Do Cats Eat Rats? Rat v Cat, the Truth!

Rodent Guide
Written By Rodent Guide

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

Not only do they love hunting, not only are they fierce, and not only do they love playing with their prey once they have caught it, but they are wicked fast, patient, and have lightning-quick reactions.

Folks, I give you the cat!

Cats are one of the biggest weapons in your fight against rats. They have all the essential tools to hunt down the rats plaguing your life. We know rats can be dangerous, so we need to eliminate them.

We know that cats catch rats, but do cats eat rats? In this post, I will answer that for you and more!

What you will learn in this post:

  • Do cats eat rats?
  • Can cats kill rats (and what skills do they have)?
  • Is it dangerous for a cat to eat a rat?
  • Frequently asked questions

Do Cats Eat Rats

Do Cats Eat Rats?

Yes – cats do eat rats! Disgusting, right? Yes, it is disgusting for us, but it is a different story for a cat.

As you may already know, cats are carnivores. Cats are ‘true’ carnivores which means in the wild; they only eat meat.

Most of the nutrients that a cat needs come from rodents, including rats!

In the wild, a rat would eat a rat, one of their preferred meals!

To confirm: Do cats eat rats? Yes, they do! Do cats eat dead rats? Yes, they do!

Can Cats Kill Rats?

Yes, cats kill rats. Cats are naturally built with all the skills they need to outwit, catch, and kill rats and other rodents.

Let’s take a quick look at the common reasons why a mouse would kill a rat:


Cats are built for hunting! Shortly after they are born, a cat is already honing the skills to catch prey when they are big enough. They playfight with their siblings to practice pouncing, waiting, watching, and picking the right moment to attack.


Have you seen those cat toys that look like rats on the end of a piece of string? Cats love to play with these because it gives them a chance to practice the essential life skills they need to catch prey, such as a rat.

I’ve watched my cat play with a rat before. It almost looked disappointed when the rat eventually gave up the fight. The disappointment didn’t last long, the cat was soon tucking into the meaty goodness of the rat. I had to look away, though.


Cats eat a lot, don’t they? That is because wild cats do not know where their next meal is coming from, so they eat as much as possible when it is available.

A cat will hunt, kill, and eat a rat because it is hungry!

Do Cats Eat Baby Rats?

Look away if you are squeamish! Yes – cats do and will eat baby rats.

If a cat is lucky enough to stumble upon a nest of baby rats, it will eat them. The cat will need to be careful, though, because the mother rat (despite being prey) will attack the cat to protect the babies.

This might be enough to scare the cat away, but it is unlikely that the cat will be back to try again!

Is It Dangerous For My Cat To Eat A Rat?

It is usually perfectly fine for a cat to eat a rat, there are two reasons it can be bad news, though!

Disease And Parasites

The cat will also consume anything the rat consumes or is living inside the rat.

This includes parasites, such as worms and bacteria.

Secondary Poisoning

The use of rat poison can be dangerous. One of those dangers is called ‘secondary poisoning.’

Secondary poisoning is when a rat consumes the poison and is then eaten by a predator, which is a cat. By eating the rat, the cat has consumed the poison too. This can be very dangerous for the cat.

Know Rat Poison Symptoms In Cats

You must learn the poisoning symptoms to react quickly in an emergency as a pet owner.

Symptoms of a cat ingesting rat poison include (but are not limited to):

  1. Seizures
  2. Kidney failure
  3. Blood in urine/feces
  4. Difficulty breathing
  5. Vomiting

Do Rats Eat Cat Poop?

Ok, so we have turned the tide here with a question about what a rat eats!

Do rats eat cat poop? Yes, they do! The reason is the same as why rats eat dog poop because there are lots of nutrients there that the rat will need to consume. It is not very often that a rat will eat cat poop, though, they usually only eat it when they cannot find anything else close by.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats keep rats away?

Yes – having a cat will keep rats away. A rat is prey for cats, and the rat knows it! If a rat senses that there is a cat close by, it will be very hesitant is being in that general area.

Can cats get sick from eating rats?

Yes, a cat can potentially become sick from eating rats for two reasons. 1. A rat may have parasites or may be carrying a virus. 2. If the rat has consumed rat poison recently, the cat will also be poisoned. This is called secondary poisoning.

Can rats hurt cats?

Rats can attack cats and has the potential to give the car some nasty scratches or bites! It is rare for a rat to attack a cat, and it will only do so if it feels threatened and trapped or if the cat is getting too close to a rat’s nest.


Do cats eat rats? In this post, I have given you an answer to that question; yes, they do!

Not only do cats eat rats, but they enjoy hunting these rodents down and playing with them before they are consumed.

Cats are built to hunt rats and have every skill necessary to take the rat down and eat it. They are patient, they have excellent reflexes, and they love playing with their food.

So, if you see a rat in the daytime, it could be time to get a cat.

Good luck!


About the Rodent Guide

I’m an expert in do-it-yourself rodent control. For more than 20 years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people live harmoniously alongside these critters by sharing rodent control solutions that are effective and kind.

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

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