Rats can be far more aggressive and courageous than modern domestic cats

The anti-cat brigade find any way to criticise domestic and feral cats. They condemn the cat for not even being able to perform their ancient historical role: to get rid of rats. Well back in those far flung days before Ancient Rome, the domestic cat was semi-feral and more like today’s African wildcat. They were able to cope with rats and snakes.

Courageous rat
Courageous rat sees off cat and dog. Screenshot.
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But the tables have turned. The rats have become more resilient and aggressive and the cats have become more domesticated and incapable of truly squaring up to brave urban rats. It must be to do with domestication. The cats have become soft and the tough life of survival for the rat has sharpened them up.

The video

Please (1) give it time to load – it may be slow and (2) please turn on the sound by clicking on the sound icon at bottom right of the video so you can hear this courageous rat…

This extraordinary video from Thailand tells the story. A large rat bravely faces a dog and a cat acting in tandem. The rat is far more aggressive and plucky than either the cat or dog. The dog is playing more than attacking and the cat is watching with interest but gets out of the way when the rat approaches.

It is the way the rat squeaks and charges at the dog, who is many times larger, which is so impressive. It is about character.

I have seen several videos of feral and domestic cats being nonplussed and frankly scared of rats. So grudgingly I have to conceded that domestic cats are not that good and sometimes thoroughly bad at getting rid of rats.

That’s not to say that often the presence of domestic cats helps to deter the presence of rats. That’s my assessment. So there is some use for domestic cats are rat catchers. Not so much ‘rat catchers’ more rat deterrents (sometimes).

Nowadays mice and voles are more the manageable size of prey for modern domestic cats. They can deal with mice nicely, thank you very much. It’s those damn warrior rats which are frankly terrifying.


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