Animals that eat rats include birds of prey such as eagles, hawks and owls. Rats are also eaten by snakes, weasels, wolves, coyotes, foxes and other canines. Cats, including wildcats, and raccoons also eat rats.
Even though they are prey to a variety of animals, and humans kill and even eat them in great numbers, rats continue to be abundant because of the highly evolved senses that allow them to evade danger and maintain their high reproductive rate. Following a 22-day gestation and birth, a female rat can start having babies when she's a little over a month old. The female brown rat is capable of giving birth to litters of between six and 10 baby rats as many as seven times a year, and she continues until she's about a year and a half old.
Another reason why rats are so successful is their adaptability. Though they originated in Asia, rats thrive wherever there is a food source and are hardy enough to endure long sea voyages where they're transported from one continent to another.
Rats are omnivores and eat just about anything that's edible, but their preferred diet consists of eggs and crops such as corn and potatoes.