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What cat breeds make the best mousers?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chrism, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I dunno but our were pretty spoiled & they couldn't be bothered with gopher getting. They were ok till about 5 or 6 after that they were just too lazy, too fat, too old I guess!
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all, breed really doesn't matter, but I would stay away from long double coated breeds like the Persian (OK, so they really aren't good mousers) whose coat would knot up unless groomed.
    Studies have shown catching mice and hunting is a learned trait more so than an inherited one. In experiments where kittens were moved, some were raised by good mousers and some of the kittens of mousers were given nonhunting mothers, the kittens raised by the mousers were the best mousers. It didn't matter who the actual mothers were.
    So if you want a cat to get rid of mice get one who already hunts or from someone who can tell you the mothers hunted.
    As a child my mother and I ran a sort of cat rescue. We lived near a shelter and people were always dropping cats off. Most seemed to be pregnant.
    [​IMG]
    We would take them in, raise the kittens, try to find homes for them and spay the mother. Some of the babies were raised in the barn and we saw the mothers bringing them squirrels, mice, chipmunks, muskrats and other caught prey to train the babies. It was interesting to watch.
    What was also interesting was that these same cats quickly learned to leave the poultry and even baby chicks and ducklings alone. It wasn't worth tangling with the feisty mothers or the roosters.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. chrism

    chrism Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much everybody for taking your time with such good advice!
    I have found a local barn cat program.
    Breed can't be guaranteed but like I've learned here, it shouldn't matter that much.
    I do plan on offering daily rations but will be sure to keep them from getting complacent.

    My plan for when I very first receive them is to keep them confined in a garage for up to a week with unlimited food. After that, I will let them leave the garage but will keep the unlimited food there.
    Once they seem to feel at home in the general area, I will let them roam free and reduce their food to daily rations.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    outstanding, SO glad it worked out and thank you for giving a lucky cat a new lease on life
     
  5. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    I really like this reply.

    My other recommendation is to get kittens/young cats/adults from a farm situation.

    While there is the stereotype of 'all cats hunt' but IMO some are true hunters while most are more like "players".. will make an attempt at stalking but not terribly seriously, giving up easily. Either they were not taught to hunt by their mothers or are maybe a little more "domesticated"?

    The TRUE hunters are completely different creatures to see in action.. they actively roam to hunt animals. When they stalk, they stalk "seriously".

    My neighbor is one of those Cat Ladies and feeds and tries to keep every cat that wanders by. Even she notices a general difference between the typical cat and the few that seem to thrive on hunting.

    This is partly why I recommend cats from a farm situation, many farms have cats for varmint control, so the chances of having a kitten/cat raised by hunters or hitting on a "true hunter" are a little better.

    I agree it does not matter if they are hungry or not.. well fed cats still will hunt and kill if it's in them. Good examples are well fed and pampered house cats that continue to bring "presents".
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Ah I hadn't seen the second page of this thread.. glad you found a solution!
     
  7. chrism

    chrism Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well... I thought that I found a solution but my family is hoping that I can find a dog breed that will be suitable for our situation.
    Back to the drawing board.
     
  8. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    IMO no dog can do it as good as cats and then there is the issue in teaching the dog not to consider the chickens feathered mice.

    Dogs are better with rats than mice and even so, you have to help them out a bit by actively disturbing the rats so the dog would be able to see and access them- moving bales, objects etc. Check out ratting videos on youtube to get an idea.

    So... with cats you basically just bring home and feed it.. with dogs you will have to take some time out helping the dog reach the rats.. mice are just too small and very fast when frightened if you are trying to "mice" with a dog by scaring them up for the dog to kill so most of the time they are missed by the dog. Cats hunt for exposed and unaware mice... they quietly stalk then pounce when it is within reach... whereas a dog is much more blunt- simply chasing it down, too easy for mice to escape if there's a lot of objects around.
     
    2 people like this.
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Why not a cat and a dog? Most dog breeds that would be good rodent control are going to be dogs with a high prey drive, which is not really a good mix with small prey animals like your birds......
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. chrism

    chrism Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good points.
    In my search for predator control, I have been running into lots of info about controlling larger pests all the way up to bears.
    Well... we do have bears around here but realistically, I would like to offer protection for wild dogs, fox and raccoons along with rats, snakes and mice.
    I guess a couple of cats and a couple of dogs for the larger animals would be a good idea.
    My flock only consists of 50 hens, 2 geese and 8 bee hives on 1 acre of enclosed space so I need to be careful not to go over board with guard animals.
     

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