right arrow
PARENTS4PARENTS is a new initiative aimed at highlighting the vast expertise of our parents community while helping other parents better navigate the college admissions process. aggies1989 is a UC alumnus and parent of two UC college kids. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: fintech3753 is a current student at the Wharton School. Majoring in finance, he is hoping to pursue a career at the intersection of finance and technology. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our August Checklist for HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

How do I politely ask my roommate to get rid of her cats?

shaykay1995shaykay1995 5 replies1 threads New Member
Sorry for the length, believe it or not this is the short version...

My roommate is my closest friend in college. She is my sorority sister and the first person I met and we do everything together. She was an amazing friend... Until she got her cats. She fostered two kittens over the summer when I was away on summer vacation. I couldn't say much since I was out of the freaking country but didn't mind since they were fostered and would be adopted. She told me they were in her room and wouldn't affect me in any way. A week later she fell in love with them and adopted them. (Later one of our friends said she was planning on adopting them the whole time but knew I wouldn't take it lightly if she would have). Once again, without talking to me about it, she simply Facebook messaged me, "I just adopted the cats, they were too cute not to!" Once again, she reassured me they would be in her room and wouldn't affect me.

Anyways, a week or two after I came back after the summer ended, the kittens got fleas. Now, my roommate isn't fortunate like me where my parents pay for everything, so she works three jobs to support herself. Why she got the cats in this condition? She was "lonely". When she always hangs out with me and her boyfriend.

She bought medication a few weeks after the cats got fleas, so by then they were all over her room. She didn't use the flea medication right away, and she's super messy and claims that she's a "hoarder" to excuse herself from leaving tissues and clothes everywhere. She left the medication in the middle of my floor because at this point she locked her cats in her tiny bathroom with just enough room for a toilet and shower with food, water, and the litter box.

As I was frantically cleaning after her, I accidentally misplaced the medication. I apologized and searched the apartment. After getting yelled at for "moving it from where it was", I offered to buy some more. She said she'd just buy some more with her next paycheck. Now she blames me for her cats having fleas.

At this point, she moved out of her room entirely except to take care of the cats and treat the fleas. She was now sleeping with me in my bed and using my shower and my bathroom. Because we're really close she never really asked if she could do any of these invasions of privacy, but just slowly started doing them while I was away.

Eventually, the fleas were in the entire apartment. I offered to help but didn't know how and she never offered to show me, so she became exhausted using treatments. All she asked was that I help pay for them. These treatments are a homemade remedy of a dish with a mix of water and dish soap with a lit candle in the middle. After a while there are a ton of fleas in the mixture. These add up and get expensive.

After a while, she only came to the apartment to eat and do treatments. She stayed at her boyfriend's place. At this point, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue (completely different issue) and used that as an excuse to stay at her boyfriend's place.

Her parents visited so for it to not look sketchy, she let the cats out into common area and put the litter box in my bathroom. She didn't ask but said it would be just for the weekend. After the weekend, she said the cats were much happier in common room and weren't making much of a mess so now they're still there. She barely every cleans the litter box because litter is expensive and her cats make a mess and tear papers and leave fur everywhere. I can't ask her to put them back in her bathroom, but I want them back in her room. After her parents visited, she stopped taking care of the fleas, I believe because she's always at her boyfriend's place so she actually has somewhere to escape to. When her parents were in town she boxed up her clothes and left them in my room "for the weekend" so the boxes take up an entire wall now.

I hate living in my apartment now and need a solution. How do I talk to my stubborn roommate about it without making things awkward for our last semester together (thank goodness she's graduating after this semester)? Remember, we are friends, we're in the same small sorority, we share friends and hang out all the time. She'd be too stubborn to get rid of them and now they have worms and I think they're anemic from the fleas plus technically we're not supposed to have cats so whenever there's a technical issue like two lights out in the common room we can't call maintenance. I don't want to tell on her, plus we'd both have to pay for cats and fleas.

Guys, she's still my friend so as many roommate issues we have, I still don't want to hurt her in any way. I hate asking her to get rid of her cats but I don't know if I can stand another entire semester of it. I can't move out since I'm in a furnished apartment and it would be weird, and I can't ask her to move out for the same reason. Her cats are unhealthy and whenever I try to address it she either blames the entire situation on me losing the medication or says she's too poor to take care of them and they're too cute and she's too lonely (even if she's barely there) to take care of them. We argue when I do address it and she never apologizes for anything she does wrong. One time she reached over for a bag of candles for treatment and ended up knocking over her guitar and she blamed me for it since "I caused the fleas in the first place". I wasn't even at home.

Okay, done ranting.. Sorry this is poorly written, just writing through anger.

Thanks for any and all advice!!
37 replies
· Reply · Share
«1

Replies to: How do I politely ask my roommate to get rid of her cats?

  • albert69albert69 3191 replies56 threads Senior Member
    Are you allowed to have cats in the dorm, by the rules?
    · Reply · Share
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 3416 replies30 threads Senior Member
    edited January 2016
    Well, the good news is that this one ginormous learning opportunity! :)

    You might want to read up on boundaries.

    At some point you will have to decide which is more important - letting your friend/sorority sister stomp all over your boundaries or you feeling like the "good" person by not saying something about a situation which is grossly unfair to you (and the poor kitties - thank you @bodangles).

    If I was your mom I would be very upset that you are apparently in violation of your lease, much less all the other issues. Are your parents co-signed on the lease?
    edited January 2016
    · Reply · Share
  • bodanglesbodangles 8628 replies557 threads Senior Member
    edited January 2016
    Can you call the shelter from which she got the cats and tell them she's neglecting the cats' health?
    edited January 2016
    · Reply · Share
  • HuntHunt 26787 replies131 threads Senior Member
    Tell her to take the cats to her boyfriend's apartment while you get rid of the fleas.
    · Reply · Share
  • PalominaPalomina 210 replies9 threads Junior Member
    edited January 2016
    You may lose either the friendship or the cats no matter how polite you are. She wasn't polite about breaking the lease and bringing in cats and she wasn't concerned about creating an awkward situation by bringing in the cats and fleas and worms.
    edited January 2016
    · Reply · Share
  • txstellatxstella 1124 replies7 threads Senior Member
    Did she pay a pet deposit? You could get kicked out of your apartment.
    · Reply · Share
  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Well, she doesn't sound like a friend, honestly. She sounds like a user who is trading on your alleged friendship to do whatever she wants, concerning everything, from taking over your part of the apartment to ignoring her pets and letting you deal with the fallout. She gets all the space, help, etc. and you get nothing in return. I don't see how you can even call that a friendship.

    She also sounds like she has no business being a pet owner. She doesn't care for them, doesn't medicate them properly, doesn't take care of the little box, and doesn't even see them much. Plus, your apartment doesn't even allow them.

    I think you have to sit her down and insist that she remove her junk from your space, that she take care of her cats or find them a new home, and that she stop using you. You might have to threaten to turn her into the apartment management-if fleas went untreated for so long, there's a good chance that they've gotten into other apartments and the management might already be looking for the owners of whatever pets caused the problem. You could both have to pay hefty damage fees. My older D has an apartment and 2 cats and she pays higher rent AND security deposits. Having unapproved pets is grounds for eviction.
    · Reply · Share
  • shaykay1995shaykay1995 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks for the help, everyone! I'm trying to find the most peaceful solution, if possible. Once again, thanks!

    @albert69 I'm not allowed to have pets.

    @SouthFloridaMom9 My parents know about the situation and my dad thinks I should move. I told him she's still my friend and I don't mind being there for another semester if we can get rid of the problem and he said she's not much of a friend if she's this inconsiderate. We really are close outside of roommate issues and as a friend she has so many problems (grad school, arguing with her parents, etc) that I wouldn't want to put more stress on her. But at the same time, this situation is putting stress on me, so we need to find a balance. Also, who would I be able to lease the apartment to who would live with a stranger who is a hoarder and has messy cats with fleas?

    @bodangles I could but that would hurt our trust and friendship.

    @Hunt Good idea, but I don't think his roommate would be okay with it. I could possibly suggest it though!

    @txstella She didn't. It's pretty easy to hide cats. And I know I can... I don't know what I can do now though.
    · Reply · Share
  • intparentintparent 36292 replies644 threads Senior Member
    I'd rat her out to the apartment owners. She isn't really a good friend... you haven't got that much to lose. You are going to have to deal with the flea infestation anyway. Best way is to get her kicked out and have the place fumigated.
    · Reply · Share
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14518 replies106 threads Forum Champion
    I would talk to your landlord....say your apt mate started fostering over the summer when you weren't here and promised to get rid of the cats but now they are there permanently and have fleas...also ask that if possible that they not mention that it was you that talked to them but they "heard" or "smelled" something.
    · Reply · Share
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 3416 replies30 threads Senior Member
    he said she's not much of a friend if she's this inconsiderate.

    Please listen to your dad on this - he's right.

    Please consider 1) the cats and their welfare; 2) you and your parents - anyone who is on the lease and could be liable; 3) other people who live in the apartment community who would prefer not to deal with a flea infestation started by a neighbor and her blatant disregard for community rules.
    · Reply · Share
  • bodanglesbodangles 8628 replies557 threads Senior Member
    How does it hurt your friendship if the shelter takes her cats away on their own? Would you immediately go to her and be like, "I called cat protective services on you"? Like...no...this isn't healthy for you or the cats. Sounds like she's killing them tbh. They have worms and fleas and a dirty litter box.
    · Reply · Share
  • shaykay1995shaykay1995 5 replies1 threads New Member
    @intparent @bopper @SouthFloridaMom9 If I told the complex that there are cats I can potentially have to pay or even get kicked out. And no matter what I'd do I'll have to deal with her after.. We share the same friends, we're in the same sorority.. The friends I talk to about this have no idea what I should do but they agree with me and when she complains about me they nod along but don't disagree because they know she gets argumentative. It's not in me to be rude in any way so no matter what I say or do this is hard for me.
    · Reply · Share
  • shaykay1995shaykay1995 5 replies1 threads New Member
    @bodangles she would know that I'm the only one who would call the shelter. I know she's neglecting the cats so I want her to give them up, but me taking them away from her is what would hurt our friendship.
    · Reply · Share
  • intparentintparent 36292 replies644 threads Senior Member
    You are only a doormat if you let yourself be one. People who act like this aren't true friends. You can't come out here and complain if you don't have the backbone to insist on a change or move out.
    · Reply · Share
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 3416 replies30 threads Senior Member
    We share the same friends, we're in the same sorority..

    True friends stand by you. Superficial ones don't. I know this from first-hand experience, 25 years down the road from sorority life.

    She is not a friend to you doing this. Why do you owe her something that she is not giving you (basic respect and courtesy?)? Friendship is a 2-way street.

    If it were me I'd draw a boundary line. Give her a chance to resolve the problem (i.e., move or re-home the cats and treat the fleas) or I would take some action.

    You're not being unreasonable or mean. Not to mention the poor kitties who deserve better.

    · Reply · Share
  • txstellatxstella 1124 replies7 threads Senior Member
    The apartment might go after your parents to pay for damage to the apartment.

    Pets are expensive. I've had dogs for years but don't have one now. It is partly because I don't want to pay the costs associated with a dog's care.

    Your roommate can't afford those cats, and they are neglected.

    I'd call maintenance in to fix a running toilet. Let the maintenance guy report the cats, the fleas and her mess.
    · Reply · Share
  • OnMyWay2013OnMyWay2013 1304 replies34 threads Senior Member
    edited January 2016
    Friendships are often more resilient than we think, and they can always be restored. But this issue has snowballed into all the issues that you have now, and things are likely to get worse if your landlord finds out (or God forbid the cats get sicker).

    You aren't asking too much of her or being mean in any way by simply telling her that the cat problem has gotten out of hand, and you'll help in whatever way you can, but they have to go, and she has to go back to her room. If she tries to guilt you with the medication thing, tell her that you're sorry, but that happened how many weeks ago? She said she'd get more medication, and yet the problem has not been resolved, and the cats are ultimately her responsibility.

    You may have to use the ultimatum of telling the landlord. But your needs (a clean living space) are more important than her luxuries, and if she is really your friend, she'll listen. Read this very carefully: What you're telling her might hurt, but if honesty is enough to destroy your friendship, she's choosing her cats over you (which she doesn't love enough to take care of, so she's actually choosing herself over you), and she's not a friend worth having.

    EDIT: I second txstella's idea. If you want to get a middleman to do the dirty work, then maybe you'll be able to sleep more easily knowing that you (technically) stuck by her.
    edited January 2016
    · Reply · Share
  • shaykay1995shaykay1995 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks for the advice, everyone! What I think I'll do is sit her down, tell her how I feel, and ask her to take her clothes and cats back to her room. I'll help her with getting rid of the fleas. And I'll give her an ultimatum.. If she doesn't move out of my space by February, I'll call the shelter. I just have a problem with if the apartment complex finds out.. I know I should have dealt with this a loooong time ago, but should haves won't help. Could I actually get kicked out of my apartment if the landlord finds out? And if I call the shelter, could I get rid of the cats without drawing attention?
    · Reply · Share
  • shaykay1995shaykay1995 5 replies1 threads New Member
    edited January 2016
    Okay, I found this on my apartment's website:

    Residents are prohibited from having animals, except for aquarium bound fish (up to 10-gallon capacity), in units, common areas, or on the premises at all times. Residents may not feed/shelter stray animals. Residents are obligated to inform Management of any pet so appropriate action may be taken to remove and protect the animal. Failure to comply with this policy will result in a fine of $100.00 for a first offense and $200.00 for subsequent offenses and possible eviction from the community.

    So I can only get evicted on second offense... So if I report it (or get maintenance to do it) the first time I have no way of getting kicked out..?
    edited January 2016
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity