Did you ever wonder if it’s possible to own both a pet rat and a cat? You’re not sure how you would keep them safe while they live together? As we all know, cats like to attack almost anything that moves, as long as it’s smaller than them (and even then…). If you were worried about this, then we have some of the best tips and tricks for you to keep your rat safe around the cat of the house.
What do you have to do before introducing a new pet rat to a cat?
Here are 2 important things you should keep in mind before introducing your pet rat to other pets:
First and foremost, don’t rush the relationship between them! As your fancy rat may not feel comfortable with its new environment, you have to give it some time to adapt to these big changes. Your pet rat will normally need at least 2 days to adjust itself to its new home. That should also be the time you take before introducing the cat or any other animal to your pet rat. However, if it still seems uncomfortable after 2 days, you should wait for at least 1 week or until it really feels safe and comfortable for everybody.
All pets are not the same. Some may be more social and quick to become friends with others, while some may be more hesitant. That said, if your pet rat appears frightened or nervous, it means it is unwilling to socialize with other pets. Furthermore, introducing them while they are not willing to do so could lead to a fight or injury.
What’s the best way to introduce my fancy rat to the cat?
As mentioned above, you cannot rush things! There are 3 ways to introduce your new pet rat to the king of the house (your cat):
Paying close attention to the caged rat’s behavior
If your pets aren’t showing any signs that they are scared, aggressive, or stressed, then everything should be fine. On the other hand, if you notice something, then you should be careful. For example, if your cat hisses, immediately take your caged rat back to a separate place in the house.
Introducing your cat with a caged rat
Once your pet rat is in its cage, it should prevent any potential conflict. Let your cat smell what the rat has touched before introducing them and let it roam freely around the caged rat. Also, allow your small pet to interact through its cage.
Allowing your cat to meet an un-caged rat after a successful caged introduction
If the caged introduction was successful, try allowing your fancy rat out of the cage for a short time. Thereafter, observe how your pets interact with each other. Keep in mind that you should be prepared to put your tiny pet back in its cage as conflict may arise at any time.
How to keep your pet rat 100% safe?
As tiny animals are indeed fragile, here is what you should do with your caged rat:
Separating your caged rat from other pets
The first and most important thing to keep your rat safe around other animals is to keep it in a secured cage. Also, your rat’s cage should not have spaces wide enough for the rat to slip through or for the cat to attack with its paws. The door of your rat’s cage should be shut securely and have a latch or lock that the rat can’t unlock. Last but not least, if it’s the first time you let your pet rat outside its cage, you should supervise the situation at all times and make sure there is no cat or other pets around.
Putting the rat’s cage in a room where your other pets aren’t allowed
While your animals are getting to know each other, you can put the rat’s cage within a separate room with a door. Also, make sure that the door is closed so that your other pets can’t enter and reach your little fella’s habitat.
Placing the cage in a spot your other pets cannot reach
And finally, for those who don’t have a separate room or have limited space, you can put your rat’s cage in a place that other pets cannot reach like on a high table for example. Alternatively, you can also place it on a counter or a shelf. In all cases, the cage should be protected from other pets with barriers around the edges for example. That being said, be careful to think about your rat’s air by keeping adequate ventilation through its cage.
Pet rats are so tiny and really need lots of attention, especially if you already own a dog or a cat. Now that you know how to keep your new rodent friend safe from other animals, you can be more confident with having many pets in your home. Good luck!