Cats as Mousers

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by ducks4you, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    I was reminded by chickerdoodle (who commented on the topic of inside/outside DOGS), the following:
    "Understandably if the cats have a suitable shelter are are well fed (well fed cats hunt more prey)."
    I used to keep my horses at a farm where the owners never fixed their cats nor fed them very much, IF any. Once, there was an abandoned STRAY cat who I found in my tackroom/hayroom (that I was renting from the farmer) licking the side of a molasses container because he was so hungry. I started feeding him every day and he got big and strong enough to beat up the farmer's weak and sickly cats. (Eventually he crossed the highway and ended up living with another farmer who bred/raised POA's--MUCH better home for him!)

    IF YOU HAVE NOT EVER HAD AN OUTSIDE CAT BEFORE, please make sure that you feed him/her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They CANNOT survive on mice, alone, even though a mouse is the best food for a cat. I don't feed the best cat food, but it is ALWAYS available free choice. I live on 5 acres, with several hundred farm acres behind me, and I have NEVER in ten years seen a mouse in my house. My good kitties--I have 4 now, but I've had as many as 6--are in and out of the house and they KEEP it mouse-free. I ONLY see mice in the barn, which understandably has many nooks and crannies to hide in, especially with 400 bales of hay in the loft right now.

  2. mrsengeseth

    mrsengeseth Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think if anyone takes on the responsibility of having an animal, they need to provide the basics at least to that animal. I know that if I have a cat, he or she will happily hunt and at least play with mice. And although that's what I want them to do, I have to be sure to have balanced food out for the kitty as well. I have seens so many people that think starving the cat will make them go hunt mice. A cat's prey drive is there even when happy and full. What I like about a well fed cat's huntng is that often, not always, when a well fed cat hunts it kills the mouse but doesn't ingest it. Which is good in some situations, like a sickly mouse isn't the best food for a cat, and one that may be poisioned isn't good for any predator. Often when my cats wuold kill a mouse he'd bring it to me at the sliding door and drop it there. (Boy dis that suck to find with my bare me the willies thinking about it.) I could dispose of the mouse, and be done with it. OF course as many as he dumped on my stairs I am sure he ate them too.
  3. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    I have always left out hard cat food for my barn cats. I also buy a decent brand. I bought cheap stuff and my barn cats started getting sick. The vet bill is more than a year's worth of decent cat food costs. I have no mice or rats in my barn at all. Barely have birds in the barn. I have to agree that a well fed cat is a great mouser.

    My neighbor's are also thankful for our barn cats because they also keep the mice and rats away from their home and shed.
  4. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    another thing to note is that ingesting mice (and other rodents) is the most prevalent cause of internal parasites in cats. As mrsengeseth said, a well fed cat is less likely to eat the mice it catches which makes for a healthier cat. If you suspect your cat is eating mice keep it on a regular worming schedule. A cat with internal parasites will have trouble maintaining weight and health no matter how much he/she eats.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    When Kitty was an outside cat, she got the same treatment that she gets now as an indoor cat. Feed twice a day, immunizations and wormings, and SPAYED.
    She slept in the shop. She's still not 100% comfortable with being a totally indoor cat.
  6. deb1

    deb1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    I had a wonderful, spoiled cat who LOVED to catch mice. Some cats are not good mousers and some are. You can feed the good ones as much as you want and they will still hunt. The bad mousers are probably the starving ones that run out of my garbage can some mornings. [​IMG]

    Are there any particular breeds that make good mouser? I read somewhere that Main Coon Cats are good mousers.
  7. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    this is anecdotal but some old timer once told me that a kitten with big ears is more likely to be a good mouser than one with normal or small ears. Interestingly enough my cat that had big ears as a kitten is the one with the highest prey drive out of my bunch. My cats are all exclusively indoors but when mice get in it is always our cara that catches them.

    See big ears


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