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Rats and cats.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Does anyone here own Rats along with their felines?

I have been wanting a pair of male rats for a couple yars now, but the only thing holding me back is the cats.

I am paranoid that somehow they will eat them or hurt them or something.

To those of you that do have both... what kind of cage do you use to prevent the kitties to get at the ratties?

I have bedding, toys, and fresh foods picked out, but I'm not sure on a cage yet.
post #2 of 15
Make sure the bedding isn't cedar or pine

For two male rats, since males can get quite large, I recommend at the very least a 20 gallon aquarium, long, not tall, a locking wire top (not screen) and plenty of supervised time out of the cage to play (with the cats safely locked in another, or locked out of where the rats are).

I am curious as to why you are choosing to get males instead of females?
I personally LOVE male rats, but most people would rather have smaller, somewhat cleaner females.
post #3 of 15
I have a rat, her friend was lost.... to my dog! he didn't eat her, he licked her to death, he loved them so much I used to have them in a rabbit cage, but they would wiggle through the bars, I seriously underestimated them! and there was a rat loose in my house for almost 2 weeks, with 5 cats. that is Calypso, she's a survivor. any woo, I have a large aquarium for Claypso with a mesh/plastic top, the mesh is very strong though, the cats sit on top of her cage all the time and watch rat-a-vision. they don't really try to get in, they just like to watch her.

Don't males rats' pee smell very strong??
post #4 of 15
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
Don't males rats' pee smell very strong??
It's not strong like male mouse urine, but it is a bit stronger than female rat urine.
While most will use the same corner every time, some males are simply not that clean and will go where ever they feel like.
My males were very well behaved about toilet habits, but I also trained them that way.
post #5 of 15
just like humans, huh?

I think it was marie-p who had the male mice tht stank so bad, that is what I was thinking of
post #6 of 15
For 8 months I resided with a rat - only he wasn't in a cage. Dusty brought him in the house on Nov. 10, 2005. At that time he was little, a baby. I set traps everywhere baited with peanut butter, but the rat didn't like peanut butter.

After the first week I thought it got outside somehow, cuz I didn't see droppings or any trace that it was living in the house. I did notice that all of a sudden Dusty wasn't interested in eating her dry food, which we left out all the time for her.

So it's summer (July 26, 2006, to be exact), and we are in the middle of a terrible heat wave. I HATE summer, and have been begging for an early fall since the beginning of spring. Not being one who can stand the heat very well, I usually end up sleeping downstairs on the sofa under the moderate relief of the ceiling fan on “high.†This night was particularly bad, and after what only seemed like an hour or so of deep sleep, I was abruptly awakened by a loud banging noise from the kitchen directly behind my sofa. As I startled to quickly awaken, the first thought was that someone was breaking in the house from the backyard slider about 6 feet from my sofa. I sprang awake, to see my Dusty kitty carrying something HUGE in her mouth. She stopped in front of the dimly lit TV, dropped her cargo, and as it moved, regained her position of dominant female feline huntress, re-pounced, and as she was in this heroic position, I lept over the back of the sofa and ran upstairs, my heart pounding so loudly I was sure it would wake the neighbors.

I am hoping I can outrun this swift-footed feline, as I envision her steps behind me. Quickly I reach the foot of the bed where my hubby is sleeping blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding at his feet. I manage to croak a barely audible, but panicky “Mmm-mmm-iiii’kke!†I quickly glance to my rear to make sure Dusty and “friend†are nowhere to be seen. “Wake up! Dusty has something HUGE in her mouth and it’s ALIVE!†By now he thinks I’m delusional or in the early stages of a stroke, but at my insistence he throws on some pants, goes to the closet to retrieve a couple of fishing nets, and bravely sets out downstairs to placate his hysterical wife, who by now has barricaded herself in the upstairs bedroom.

Moments seem like an eternity as I sit curled up in a fetal position on the bed awaiting some sound of victory from downstairs. After much rustling around, he announces that Dusty had dispatched her prey with the skill of a seasoned huntress and was preparing to feast on RAT TAR-TAR on the entry hall rug! He managed to scoop the dead but scary-looking creature into two fishing nets, depositing the corpse into the garbage can outside. When he issued the “all-clear†signal, I gingerly crept downstairs to a wide-eyed victorious husband. A quick glance at the cable clock - 5:25 am, the adrenaline still wildly pumping through my system, and I knew that further sleep was out of the question.

Flashback to last November 10 when I stupidly left the back slider open and Dusty appears on same entry hall rug with much smaller RAT. She is probably distracted due to my screeching, drops rat, who escapes capture and has apparently has taken up residence somewhere in this house. Said rat apparently dislikes peanut butter, because despite 8 well-baited traps, cleverly eludes re-capture. Curiously there have been no rat droppings or other evidence of this creature living in our midst for the past 8 months! We have concluded that this wily rat has existed on dry cat food and Dusty’s water bowl, coming out in the wee hours to dine in solitude, while the feline and human residents were peacefully unaware of its nocturnal meals.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
Make sure the bedding isn't cedar or pine

For two male rats, since males can get quite large, I recommend at the very least a 20 gallon aquarium, long, not tall, a locking wire top (not screen) and plenty of supervised time out of the cage to play (with the cats safely locked in another, or locked out of where the rats are).

I am curious as to why you are choosing to get males instead of females?
I personally LOVE male rats, but most people would rather have smaller, somewhat cleaner females.
I will be using Carefresh Bedding. Made from recycled newspapers I think it is. It's been reccommended to me by many rat fanciers.

I was told that males were the more laid back of the two. That females are always on the go, where as males will sit back and relax more than a female would.
And for some reason I have a preference to male animals, all my cats are male, as well as Apolllo. Mia is the odd one out.
post #8 of 15
Males are definitely more laid back, very dog like, easy to train if you get them as weanlings.
They will easily learn their names and come when called if trained well.

I used to take my boys to the park and let them run around, they would never get to far from me and would run back when I called them.
I miss having rats, but I simply haven't got the space these days
post #9 of 15
My neighbor has 3 cats and 5 rats. They play all the time
The cats never hurt the rats, just play with them hehe.

Check out this thread
post #10 of 15
While it is cute...
I would never allow contact between the two.
Cats saliva contains pasteurella bacteria which by nature is designed to kill small prey animals.
Doesn't even require a wound, simple ingestion can do the trick.
post #11 of 15
I've never heard of that. She's never had any problem with the rats getting sick or dying (except from tumors and such) and she's had them and the cats for years. Do you have a website or article that verifies this information? TIA
post #12 of 15
Well, all of my links are on birds, not sure how far more you have to scroll to read on cats, but here is one link

And this link is specific to pasteurella toxicology in rats
granted, the second is a research study and the pathogen was purposefully introduced to the animal in both minute and large quantities.
post #13 of 15
I have 7 cats and just as many rats. My 2 of my rats are kept in a fishtank with a wire mesh reptile cover. One is kept in a large mouse cage(Roxy was runt of the litter. She also has asthma.) The other 2 are kept in a large bird cage with the wire bottom removed. And my males live downstairs . Away from the girls. They live in a bird aviary.

I prefer My female rats. I find them more responsive and loving. One of my males is just down right nasty. he has ripped my hand open just while i was feeding him. He lives in his large aviary and no longer gets handled. Too many bites from him and now he scares me a lil.
post #14 of 15
I used to have rats, and I plan to get more... My cat pretty much ignored them, she never seemed at all interested even if you picked her up and held her near the cage!

I also prefer female rats... Of course I only have had females so I might be biased! My females are knew their names and would come when called their names or when I made a certain noise, and I also taught them some tricks.

I would highly recommend any of the cages from Martin's Cages. I have a Martin's Rat Tower and it's a wonderful large cage...

Also wanted to add, you can find a 'cage calculator' here which tells you how much space you need for rats, or how many rats you can house in a cage (put in the dimensions of a cage and it will tell you):

Here's a photo of my 3 ft. high cage:

post #15 of 15
My FI had 5 rats, 3 females and 2 males. They were jumbo rats and he kept them in wire cages, similar to this only a bit bigger. He also had "ratopia" set up on the top bunk of an extra bed (no mattress, just the wood, and a ton of rat tubes and toys) and he would let out the males or females (of course never at the same time) to play for hours at a time (supervised of course).

I found the females to be much cleaner and more affectionate. The males hated to be picked up, were terribly skittish, and smelled horrible. They also peed on everything! But it could have just been those particular males. He did say that when they were babies he would carry them around in the pocket or hood of a sweatshirt to get them used to his smell and so they all bonded pretty well with him. Until the males got older and decided that wanted to be kinda anti-social.

As far as the cats, they weren't terrible interested in the rats. The rats had seen cats before, the males were terrified (as they were of everything) and would hide in their cages if the cats were near, but the females were pretty curious about the cats. But if a cat got too close to the cage, the females would swipe out at them. One of the cats managed to slip into the room while the girls were in Ratopia and one of them actually chased the cat down and bit her tail (and by chase, I mean ran up to the unaware sleeping cat).
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