Cats are wonderful companions for a variety of reasons. They’re soft, cute and independent, and they have vivid personalities — the perfect pet for just about any household.
But some cat enthusiasts love their felines for different reasons — and one in particular is as old as time. Cats love chasing off mice!
The particulars — the how, the why and the how often — of the cat and mouse game can differ from individual to individual, but by and large every cat has a very particular set of skills, and they often deploy them against smaller and less welcome visitors — those of the rodent variety.
The Thrill of the Hunt
Cats have strong hunting instincts — like, really strong — that were bred-for over the last few thousand years, ever since cats started hanging around people in a big way. Cats are simply hard-wired to pursue things that give good chase.
However, cats don’t always eat their prey — in fact, this is fairly uncommon for domesticated cats. Rather than for food, the domesticated feline might give chase to rodents for a variety of reasons, including:
- It’s just fun! Cats love indulging their hunting instincts on a regular basis. It’s good exercise, and it keeps them alert.
- Cats sometimes bring back “trophies,” such as dead animals, because they’re trying to “teach” you how to hunt for yourself. It’s a service they provide for their own youngsters, but sometimes they feel we humans need a lesson as well!
Do Cats Eat Mice?
We’re all for a friendly game of cat and mouse, but things take a darker turn when we start asking questions about our cats’ intentions from here on out.
The good news is that the average cat isn’t actually that interested in eating the mice it chases. It’s more about the hunt itself rather than the dreaded coup de grâce.
Cats in the wild tend to be both more aggressive and more skilled hunters than their housebound friends, but they also don’t have the luxury of turning down a hot meal when they manage to secure one. What this means is that house cats will gladly give chase to mice and rodents, and sometimes wound them, but usually that’s as far as things go. Provided it has a reliable source of food and water, your cat might chase off mice in your area, but with any luck it won’t actually leave a bloody mess for you to clean up.
A Passive Defender?
So, “Will getting a cat get rid of mice?” The answer, it would seem, is yes. And it turns out this is true whether or not your cat is a particularly skilled hunter.
In other words, studies have shown that just the smell of cats on your property — even if they remain indoors year-round — might be enough to spurn mice for good.
Consider placing treats in areas of the house where you’d like your cat to step up its patrol — such as sections of the basement where you hear tiny, scurrying feet, for example. You’ll also get an added bonus: Your cat will leave its scent all over these areas, and that can be an excellent deterrent against future rodent incursions.
Of course, if your cat does happen to spend a lot of time outside, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also point out that cats that have a habit of chasing rodents, or that spend time outside on a daily basis, are more likely to contract various diseases than their more sedentary brethren. Make sure you familiarize yourself with any health concerns that are particular to your area, including fleas and ticks, and keep your cat’s vaccinations up-to-date.
Cat Not Pulling Its Weight?
Is your cat getting lazy on the job? Do you need a real Victor on your side to keep those tiny, scurrying feet at bay in your home? If so, stop by our mouse trap selection. We specialize in pet-safe, effective and easy-to-use pest control solutions — just the thing for the household with an apathetic feline!