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Can I cancel a reservation at the cat hotel free of charge due to "force majeure"?

No, that's not possible.

After consultation with our lawyer specialized in contract law, we explain here what "force majeure" exactly means in Belgium in function of the agreement for a reservation in the cat hotel.

When entering into an agreement, both parties (Chat-o-Gand and the client) enter into an obligation:

  • Chat-o-Gand reserves a suite for an agreed period with the associated care
  • The client's obligation in the agreement is the payment of the reservation. The cat has to meet the legal conditions regarding vaccinations.

Bringing the cat is not part of the obligation. Canceling a trip due to external circumstances that you can't control yourself (illness, cancellation of trip, pandemic,...) is not a valid reason to request "force majeure".

What's possible is that this is covered by your travel insurance, depending on their conditions. For this you need to contact your insurance, preferably discussing this in advance to be sure of the possibilities!

This means that the payment always remains necessary as agreed in the contract.

That's because the reserved stay (our part of the agreement) can continue regardless of whether your specific trip proceeds.

"Force Majeure" is the impossibility to fulfill the agreement. By this is meant the absolute impossibility. "Force majeure" for you as a customer, on this agreement, can only be invoked if you literally no longer have any options at all to pay because this is your obligation as a customer when you enter into the agreement.

Force majeure from the customer's point of view can only be declared by a judge. Reporting that you can't pay is not sufficient to claim this.