Cats for Rat Control: Can Fluffy Keep the Rats Away?
The NPMA just released groundbreaking research regarding cats and rodents. People hoping that their feline friend will keep the rats away may be disappointed with the results. It turns out that unless you can find a “ninja cat”, your house pet(s) aren’t as effective as previously thought.
If we’ve learned anything from Tom & Jerry growing up (other than excessive cartoon violence), it’s that cats and rodents don’t get along. And those of us with outdoor cats have probably been greeted by the trophies of their rodent victories on our front steps. But if you’re hoping that your furry friends will be an effective tool for killing or controlling the rats in your home, you might want to reconsider!
*Just a note here, we are speaking about rats, NOT mice. Your cat(s) are generally more effective at mice abatement, provided you don’t overfeed them their regular food.
Should You Use Cats for Rat Control?
New research from the National Pest Management Association dispels the long-thought myth that cats control rat infestations:
- Researchers observed hundreds of encounters between feral cats and rat colonies over a five-month timeframe. They studied the encounters with cameras and microchipping. Over the course of the study, less than one percent of the encounters resulted in a rat being killed.
- And while rats were less likely to be seen on the day of or day after an encounter, they eventually returned.
- Overall, the presence of the cats had no observable impact on the rat populations. Therefore, cats for rat control isn’t as effective a method as we all may have thought.
What Should You Use Instead of Cats for Rat Control?
Instead of encouraging Fluffy to hunt down that rascally rat you saw scurrying through the kitchen, try checking out our rodent control tips. And as always, please feel free to reach out to us with any pest problems!