A cat is a natural predator for mice and other small rodents, but how effective are they at keeping mice away from your home and yard? In this post, we are going to forget what we have seen on Tom and Jerry, and consider whether or not a cat will keep mice away!
- Cat v Mouse – The Battle
- Recap Infographic – 7 Key Cat Skills That Help To Keep Mice Away
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Conclusion – Does Having a Cat Keep Mice Away?
Cat v Mouse – The Battle
I mentioned above that we will forget everything we have seen on Tom and Jerry. The relationship between cat and mouse is not the same!
When writing this post, I thought it would be an excellent idea to take a look to discuss the specific skills that a cat has to help keep your property mouse free. I wanted to take a look at what drives a cat, and what they enjoy doing. Then we will know whether or not a cat is good for keeping mice away.
Cats Are Hunters
Of all the domestic pets, cats are the best hunters. Dogs are good too, sure, but they tend to hunt in packs. Packs tend to alert the prey and may give them a chance to escape.
Cats are cunning, quiet, and they hunt alone. They are a hunting machine!
When my cat is out catching birds and mice, I know exactly what he is doing. It is like he puffs out his chest as he prowls the area looking for clues and evidence of mice invasion. As soon as he notices something, he hits the floor and hides…waiting for his chance. As he creeps towards the target, all I can see are his legs moving, his body is totally still.
Hunting for mice is exactly the same, and because mice have an excellent sense of smell and great hearing, it is vital that the predator is quiet and controlled. A cat is the perfect machine for hunting mice, and will certainly help to keep mice away for this reason.
Cats Are Territorial
When another cat or animal dares to wander into my cat’s domain, he knows about it. My cat’s tail puffs out and the hissing begins.
Cat’s are extremely territorial and will mark their area with their own scent to warm off other cats and other animals.
Mice will pick up on this scent and will know that they are entering a cat’s territory. This alone will force mice to find somewhere else to be and will help to keep mice away.
If you are a mouse looking for a place to find food and set up a nest, would you think it is a good idea to do it where there is a known predator? Nope!
Cats Love To Play
I have witnessed my cat toying with many mice in the past! One time, I watched out of the kitchen window as it circled a mouse in an attempt to intimidate it.
Cat’s love to play with anything that moves erratically, it is extremely important for them to hone their hunting skills.
When my cat gets to grips with a mouse, you can witness him ‘pawing’ the mouse to make it move again. He is desperate to chase it, just one more time. By this time, the mouse has given up though.
Cats Have Extraordinary Reflexes
Have you ever heard the phrase:
‘That person has cat-like reflexes!’
For instance, it means a person can react very quickly to a situation where they need to catch something.
Here is something you can try with a cat, I do it all of the time for my own amusement.
Sit on a chair and wait for your cat to stroll past. Quickly move your foot as it gets close. What you are likely to see (unless they are now immune to it) is a lightning-quick jump in the air or a quick turn of the head to focus on your foot. It happens immediately.
When a cat spots a mouse, you can bet your bottom dollar that your cat will react just as quickly.
Cats Are Fast
The fastest house cats can run up to 30 mph!
I am no mathematical genius, but 8 mph is significantly less than 30 mph.
Sure, you have to add in the fact that a mouse has a much lower center of gravity, which means it can turn quicker, but can a cat catch a mouse? Yes, it definitely can.
Most cat and mouse chases do not take place in a straight line, or there will always be one clear winner. Having said that, in terms of a chase, a mouse will not want to be tailed by a cat, that is for sure.
Cats Are Focused
Have you ever played with a cat using a laser pen?
If you have, then you will know just how focused a cat is on the object its eyes are tracking.
They will open their eyes super wide, their pupils expand to take in all the light needed, and they will not take their eyes off of that object until it is caught.
When a cat sets their eyes on a mouse, the cat will hunt it down until it is caught.
Cats Are Patient Stalkers
Ok, I know that cats do not show much patience when you are holding a sachet of food for them! But they DO show extreme patience when they are stalking their prey.
Have you seen a cat ready to pounce? They squat down on their front legs, whilst their back legs are constantly moving to keep the blood flowing. From the front, they are still…perfectly still.
Then, as soon as the prey is close enough, they will pounce.
Mice, on the other hand, tend to move around in unorganized patterns. Moving from one thing to another in search of food. Sure, they are always on the lookout for danger, but a cat will be watching every move, waiting until the mouse is close enough.
Recap Infographic – 7 Key Cat Skills That Help To Keep Mice Away
Frequently Asked Questions
My cat killed a mouse will he get sick?
Cats eat mice in the wild all the time, so it is unlikely to get sick. However, mice can carry Cestoda (tapeworm). If your cat eats a mouse with tapeworm then your cat will take on the tapeworm! You should always ensure that your cat is fully protected against tapeworm.
Can mice sense a cat in the house?
Yes – mice will sense that you have a cat in your worse. The best case scenario is they will be too scared to stay in your home. Some mice may be desperate to stay in your home and will simply avoid open spaces.
What should I do if my cat catches a mouse?
Praise your cat! It has done a good job! In all seriousness, there is nothing to be concerned about. Try and stop your cat from entering your home with the mouse.
Conclusion – Does Having a Cat Keep Mice Away?
If you want to know if having a cat will keep mice away, then the reason on this page will surely answer that question!
I already know the answer…
Does having a cat keep mice away?
Yes – it does.
Although cats are great at keeping mice from getting near your home, they are also excellent at ensuring the brave ones that attempt it are caught before they get to your home.
I have lost count of the number of times I have had to clear a dead Mouse from outside of my home, and in my yard. Each one of them was hunted down and taught a lesson by my cat. I am sure that each one of them would have found a way into my home had the cat not been present too.
If you think you have mice in your home, or your home is susceptible to mouse invasion, then a cat is an awesome way to reduce the chances! Even if you have mice in your attic, you can always send the cat up to warn them off.
Good luck, now go out and find yourself a top hunting cat!