Cat and Mouse Question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by maplegrove, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. maplegrove

    maplegrove Member

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    I have an indoor rodent problem and am considering getting a cat if that would help (it would also make a good pet). It would be most preferable if the cat would drive them out instead of hunting them, but hunting is ok too if necessary. How likely do you think this is to work? Also how gross would it be likely to turn out to be? :( Thanks!
     
  2. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    I do love my two cats. During the summer they catch mice and bring them indoors to release for future winter amusement. (Doggie Door as well as not being able to see a dark mouse in a black cats mouth at 2:00 AM.) During the fall when there seems to be a sudden explosion of mice both indoors and out, the front steps and upstairs deck (they have to climb a tree with mouse in mouth, and jump from a branch onto the deck, making sure they land between the railings) are littered with tails and hind ends of mice. They are very good mousers when they are so inclined. However, the basement, even after the application of dozens of tubes of caulk to seal every possible nook and crack and cranny, seems to be FULL of mice. That mice will vacate a premises harboring cats is just an old wives tale. I recommend cats as lovable pets, and traps as mouse killers.
     

  3. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The cat is nice as a pet. Some are good mousers, some are not. While some people will swear by the cat, as an exterminator, I can tell you I treat many homes with both. Deal with the mice yourself first. Then get a pet. The pet cat will help maintain control over the mice but will rarely eliminate the problem once it exists. You must close the rodent access points to your house, such as door sweeps, holes in the foundation and so on. You don't need poison. You can use snap traps, glue boards, and live traps to eliminate the problem you currently have. Don't delegate to the cat. It may not work and rodents need to be evicted.
     
  4. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Yea, I would say it would be hard to know you are getting a good mouser. I have 3 cats. One is good at killing mice, one is good at killing birds, and one is good at not catching his tail. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Ma Kettle, LOL, when Amos was younger he once killed a rabbit half as big as himself, climbed a tree, jumped to the unfinished attic and then down to the floor of the house to eat the rabbit. When he was full, his brother Andy worked on it a while, when he was done I tossed the rest to the chickens! Winter before last I woke one nite with Amos's latest present running thru my hair. A few nites later he woke me up, poking at my back. When I reached around to push him away I found a dead mouse he had tucked under the covers. Moral is; if you don't want extra presents, don't provide a cat door for your little friends.
     
  6. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    My cats mostly hunt the neighboring properties while our own yard stays "unmolested" :rolleyes: Two of them love to bring their catch into the house, and since I'm not sufficiently appreciative, they usually present the Danes with their goodies instead now. Once in a while, the lovely toy escapes and scurries under the furniture, never to be seen again until I find the mummified remains a year or so later in some obscure corner... more often, I step on small piles of mouse guts on my midnight trek to the bathroom... the best thing to happen is when one of the dogs says "thank you" and gulps the whole thing down and it's gone without a trace.

    Years ago, I watched 4 dogs and 7 cats and 1 mouse in the kitchen. The pets, totally mesmerized, sat in a half circle around the mouse who was sniffing the baseboard under the cabinets. After a few minutes of this, the mouse calmly walked inbetween a dog and a cat and disappeared under the stove... 11 furry heads turned slowly with the mouse's progress, 11 furry butts stayed glued to the floor. It destroyed any idealistic thoughts I had of my critters as hunters!
    'Course, the whole thing was my fault, because my pets are trained not to molest anything that might or might not be considered "Mama's Baby"... like the snakes, or baby rabbits in rehab, or feeder mice in cages.

    Talk about feeder mice - if you've ever raised mice in cages, you know that they pee as they walk, everywhere and all the time. A mouse in the house wouldn't have bothered me much before I knew how filthy they really are, and how hard their gummy pee is to clean off of surfaces. Add to that the fact that they fit through unbelievably tiny openings, can climb up on regular textured walls, and jump down 3 feet without breaking their necks, and you have critters that you really DON'T want in the house. And if they live in the walls or in the attic or in your crawl space, with their little walkways in hidden areas, a cat doesn't have much chance of catching them either. Baited mousetraps seem like a better idea.
     
  7. Pops2

    Pops2 Well-Known Member

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  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    DeCon will get rid of them. You won't smell or find any dead mice in the house. Putting it in any out buildings where big pets can't spill it will keep some of those mice from moving in with you. I put it in gallon milk jugs with a two inch hole in one side for them to get in for their snack. Once you get them under control they won't be so numerous.
     
  9. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Well-Known Member Supporter

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    well, we've never had to have a cat because of all the neighbor's farm cats. But have to say that our outdoor cat that adopted us last year has sure been competing for the mice, the birds, the moles. She eats em all on our back patio, leaving the guts, the feathers, well, nasty little business it is. We have our house pretty well mouse proof after having lived in the middle of fields all over the place for 20 something years now. But a few years back, we had a rat that somehow got up in the outside wall behind our kitchen cabinets, got stuck, died, and proceeded to stink and rot for close to 6 months. hmm, we ate out a lot that year. I'm not a big fan of indoor animals and critters, but hubby has always had to have his Weinmarner close by. The dogs are always easily housebroken, as in doing their business outside, so I haven't complained too much. But a cat inside? It just ain't me. My husband is always telling me I need to trade in my nose for a new one cause I'm always fussing about bad smells. I think it has something to do with growing up on a farm that was populated by pigs most of the time.
     
  10. TXlightningbug

    TXlightningbug Well-Known Member

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    If you want a good mouser, go by a farm and ask if they have a good mouser who has had kittens. The mouser will have trained her kittens to be mousers except for the really stupid ones. Ask to have one of the smart swift half-grown kittens.

    TXlightningbug :yeeha:
     
  11. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    Yumm so glad I read this while eating breakfeast :p.
     
  12. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    We have a miniature pinscher that is an excellent mouser. She kills the thing right away instead of playing with it like a cat does.
     
  13. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

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    I'd say that it would probably work if your cat is an indoor-only cat. That way he only plays with the mice he finds inside, and doesn't bring extra home. Also, being inside all the time, he's likely to explore and find all the nooks and crannies where they might hide or build nests. I wouldn't depend on any cat to kill ALL the mice, but in my experience the regular, consistent presence of a curious cat is enough to send the mice packing.
     
  14. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

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    Really? ALL mice? Because I used to have two pet mice, and I don't remember them ever peeing on me. And a friend of mine raised a baby field mouse this summer. She would put him on her shoulder and he would crawl down her shirt where he stayed for hours at a time. He never peed on her. She kept him in a drawer and she said he had one corner of the drawer for peeing/pooping, and never messed up any other place.
     
  15. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Yes januaries..all mice! The drops are so small and you were so used to the smell that you didn't notice. It is not something the mouse does on purpose as far as having any control over the function. It's like breathing for them, and designed so the mouse can find it's way back from where it's been.

    As for all this business about animals(any animals)being able to eradicate mice or any other rodent..we've discussed this many times before. Try the SEARCH and ARCHIVES function for the past discussions.

    No animal will or can eradicate rodents. There are too many tiny little places where the rodents can and will go that other animals..even snakes...cannot go.

    And then of course you have the other bi-products of cats. Their waste is dangerous and harbors disease too as well as the parasites they carry . Now, if you love cats and want one for a pet..that is great. I like them too. It might catch a mouse, or bug, or worm or whatever from time to time. But the majority of the pests stay hidden.

    Follow Go bugs advice...you've got a professional on board..for free!

    LQ
     
  16. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I dunno... My goofy cats are probably too city-fied to know what they're doing.

    DD had a pet gerbil. Wasn't much for fun, but she wanted it... Anyway, Al the Cat decided the gerbil was A Rodent, so he knocked down the cage, sent the gerbil to Gerbil Heaven, and proceeded to arrange the carcass very attractively outside my office door. (We think Al may have been a chef in a former life.)

    Not a week later, my pet rat, Puddin', got loose from her cage. Fearing the worse, I went in search of her, only to find her eating from the cats' food dish -- with two of the cats (one of whom was Al!)

    I live a strange life...
     
  17. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    As a cat lover, owner and professional cat sitter, I've learned thru research & experience that cats are taught to hunt from their mother at a very early age. Just because a cat is *expected*, by it's perceived nature, to be a good mouser, that's not always the case. Tho it's in their genes to stalk, hunt and kill in the wild, domesticated cats are often far from that norm! Domestication has out-bred many of those survival insticts, tho enuff is held over where a cat still just enjoys the chase..enuff to stalk, prey, and pounce, tho never meaning to kill...just more for the fun of the "dance".

    How many of us cat owners know the backgrounds (unless purebred or a true history given) of our cats? If it's love at first sight, we don't question. It's often those with links to a more feral (wild) background that are the best mousers. It's a fact that mother cats, regardless of background, will try to teach their kittens how to approach prey, where to bite on the prey's neck, rendering the prey helpless as a potencial food source, and they learn this thru rough play with the mom/littermates thru kittenhood. But thru domestication, it's all just a game. Witness how rough kittens play, stalking, pouncing, neck biting. But how much time was that kitten with the mother/littermates before they were separated, before those lessons learned..also adds to the equation. Even tho basic instincts are ingrained, it doesn't mean your kitty, just by being a feline, will be a natural born mouse killer. And if removed from the mother sooner than it was able to learn those important lessons, the more likely it will just enjoy the hunt without learning to also kill it's prey.

    Anyway...Sorry if sounding preachy..but just food for thought:)


    Dee
     
  18. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Little Quacker is correct about the pee thing. They don't have a bladder and just leak as they run along.

    They are also like little robots in that they will run a path like a program, over and over and over. As they run the same path over and again, and leak as they go, the urine accumulates. It actually fluoresces and can be seen with a black light.

    They prefer to run along an edge, like a wall because they have stiff hairs in their fur called vibrissae. Running along a wall stimulates the vibrissae and makes them feel more comfortable. If you have enough mice for a while, the paths will start to show grease marks from their fur. This shows up first by the spot where they enter a room.

    Although I have a black light in my service truck, I rarely use it. I have learned over time to walk along the edges and look for entry points and habitat. Kitchen cabinets often have an opening under the bottom shelf. With the cabinet doors closed just run your hand under the cabinets to the kick plate. You may find an inch gap or so. The cat could never get in, but the mouse can take it at full speed. All they need is 1/4 inch gap. Book cases, shelving, filing cabinets, dishwashers, and cluttered closets are also common areas. I rely on the person to give me clues about where they see activity and then start looking.

    I have one regular customer who loves the ivy growing on her house, but is also deathly afraid of mice. The mice live in the ivy and enter the house at roof level (her house is brick) and then come down through the holes made for electrical service. Although I cannot get to some of the mouse spaces, I have learned where they go and have bait stations filled at convenient spots for them. Every 3 or 4 months I refill the bait and we keep control. She is unwilling to remove the ivy, so she pays me.
     
  19. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    Actually, after raising rats and mice for petshops for several years, I have to disagree. They DO have bladders, and they do choose a spot to pee in, or obviously, in wild ones, several spots. However, you will find traces of pee along their routes because they are not particularly clean when they pee, and it does get on the bottom of their feet, which can be a bit sticky. After all, if you peed on a solid surface, you would get it on your feet too. :) And then when you groom yourself with your feet.. Well........

    I think the right cat in a house would work wonders. The safest way, in my opinion, to get rid of mice is to set snap traps with peanut butter on them. It never seemed to fail me, and if you can handle lifting up the bar to let the dead mouse out, then it is fine. Sides, that would be much easier on the mice. Don't know about you, but I would rather have my back broken and killed instantly than being slowly poisioned to death. :p
     
  20. JerseyLightning

    JerseyLightning Well-Known Member

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    If you can get a mama cat that's had to forage for at least one litter, you will probably have the best mouser you can find. Ours has even caught (and, unfortunately, partially eaten!) a snake that somehow got into the house. Check your local animal shelter or cat rescue -- not only will you get a good mouser, you will be giving a good home to an adult cat that otherwise might not be lucky enough to find someone. Spaying will not effect her ability to continue mousing. I'm supposing this would then be an indoor cat to prevent any further straying.

    As for gross, yes, finding bits of regurgitated snake on the sewing room floor was a little disgusting (but not as much as finding a whole, live snake would've been!). Another one of our cats likes to dismember his mice, so you find a leg here and a tail there. And then you have our neighbor's cat who brings them home whole and lines them up in a row on the top step (snakes, too!).

    We used glue traps once and found it upsetting to have a live creature tormented that way. Switched to live traps, but my significant other decided to open the trap and check to make sure something was really in it. It was, and ran up his arm before leaping to the countertop to execute his escape. Cats, while messy, have been the most effective for mouse patrol!

    Kathleen in NJ