BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Evil cat trying to kill my bunnies!
Last Post by lindsay715 at 10/16/2012 7:16 AM (32 Replies)
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User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/12/2012 10:47 AM

Very long story short, I moved into a house with cheaper rent. The house is shared among friends and college grad students. The landowner is a grad student like myself. We signed a lease allowing us to move in with our bunnies. However, they day of signing the lease she decides to save a stray cat's life off the street and neuters. it. Now I have two bunnies in my room, and a cat that prowls the house.

The landowner is never home, so the cat is never punished nor has anything better to do but to stalk my bunnies. It sits outside my door waiting for an opening to sprint into my room and go to the cage. Thankfully I have always kept the bunnies in the cage when opening the door (door is a sliding door making it more difficult to keep the cat out). 

Water doesn't work. The cat is completely immune to water. The cat is fully squated in a pounce position at all times near the door or (occasionally) sneaks in the door. I have resulted to physically spanking the cat's rear end and chasing it away as the only option (which in turn makes the landlord upset when she sees). I have anxiety issues when it comes to this because the cat is also not de-clawed, and I know it is just waiting for the opportunity to kill my bunnies.It's very annoying and nerve-wrecking and the lease has been signed for a year. The landlord is also a "friend" which further makes the situation annoying. Being a college student I haven't been able to save up money for the so called "scat mat" to keep the cat away. Does anyone have any other home remedies to keep the cat away from the bunnies. I have absolutely no intention of taking the risk and allowing the cat to "bond" with the bunnies since it is not de-clawed and was technically once upon a time a feral. Another thing I saw is powder that creates a scentless (to humans) smell of coyote and fox urine which scares away cats. But I don't want to terrify my bunnies either.


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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10/12/2012 10:59 AM
Honestly cats and rabbits can get along just fine. I would not spank the cat as that is not the proper way to handle this - he is doing what comes naturally and is not being naughty.

Maybe you could try to make friends with the cat. I rarely hear of a cat bothering a domestic rabbit - he may just be curious. He's probably just more curious about the rabbits than trying to be threatening.

User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
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10/12/2012 3:02 PM
Luna and Finn Gall regularly watch the buns in a squat like they are stalking. Generally they just love to watch them play. The minute one of the buns binkies close though they take off. They like to watch but don't want to get too close to these strange long eared beasts. Finn Gall has sat at the Xpen with his paws through the bars but not trying to touch, almost like he was asking to play. Piglet binkied over all excited and it just got too much for Finn who bolted in terror.
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User is Offline LBJ10
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10/12/2012 3:46 PM
Have you tried just letting the cat see the bunnies? I'm thinking the novelty might wear off after awhile if the cat is allowed to see them. My cat would always do that with something new. He would be so determined to get near it and see it. Once the novelty wore off though, he would lose interest.

User is Offline Mimzy
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10/12/2012 5:18 PM


My cat does exactly the same thing, but he's pretty easy to chase off. If I see him creep by my door if its open, I just yell his name & he freaks out & runs. The door is only ever open if mimzy is in her cage though. Anyway, I agree with letting the cat see the bunnies. That's what I had to do with my dogs so they would calm down. They still are curious at times but they definitely don't wait at the door constantly anymore. Maybe you could somehow make a barrier the cat can see through but can't get over. If you have any nic grids, I think you could do this fairly easy. A gate won't do much since it can probably just jump over
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User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/12/2012 5:22 PM
Hahaha, Murasaki, I didn't think of that. No airsoft gun available though.

To everyone else,

One time completely on accident, we locked the cat inside the room when going for a walk. The cat probably snuck into the room and hid under the bed when we were not looking. After coming back from the walk the cat was outside the cage inches away from the bunnies inside. Intrigued, we were watching the cat, wondering if it wanted to just be friends or at the very least interact with them in a non-aggresive way. Once the bunnies moved in any manner, the cat reached in the cage and attempted to claw them. Thats when we broke up the situation and pulled the cat away. The cat would also do this when he ran in. He would immediately crouch outside of the cage and put his paw inside and start swiping away. I guess... not in an aggressive manner, more like....... what would happen if my claws sink into this thing that is moving. So I am more worried... what would happen if my bunnies were not in the cage. Hence the idea for a "safe" cat repellent for my room. I don't hate the cat. Just overprotective of my buns.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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10/13/2012 3:09 AM

You may want to try Sarita's suggestion and do a supervised introduction of the animals for a limited time to get them to accept each other as part of the household. Also, I am wondering if the cat can be confined to "his" room at times during the day as well. Does he need the run of the whole house necessarily?
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User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/13/2012 5:06 AM
I wished the cat didn't need to run the whole house, but the landlord / roommate is around maybe twice a week and claims it is not good to keep a cat locked into one area. Annoying.

I wouldn't mind the supervised introduction but I have read elsewhere how fast a cat can sink their fangs into the carotid artery of a rabbit and instantly kill it in seconds. Even with being there something like this could happen - not something I am willing to risk.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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10/13/2012 7:11 AM
I don't blame you, though many here have cats cohabiting with bunnies. I have also read that in a fight between a rabbit and a cat, the rabbit would win because a kick from hind legs would send the cat flying before it got anywhere near the bunny's neck.

So, I think it may be time for a friendly sit down discussion with your roomate/landlord and explain that it is concerning you greatly since you didn't know a cat was going to be involved when you agreed to the living arrangement. Maybe a good talk between you will find some middle ground and house rules you both can live with.
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User is Offline ScooterandAnnette
Winnipeg, Canada
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10/13/2012 8:24 AM
My cats get along fine with the bunnies. Every now and then one of them will try to play with the bunnies - it'll get down into crouch position and then spring and bat at the bunny - and that lasts about 2 seconds and then they're bored. They are fascinated by the bunnies though. Well 2 of them are, one of them is deathly afraid of the bunnies. I say let the cat see and get used to the bunnies, that way they'll be less of a novelty. Keep in mind that even if it was used to hunting as a feral cat, domestic pet bunnies are a different species than wild rabbits - they can't breed together, and from what I understand they smell different to other animals. We look at them and say "oh, bunny", a cat looks at it and doesn't recognize it as being the same as the wild bunnies (because it's not).

And no cat should EVER be declawed. It's a horrible, inhumane thing to do to a cat and many vets won't even do it anymore (thankfully). Look at your hands and think about how one would have to go about "de-nailing" you permanently - they'd have to amputate the tips of your fingers. That's exactly what they do to cats - they amputate the toes which permanently maims the cat.
Pet Parents to: Aeryn, Tegan, Keelie, and Kiera (bunnies); Harley, Sierra, Ringo and Owen (cats); Dakota (dog). We miss our Rainbow Bunnies: Keiran, Kylie, Reno, Carbun, Kaylee and our boy Bailey.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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10/13/2012 9:50 AM
I'm with Scooter and Annette on this. I have a friend who ran a guinea pig rescue out of her home with cats and never a problem. Domestic animals and wild animals are very different. I'm pretty sure some of her cats where semi-feral as well.

And one of the rabbit rescues I helped at had cats all the time.

It's just normally really not an issue at all.

User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/13/2012 11:01 AM
Unfortunately the friendly discussion with the landlord didn't go to well as she said I should just get rid of my bunnies. So that won't be an option :/

Keep in mind that even if it was used to hunting as a feral cat, domestic pet bunnies are a different species than wild rabbits - they can't breed together, and from what I understand they smell different to other animals. We look at them and say "oh, bunny", a cat looks at it and doesn't recognize it as being the same as the wild bunnies (because it's not).


That is really useful information that I never really took into consideration. Thank you. Maybe I will start with letting the cat at least "view" the bunnies from a distance while they are in the cage supervised and go from there.I still don't like the cat close to them as like I stated earlier, the cat just begins swating at them through the cage with its claws. I also know that cats claws have multitudes of bacteria and if the claws cut the skin of a rabbit, can lead to abscess formation of Pastuerella (which both of my bunnies are on constant antibiotics for).

User is Offline Bones
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10/13/2012 9:30 PM
Some of my cats did that when I first started introducing them to my rabbits. I would make a loud shh noise and spray them with water and if they did not stop they would get locked out of my room. Now my cats and rabbits are really good together even my 3 feral cats are fine with the rabbits. I also keep my cats (except the feral ones) nails clipped to make sure that the cats will not be able to scratch the rabbits if they do decide to try to play with them.

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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10/14/2012 2:43 AM
Have you considered soft paws for the cat? They are little gel nail tips that are a humane alternative to declawing. It would make the cat safer around the bunnies as you wouldn't have the sharp claws to worry about. Maybe your landlord would consider this. They are not very expensive.
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User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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10/14/2012 3:37 AM
Is to a feral cat or a pet cat?

I have never seen a cat straight up attack and "sink their fangs" in an animal. Cats play with their food, even feral ones. And an adult rabbit can hold its own with a cat I'm sure, in the wild really the only bunny pray on the menu would be baby cottentails.

Anyway, if its feral, call animal patrol and have them trap and take it. If its her pet, tell her again she needs to keep her cat out of your house, friend or not I'm sure it's against some tenant law and if it comes in, trap it and take it to the pound or drop it off at her house.

Any chance you can get something like this- http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Mesh-Ha...creen+door , it might keep the cat out.

Please do NOT shoot an animal, I don't care if its legal it is inhumane and cruel.

User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/14/2012 8:10 AM
ok let me re-summarize because it seems people are a little confused.

The cat is a feral cat in which my landlord saved off the streets and is domesticating. The cat is people friendly, but has attempted on many occasions to pounce and swat at my bunnies.

I have holland lops approx 4 months of age that are less than 3 pounds. The cat is 5 times their size. The bunnies do not stand a chance against the cat. They simply run when the cat makes a sudden move at them causing the cat to chase.

I have a sliding door to my room. No renovations can be made to the house due to the landlord's will.

The landlord wants the cat to run around at free.

Yesterday I tried to get the cat use to the bunnies by having the bunnies in the cage and the cat outside. At first the cat just watched curiously from a pounced position. Then out of nowhere it jumped at the cage full force and put its paw in the cage and started swiping at my bunnies. Thus, attempting to make friends is not high on the list.


What I am looking for is a way to keep the cat away from my room that isn't costly so my bunnies lives won't be endangered 24/7 and I can rest peacefully at night. The cat can open the sliding doors with his paws (not dumb) so therefore we have keep the door shut with tape (see the annoyance?)

Is there anything to keep the cat away that is cost effective. The claw magic mesh thing was pretty neat, but I doubt my landlord would be willing to take on such a task since she barely feeds or cleans her cat since she is ALWAYS away. Other roommates are forced to feed and take care of the cat due to her being gone so long.

I saw the scat mat which would be PERFECT. But as a grad school student - I can't afford it. Lease is already signed and I couldn't find loopholes- so I just can't leave and move

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2006 posts Send Private Message
10/14/2012 8:21 AM
The magnetic door thing is a no tool say install, so it says, so I'm not sure what your landlord would have to do with it. I've never used it though so I don't know how we'll it'll work, it's just an idea I've got nothing on the cat besides maybe focusing on the fact you'll only be there for a year or 2 tops right? And maybe look for a new place.

User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/14/2012 9:23 AM

Right, here for another 10 months. Just would rather not have the additional stress. I just read cats hate the smell of mint and citrus. Maybe if I get a wallflower of either? I know there is a repellent that has fox and coyote urine granules (we can't smell it) but I have a feeling that would also affect the bunnies? Not sure.


User is Offline Stickerbunny
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10/14/2012 9:35 AM
You say the cat bolts into your room through the sliding door, have you thought of a baby gate on the door you could step over? Yes the cat could jump over if he wanted, but he'd be a lot more obvious. Most things I can think of that would keep a cat away would also bother the buns. I typically just use my feet with the cats at my mothers place (feral and non-feral) if I want them to not enter a room (block/push). If your landlord is never home, would you be willing to try clicker training the cat? Give him something to do, teach him a cue that means "STOP" - he might find the buns less interesting.

User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/14/2012 11:21 AM

I could look into that. Never heard of clicker training until you mentioned it and I decided to look it up. Maybe I can find a tall enough gate or a gate that he wouldn't be able to climb. I will look into that.


User is Offline ScooterandAnnette
Winnipeg, Canada
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10/14/2012 11:43 AM
A cat that is truly 100% feral will not want anything to do with people. My mother has a recued semi-feral cat at home. I managed to trick him into the house and we had him neutered. It took a good probably 4 months before he wanted anything to do with people. He'll still shrink back and run from people sometimes and it's been .... 10 years? Cats that were housecats and were tossed outside, and cats born outside and rescued fairly young will, in my experience, warm up to people much more easily than an older cat that's never been a housecat. So if this cat is people-friendly then it sounds to me like it was either a housecat earlier in it's life, or it's still a fairly young cat. The description of the pouncing and swatting makes me think that the cat is likely a teenager.

The first cat Bailey was introduced to was Harley, who was bought in the hopes he'd be companion for Bailey. Bailey took one look at him, charged him and chased him up onto the couch. Mind you Bailey also charged at dogs. But all of the bunnies have held their ground against my cats, even when the cats were kittens or when I have foster kittens in the house. Yes the would occasionally get swatted at, and they would charge the cat and that would be the end of that, at least for while.

And I 2nd the idea of getting the soft-paws for the cat. They can be a pain to put on (I've put them on my mom's cats before) but they are effective.

- Annette
Pet Parents to: Aeryn, Tegan, Keelie, and Kiera (bunnies); Harley, Sierra, Ringo and Owen (cats); Dakota (dog). We miss our Rainbow Bunnies: Keiran, Kylie, Reno, Carbun, Kaylee and our boy Bailey.

User is Offline Bones
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10/14/2012 11:48 AM

You could try spraying lemon juice around your door because cats hate the smell of citrus. Cats also hate the smell of vinegar but so do a lot of people so I'm not sure if that would be something you would want to do. 

EDIT: I have used Soft Paws before too and they were really great but I have 10 cats so now I just clip their nails. You can get a off brand of Soft Paws on e-bay for $2.


User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
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10/14/2012 2:44 PM
Would you be allowed to put a small cabin hook on the door, they are relatively cheap to buy and easy to install. You can buy them just about anywhere. Here's a link so you can see what I am talking about http://www.bosunbobs.com/Models.asp...pQodRiIAkw
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User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
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10/14/2012 3:04 PM
Oh, and maybe some sheets of cardboard around the cage with double sided tape of fly paper on it so that the cat cannot stand right at the cage if it gets in. Cheap solution and you just make it wide enough to stop the cat but not block your access. Cats do not like things stuck to their feet !!
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User is Offline LBJ10
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10/15/2012 8:32 AM
I like the soft paws idea. How friendly is the cat to you? Does it like you? Some cats are more accepting of being picked up and manipulated than others. I know I could have put the soft paws nail caps on my kitty no problem since he would let me do just about anything to him. He was declawed though (he came to us that way) so I don't have any personal experience to how well they work.

I also like Roberta's idea. If you don't want to use something sticky, my vet suggested another deterrent method. Buy a vinyl runner, the kind that you put down to protect new carpet. Get the kind with the nubs on the bottom. Flip it over so the nubs are facing up. Kitty won't want to walk across it because it feels weird on their paws. It doesn't hurt them at all, they just don't like to walk on it. My vet suggested it to us and we tried it. It was pretty effective at keeping our cat away from the house plants.

User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/15/2012 10:29 AM
I will definitely pick up something lemon scented and spray on the outside of the door to see if that has an effect. I know for a fact the cat doesn't like the smell of mint (I put my toothbrush near him and he took off running in the opposite direction). I just personally would rather have the entry way smell like citrus over mint - so we shall see.

I will check into some material for the floor too if the scents do not work.

LBJ10 - The cat is semi-friendly towards me I guess? I avoid him and or chase him because I am slightly allergic through physical contact (hives / itchyness) therefore my roommates handle him. He was feral but he is still pretty young because I have noticed he is still growing. He has grown very accustomed to people and LOVES the landowner... but tends to run away from everyone else or is at least very cautious. But not at all aggressive towards us.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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10/15/2012 11:18 AM
I think you've presented many important reasons here for why the cat is not working out as a member of your household, not the least of which is your own health. My suggestion is to have a group discussion with all the members of the house, roommates and landlord, and put all of the problems that have come up on the table and discuss possible options.

This cat needs a good home, but one where its feral nature is understood and worked with carefully. I think that may mean a rescue shelter that has experience with semi-feral cats may be the ones to take it in and help it become domesticated once again, and re-homed in a place where it will receive a lot of attention and care without many distractions (like bunnies.)

Had you known your landlord was going to have a cat, knowing you have allergies and bunnies, you probably would have found a different place to live. So, in all fairness, your landlord is breaching your understanding and agreement, and needs to be more willing to compromise. There are kind options for everyone involved, but it needs to be talked out calmly so all of you can have a peaceful household in which to live and study.

Many people who become landlords believe it is like parenting, ie. "my house, my rules." It's not actually. It's "I agree to provide these acceptable conditions in exchange for you complying with our agreed upon house rules for an exchange of rent for an agreed upon time." Landlords, as well as tenants, ie roommates, who breach these agreements and must either change to comply or be held accountable. You may be expected to keep quiet hours, for example, but your landlord is also expected to keep health standards. Please let us know your progress with your roommates and landlord.
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User is Offline lindsay715
NJ, USA
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10/15/2012 2:13 PM
I agree with RabbitPam completely. Landlords do have responsibilities to the tenants, and you have rights as a paying renter. I think your allergy alone is enough that the landlord should rethink having the cat... if the matter was not discussed in the lease or during the signing of the lease, the landlord is inviting legal problems in subjecting a tenant to living conditions that compromise his or her health.

User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/15/2012 4:49 PM

Unfortunately, I signed the lease knowing that there could be a POTENTIAL of a  cat (I was told that they were "nursing" a cat, but really wanted to buy a dog). Since I only have a an allergic reaction through physical touch and I was suppose to get a room with a door that closes AND the rent is unbeatably low, I signed with all this knowledge. Problem is... the person's room whom we were originally going to take (with the door) decided to stay. In an effort to keep all of our rents low we had to stay in the room with the sliding door. Big mistake on my part regarding the signing for very low cost / affordable rent - the signing of the lease is done and very little can be done (as discussed by my recent talk with my landlord).


On top of this finding - the cat is becoming more brave and decided to wait around the corner of the sliding door where we cant see, sprint between our legs, and swatted full speed (claws retracted) at one of our bunnies across the top of the head. THANKFULLY there were not marks... we think our bunny reacted too quickly for the cat.

Citrus and mint filling the hallways leading to the door it is.

We are also thinking about putting up a gate. Cat would easily hop it I am sure... but one more barrier is another second for our slow human reactions 


User is Offline LBJ10
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10/15/2012 6:34 PM
Did you see my suggestion about the vinyl runner? It might be worth a try.

User is Offline Ackattack
Berea, Ohio
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10/15/2012 7:17 PM
Yes I saw your post about that. Since it's a cheap alternative to the scat mat I will probably try that first. If it doesn't work - I might just cave and buy the mint / citrus spray and scat mat to place outside the door.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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10/16/2012 6:48 AM
Your loophole is that you signed the lease with the understanding that you were getting the room with the door, therefore you were willing to accept limited exposure to the cat. The person changing their mind is yet another 'oops' on the part of the landlord. Ask to switch rooms. (It might annoy that person enough to get them to also advocate for rehoming the cat.)

I mean, this whole thing ends in 10 months, right? So can your landlord ask someone to foster the cat for that long and then welcome it back with open arms as you wave a relieved goodbye to this whole arrangement next year? Be sure to have that house meeting soon.
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User is Offline lindsay715
NJ, USA
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10/16/2012 7:16 AM
In my state there is a part of the tenant rights handbook that describes controlling pets: "If you are allowed to have a pet, you must maintain control over it. If you allow your pet to damage the property or interfere with the rights of other tenants, your landlord can demand that you control your pet or remove the animal from the building." I assume that the same applies to the landlord, since she is living on the premises. I would look up the laws for your own state.

The cat coming into your room at all would be a violation of the above, I believe.  (Especially taking into account your allergy.)


BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Evil cat trying to kill my bunnies!

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