A family was horrified after a giant rat was found in the attic of their house.

The two-foot long rodent was living in the roof space of Brownsbarn Woods, near Citywest in Dublin. According to pest control workers Total Pest Control, it is one of the “bigger” rats caught recently.

Homeowner Grace Walters said she heard loud scratching sounds coming from the ceiling.

“We’re only after moving in to the estate. We heard a scratching noise in the ceiling which was followed by the really loud sound of wood being chewed,” she said.

“We rang a pest control company and they came out and put a camera in the attic to see what was going on and sure enough, the rat was there, hiding in a corner.

“They had to cut a hole in the ceiling to reach the rat and when they grabbed it out, none of us could believe how big it was — the size of a domestic cat.

“It’s quite scary to think that a rat can grow this big and strong, especially when you have kids in the house.”

Marcus Giusti of Total Pest Control captured and removed the rat alive.

“This is one of the biggest rats I’ve seen in my line of work, and a very dangerous animal to be in a house,” Giusti said.

“Lately we have been shocked at the size of rats and believe that the growing trend in the number of rats and their size could be down to household waste being dumped around estates and the climate warming.”

Last week a Swedish family found a 16-inch long rat in their kitchen.

It got into the house by chewing through brickwork and cement.