Are rats dangerous to cats, dogs, or other pets?

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One thing you very rarely think about when you have a rat or mouse infestation in your home, is the damage it can do to your household pets. Once you have discovered that you need to replace all attic insulation, and whole electrical wiring sections need to be replaced, and that the exterior of your home has become damaged from these rodents gnawing and chewing their way through, your household pets are often the last of your concerns. The trouble with this, is that rats can pass many things to your animals, none of which you're going to want hanging around.

Before we start on why rats are dangerous to your pets, however, letís start at how YOU - the homeowner - could be putting your pets life in danger. Are you using poison to get rid of the rats, for example? If you are, you are definitely putting your petís life in danger. They can get access to the poison directly or, if the rat dies, your pets could find and gnaw / nibble at it. By doing this, they could accidentally become poisoned through secondhand poisoning.



Weíre sure thatís not what you want.

Aside from that, rats themselves carry no fewer than six dangerous diseases, all of which can be passed to humans, pets, and even other animals, such as rabbits or livestock. This is why you should always ensure that rats donít come into contact with your home or ANY of its members.

Fleas and ticks are some of the worst things to worry about when you have a rat infestation. They cling on to their rodent victims and are easily passed on to cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals. Ticks alone can pass on Lymeís disease, and fleas Ö well, the adults only make up one percent of their population, so you can understand why it is important to act fast if you see just one flea in your home or on your pets. There are over two hundred different types of flea found in the USA, and they can spread some rather nasty infections and parasites around. Q fever, tapeworms, tularemia, and rocky mountain spotted fever. The latter can be spread by both fleas and ticks, and can bring with it symptoms such as a rash, muscle aches and chills, vomiting and nausea, a fever, headaches, and more. That's just in the humans too - this can make your pets very sick indeed.

That's not all when it comes to rats, unfortunately. The urine and feces of the rats can often bring with them the threat of disease, leptospirosis, for example, and also rat bite fever, which can also be passed on via bites and scratches from an infected rodent. Salmonella is also easily passed on from rat to pet and human alike, and also hantavirus. This is airborne, and definitely not something you'll want in your home.

In short, rats are dangerous little animals, not just for humans, but for pets and other animals too. They infect animals far and wide with their disease, especially with the spread of ticks. Fleas aren't commonly found on rats so much, but still can happen. They're not clean animals, by any stretch of the imagination, although we're sure they don't mean to be quite so grubby. If you have rats in your home, getting them out should be your first priority. More than anything, they'll rile up your dogs and cats so they annoy you!

Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page.







If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at david@attic-rat.com