Pet Rats and Cats Living Together – Is it Possible to be Friends?
When you think about a cat and a rat living together, there is a very good chance that a Saturday morning cartoon pops into your head, as you have always heard that cats and rats simply don’t get along together. But have you ever tried, or have you known anybody who has ever tried, to have a pet cat and a pet rat? While most people would tell you that having a cat and a rat is just simply a bad idea, would they say the same things about having a cat and a dog? Cats and dogs are two different types of pets that are not supposed to like each other or get along in any way, but as anybody with a pet cat and a pet dog will tell you, they normally always do get along.
Moving back to cats and rats, you must understand that each different cat and each different rat, is going to have a completely different personality. While you may have some that will be more aggressive towards another animal or pet that you have, there are others who will be more laid back and not really want to bother with that other pet. But the big question still remains, are cats able to live together with rats?
Here is everything that you will need to know about whether or not cats and rats are able to live together.
Options for Having Cats and Rats in the Same Home
When it comes to you having both a pet cat and a pet rat, there are really only going to be two different scenarios that can play out. The cat and rat are going to live in separate rooms, or the cat and the rat are going to live in the same room. There really is no other option when it comes to the living situation with your pet cat and pet rat.
Your Cat and Rat Live in Separate Areas
The easiest way that you can have a rat and a cat both feel safe while living under the same roof is going to be to make sure that you keep your rat in a separate room from your cat. This way, you are never going to need to worry about your cat trying to sneak up to your rat’s cage. Essentially, when you keep your cat and your rat in separate parts of the house, you are effectively going to be taking away any type of risk that there may be towards your rat because of your cat.
When you have made the final decision to keep your pet cat and rat in different parts of your house or apartment, there is a very good chance that you will find your cat outside of the rat’s room door, meowing. If you do notice that this is happening, you have nothing to worry about at it is going to be your cat’s way of letting you know that they are feeling deprived. Typically, this type of behavior is only going to last a few days, normally going away on its own. There is a very good chance that your cat will still makes visits to the door of the room that your rat is living in from time to time, but they will eventually learn that the room is basically off limits and start leaving it alone.
Your Cat and Rat Live in the Same Room
If you are unable to keep your rat and your cat separated for whatever reason and have no choice except to let them live in the same room, don’t lose hope just yet. There are actually going to be several different things that you can do in order to make sure that this living situation actually works out in not only the cat and the rat’s favor, but in your favor as well.
For starters, be sure that you setup your rats cage some place that they are unable to reach it. By positioning the rat cage on top of some type of chest, dresser, or some type of other tall furniture, as this is going to be a very effective way to keep the two separated from each other while still being in the same room. If you see any extra surface area around the cage that can potentially allow your cat to jump up, be sure that you block these off with paper grocery bags, boxes, or anything else that you can find in order to keep the cat from getting up there.
If your rat’s cage is going to be one that is on the larger side and must be placed on the floor, do your best to block off the lower levels of the cage, essentially blocking your cat from being able to reach inside it. You can do this by using paper grocery bags, boxes, or even some screen door mesh (you would simply wrap the mesh around the lower level of the cage so that your cat would not be able to reach into it). If none of those options work for you, you can even look into using plexiglass, as long as you are positive that there is going to be adequate ventilation, meaning that you are going to need to have air that is circulating inside of the cage.
No matter where you may end up placing your rat’s cage, there is always going to be a chance that you are going to need to block off the top of it. If you have a cat that can jump to the top of that cage, you are once again going to want to use opened paper grocery bags, boxes, or anything else that you can find in order to prevent your cat from reaching into the top of your rat’s cage.
During the night, be sure that you cover up all of the sides of your rat’s cage. Be sure that you leave the top part of the cage uncovered so that they still have ventilation, but make sure that the cages sides are protected. And if there are items that sit on top of your rat’s cage, be sure that you leave enough space to allow for proper circulation throughout the night.
So, you have finally gotten your rat’s cage situated according to the tips mentioned above and you are good to go! However, you may be wondering if there will ever be a chance of your rat and your cat having together time at some point. Here is what you need to know about your cat and rat playing together.
Cat and Rat Together Time
If you are able to do so, it is going to be great if you are able to spend time with both your cat and your rat at the very same time. One of the best places that you can do this, is going to be on your couch. Another great spot for this to happen will be on the top of your bed. What makes this so great for both your cat and rat, is that they can get a feel for each other and have you right there supervising. Plus, if your rat does end up getting scared, they can always burrow down into your shirt for safety.
While they are not going to truly be interacting with each other in the beginning, when you are able to get your rat comfortable around your cat’s scent, it can be very beneficial. When your pet rat is in close proximity to your pet cat, your rat will learn that they don’t have to be scared and are protected (since they will be safely hidden inside your shirt). This means that your rat is going to smell the cat but will eventually pick up on the fact that just because they do smell your cat, does not mean that they are going to be harmed.
From the cat perspective, you are going to need to keep an extra close eye on them, watching how they will react to each other. You never want your cat to make your rat feel as though they are being terrorized. If you do notice that your cat is causing your rat to feel this way, it is probably going to be in your best interest (as well as your cats and your rat’s best interest as well), to simply keep them separate. However, if you are able to stay patient and understand that it is going to be a longer process, in the long run, it is going to be possible to have your cat and your rat eventually be around each other without any problems occurring.
When you have a pet cat and a pet rat, it can be very time consuming to make sure that they are both kept safe. However, if you are patient enough and keep at it, you can teach them to get along with each other and become the best of friends!