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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I was wondering about introducing cats and rats to one another and if anyone has both and how they handle that. My friend's cat totally babies the rats - when one of her rats had an accidental litter one of the babies escaped and the cat found her and brought her back to momma rat! Even now she chills with the rats and they all love her.

On the other hand, another friend's cat stares hungrily at the cage all day and gets put out of the room when the rats are allowed to free-range roam. So obviously, some cats are going to be okay and others aren't. But what I'm hoping for this thread is for people to offer advice on how they did introductions and any precautions they take! Any advice is helpful and will hopefully also help prevent any tragic accidents from happening as well!

If people are interested this could become a sticky thread about introducing any other animal to rats (dogs, birds, ferrets, etc). If you have advice on those animals add it too and I'll change the title.

(My apologies if this thread had already been made. Unfortunately, the search system won't allow you to search for words with 3 letters and I didn't see anything when I skimmed the forums. A link to those threads would be much appreciated if they already exist!)
 

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Some cats are ok (for now) with rats. Meaning ANY cat, even the nicest cat, can turn around in a split second and decide to kill a rat. I have no advice on intro, but my advice is to never ever trust a cat around rats. Only in Disney's Zootopia, cats are always friendly with rats. Also rats can inflict very serious bites to a cat, they are acting like any wild rat would when cornered by a deadly predator.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Some cats are ok (for now) with rats. Meaning ANY cat, even the nicest cat, can turn around in a split second and decide to kill a rat. I have no advice on intro, but my advice is to never ever trust a cat around rats. Only in Disney's Zootopia, cats are always friendly with rats. Also rats can inflict very serious bites to a cat, they are acting like any wild rat would when cornered by a deadly predator.
Oh I would definitely never leave them alone! I'm more curious about how to go about introducing them. I suspect that if they know one another better that they'll be less likely to start **** with each other. I could be totally wrong of course but I don't want anyone to get injured which is why I wanted to ask to see if anyone had some good tips and tricks.
 

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I think that introducing rats to any predator animals are dangerous, no matter how tame or domesticated they are.
As you said, it depends on the cat, so my thought is that with a cat (or any other animal) that is iffy with potentially attacking rats, no amount of amazing tips or tricks would help the introduction be as safe as it should be. With a case like your first mentioned friend, the cat's intro to rats in a reliably-measurable way occurred accidentally (with the cat finding the escaped baby) and using that incident, the cat can be trusted. Otherwise, I wouldnt go about trying to purposefully introducing predator animals to their prey- the risk is just too high.
Also some people might not be able to read their predator pet's body language very well- again, in cases like this no matter how much tips and tricks there are the risk to the rat's life cannot be eliminated at all.
 

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I definitely do not think introducing mixed species is something we should encourage at all.

For every sweet adorable story about them being BFFs there is probably a hundred more where it did not go well....

Even sweet lazy housecats have high instinct and it has nothing to do with being aggressive, hungry, or murderous but just playful even. Do you know that most pet cats will hunt and kill prey outside but never eat it- they just kill it and sometimes play with it. Just watch a cat play with toys! lol A sudden movement, a whip of a rat tail, etc.. could trigger that instinct.

On top of fighting instinct just the size difference can mean accidents can happen. A playful slap or nip could be deadly or lead to serious injury.

Rats can also be very dangerous to the cats. Many rats do not care about the difference in size and will attack and bite the cat.

The risk is extremely high and with the risk being your pets life, I dont think it is worth it. One mistake, you not being fast enough, you turn away for a moment, etc... and could you ever forgive yourself?

My suggestion will always be to keep them separated. Either let the rats play in a room with the door closed and no cats inside or let the rats out and lock the cat up.


All that being said, all animals are different. I have 7 cats. I have also owned cats my entire life and have worked with rescues and ferals and have fostered kittens. I feel I am very good at reading cats body language. 6 of my cats could care less about the rats. The rats are boring to them. If I have a rat out they may look but yawn. 1 of my cats is a bit more interested but not enough to be a bother. He may follow them for a minute but doesnt really mess with them. Lastly my girl Kira LOVES the rats, she will follow them and watch them endlessly.

Kira was a feral kitten I fostered since a very young age, I bottle fed her. She is extremely well bonded to me & i think that helps. Whenever I have a litter of babies she thinks she needs to be involved. As soon as I start getting them out or talking about it she comes running. She always just politely watches the babies. She is actually very protective of them as well. I had babies out and one of my other newer cats came walking over and she hissed and swatted at him lol I'd never seen her to that ever to anyone! She watches them grow up and then is always so sad when they do because I stop taking them out for the baby play sessions and just let them free range the rat room.

I also do have a rat room, and there is almost always rats out of their cage playing. The door is always open but has a gate in front of it. My cats can easily jump in. Sometimes Kira will.

All of the cats are afraid of the rats. My rats will be tolerant of being watched for a few mins then get annoyed and chase the cats away.
None of my cats touch the rats. There is alot of watching. The cats understand they may watch but not touch. And I think that is very important.
I don't try to get them to be BFFs or make cute photos, I just have a ton of cats and a ton of rats and it is best if I don't need to babysit everyone lol But I am still cautious. It is not worth an injury or worse.

I also do have 2 dogs who are not allowed anywhere near the rats. My dogs are awesome and I dont think they would hurt the rats on purpose. but they get too excited and i think an accident would likely happen.


My tips would be, besides not doing it at all.

Dont rush intros, dont just throw them together and see what will happen.
Start off with rats in cages and teach the cat not to touch the cage, not to bother the rats in the cage. If a cat spends alot of time messing with them in the cage, bothering them, swatting the cage, or even just alot of time watching- I would not intro them at all.
Next have the rat out in a safe space in your lap or on your shoulder. The cat in the room but at a safe distance. Again how interested is the cat? Ideally it should glance maybe even come over to see but you are looking for a very laid back attitude.
If the rat moves and the cat makes any sudden movements or is jumpy that is a very bad sign.
Also how is the rat doing? You do not want to stress out your rat. Stressed rats are prone to myco flair ups.
If you let your cat outdoors I also would not introduce them, as your cat likely has killed wild rodents and it could spread all kinds of stuff to your rats.
Don't take chances, never just assume that your sweet pet who could never hurt a fly will be fine.
Don't allow either the cat or the rat to bite, swat, bully the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I wish I could edit my first post to clarify. I am going to make this part big and bold (I'm not yelling - I just hope people notice it before replying). I totally understand that my first post was really vague and so this is pretty important in terms of what I'm actually looking for.

PLEASE READ - UPDATE TO ORIGINAL POST

I wanted to clarify what I was asking about. I am NOT looking for my rats and cat to be best friends. What I am asking about is if people have advice on introducing animals that will be living together.

I have NO intention of leaving my rats and cat in the same room while the rats are out of the cage. Nimbus will always be locked out if the rats are free-roaming. Rats will always be in their cage if Nimbus is in the room.

However, what I am hoping is that by introducing them, I can prevent any at-cage shenanigans that could cause harm to either animal. I have seen rats bite cats through the bars and I have seen cats bat at rats through the cage and catch their claws on tails, noses, or butts.

Again, I am not looking for them to be best friends. I am well aware of the risk of predator and prey animals interacting and I should have clarified all this from the start. I am looking for them to be aware of one another and comfortable with the other animal's presence in my room since they will have to share it.




If, for any reason, Nimbus seems far too interested in the rats and won't leave them alone at all, I will rehome them. I would not want to inflict a stressful situation on the rats because of my cat.

Additionally, regarding the cage threads I've started, this is why I prefer to start with a cage I can keep out of my cat's reach rather than a cage that will sit close to the floor. If Nimbus seems to ignore or 'get along' with the rats (aka, doesn't pester them) then I don't mind upgrading to a Critter Nation or something along those lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
My tips would be, besides not doing it at all.
Unfortunately, they will be living in the same space. I clarified in the post above but when I was talking about introductions I didn't realize people were going to take it as "having my pets hang out together and be besties". I had a very firm idea of what I meant in my head when I was typing and it didn't dawn on me until I started reading replies that I had been grossly misunderstood. It's entirely my fault. I just went back and read my first post with a different frame of mind and would have responded the same way! Oops!

What I meant was simply ways to introduce two stranger animals to one another to prevent problems in the future. When I had my other cat and got a hamster, I carefully introduced them. My cat had been almost desperate to get to the hamster cage before then but once she knew what it looked and smelled like and what was in it, once I showed her that the cage was of limits, she let it be. This is the type of thing I'm looking for. But I was also in middle school when I did that and I was hoping people would have better advice on the topic now.

The rest of the stuff is helpful though, and I appreciate it! I'm sorry for the lack of clarity in my original post.
 

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ahh yes when I hear introduce I think of putting them together lol

All cats are different. Some will leave the rats alone but others may be very difficult to get them to ignore the rats. When I very first got rats my cats were very interested in the cage and them. But over time, maybe a month, they quickly became bored of them. They couldnt get to them inside the cage and the rats were nothing new so it didn't interest them anymore. I think for most cats that will be the case.

But I would encourage them to leave the cage alone, water bottle or a firm no and removing them. Not only for the rats safety but also getting bit through the bars is not good for the cats! Distraction works wonders- put their focus on something else like a toy. For cats who are overly focused on the rats, lots of playing with the cat should help alot.

Mostly just giving everyone time to get used to each other. If you don't make the rats seem like a big deal the cats will likely be like whatever.
make sure the rats have a nice box or something that is dark to hide in if the cat scare them.

Additionally, regarding the cage threads I've started, this is why I prefer to start with a cage I can keep out of my cat's reach rather than a cage that will sit close to the floor. If Nimbus seems to ignore or 'get along' with the rats (aka, doesn't pester them) then I don't mind upgrading to a Critter Nation or something along those lines.
I'd make sure the cage was very well built and secure. Cats can be very good at getting into cages. I'd definitely prefer a critternation over some other cages just because of how well built it is.
Putting a cage up high does not often deter cats. And it can be a bit more dangerous if the cat tries to climb up, knocks it over, etc... Even a kitty who doesnt often climb up high may be quite determined when they see the rats up there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ahh yes when I hear introduce I think of putting them together lol

All cats are different. Some will leave the rats alone but others may be very difficult to get them to ignore the rats. When I very first got rats my cats were very interested in the cage and them. But over time, maybe a month, they quickly became bored of them. They couldnt get to them inside the cage and the rats were nothing new so it didn't interest them anymore. I think for most cats that will be the case.

But I would encourage them to leave the cage alone, water bottle or a firm no and removing them. Not only for the rats safety but also getting bit through the bars is not good for the cats! Distraction works wonders- put their focus on something else like a toy. For cats who are overly focused on the rats, lots of playing with the cat should help alot.

Mostly just giving everyone time to get used to each other. If you don't make the rats seem like a big deal the cats will likely be like whatever.
make sure the rats have a nice box or something that is dark to hide in if the cat scare them.



I'd make sure the cage was very well built and secure. Cats can be very good at getting into cages. I'd definitely prefer a critternation over some other cages just because of how well built it is.
Putting a cage up high does not often deter cats. And it can be a bit more dangerous if the cat tries to climb up, knocks it over, etc... Even a kitty who doesnt often climb up high may be quite determined when they see the rats up there.

All very valid points! Thank you!
 

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We just got a cat and my daughter has two rats. We're also not trying to get them to be besties or anything, but right now the rats are super stressed about the situation, even though the cat is showing no interest in them at all. Any tips on how to get the rats to get used to the situation would be greatly appreciated.

So far, they're mostly safe in their cage or held by one of us when out. They can view the cat from a distance, but they clearly don't like it. We just want some kind of return to normalcy where the rats can come out and play on a safe surface and not be terrified. Maybe it's just a matter of time?
 

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Cats, even if being friendly, can very easily kill a rat. they can accidentally scratch them with their claws. The issue here is not the scratch itself but all the bacteria on the claws. This will infect the cut and will likely kill the rat.
 

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Hello! I was wondering about introducing cats and rats to one another and if anyone has both and how they handle that. My friend's cat totally babies the rats - when one of her rats had an accidental litter one of the babies escaped and the cat found her and brought her back to momma rat! Even now she chills with the rats and they all love her.

On the other hand, another friend's cat stares hungrily at the cage all day and gets put out of the room when the rats are allowed to free-range roam. So obviously, some cats are going to be okay and others aren't. But what I'm hoping for this thread is for people to offer advice on how they did introductions and any precautions they take! Any advice is helpful and will hopefully also help prevent any tragic accidents from happening as well!

If people are interested this could become a sticky thread about introducing any other animal to rats (dogs, birds, ferrets, etc). If you have advice on those animals add it too and I'll change the title.

(My apologies if this thread had already been made. Unfortunately, the search system won't allow you to search for words with 3 letters and I didn't see anything when I skimmed the forums. A link to those threads would be much appreciated if they already exist!)
My suggestion would be to get em both together wen their baby's. Don't trust a cat at that age
 
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