Cat Befriends Rat After Owner Hoped It Would Get Rid of It

A cat has gone viral for befriending the huge rat living in its garden that it was originally supposed to hunt, leaving the internet in stitches.

In a video shared to Reddit on Monday by the cat’s owner, who goes by the username vladgrinch, the cat can be seen in the garden hugging the rodent, before proceeding to wash it and groom it, like a child.

The post, which has so far reached over 85,100 upvotes and 1,970 comments, also features a caption explaining the context: “When you get a cat hoping it will help you get rid of the big rat in your yard.”

A 2017 study found that domestic cats have played a big role in the extinction of at least 63 vertebrate species worldwide. But despite this record, new research shows that cats may actually not be very good at catching rats, or at least don’t want to be.

The study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, observed five feral cats interacting with rats for over two months and found that although the cats were around the rats daily, they only tried to kill them just three times, and only actually killed them twice .

Most users were amused by the kitten’s friendly behavior. One user, ROK247, commented: “Good news is you don’t have to worry anymore, they got an apartment together.” And kuehnchen7962 said: “Bad news: it’s your apartment and you need to move.”

Another user, lola1973lola pointed out: “That rat is being washed against its will!” Mrchuckbass answered: “Cat: Licks rat Rat: UNHAND ME IMMEDIATELY.” SBucks24 said: “It looks like it’s playfully batting him away going Stahp! Staaahp! Teehee,” and chriscrossnathaniel added: “That’s enough! I am squeaky clean now.”

Cbciv joked: “Congratulations on your new pet.” Iamnotroberts speculated: “The cat and rat are likely both pets of the person who filmed this.” And lXPROMETHEUSXl joked: “Hantavirus & bubonic plague unlocked.”

Another user, bettinafairchild pointed out: “That’s an extremely well-groomed rat.” And socialcommentary2000 explained: “It’s a fancy rat. Whole ecosystem of people that keep and breed them. That not so little one is well fed and well kept and is known to the cat. I’d bet any amount of money on it. Real street rats look and behave nothing like this. There’s a reason rats in the wild tend to be depicted as rough looking, because they usually are when living in the cracks and dark spaces around humans.”

This opened a debated on what species the rodent actually is. One user, Imakeuhthapizzapie said: “That is way too big and bulky to be a fancy rat; it is most likely a musk rat. Likely to prairie dogs, it’s not unreasonable that a first generation animal could be acclimated to captivity and socialized. But there is no way that’s a fancy rat; the skull is too round and the body too large.”

Stackleback1984 commented: “Nooo I’ve had fancy rats, and this one here is WAY too big to be a fancy rat! Not the same shape either.” And Imakeuhthapizzapie added: “I’m pretty sure it is a musk rat.”

Another user, GamerY7 joked: “they’re paid actors.” RadioActiveWife0926 answered: “Tom and Jerry.” And Timeywimey91 said: “This episode of Tom and Jerry is weird.”

Furinkazan616 asked: “Are cats less likely to attack musk rats?” And NerdyComfort-78 answered: “This is a baby. Adult muskrats will bite.”

ObiOneKenobae said: “They can, but I’ve met some sweeties too. Used to know one that would chill and let you pet it after you gave it a few cheerios. Ate right out of your hand. I would imagine you probably shouldn’ don’t touch or feed them though.” And joopitermae added: “To be fair, I would let you pet me if you gave me a few Cheerios.”

Renevwyk joked: “Maybe the cat is just washing his food.” And gumby1004 added: “You dirty rat…”

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A stock image shows a cat stalking a rat. A cat has gone viral for befriending the rat it was supposed to hunt, leaving the internet in stitches.
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