We all know that cats and rats hate each other, but just how far does this animosity go, and can a cat keep rats out of the home? Let’s find out.

How cats deter rat infestations

Even a lazy cat is good at keeping rats out of the home. This is because cats release pheromones that are terrifying to rats, and when rats sense these pheromones, they will try to avoid the area as much as possible. However, if the rats are in dire straits, where they are really desperate for food or shelter, they will take the risk and try to move in despite the presence of the cat. Still, having a cat as an extra deterrent will make most rats think twice before infesting your home.

Standard prevention methods

If you don’t have a cat, or if you do have a cat and would like to lower the odds of an infestation even more, there are few things that you can do. Rats enter the home looking for water, shelter and food, so to prevent an infestation, you will have to make sure that the rats do not have access to any of these. You will also want to make sure that you seal up all the gaps and cracks on the exterior walls of the home so that the rats cannot gain access.

Can cats control a rat infestation?

Once the rats are set up in the home, a cat will do little to help. While cats are prolific predators, rats have a very rapid reproductive cycle, and their numbers will quickly outmatch the capacity of the cat to kill rats. As such, you will have to rely on classic control methods to remove an infestation.

Traps and baits are as effective as always, and each of them are used in different scenarios. Traps are best used for small to medium infestations, because they kill rats quickly and they hold their bodies in place. Poisons on the other hand are very effective against larger infestations, because the rats will eat them and die one by one. However, the big problem with poisons is that they will leave dead rats all over the place, and the bodies can be sometimes difficult to remove.

If you would like to know more about how Norway rat infestations are prevented and controlled, or if you currently have an infestation in the home, contact us today.