The ‘extremely heavy’ rodent was one of many that plagued a farm in Northumberland – now cats have been brought in to help
Kate Moore, from Northumberland, is almost used to encountering hundreds of rats during the winter months – and some, like the one pictured, can be HUGE.
The 30 year-old, who works for a mental health charity and as a freelance make-up artist, explains: “Myself and my daughter both own horses and have them on a farm.
“We don’t tend to get rats through the summer, however in winter time there are hundreds.
“They usually build their nests underground and tunnel under the muck heap, which is insulated. Last winter they were particularly bad.
“They were everywhere and would run over your feet as you were bringing the horses in from the field. They just didn’t care.”
She describes the one in the photo as “male and extremely heavy.”
Kate is a self-confessed animal-lover, concerned with their welfare. But the health risks posed by rats have prompted her to draw a line.
“Because they carry diseases we can’t have them running over our hay or horse feed as we can catch something they’re carrying.
The mum-of-one has had to weigh up what the most efficient AND humane solution is to the rat infestation, revealing that poison is a slow a painful death.
Kate continued: “We own a Jack Russell terrier which is bred for this job. However, he is a little softy and ran away from the slightest rustle!”
Kate’s way of dealing with the rats has been, in fact, a positive outcome of the problem – she’s been able to save the lives of several cats.
“We have now got about seven cats on the farm. We got feral cats from vets, which were about to be put down due to their lack of sociability.
“The vet spayed and neutered them so they couldn’t reproduce.
“They live in the barn and get cat food once a day but their main job is to hunt. We haven’t seen a rat since they arrived.”