Does A Cat Really Keep Mice Away – A Tip For Owners – FAQcats.com

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Many people talk about cats as natural deterrents. If you own a cat, chances are that at some point you received a “gift” made from its last hunt. With some cats that might be a leaf or a bug, but other cat owners are used to being presented with mice, rats and other small animals from their successful hunters.

So, does a cat really keep mice away? Yes, cats will keep mice away. Cats will actively hunt mice, rats and other rodents. The smell of a cat in the house makes it less likely that a mouse will move in.

But hunting isn’t the only way cats can keep mice away from the house. Many suburban pet owners also say that their cat’s scent will keep mice away, or that the fact that their cat does not have giving them a dead mouse is proof of their effectiveness. Let’s explore a few ways cats keep mice away.

How cats hunt mice

Indoor cats love chasing laser pointers, insects, and just about anything that moves. Mice are no exception. If your cat sees a mouse, chances are she’s showing her natural hunting prowess and springing into action.

It’s not uncommon to see a cat chasing a mouse on the floor, suddenly becoming alert when it hears a mouse rustle, or hitting a mouse’s favorite hiding place.

But, contrary to popular belief, most indoor cats do not kill mice.

That doesn’t mean they won’t kick him out of the house.

You see, indoor cats already have access to all the food and water they need if properly cared for. There’s not much reason for them to eat a mouse, especially if they’ve never eaten one before.

Their instinct tells them to hunt mice, just like they hunt other moving objects and animals. But they do not necessarily realize that the mouse represents a possible meal. It’s more like a living toy. Interesting, great fun, but that’s about it.

However, if your indoor cat accidentally kills a mouse or injures it in a way it can taste, chances are it does so frequently. Once cats know they have a tasty meal on their hands, they are more likely to want to repeat the experience.

But, indoor cats might not be very neat eaters, so you might have a bit of a mess behind you. Some cats even develop a preference for certain parts, so you might always find the same type of leftovers.

Indoor/outdoor cats and working cats

Of course, not everyone keeps their cats indoors. Although it is recommended that you keep your cats indoors at all times, unless they are barn or farm cats, we know this does not always happen.

Cats that spend a reasonable amount of time outdoors are generally better hunters and are more likely to kill and eat their prey, even if they have access to plenty of food and water.

If you see any leftovers from these cats, chances are they’re getting rid of more mice than they can eat, or saving food for a rainy day.

Does Cat Smell Really Keep Mice Away?

Yes. A cat’s scent makes any area less desirable for mice. You’ll see fewer mice in general, and you’ll be less likely to get infested with mice if you have cats.

But just the smell won’t completely keep mice away. Even households with cats will occasionally see a mouse move in, simply because there are a lot of benefits for a mouse to live in your home. For one thing, it’s warmer and they’re more likely to have access to reliable, high-quality, high-calorie foods.

Homes with cats are also a bit safer than being out in the wild 24/7. A cat is a dangerous predator. But the houses are not threatened by owls, snakes and other predators.

Some places are more likely to develop a mouse infestation than others, even with a cat:

  • All rooms that your cat does not have access to
  • Storage rooms, especially with loose paper, fabric, and other clutter
  • Rooms on the first floor or in the basement
  • Any room in winter
  • Pieces that often contain crumbs and other loose food

If you want your cat to deter mice, make sure they have access to your entire home and try not to leave food (including their cat food) loose. Leaving a cat in a room is a bad idea if you want to keep mice away.

Why do cats play with mice?

Hunting is probably as close to “fun” as your cat gets. While we don’t know what emotion exactly Encourages your cat to play, chase and hit things, it looks like he’s having fun while he’s doing it.

And they’re probably feeling something like amusement or pleasure, because those emotions are great evolutionary encouragement to do things that tend to keep you alive.

For cats, who are apex predators (despite the small size of most domestic cats), hunting is the best thing they can do to stay alive. It keeps them in shape, provides them with calories and hydrates them every time they take a catch.

This is important since the modern house cat is descended from desert cats. That’s why they don’t have a strong instinct to drink water. For thousands of years, cats got almost all the hydration they needed directly from their food.

Hunting gives cats a chance to exercise all of their mental and physical talents. Since most house cats don’t tend to be hungry or thirsty, there isn’t much motivation to stop “playing” and get to work.

Essentially, a mouse is more valuable to most house cats as a fun and stimulating toy than as a meal.

This is also why some cats seem disappointed if they accidentally kill a mouse or insect they are playing with. They are disappointed because a dead mouse is much less stimulating than a living one.

This doesn’t mean you should give your cat mice as toys. Not only is this unnecessarily cruel to the mouse, but you never know when someone might run off and move into your home.

You also cannot rely on a healthy wild mouse. The feeder mice you can get at the store are much better for the lizards and snakes they are intended for than for your cat.

Why do cats bring you mice or dead animals

One thing you’ve probably wondered if you’ve ever received a trophy from your cat’s recent hunt is “Why”?

There are a few theories about this. The most common is that your cat tries to feed you. Even though you provide most (if not all) of their food, your cat doesn’t see you hunting and killing, so they don’t fully understand where their food comes from.

Some experts even think that your cat might try to teach you what food really is, like they would a kitten. This also explains why your cat may bring you a still alive but injured mouse or other animal. They do the same to teach kittens to hunt, gradually increasing the difficulty of the hunt until the kittens can hunt and kill their prey on their own.

Others think cats brag and like to receive praise for their hard work. This could explain why some cats show you captured animals, but don’t let go, and away from you as soon as you recognize them.

They don’t give you so much food in this situation. Instead, they show off their skills.

Note: dead mice left in the house are not considered trophies. Your cat just isn’t bothered by them and doesn’t understand that you might be.

Will getting a cat cure a mouse infestation?

Most cats won’t immediately chase away an entire nest of mice. If you have a lot of mice, you may want to invest in traps in addition to a cat. Avoid poison, as it moves up the food chain and can injure predatory birds and other large and beautiful wildlife.

But your cat can eliminate infestations over time, with full access and time to work.

However, the best cats for eliminating mice are working cats and outdoor cats, so your indoor cat might not be as effective.

If you decide to adopt a working cat, don’t necessarily expect them to be very affectionate or give you a lot of attention. Most working cats are less socialized than indoor cats. This makes them more effective at eliminating mice, but less likely to benefit from a good hug.

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