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If you already have some furry friends at home and are thinking of adding rats, or are a rat owner considering getting a different pet to add to the family, you might be wondering if you can safely keep rats and other animals.
Before we explore specific pets, it’s important to remember that whatever pet you chose, their safety is the most important factor to consider. Never keep rats in the same enclosure as any other animal, even other rodents. It’s also not safe to introduce your rats to other pets, no matter how docile they may be. Animals are unpredictable and at Rattie Ratbags, we don’t think the potential cuteness is worth the risk. Keep your pets separate and keep them safe.
Keeping Rats and Cats
Keeping a cat in a house with rats might seem like a very bad idea. However, many rat owners do manage to keep pet cats too, and keep everyone safe and happy.
Remember the rat is a natural prey animal, and a cat is a natural predator of small furries. Rats not used to the smell may be initially stressed by the smell of a cat nearby, and a new rat may take longer to settle in. They will get used to it, so just be prepared to do more work to tame them.
Never leave your cat unattended in the same room as your rats. Keep your rats in a room the cat can easily be shut out of, and close the door anytime you’re not in the room. Depending on your cats instinct for chasing small furries, you may want to keep this room closed off to the cat all the time.
Keeping Rats and Dogs
Some dogs will be largely uninterested in your rats, but others could pose more danger. Some breeds, such as most small terriers were originally bred to chase small animals (and in the case of terriers bred for farm life, specifically to catch rats!) and some have this instinct still in them. Be careful with your breed choice.
As with cats, keep your rats in a room where the dog can be shut out, and don’t leave the dog alone in there.
Train your dog to stay away from the cage. Curious noses, even with friendly intent, are likely to be bitten if they’re poked between the cage bars!
Rats and Other Pets
Whatever you keep, don’t put your other pets with your rat. If threatened, a rat is perfectly capable of badly hurting or even killing another small furry creature. Other animals, such as snakes or ferrets, are not safe around rats, so should be kept in separate rooms as much as possible, to avoid stress to your rat.
With common sense though, you can safely keep just about any pet in the same home as some pet rats.