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

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 you have in your fight against rats. They have all the essential tools needed to hunt down the rats that are plaguing your life. We know rats can be dangerous, so we need to get rid of them. We know that cats catch rats… but, do cats eat rats? In this post, I am going to answer that for you and more!

What you will learn in this post:

  • Do cats eat rats?
  • Can cats kill rats (and what skills 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, for us, it is disgusting, but it is a different story for a cat.

As you may already know, cats are carnivores… actually, cats are ‘true’ carnivores which means if 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 absolutely eat a rat. In fact, it is 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 needed 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 important 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 when their next meal is coming from, so they eat as much as they can 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 go ahead and 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… and 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 why it can be bad news, though!

Disease And Parasites

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

This includes any 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

As a pet owner, you must learn the symptoms of poisoning to react quickly in an emergency.

Symptoms of a cat ingesting rat poison include (but is 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 a 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 mat 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 will only do so if it feels threatened, and trapped, or if the cat is getting too close to a rats 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 actually 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!

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