Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Discuss rat companionship, introductions and behavioural problems such as biting or shyness or tell us about your rat's unusual habits.
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WidgetG
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Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by WidgetG » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:07 pm

Hello!!

Hope everyone is well!

As some of you may know, I have two big boy rats and one fair large girl rat. They are all about 6months to a year old. We are soon going to be moving house to somewhere with a garden! So I want o use this opportunity to get two kittens!

Any advice on bringing up cats with rats so they won't see the rats as dinner?

Thank you for your help!

Becky x
Biscuit, Crumble and Ziggy. Rest in Peace my hero Lopez and little fatty Bayliss x

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saz87
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by saz87 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:37 pm

my cat was actually afraid of my rats, and would run away when ever she saw one :roll: bless her, she was a right softy though, she didn't behave like a normal cat! she was 18 in Feb this year and was PTS a few weeks after her birthday. i've missed her everyday since. She was 7ish when i got my first rats and she was never interested in them. Although she would get jealous because all of my time was no longer devoted to her!
The rats were never bothered by her either, but i usually have squishes who don't notice the world around them. I don't know how kittens and rats would get on though. but i'm sure you can keep them separate.
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by jade1978 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:58 pm

I have two cats, neither are particularly bothered about the rats, I just keep them seperate at free range time
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by burninglight » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:05 pm

My cat was forever bringing in birds and mice and what not, so not the big softy - but he always ignored my boys. Combined they probably matched him in size - and he wasn't no fool. Would occassionally catch him staring into the cage, but he always backed off and hid a little bit when they were moving about the cage or coming out for a scritch.

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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by pandorarising » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:06 pm

I have four cats an six ratties and they are really not bothered about each other. When I got three babies a while back they were put off a bit by the scent they seemed to get but after two days that passed as they realised it was a smell but with no consequences. My new little kitten (cat kitten) is scared out of his mind by them, jumped and ran like crazy, when by chance and with me in the room, just wiping the shelves in the cage, he watched me and saw my ratties move. It depends on the cats though. It just so happens that between two elderly lady cats, a blind 2 year old cat and the scared kitten, they are a docile bunch and could not even be bothered about anything bigger than minced cat food- and of those only some special brands.

I keep the rats in a seperate room though where cats are never allowed to go without my direct supervision. They also never meet directly outside, just on my shoulder and away from each other when free ranging (I close the door and make a safe area for the ratties). It is a precaution I would never fail to do because even though the vet said that predator prey behaviour has gone out of the window with my lot, the instinct could come back just for a second. So yes, cats and rats are ok but with common sense and care. I also don't want to stress ratties by having my cats directly around them, even though their reaction is quite oblivious and uninterested.

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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by caroline739 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:17 pm

I got 2 kittens when I had my previous rats. Although they were very curious about each other the cats never saw the rats as prey, I think this might have been because there wasn't much size difference when the cats first arrived. They used to play together sometimes, taking it in turns to chase each other about. The smaller cat even used to go into the Jenny sometimes, but only when Logan (rat) allowed her to.
When the cats were fully grown they all still got on fine and Melody used to wash Logan like he was her kitten sometimes.
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by Lloy-D2788 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:36 pm

caroline739 wrote:I got 2 kittens when I had my previous rats. Although they were very curious about each other the cats never saw the rats as prey, I think this might have been because there wasn't much size difference when the cats first arrived. They used to play together sometimes, taking it in turns to chase each other about. The smaller cat even used to go into the Jenny sometimes, but only when Logan (rat) allowed her to.
When the cats were fully grown they all still got on fine and Melody used to wash Logan like he was her kitten sometimes.
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Please never ever try this, it really is such an unneccessary risk! Neither the cat nor the rat gain anything from the relationship and cats are natural predators of rats, instincts can kick in at any time... not to mention the fact that accidents can happen, a cat could get too rough. It doesn't matter how closely you supervise it could still go badly wrong. I strongly advise against anyone doing this, ever.

To answer your question, I have experience of rats and cats co-habititing and I find that cats usually leave well alone if they are taught to understand that it is wrong, but that at soon as your out of eye/ear shot they can be sly. I would never leave them unattended in the same room, however if they are supervised and kept seperate when without supervision it can be easy enough to achieve safely. However it has to be taken into consideration that some rats react very strongly to the scent of cats, and it can be very traumatising for them. If this were to happen you would need to keep them completely seperately at all times.

I manage really well, but my arrangement is complete seperation though they are around my cat should they be sat with me on the sofa etc. In this case the cat is watched very carefully, and shut out should I think she's in 'that' mood. Generally she is well behaved, but she is blind! Perhaps that has some bearing on the situation.

But yes... it's possible! :)
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by caroline739 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:07 am

They were never unsupervised together and as you can see from the photo were both on my husband's lap at the time
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by Lloy-D2788 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:56 pm

I never said you did leave them unsupervised, I still wouldn't allow my cat that close to my rats. It's dangerous and unnecessarry.

I don't understand what is to be gained from this?
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by shaycos » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:23 pm

We have 8 cats and started out with two rats. The two rats are in my lodgers bedroom and the only rule we have is the cats aren't allowed in the room, if the rats are wandering free. One of the cats stays well away (a stray and think he may have seen a few wild rats and learnt to be cautious). A couple would look into the cage and watch but not try to attack or paw at them, the rest are just not interested. Only time when we have had a problem is when the yougest gril cat got her nose close to the cage and got nipped.. She still watches them but doesn't get so close now.

As we have just taken in a rescue rat who has given us an unexpected litter we do keep the cats out of the room whilst she's nursing mainly so the mum doesn't get upset.

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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by Loketta » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:21 am

Cats and Rats CAN live together fine, can being the same as you can win the lottery, although the odds are slightly better on CatsN'Rats. I understand the idea to keep them seperate one being predator the other prey, but at the same time I wholeheartedly disagree that there is NO benefit to a relationship if it can happen. The issue is I wouldnt advise anyone to try it.

Cats are natural predators for rats to be scared of... fair enough.
So are humans, I know its been a while but nature is nature.

Cats are more efficient at grooming than us and share a lot more in common with the rats. The one thing I will say though, something probably will go wrong eventually, and it will entirely be your fault in the end if it does (to all people thinking of trying this).
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by acapae_wolf » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:50 pm

Is one of your rat sexes neutered? If not I'd be looking for company for your doe before cats. So long as you're careful and keep them seperate and shut the cats out when free ranging you should be ok. Lots of members keep small rodents and cats/ dogs simultaneously, you just have to have precautions in place. Having cats grow up around rats from kittens should help a bit though, especially if they're your first cats :)
caroline739 wrote:They were never unsupervised together and as you can see from the photo were both on my husband's lap at the time
With animals in my care, who utterly depend on myself for their health and wellbeing, I wouldn't risk it. They might be being supervised, but if either of them decided to go for the other, you're very unlikely to be fast enough to prevent some sort of damage (be that physical or mental stress) from happening.
Have you had a look at the forum ethics? http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/information ... ect=ethics
Rats rely on their humans to keep them safe
[...]
All rats should be protected from fear and distress. They should be kept safe from other pets who are natural predators.
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by Jacsicle » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:52 am

My two cats are shut out of the rat room and are only allowed in when I am there. If the cage is to be opened then the cats are promptly shut out again. They have never tried anything with either my rats or my guinea pigs. They became very protective in fact of the guinea pigs and used to act as 'sentrys' when they were out in their run on the grass. My cat Pedro even knew when one of the guinea pigs died recently as he went running out that morning and sat right next to the hutch.
But, and it is a big but, I have no delusions over the predatory instincts of my cats. They may have protected the guinea pigs in their run, but not because they are friends or see them as kittens or family, but because they saw them as 'theirs' to eat as soon as they got the chance and no other cats were having them!
The cats could go for the rats at any time and I will not take that risk when it is my responsibility to care for them. I love my cats but they are cats.
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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by WidgetG » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:02 am

Is one of your rat sexes neutered? If not I'd be looking for company for your doe before cats
Yes Both males are neutured, I would never keep a rat alone.




Thank you all for your advice and help!!

Becky x
Biscuit, Crumble and Ziggy. Rest in Peace my hero Lopez and little fatty Bayliss x

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Re: Can rats and cats live in harmony?

Post by acapae_wolf » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:14 am

WidgetG wrote:
Is one of your rat sexes neutered? If not I'd be looking for company for your doe before cats
Yes Both males are neutured, I would never keep a rat alone.
2 neutered boys? Now that's just greedy! :lol: :D
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