I own 2 pet rats, and recently I just adopted a kitten into the same household, although they are in different areas of the house, separated from each other. However even without having seen the kitten, my rats have become frightened and have stopped being playful. I don't know what to do.
I don't exactly want them to 'coexist' I just want my rats to be able to live the same life they did when the kitten wasn't there.
I don't know if there is much you can do. I think it depends very much on the animals in question. I know that it can work, though.
When I was a kid, I had a couple rats. It was amazing how different their personalities were. One was always gregarious (Ollie); the other shy (Stan). Our cat at the time (Fred) had almost zero prey instinct. All those personality traits seemed hard-wired and not likely to change.
If Ollie managed to escape from the cage, we'd send the cat to go find him (we kept Fred confined overnight). Like a drug dog, Fred would trot around, then sit down in front of the piece of furniture where Ollie was hiding. Fred wasn't about to pounce -- just curious. Ollie wasn't afraid -- just disappointed that we were going to put him back in the cage.
I think alot has to do with how prey-driven your kitten is. Good luck...
I had a kitten that i found as a stray and i also had 5 hamsters and i always kept the door closed because the top of the hamster cage was open but one day i didnt close the door and i walked in to find my kitten sleeping on the cage floor and 5 little hamster cuddled up next to her..it was so cute...Maybe the rats smell your cat so try washin ur hands before going to see your rats
"Men are like slinkys useless and fun to push down the steps!"
Let me assure you even if you did not own the cat your rats will smell the cat on you. Even after a shower or two. Also if this were a young kitten and you have several rats they would kill the kitten given the chance. Although their first instinct would be to flee from it. Being that the rats are in a caged environment they can only flee so far. If this cat were to invade their safe spot they would turn and attack as a group and kill it. But if monitored extremely closely they could be taught to co-exist over time. I have a mutt that was raised on a farm hunting such animals as rats and rabbits and such, when she first came to her new home she went after my rats and I taught her other wise now they will sleep together like they came from the same liter.