should I give up and face deep disappointment, or put up a boundary and prioritize myself? I feel territorial because I own the living room furniture, and allergies were never mentioned in her sublet agreement.

—I Get by With a Little Cat Friend

Re: You're probably going to have to wait for a new living situation.

  • If it isn't your place then you face this consequence of living in a shared arrangement that is not your property.    Animal ownership is a major responsibility and your offer to drug your roommate and keep it only in your room is not a good alternative for the roommate or the cat nor does it take into any consideration issues if you need to be out of your room for an extended time, issues if the cat gets out or how your roommate should face the very real issues of cat hair / dander being airborne as you enter and exit your room and on your clothing. 

    You have no rights to own the pet and if doing so is that important to you then you should find a new place that is ideally far more permanent for you.  
  • I need more information here. Was LW on the original lease where pets were allowed and the roommate agreed? If so then I can see LWs point. If roommate signed a no pets lease then LW is out of luck. 
    ILoveBeachMusiclevioosakerbohlMyNameIsNot
  • I'm on the new roommate's (NR) side.  If the LW never mentioned they wanted or were planning to get a cat during the sublet process, that's on them and now they can't.  The NR probably wouldn't have considered renting the room if a cat was part of the deal.  So the LW can't just pull the rug out from under them now. Having a pet in the home is a big deal, even if the cat just stays in the LW's room.  Especially considering NR has allergies.
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    banana468mrsconn23
  • I need more information here. Was LW on the original lease where pets were allowed and the roommate agreed? If so then I can see LWs point. If roommate signed a no pets lease then LW is out of luck. 
    But even if the NR didn't sign a no pet lease the LW can be upset but is still not entitled to the pet nor are their proposals helping to mitigate the problems. 

    When I go to a home with DH and there's a cat in the house he may not see the cat or be in the same room as the cat but he still starts to suffer allergic symptoms.   The proposal to force an animal to be contained to one room of a home in order for the LW to achieve this goal of pet ownership is not putting the LW at being a great pet owner and still puts the NR at risk based on the allergens in pet hair.      That the LW proposed this plan makes me question how well equipped they are for pet ownership in the first place.  
    charlotte989875mrsconn23
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I need more information here. Was LW on the original lease where pets were allowed and the roommate agreed? If so then I can see LWs point. If roommate signed a no pets lease then LW is out of luck. 
    This is where I am. Sublets and shared apartments are tricky. If you're subletting and sharing an apartment and you have bad pet allergies, the onus is on you to bring it up. I don't think you get to tell another renter that they can't exercise options within their lease with the landlord.  
    levioosacharlotte989875
  • Keeping the cat in LW's bedroom will not solve the roommate's allergy issues, and forcing someone to take Claritin every day (and thereby deciding how they handle the allergy) is not acceptable. Why didn't you discuss the issue of pets before the new roommate signed anything? One or both of you could've decided not to go through with it at that point.
    image
    short+sassyMesmrEwe
  • I don't have much sympathy for LW.  Roommate doesn't need to be allergic to not want a cat.  I would also not want to live with a cat in an apartment no matter how much it was in the other person's room.  This is a consequence of having roommates.  Deal with it.  
    banana468STARMOON44
  • Casadena said:
    I don't have much sympathy for LW.  Roommate doesn't need to be allergic to not want a cat.  I would also not want to live with a cat in an apartment no matter how much it was in the other person's room.  This is a consequence of having roommates.  Deal with it.  
    Right.  And if you come into a cat-free environment I don't think it's out of line to put no pets as part of the sublet if they weren't there in the first place.
    Casadenashort+sassymrsconn23
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If having a cat is important to the LW, she will have to find another place to live first. Everyone living there has to agree and not be allergic before she can get a cat.
    short+sassy
  • banana468 said:
    Casadena said:
    I don't have much sympathy for LW.  Roommate doesn't need to be allergic to not want a cat.  I would also not want to live with a cat in an apartment no matter how much it was in the other person's room.  This is a consequence of having roommates.  Deal with it.  
    Right.  And if you come into a cat-free environment I don't think it's out of line to put no pets as part of the sublet if they weren't there in the first place.
    Basically, I don't think the NR is out of line for saying no to something that didn't exist when they agreed to move in especially if it wasn't disclosed.   Bets are off if the NR knew this and showed up and said no but the impression I have is that this wasn't disclosed and now the LW is getting a bit petulant.   I also have way less sympathy for the LW when the proposed solutions are to drug the NR and confine the animal to have a significantly smaller living space.    
    downtondivashort+sassy
  • banana468 said:
    Casadena said:
    I don't have much sympathy for LW.  Roommate doesn't need to be allergic to not want a cat.  I would also not want to live with a cat in an apartment no matter how much it was in the other person's room.  This is a consequence of having roommates.  Deal with it.  
    Right.  And if you come into a cat-free environment I don't think it's out of line to put no pets as part of the sublet if they weren't there in the first place.
    Yup.  My roommates (DH, but more DefConn at this point) want a dog.  I am not interested in owning a dog (because the cost/benefit analysis doesn't do it for me, especially with how much we like to travel normally).  I work from home, therefore I would spend the most time with said dog. It doesn't matter how many times DefConn gives me the puppy eyes and tells me how much he wants a dog.  My line is, "When you have a place of your own where you can own a dog, get one." 

    My sister, dad, and nephew are extremely allergic to cats.  The last time my nephew stayed at sister's friends that had a cat, he looked like he'd been punched in both eyes because they were so swollen. 

    Also, some cats are sneaky motherfuckers and can open doors and shit.  So just because LW *thinks* they can contain the cat in their room doesn't mean the cat will stay in there.  ALSO, can you imagine the stench of LW's room with a litter box in it? Plus it's called ventilation, LW.  The dander will end up all over the house by going through the vents, and do you really want to try to mitigate it by closing your bedroom vents with a littler box?  

    LW is being unreasonable. A lack of relationship does not equal a lack of decency to the people who live with you.   
  • mrsconn23 said:
    banana468 said:
    Casadena said:
    I don't have much sympathy for LW.  Roommate doesn't need to be allergic to not want a cat.  I would also not want to live with a cat in an apartment no matter how much it was in the other person's room.  This is a consequence of having roommates.  Deal with it.  
    Right.  And if you come into a cat-free environment I don't think it's out of line to put no pets as part of the sublet if they weren't there in the first place.
    Yup.  My roommates (DH, but more DefConn at this point) want a dog.  I am not interested in owning a dog (because the cost/benefit analysis doesn't do it for me, especially with how much we like to travel normally).  I work from home, therefore I would spend the most time with said dog. It doesn't matter how many times DefConn gives me the puppy eyes and tells me how much he wants a dog.  My line is, "When you have a place of your own where you can own a dog, get one." 

    My sister, dad, and nephew are extremely allergic to cats.  The last time my nephew stayed at sister's friends that had a cat, he looked like he'd been punched in both eyes because they were so swollen. 

    Also, some cats are sneaky motherfuckers and can open doors and shit.  So just because LW *thinks* they can contain the cat in their room doesn't mean the cat will stay in there.  ALSO, can you imagine the stench of LW's room with a litter box in it? Plus it's called ventilation, LW.  The dander will end up all over the house by going through the vents, and do you really want to try to mitigate it by closing your bedroom vents with a littler box?  

    LW is being unreasonable. A lack of relationship does not equal a lack of decency to the people who live with you.   
    All of that!   Good luck opening that tuna can and not having the cat escape when the LW goes to the bathroom.   And is the LW going to vacuum herself before she leaves her room?  You can't contain the dander all the time! 


    Isn't the rule in acting don't work with animals and kids?  LW is a fool for thinking that she has some kind of a solution here.   

    And based on the comment of the litterbox I had a Van Wilder flashback when he asks the dean, "What is that INTOXICATING smell you're wearing," and the creepy dean says, "I have cats." 
    mrsconn23Casadena
  • Keeping the cat in LW's bedroom will not solve the roommate's allergy issues, and forcing someone to take Claritin every day (and thereby deciding how they handle the allergy) is not acceptable. Why didn't you discuss the issue of pets before the new roommate signed anything? One or both of you could've decided not to go through with it at that point.
    Team NR here!!!  Claritin is low end of the allergy med spectrum for many allergy sufferers.  That's "I happen to be a little sneezy today" and not under the care of an Allergy/Asthma specialist.  I'm going to venture that the NR is not in the "just take a Claritin" spectrum of cat allergy!  But really, they've got to wait for NR to move out or move out themselves before getting the cat.  There are plenty of other pets in the world that aren't cat that the NR may be amicable to having around...

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