Will indoor cats kill mice? Is it really true that indoor cats will get rid of mice? Or they are so used to having their food taken care of that not only will not chance a mouse, but if they do, the final result is that they will become playmates? Or cats will do their job?
Indoor cats may not be skilled hunters and thus will not kill mice. Most indoor cats have the food problem already solved for them and are not used to hunting. However, some indoor cats (and specific breeds) have a more pronounced hunting instinct and hunt and kill mice.
Let’s see how indoor cats can react if they see a mouse entering their territory.
DO CATS EAT RATS OR JUST KILL THEM?
Instinctively cats are hunters. They will chase mice, birds, and anything that enter their territory that dares to move. However, this is particularly true for feral cats, stray cats, outdoor cats, and any cat used to hunt to survive.
Those cats that humans feed may know how to hunt and still do it out of the fact that, after all, they are still cats. If a cat is starving will also eat a mouse, although cats prefer to hunt birds and other small animals.
But, skilled hunters can eat pretty much anything and can go after mice, moles, snakes, rabbits, squirrels, and anything else. Cats are fast and silent. Mice and other small mammals have mo chances to survive a cat attack.
Although a human can think that eating a rat is disgusting, cats may not believe the same, and they will eat it if they have to. However, if a cat kills a rat, you will find cats giving it a bite or two and then leaving.
DO CATS SCARE AWAY RATS?
Cats do scare away rats. Possibly this is the best pest control. Your cat doesn’t have to eat the rats or mice as far as they stay away from your house. The sole presence of one or more cats can be enough to keep the rodents away.
Cats have served the purpose of keeping mice aways since they exist. Rats and mice are very active at night, and so are cats. Cats can see well with very little light and can chase and hunt mice, ideally during the dark.
Rats can perceive the presence of cats due to the smell, sometimes even through the smell of cats’ urine. Therefore, cats used to mark their territory by spraying around. Only this act can be effective in keeping some rodents away.
Surprisingly, cats may not be that interested after all to chase rats or even kill them. But, they may act if mice or rats dare to come close to them or into their territory. The other problematic situation can occur when a rat grows considerably.
In that case, cats can decide to ignore them and move to more approachable targets.
WILL INDOOR CATS KILL MICE?
Indoor cats are a different piece of cake. If you have a cat that grew indoors and is used to getting food from you, the hunting instinct can be a bit rusty. On the other hand, you can have a cat that still will chase a mouse but maybe not kill it or eat it.
Different cat breeds can be more prone to hunt and kill their prey regardless of their indoor status. But, in my experience of owning several indoor cats, they will be happy to chase bugs and sometimes eat them, but if they see bigger animals, the story can be different.
So far, I have seen my cats obsessing over mosquitoes, spiders, and other bugs that dared enter the house. I had to stop one of my cats from ingesting a spider just because I ate it. But, the other cat is pretty lazy and would not run behind everything.
In general, indoor cats can go as far as to stalk an intruder, growl, and hiss, possibly become entertained for a while, but that is all. So I would not be surprised if you saw your cat suddenly becoming even friends with a tiny mouse.
The only good point can be that your cat can act as a deterrent because mice are afraid of cats. But, I would not rely on a house cat to kill mice unless you have a cat that has already demonstrated hunting skills.
WILL MICE LEAVE IF THEY SMELL A CAT?
If you have an indoor cat that will not help actively chase mice, you can still count on the fear of mice for cats. A mouse has a good sense of smell, and they can spot pheromones and understand that they better go away.
The pheromones can travel to the mouse’s brain and stimulate emotions, such as fear. For example, the smell of cat urine can send a direct message to the mouse to go away. Likewise, a predator can scare rats and mice off like a cat or even a dog.
If you have mice problems, only using cats may not be enough. You have to use other methods with cats to resolve the issue. With cats, you never know if they will do their job and hunt or if they lay back and don’t care.
Some mice can be so hungry that they do not care about any predator and still would come into the house if they see the chance of getting food. But, in general, the only presence of a cat can be enough to stop mice from coming near the house.
SHOULD YOU “RENT” A CAT TO KILL MICE?
If you want to use a cat to get rid of your mice problems or simply reduce the mice population, you could adopt one at the local shelter. But, of course, you can always find a cat that requires a loving home.
You can select a cat known to have some hunting skills or that at least has spent some time in the streets and had to learn how to get food. Despite the heading of this section that said “to rent” a cat, you still have to make a life commitment.
Once you adopt a cat, you have to take responsibility to care for him, feed him and provide vet care when necessary. On the other side, many campaigns have been promoted in several countries to place cats in areas of the city overpopulated with mice.
And they have worked in almost all cases. True, not all cats will hunt mice, but the presence of cats is still instrumental in keeping rodents away.
WHICH BREEDS OF CATS ARE KNOWN TO BE GOOD HUNTERS?
If you want a cat that hunts down mice, you have to go for breeds known to have a particular instinct in hunting their prey. Some of those breeds are:
Look into those breeds of cats to see which one fits your personality better, and at the same time can help you to keep your house free of intruders.
MY CAT KILLED A MOUSE WILL HE GET SICK?
If your cat killed a mouse and he has eaten it, there is the possibility that he can get a disease from it. Sometimes, if a mouse is infected and bites or scratches your cat during the fight, it is possible that a disease can be transmitted.
This is why it is essential that your cat gets vaccinated against the most important and common diseases and that you deworm him routinely. Some of the diseases that your cat get from a mouse are:
- Plague Bacteria
- Rodenticide Toxicity
There can be even more diseases affecting your cat. However, a cat’s digestive system is made in a way to filter and eliminate a lot of bad things ingested. Therefore, it is difficult to see a cat sick because of eating a mouse because of the cat’s strong stomach.
If you see your cat eating a mouse, and after having symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, you should contact the vet and get assistance.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will mice Stay away if you have cats?
In general, mice will stay away if you have a cat unless they are so hungry and are after your food so much that they do not care if they die in the attempt to be killed by your cat.
Can a house cat kill a mouse?
A house cat can kill a mouse. But not all house cats are interested in chasing a mouse, much less killing one. Some house cats will go as far as stalking and playing around with a mouse. It depends on the cat.
Can cats sense mice in the house?
Cats can sense mice in the house. They can see in the dark and sense movement, even from very tiny insects. Cats can feel things that humans can’t yet see or sense. Even the odors emanating from a mouse moving at a great distance can be detected from a cat.
Do cat meows scare mice?
Cat’s meow does scare mice. Mice can hear meows from far away, becoming afraid and running away. In addition, they have a way to alert the rest of the mice and make them run away as well.