Temple officials in India fear that ultrasonic rat repellents will disturb the gods’ sleep

NEWS AND OPINION-JAGANNATH TEMPLE, INDIA: For me, this is an interesting clash between religious belief and practicalities. And in passing it is about cats! The 12th century Jagannath Temple in eastern India is revered by Hindus. It is a pilgrimage site. It is beloved and a very important temple.

Temple officials in India fear that ultrasonic rat repellents will disturb the gods but CATS are ineffective in getting rid of them

Temple officials in India fear that ultrasonic rat repellents will disturb the gods but CATS are inffective in getting rid of them. Image: MikeB at PoC

But it is under attack from pesky rats. They have invaded this holy site in the city of Puri and chewed up fabrics such as the silk and cotton garments of the deities which are housed in the temple.

Sacrilegious I would say. The temple administrators have been offered ultrasonic rat-repellent devices to get rid of the rats. But they’ve been rejected on the grounds that the sound which is inaudible to humans would disturb the gods’ sleep at night. Note: some people can in fact hear ultrasonic sound and therefore these devices.

To compound the problem, they can’t kill the rats because Lord Jagannath abhors cruelty to living beings.

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And because of that, they decided to try and trap them and remove them but it proved ineffective.

There was one last option, using cats to kill the rats is permitted because it is nature at work. It is part of the food chain.

And this is where that big debate comes into play. Can domestic cats kill rats? Do they deter rats effectively?

The truth of the matter is that rats are very aggressive predators themselves. They can harm cats. Cats are aware of this. It depends upon the cat’s character but many will simply look at a rat scuttle by an even retreat from them.

Some may attack them and deter them but the old adage that domestic cats kill rats is sadly inaccurate and this final throw of the dice in getting rid of these rodents does not have a certain outcome.

As a consequence, they decided to erect steel grilles around the gods to deter the rats. It seems that they don’t mind the rats in the building but they cannot accept the garments of the gods being eaten which is entirely understandable.

Below are some articles about the abilities of domestic cats to kill rats which may interest you.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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