Saturday, March 31, 2012

Can budgies and rats live in the same household?

A couple of days ago, one of my collegues asked me if I could babysit her two rats while she's on holidays. I told her that it shouldn't be a problem. However, I read some scary stuff online about rats attacking, killing and eating budgies. What?!

No matter how tame some pet rats are, they will always act on their instinct. Apparently there have been quite a few incidents where rats bite budgies through the cage bars. Their nose and teeth are narrow enough to bite off toes, etc. This kind of wound causes serious infections and might result in death. It is also said that rats will attack pretty much any small critters. Other sources claim that rats aren't known for killing birds, just for eating their eggs.

Photo © World in my eyes

A few people claim that it's safe, as long as you don't leave them alone, or if you just keep the rats in the cage. The picture above is really sweet, but it's naive to think that rats will not attack the budgies. So if the rats and the budgies are out together that week, it will be under strict supervision by me and Erlend.

Answer: sadly no, unless you are there to keep an eye on the rats while they are out of the cage.

Other posts in this series:
Can budgerigars and cats live together?
Can budgerigars and canaries live together?
Can budgerigars and lovebirds live together?
Can budgerigars and cockatiels love together?


  1. I have confidence. If Woody and Buzz managed to become buddies for life, I don't see why we can't bring these two species together ^_^

    Let's just not take any chances :P

  2. I have read so, so many stories of unhappy encounters with pet rats and pet birds (of any kind) that it's not worth the risk. There was one story on a LiveJournal group where the rat pulled the bird through the bars, oh I was so sick and felt so bad for the person. Sometimes parrots can be overconfident and not realize danger.

  3. Please don't ever try to introduce the two. We got our two budgies and two rats young and at the same time; naively I believed that they could become friends. Initially we only had them out at the same time but when I they seemed to show an interest in each other I decided to let the rats wonder into the cage whilst the birds were out sitting on their favourite spot on the cupboard. They would fly down onto the cage and fly off again when a rat got too close, stupidly I thought this was part of their process of forming a friendship. Little did I know that actually what I was allowing was a death trap for my birds and yesterday after having left the room for 10 minutes I heard my poor pixie screaming and fluttering, I had to grab scamp the rat off her body. The bite killed her and I feel awful, so I urge anyone who thinks they could become friends to understand that they just can't irrelevant of how tame the rats are :'(

  4. it s wrong beacuse i have 11 budgies and 4 females all female has their own babies in her nest one day i heard sound of budgie when i see her its leg was in blood and she is bitted by a rat so i kept my all budgies inside a room but next morning all 11 budgies are severely injured out of 11 two budgies are died

  5. My 2 budgies legs were bitten by a rat and both survived only 2 days ..the wound got infected . Pl keep cage in safe place as the poor birds are vulnerable to deadly rats..