Enemies and Predators of Rats

In urban dwellings, the rat's primary enemy is the human. Although some cultures revere rats, these rodents are best known for their destructive behaviors and the ability to transmit deadly diseases to humans. As such, extermination of rat populations is extremely important. Effective extermination plans may include the use of exclusion, baits, traps and professionally administered techniques.

Domestic cats also prove a menace to rats. More commonly mouse predators, domesticated felines are likely to pursue and attack rodents when they are discovered within the home.

Outdoors, rats face a variety of predators. In these environments, large birds of prey — including hawks, falcons and owls — feed regularly on rodents. Owls are particularly formidable predators, as their nocturnal behavior ensures that they are most active when rats go out in search of food. Various snake species also prey upon rats.