Rat Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My girlfriend got a cat against my wishes and now:

  • Nibbles is so scared he won't come out of the cage or even take treats from my hand
  • Jesse, who wasn't scared at first, doesn't want to come out of the cage, and when he does come out he just hides (which is how Nibbles was behaving before we got the cat, possibly from Jesse bullying him)
I have no idea what to do. The cat is rarely in the same room as them and never when they're outside of the cage. But they smell her and they're terrified. What can we do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
They will get used to the smell after sometime. The best you can do is keep them as far away as possible from each other. It may take a few weeks...but I have noticed it's different with every rat. Some never seem to even notice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
I would take them out and give them in hand attention, cuddles and such. I've never had any issues with ours being afraid of the cats so far. Havn't really let them in around the babies yet but i am certain I smel of cat and no one has shown any fear. We have six so our whole house probubly smells of cat and they might just be used to it by now. So I am sure they'll relax with some time. You never know soon they may try going after the cat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It's been a few days but Nibbles hasn't gotten any better and Jesse is doing worse. They don't want to come out of the cage, much less be cuddled or held. I just pulled Nibbles out for a cuddle and he freaked out and peed on me. It's a small apartment and we can only keep the cat so far away but she isn't in the room right now.

I really don't know what to do. Any other tips? :/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I have two cats, three dogs, and currently 3 rats (one male, his cagemate passed away a few months ago, and two females I recently took in to help a friend that bought a pregnant rat.) It took a couple weeks for both sets of rats to adjust when they were new. One thing to watch for is making sure the cat isn't bothering them at their cage when you're not looking. I have a female cat that ignores my rats if they're in their cage and a male cat that is very friendly and would try to nuzzle the cage. This was less problematic for my boys when I first got them, but my girls were terrified (they'd been through about 3 home/surrounding changes in the three months between being born and coming to us). If the cat is getting curious and poking a paw into the bars, etc. then it will definitely freak them out. I'd say give it a few more days and see if they're getting better. If nothing else, the cat should no longer be super interested in them or you may be able to find other ways of discouraging the cat from bothering the cage. It took my girls a couple weeks to learn to relax even in their cage, and I'm not sure how well they're going to socialize with my wife and I yet.

On the other side of things, when you do finally get them out of the cage and returning to normal, I suggest having your GF close the cat in a room with her (not alone unless you want things shredded and messed on) while you have some dedicated cuddle time with your rats like you did before the cat. The familiarity of an old routine and getting used to the smell of the cat on everything should get them settling better. If you're ever brave enough to let them out in the same room at the same time (not recommended if your rats are still scared of the cat in any shape or form) keep an eye on them. Cats never quite behave how you'd expect. The male cat that wouldn't leave my boys alone in their cage was gentle and loved to sniff them and even cuddle. With humans he's the biggest scaredy cat ever and scratches if even slightly startled. My female cat is the sweetest most laid back cat in the world around humans. With the rats, she will ignore them so long as they don't invade her space, but the moment they do, she'll start popping or nipping at them. We never allowed it enough for my boys to learn which cat had which personality and we'll probably never allow the cats to get close when our new girls are out. Cats CAN learn to stay away from the rats with appropriate behavior reinforcement (i.e. spray bottle).
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top