This is a matter of concern for owners that your rabbit is going to attract rats? So the answer to this question is yes, rabbits do attract rats. Nobody wants those little rodents running around your home and keeping rabbits in your house can attract rats. Rats are not attracted by rabbits themselves but by the droppings and leftovers of the food that is provided to rabbits.
Also, the safety and warmth of rabbits living attract the rats too. Rats are scavengers and are primarily attracted to the food and water left for rabbits and not to kill them. Keeping rabbits at home does not guarantee that you will attract rats but there are many measurable steps that you can take to keep rats away from your place.
- 1 Rabbits and Attracting Rats
- 2 What Attracts Rats?
- 3 Here are a few things that attract rats:
- 4 Is Rabbit in Danger from the Rats?
- 5 Do Rats Kill Rabbits?
- 6 How to Spot Rats?
- 7 The danger of Rats and mice for Rabbits
- 8 How to Keep Rats out of your Enclosure?
The first thing is that it is not your rabbit that’s attracting rats because rats have no interest in rabbits because to rats, a rabbit is a large animal that he is afraid of. Rats are scavengers and as a creature, they are not going to get anything from your rabbit. Rats have an amazing sense of smell and can sniff out a good meal with ease, and droppings and leftovers of your rabbits are going to come across like a delicacy or treat for them. Therefore rats are drawn to rabbit cages and even when you keep your rabbit indoors.
What Attracts Rats?
There are mainly two reasons that attract rats toward your place and they are food, water, and shelter. Rats may come to your place for a bite to eat and a warm, safe place to live. People also attract rodents and other wildlife by leaving out food, water, and clutter. And if you are wondering why your pet is eating so much then it may be the reason that they are sharing food with other rodents like rats.
Rats are also attracted by the droppings of food by other pets. Pets get a portion of high-quality food, which attracts rats because they have a very acute sense of smell, and this ability of rats to sniff the food and attractive nests is what rats are looking for.
Here are a few things that attract rats:
- Rats like timothy and alfalfa hay pallets serve to rabbits and eat the leftover from the cage.
- Fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, melons, cabbage, peas, broccoli, etc serve the rabbits and also attract the rodents toward them.
- Rats have a sharp sense of smell which attracts rats to even go into trash bags, and rabbit droppings.
- The cozy and warm beddings also attract rats in a rabbit’s place. So this needs to be cleaned on daily basis.
Is Rabbit in Danger from the Rats?
As a pet owner, you want to know whether there is any risk from the rat to your rabbit. Well, a mouse will leave your rabbit alone; they won’t bother or stress them or increase their anxiety. Apart from this in the matter of diseases and infection then there is a risk to the health of your rabbit. Rats can carry various parasites and diseases with them and can make a leap over to your rabbit and make them very sick.
Problems like ticks, fleas, and mites are very common in rats and carry bacteria and different viruses which increase the risk of illness in the rabbits. Even if the droppings of rabbits are dried out, they can still contain the bacteria and live viruses so you have to carefully remove all the residues and remove any sign to stop your rabbit from being infected.
Do Rats Kill Rabbits?
Rabbits do not kill rabbits, they are predators and will kill and hunt smaller animals if they need food to survive but killing an average or smaller rabbits and this can be a risk. But rats can carry lots of diseases with them and if a rabbit were to survive an attack by a rat though the injuries and bites may lead to a serious illness or infection. So there is always a risk of rats around your rabbit either by wounds or by infections.
How to Spot Rats?
Rats are very active and fast and can hide immediately and you cannot easily spot them as they are adept at hiding in plain sight. Other signs that might help you to aware of the unwanted visitors at your place are:
- Teeth marks and some other marks of chewing objects
- Holes in the hutches of rabbits
- Ammonia like smell which is a rat’s urine smell indicates rats around
- Animals acting frightened
The danger of Rats and mice for Rabbits
Rats are considered the host of diseases and other infections. They might look harmless and cute but it depends on whether they are wild or not because wild rats are more serious than others but it is best to avoid all the kinds of rats. The various diseases spread by rats are:
Plague is caused by the bacterium yersinia pestis and happens through flea bites, or by contact with an infected animal, through droplets. There are three different kinds of plague which could be dangerous for your rabbit and humans too.
Several hantaviruses are carried by rodents mostly rats, mice, and voles. It happens through exposure to urine, salvia, and feces but occasionally people may be infected by bites. It can cause kidney-related, hemorrhagic diseases, and severe respiratory diseases.
This disease is spread by rodents to both humans and pets especially rabbits that are vulnerable to tularemia. It spread through skin contact, inhaling infected dust, insect bites, and contact with contaminated water. This disease has different symptoms depending upon the methods by which bacteria entered the body.
4. Rat-bite fever:
Rat-bite fever is an infectious disease caused by different bacteria and is a very dangerous infection commonly spread through a bite and can be passed to humans and other mammals. Symptoms of rat-bite fever are headaches, fever for several days or even weeks, and vomiting.
This is a form of food poisoning and symptoms are fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramping but can recover quickly without any need for antibiotics. This is a rare disease don’t usually cause diarrhea but causes acute septicemic disease.
How to Keep Rats out of your Enclosure?
Rats can become a problem for your rabbits so you need to take some necessary measures. Rats are very tricky and small creatures and are persistent. There are some steps to get rid of rats.
1. Don’t let pet food unattended:
It is better to feed your pet with a small amount of food to get rid of residuals and consider water bottles instead of dishes.
2. Remove temptation:
The temptation includes food, bedding, feces, etc anything that may be used as shelter.
3. Keep outdoors clean:
Keep the surroundings clean including the hutch and litter box of the pet. Remove the outdoor clutter where rats can hide.
4. Seal up holes:
A rat can fit through a gap of about 20-25 millimeters and a younger rat fit even in a smaller space. So inspect your rabbit’s hutch for any point of access and seal it with non-toxic sealant.
The key points are rabbits do attract rats but a proper cleaning on daily basis can keep them away. A rat can attack smaller rabbits and their offspring but doesn’t try to fight bigger ones so there is a danger from rats. They just want to eat the residual of the rabbit’s food that attracts a rat most due to their acute sense of smell. So it is better to take precautionary actions to keep rats away from your pet rabbits to prevent attacks and infections.