Hello, I Could Use Some Help! (Ferrets+Rats)

Discussion in 'Habitat' started by Kodo+Daisy, Nov 18, 2018.

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  1. Nov 18, 2018 #1

    Kodo+Daisy

    Kodo+Daisy

    Kodo+Daisy

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    Hey Everyone, I just have a few quick questions about Ferrets and Rats living in close proximity of each other.

    1. Can Ferrets and Rats live in the same room? I have two ferrets (Very domesticated.. I doubt they would know to eat their natural prey if I tried to switch them to raw (They are on a kibble diet)) and was thinking of getting a Trio or a pair of Rats, Their cages would likely be nest to each other but separated with either bars or plexiglass (Depends on how I would build the Cage -DIY-) but would either one of them go crazy trying to get at the other species if they could see/smell each other?
    2. Can Rats pass and diseases to Ferrets or vise versa that I should either be aware of or that could possibly be fatal to either one? (Ferrets are currently vaccinated for Canine Distemper and Rabies)
    3. Would the Rats possibly attack my Ferrets? I'm not worried about my ferrets really going after the rats (I would watch them closely to make sure if I ever let them see each other without a barrier) But would the rats attack my ferrets if they see them as a threat or something?
     
  2. Nov 18, 2018 #2

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

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    I would definitely not put rats and ferrets together and never let them near each other. A natural prey of a ferret would be a rat and it is impossible to know when they might have a natural impulse and decide to eat the rat and also my rats are super afraid of my cat even just the smell makes them very scared and a rat can do serious damage to other animals. I really advise not to do that. I’m glad that you asked and are trying to inform yourself. I hope this helps.
     
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  3. Nov 18, 2018 #3

    SQ

    SQ

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    I would not allow them in the same room, and I would make sure that all are in very strong cages with small bar spacing such as Midwest critter nation cages - because people are not perfect 100% of the time and mistakes happen.

    Ooops, reread to see that you only have ferrets:
    Ferrets are predators and just the smell of them may terrify the rats, if not, it will certainly impact their behaviour and feeling of safety imo. People who have rats and cats in the same household have reported thinking everything was fine, but when the elderly cat passed away, the behaviour of the rats dramatically changed and they discovered just how frightened their rats had been living in the same household as a predator.
    Years ago Godmother (former member of this forum) purchased a second hand plastic cat climber, brought it home and left it in her porch. Her rats in a bedroom on the second floor hid in their cage and would not come out until she eventually figured out why they were so frightened, and removed the cat climber from her home.

    Since you do not already have both, please do not get rats.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  4. Nov 18, 2018 #4

    Kodo+Daisy

    Kodo+Daisy

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    Okay, Thank You, I'll just enjoy rats on the internet I guess. <3
     
  5. Nov 18, 2018 #5

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

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    Perhaps in the future when you no longer have ferrets you could get rats! I feel quite bad for having a cat as well and subjecting them to stress. I don’t let the cat near them ever but reading this has definitely made me rethink this situation. It’s obvious that rats are very afraid of cats but I didn’t know that they could even be scared just from smelling a cat upstairs.
     
  6. Nov 18, 2018 #6

    SQ

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    Many years ago I read that there is a virus (?) that rats can get that makes them unafraid of cats .... and many rat owners say that their rats are unafraid of cats ... so it is possible that your rats are not afraid
     
  7. Nov 19, 2018 #7

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

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    One of my rats is definitely afraid but he is just a very nervous boy and my other one is very bold and probably the happiest most care free rat I’ve ever seen, he is completely unbothered. That’s really interesting that a virus could potentially change how they react. The cat is actually my sisters so when she takes him back eventually they won’t have to worry about the kitty smell. I actually think this is a really important topic! I’ve seen big YouTubers who are “pet experts” crowd mice and hedgehogs and rats next to snakes cats and lizards. It’s a bad example and I think people should be more aware of how stressful it can be for an animal to be around it’s natural predator.
     
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  8. Nov 19, 2018 #8

    SQ

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    I would definitely agree with you .....
    It is also extremely dangerous
    Rats are either predators or prey and do not mix with other species. Putting rats together with other species means putting lives at risk, regardless of the temperament of the animals.
    Cats, dogs, ferrets, snakes, large birds etc are predators for rats, and rats are predators for hamsters, gerbils, mice, small birds etc . Rats will even kill small pets through the cage bars if they can reach them.
     
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  9. Nov 19, 2018 #9

    Emmabeeee1996

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    Yeah i’m surprised more people aren’t warned about mixing animals. It seems obvious but I’ll admit even I didn’t think about it that much. We tend to just think of them as cute and fluffy and harmless when there’s more to it and it’s very important to consider how dangerous and stressful it can be for any animal.
     
  10. Nov 19, 2018 #10

    DanielZielwolf

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    _20170415_133644.JPG Rats & Cats: I haven't had a problem with my cat and the eight rats I've had so far mixing together. In fact, it's more my cat who has been scared of the rats than the other way around. At first the rats may be quite wary and reticent, but within a week or so their curiosity always gets the better of them. The main thing is to ensure the cat has no direct access to the rats' housing so they feel safe. My housing is about 1.2m off the ground. It's too high for the cat to jump onto the cages and he's never tried. And of course, the rats must have a safe place to retreat to in their cage such as a sleeping box. After the initial wariness, what usually happens is the rats become more and more curious and start hanging out of the cage doors (which I leave open) in order to try and check out the cat when he comes in, or they'll sidle up to the bars to try and get a closer look at him and sniff him out. Of the eight, six of them have ended up "making friends" with my cat, ie, they've become comfortable enough to sleep on the bed with him. Two have always been highly strung nervous rats, one was very curious but didn't quite get to the sleeping together phase, but for that matter him and his buddy were never comfortable exposed at all anywhere. His even more reclusive buddy shows zero interest in my cat. On the other hand, the most docile and relaxed pair I've had didn't even show any wariness from the moment they met the cat. I've never had any rats literally terrified of being in the same room as my cat. And this makes sense I guess, as in the wild rats can't be so afraid of predators that they will never emerge at all to forage and explore or they would just starve to death. Of course, rats and the cat in the same space is always under my supervision and in my presence. If I'm not around, the cat is not in the same room as the rats and has no way of getting in. There's no point tempting fate. Still, it's actually the cat who is usually more wary of the rats at the end of the day particularly as rats come and go and new ones arrive and he has to get to know them.

    DSC_0117.JPG
    Max (the cat) and Blixa on the bed together settling down for a nap.
    DSC_0065.JPG
    Max and Mannie checking each other out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  11. Nov 20, 2018 #11

    Emmabeeee1996

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    It’s definitely a complicated subject. I still really wouldn’t recommend the original person posting to allow rats and ferrets together as ferrets were bred to kill rats! I’ve seen cats go for mice, birds and bats. Maybe for a cat a rat is too big to consider prey? To each their own! As long as your ratties and kitty are happy and no one is in danger and you’re always supervising. Personally I’ve had a cat who didn’t even flinch when a squirrel got in our house and he never caught mice, but this cat that I own now has brought me many dead wild mice (which is sad but it’s just a natural behaviour) and i could see him going for my rats. I know that one of my rats would probably go and investigate him but I just wouldn’t take the chance. I saw a YouTube video about a sick kitten who couldn’t be exposed to other cats as she was contagious so they paired her with a rat and they became best friends, this took place in a cat cafe and now they let rats and cats run around together. I’m just not sure how safe that is. But there are many people who do it and nothing seems to happen. I would just make sure the more nervous guys are okay too. Seems like everyone is okay in your case. It’s a hard topic to figure out!
     

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