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Cats and Rats

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We have 2 wonderful cats and have decided after much consideration to add to our family. I am going tomorrow to look at 2 female rats that I will likely bring home with me!

Does anyone else have pet rats? I'm wondering how the cats get along with them. Right now I'm thinking it best to keep the cats in a different area when the rats are out of the cage.
post #2 of 7
I have five rats, all boys, and there are currently two cats (also boys, by some happenstance, ).

I would always keep them separate. If they are in their cage and the cat cannot reach into the cage or knock it down the rats will likely eventually get used to their audience and the smell of cat, but it will frighten them very much for the first couple days or more. If the cat can reach in... well, that depends on the rat... and the cat. Hennessy occasionally reaches a paw into the boys' cage, but uses no claws (despite having all his claws). Puck just avoids him, Jack's bit him once (a warning nip, nothing too bad.) Hennessy pretty much just watches them now, as does the dog. Lestadt seems afraid of them. Keep in mind these are boys rats and they're quite big (all over a pound, but for Bacardi, my smallest boy) and they were here first. The cat's in their home, not the other way round.

There are some cats with no prey drive that will ignore a free-ranging rat. There are some that will recognize a rat as family (or as a kitten) and ignore it.

But unless you know for certain that nothing can happen, I'd just keep them apart, you wouldn't want anything to happen to any of the babies... Remember... rat bites can be deep and vicious if the rat is being aggressive (if attacked) and could truly hurt the cat.
post #3 of 7
I have three cats and currently 8 rats, though in the coming weeks I'll be adding 4 little rattie girls from a breeder.
I do not allow the cats in the room with the rats while they're free ranging, but I do walk around the house with them on my shoulder and in my shirt. The cats aren't interested in them when I'm holding them at all. My Siamese Ruin likes to sneak into the rat room to watch them in their cages, but loses interest very quickly and wants someone to let her out of the darn room! My Himalayan Princess loves nothing more than watching the rats in their cages, she would stay in there all day if we let her! Neither of them try to paw at the rats through the bars at all, little ratties have big teeth don't you know! LOL My 3rd cat Hannah is 18, in the last couple years she has decided they're her babies and will curl up with them if allowed! We don't let her do that very often.
Good luck with your new ratties. When I had less cages I always kept them in the living room and never had problems with the cats (I've been keeping rats and cats together for 10 years without an accident).
post #4 of 7
Is it really safe to have two species together when one naturally will regard the other as dinner?
post #5 of 7
If you mean in general, yes it is. I know many, many people who have both cats and rats and have never had an accident. Actually of the three rat forums I'm a member of I can't think of a single instance where someone has said their cat attacked or killed their rat.
If you were referring to my comment about my cat Hannah thinking they're her babies, the first time she had access to them was an accident on my mother's part. I was out of town and she was rat sitting, she put one of my old girlies in a box while cleaning the cage. Without her noticing Hannah jumped inside and went to sleep with Annabelle the rat! Cats are very intelligent, some do respect that rats are a part of the family, and one mustn't forget that rats are BOLD. My rat terrier is TERRIFIED of them because they chase him all over the bed! My other dog knows not to go near them because they're "mine", and my two young cats NEVER have access to the rats when they're out of their cages.
post #6 of 7
Depends on how prey driven your cats are and how big the rats are. Rats can give a nasty bite, so I'd supervise them very carefully.

Personally I don't mix predator/prey animals. Your cat might ignore the prey for years; then one day the drive kicks in and you end up with a dead mouse/rat/bird!
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
Is it really safe to have two species together when one naturally will regard the other as dinner?
i breed mice and we have 6 cats in which all get on fine my youngest cat cleans the mouse through the bars... i keep the cage close too my seat and when i go out i move mice cages into the other room...
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