Big rodent lover here (just an fyi). I agree with PPs saying to never feed live rats. I had to chime in because even my big male cats - both of which have INCREDIBLE hunting instinct BTW - still know to give my rattie boys a wide berth. My boy rats have never hurt me or my husband, they give lots of kisses, but if a cat dares jump on top of their cage, they will bite the hey out of their toes (and rightly so!). I found out one day that DH had not made sure the latch was closed securely (can be tricky) on their cage one day - the next morning we found their cage door was partially open and yet all was well. Cats did not dare bother them and the boys can hold their own, but what a heart attack that gave me... Very smart, strong animals.
Last Edit: Mar 18, 2013 23:04:54 GMT -5 by Deleted
Many years ago, I was visiting a dairy farm and as most farms, they had cats. While I was there this sweet, gorgeous, tiny, wee cat was following me around. She had all the look of about a 3 month old kitten. I asked the young man there if he would part with her. He said he couldn't see why not but would ask the owner (his father). The older fellow came out to see which of the cats I wanted. NO....was his sharp response. Absolutely not. She's not a kitten, she's an older cat at least 5 yrs. I was astounded. Does she have kittens, could I have one of her kittens...again the harsh NO. I could have any of the other cats, couldn't care less....take them all but leave this tiny wee kitten of a cat and her kits (who all looked surprisingly like her...not markings...tiny sort legs, large massive open eyes, short tails....kitten like). Why? They were ratters, they hunted and killed rats. None of the other cats did.....they were afraid. This wee cat had the skill to hunt the large farm rats. The farmer would not part with any of them. Gives you an idea as to just how aggressive rats are. I've seen barn cats stare down fox but won't take on a rat. ciao
That is a fascinating story, Heather! To be sure, wild rats (Rattus Rattus) are definitely aggressive, DH sees them all the time at work and they often kill and carry off cygnets right under the eye of mama and papa swan. Rattus Norvegicus are fully domesticated and awesome with humans (with the exception of abuse cases), and mostly those are used as feeders, but people in the know feeding snakes will NEVER feed live because of the damage they will absolutely do. If they are threatened by a predatory animal these will defend themselves, and well! Your story reminded me of Laura Ingalls Wilder's cat she told of growing up, even as a kitten she took on a huge rat, and many dogs as well (whenever a new dog to the neighborhood would show up, it would get all excited at the prospect of a cat chase...bored, with one deft leap the cat would land on that dog's back and sink its claws in, rodeo-style till that dog learned its lesson!). My rats still do not roam free unless the cats are put away, just to be safe, but my younger one leaves them alone better than any small pet I have had before.
Truthfully, I've only had one that I witnessed eating worms. It may be that more of them did it but the only one I ever saw do this was Lady "B" Itchy. I found her outside playing with the others. They were digging in their dig area and tunnelling really deep (quite the little city they had going). I found her sitting comfortably on top of a pile of mud slurping back dew worms like they were spegetti I told her it was a fat chance that she was going to be getting a kiss from me that day. ciao
Willow is the only one here who likes dew worms as well. She also seems to think they are some sort of spaghettie Caught her actually pulling one from the ground before eating it They can have a wide variety of worms and insects as part of their diet.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs