Getting Rid of Rats Around Rabbits?

Rats love to find families that have outside pets giving them a good source of easy to get food. Care must be taken to rid yourself of the rats without harming your rabbits, chickens, or other pets. This is a page about getting rid of rats around rabbits.

February 1, 2015

I keep my rabbits inside my shed, to my horror I have seen either a rat or mouse. What's the best solution, as I don't want my rabbits to be affected by poisons?

By Kim


February 2, 20152 found this helpful
Best Answer

According to Mother Earth News, rats and mice have a one-way digestive system so they don't burp. I read in the 70's about this trick. Put a lid of soda down and they drink it and the pressure gets them. They are easier to discard, too.

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July 8, 2012

I have a big shed in my garden and my 2 pet rabbits live in it. I saw a big rat in it one day. I have put poison in there, but the rat keeps moving the carton and I don't know if it's eating any. Also today there were rat dropping in my rabbit's run. I am scared they will harm my pets. Can you please help.


By Patsy


July 9, 20120 found this helpful

For God's sake "never" use poison products near any animal. The Rats may be eating the poison you have left for them but if they have access to the Rabbits pen and leave their "droppings" this can be a huge problem. Have you considered removing "all" poison and replacing with two Cats? Good luck.

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July 9, 20120 found this helpful

Please don't subject any cats to rats! Rats can kill a cat, especially if the cats can't escape! Think of the weight of a rat compared to a normal cat - about half or more! Now to the rats. You don't say what kind of rats. There are 'Roof Rats' that live high up in sheds, barns, etc. and there are Norway rats that live down on the ground and dig burrows.


Remember, like a mouse, rats can get through any hole, if they can get their heads thru, so look for where they are getting in at and put 'strong Hardware cloth' over those holes. Since they can dig holes (I've seen plenty in horse's stalls), you'll have to reinforce the shed floor with metal of some type.

Those rats found a smorgasbord in rabbit food (actually, they'll eat most anything) and they aren't giving up easily. You've got to enclose your rabbits with metal, just like if you had a chicken coop to keep varmints out. Put the rabbits food in secure metal cans, too. Also, rats carry diseases and/or rabies. (Information from hubby, who is an exterminator 30+ years)

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June 24, 20160 found this helpful

Hi im salisha from trinidad an tobago .i have huge problems with rats in my back yard were i have my chickens ans ducks they are destroying all of my eggs they come into the coup to eat the feed and the eggs im fed up i try rat poison but they keep on coming . when a set dies a new set jus keep on coming right back ..please help

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June 29, 20190 found this helpful

hi i have a bunny in a pen but has a quarter size hole in the wire i put around his pen now and is wood and a little less then an inch between boards is it safe to leave him outside as i live in alberta and suppose to be rat free but my neighbor saw she thinks is a cotton rat would rat traps work or would poison be better to kill them and does those electronic devices to kill them and i saw that pop can kill them too is that true thanks for answering denise

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July 6, 20190 found this helpful

Where theres food, theres rats, and they will attack and bite your bunnies. We have wild bunnies and I caught on camera a rat biting a new baby bunny and kept trying to attack it. The mom bunny was trying to guard her baby, so we went and saved the baby bunny.


The poor baby had a bite above its eye and one on his little foot. Not sure why your bunnies are kept in a shed, theyd love to be inside with you. Rats are opportunist and will attack anything, dont chance it.

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July 26, 20190 found this helpful

you a good cat maybe a ginger tom will get get rid of rats . Just don't overfed it.

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August 18, 2018

I have three rabbits, which I let run around freely, but this has led the rats to come. They pooped everywhere and even bite the car's wire, which caused us a huge amount of money. Recently we called pest control and they left a lot of poison here and there.


I am now forced to cage my rabbits up. What should I do if I would like to let my rabbits run freely, without attracting these rats?


August 18, 20180 found this helpful

Rats and mice have an inability to burp. Put lids of soda around. They will drink and die.

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August 18, 20180 found this helpful

This article has a lot of good points and tips. I am more of the anti kill (the soda method is cruel and poison is dangerous to everyone including bunnies and children and adults) and repel and prevent them person:

There are repel device that won't hurt the bunnies if managed properly. Keeping clean space helps too. It is a lot of work. But can rid your space of the pests and keep your bunnies safe.


Good luck!!

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August 18, 20181 found this helpful

I live on an island and next to a river. I have rats and mice problems most of the time here because there is nobody around me. I finally had to invest in a rat trap to get rid of them. I just added peanut butter to some bread and put it inside the trap. The rats go in and are trapped inside. You can normally get around 6 rats at a time.

How you dispose of them is up to you. I normally end up taking the trap to the river and putting it inside to drown the rats in the trap. We have river eels in the river who love to feast on them so I feed them to the eels. This makes it easier for me and I don't need to dig a hole and bury them or find them dead laying around the yard.

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August 18, 20180 found this helpful

unfortunately rats are a bane whenever you have yard pets. All the folks I know who have had backyard chickens have had to deal with rats. IN one situation it was so dire you could see them running across the yard at night, 10's of them at a time!

I would say the best option would be a predator - a cat. Hopefully one that learned to ignore the cats. Actually a better option is a rat terrier, either get/adopt one or hire a ratter service (they're not common but they exist) :

I am rpetty sure a dog would be easier to train to NOT go after the rabbits than a cat, and their ability to kill rats is legendary. Just having the dog around after he kills them all will be a future deterrent

i see no other better solution, barring risking killing you and your pets or making it your second job to put, monitor, and mess with traps (literally second job: probably 10 to 20 hours a week at this, for the rest of your life)

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August 22, 20180 found this helpful

Sad but I believe your bunnies are doomed to spend their lives in cages as almost anything that is a deterrent to rats is also bad for rabbits as many people are trying to rid their yards of wild rabbits as well as rats.

You will also have to be careful with what type of cages you build as rats will gnaw a hole in almost anything if they are after food.

Maybe the suggestion to get a rat terrier dog makes more sense than anything else.

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My husband has been feeding carrots to the wild bunnies for a few years. We have a big overgrown field where bulls and cows were and they kept the field kind of short. We now have field rats we want to get rid of without hurting our wild bunnies. What to do?


July 29, 20190 found this helpful

Rats cannot burp. Put a lid of soda down The rabbits wont be harmed.

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July 29, 20190 found this helpful

Your area looks so peaceful.

Rats are a huge nuisance. Our house backs to a townhouse complex that has large trash bins and several summers ago between their garbage issues and us feeding the birds we had a rat problem. They were coming into our yard and feeding and starting to build homes.

We did lots and lots of research and had professionals tell us there are two ways to get rid of them. Totally eliminate all food sources and/or trap and remove/kill. They recommend a combo of both. We were told that no trap (even the humane ones)/kill program can guarantee that it won't harm other creatures. They refused to put that in writing.

Our solution was we talked to the managers of the townhouses and they got lids on their dumpsters and we stopped feeding the birds.

You may also need to look around the property for other food sources (we had a lot of wild berries and such that we pulled out) and try to get those cleaned up.

Also close off any nesting grounds--we learned during this ordeal that there was a gap under the back of our shed where they had started nests or borrows or whatever they call their living places. That all had to be cleaned out and closed off (luckily there were no babies in there and we caught it early as I could not bear to be a baby rat killer.)

After all of this work and changes, within a few weeks the problem critters had gone away.

I hated kicking the can down the road so to speak, but I could not in good conscious risk hurting other creatures to get rid of the rats.

Truthfully, as much as I hate rats, I also did not feel good about killing them either. Oh, the other thing they (the exterminators we contacted) is that sometimes the rats spring the trips, get the poison (if you go that route), get out of the trap and die on your property. They warned of the stench and the flies. OMG...that set me over the edge. NO THANK YOU!

We took the high road, and if you do so, sadly, this will mean your hubby will need to stop feeding the wild bunnies and you will need to do some other clean up work around your property.

I hope you can find a happy medium and eventually that he can care for the wild bunnies after the rats go away.

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July 29, 20190 found this helpful

Oh my, I just read there was another suggestion to use soda. This is totally my opinion and my morals....but I beg you not to go that route for 3 reasons (we asked about this when we had our problem).

1. It attracts ants and that is a whole other issue.

2. If it works (some exterminators said it did, some said it didn't) that if it does work you will have rat carcasses all over your yard and that can cause its own set of issues.

3. While it is killing them it is a very painful and inhumane death. I could not do that to any animal, but that is just me.

Problem creatures, absolutely. Not in my yard, yep, I am a NIMBY with that NOT IN MY BACK YARD (N I M B Y), but there has to be a better way!

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September 24, 20190 found this helpful

What type of soda are you referring to.

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