What could be eating dead rats in my trap?

Hi there,
Have had 2 incidences now where my tunnel trap has been dragged a few metres down a track and I have found a partly eaten rat with its head still in the trap. Could this just be another rat? Or could I be dealing with a stoat? I know rats will eat other rats but I am not sure they are strong enough to drag the whole tunnel? Any thoughts? Catches were both in a gully in Hamilton City

Even if a large rat or stoat was strong enough to pull a tunnel, I doubt that they could with their small paws. The odds are very, very high that cats are responsible.

Try to find some rocks and/or heavy logs nearby to anchor your tunnels from the outside. If there’s room inside the tunnel, a few rocks or a piece of a broken brick would help.



Almost certainly cats. I have seen them doing it on my trailcam.


I was about to post my question and searched before asking. Your post is very timely.

I’m using T-Rex traps in wood tunnels that are quite heavy. Over that past year, I’ve had rat catches that only caught a leg (or both). The T-Rex Trap was pulled to the entrance, and all that was left was the legs and a tendon or two. I assumed that it was probably the neighborhood cats or wekas that benefited from the protein in their diet. The traps had not been moved.

Today, I thought one of my tunnels had been nicked since it was gone. I searched the area and found it about four meters away up a slight incline. The rat was large, and I’m confident the kill was instant and humane since the trap had sprung and closed just behind the neck. I’ll attach a photo.

I accept the possibility that it was a cat (large very strong cat :slight_smile: ) that may have dragged the tunnel, and I’ll place a rock on top to add weight. What I don’t understand is how the cat may have gotten to the rat at the far end of the tunnel - long arm perhaps.

I suspect that they probably put their paws in to grab the tail and pull from there?

It’s cats, I see it all the time up here.

I have had the trapped rat eaten in the Doc200 so not cats in these traps. Not ripped apart either but chewed so most likely a cannibal rat or stoat.

I have definitely had cats scavenge the rats caught in my wooden tunnels here numerous times, but I have not had a cat drag a tunnel. Rat I don’t think can do that, Stoat maybe but a Ferret could. I once had all four of my wooden tunnels back mesh doors taken off to get the eggs by a Ferret. That took strength & cunning to do that. The wooden tunnels had modified Victor traps in them for Weasels & Stoats. To drag a wooden tunnel up an incline would also take strength