Can and will outdoor cats keep mice away – This is a question that troubles those who have lots of mice around them, and as we know mice can do significant damage to our home and items. In this article, we will put this question to bed.
Will outdoor cats keep mice away? Yes, it is the primary duty of an outdoor cat to keep mice away from its territory or home, this is because outdoor cats are better mice hunters than indoor cats. Mice do not come close to where outdoor cats live.
Even though outdoor cats live shorter, they do an outstanding job for protecting their home from mice attacks, which is often a disaster to whatever these mice lay hand on.
Mice are destroyers, depending on where you live or your location. If you always have mice invading your home, all you need is a cat to send them away.
What items will mice destroy?
- Wooden doors
- Cooked food
- Raw food
Some advantages of using outdoor cat to keep mice away
- You get peace of mind that your Items are safe.
- You sleep well at night with no mice noise
- Your cat gets extra food from what you offer
- It keeps your cat busy
- It helps develop your cats hunting skills
Some disadvantages of using outdoor cat to keep mice away
- The cat may get lost chasing mice
- Mice are carriers of worms, fleas, and other critters, including bacteria and bacterial spores which will get your cat sick.
- Your cat will live shorter than expected.
- Your cat can run into human traps while chasing mice.
- Cats can’t reach nesting areas of mice
Other ways to handle mice attack
- Clear the bushes around to reduce shelter for rodents.
- Check for cracks in the wall and fill it up.
- Shut down all the holes in your windows and doors.
- Store food in containers with tight-fitting lids.
- They should keep all kitchens and pantries clean
Do you really think an indoor cat can survive outside the human home?
How do cats catch mice?
Cats have a reflective layer in their eyes called the tapetum, this allows cats to see in darker conditions than other animals, and make it easy for the cat to see mice at night.
Here are the basic 4 strategies a cat uses in catching mice;
Stationary and Pounce Strategy
They used this strategy when the cat already knows the mouse’s pathway or route. It entails that the cat stands still at the entrance or exit pathway of the mice.
Knowing that the mice are approaching the cat will be stationary to avoid getting noticed then when the mice get to a close range the cat will pounce and grab it firm, the meal is served.
Stalk and Pounce Strategy
Cats use this strategy when they dart it to a cat looking for food or trying to get into or out of somewhere withing range.
In this strategy, once the cat notices mice in a specific location, the cat moves and stops to get an unrestricted view and be sure the mice do not notice its presence.
The cat will keep stalking the mice until it’s close enough, and with a clear sight of the mice the cat will suddenly pounce on the mice, the meal is served.
Run and Pounce Strategy
When cats are roaming about their territory, they are always listening to noise coming from all angles in and out of their territory.
Cat uses this run and pounce strategy when they come across mice that are done for the day and are on their way out, and if they waste any more time, the mice will be long gone.
Therefore, most of the time you see your cat speed past you chasing after something you are not seeing. These cats run at a high speed just to catch up with the mice.
Sit, Wait And Pounce Strategy
This is a strategy used by cats when they find out the path mice travel to go home or enter their territory for food or fun.
A cat can sit for about 15 to 45 minutes waiting for a mouse to come within striking range, and after several minutes of sitting and waiting once the cat sights the mice dinner will be served.
Therefore, most of the time you notice your cat sitting and looking at a particular location without allowing itself to get distracted.
There are lots of myths about indoor cats, do you know any?
Can a cat hear a mouse?
Yes, a cat can hear and smell a mouse in its territory and quickly hunt it down. Cats are quiet and curious pets that love to be in control of their territory.
Mice are the primary prey of cats, and cats are used to hunting mice with lots of skills, tactics and strategies.
So a cat can hear a mouse from a long way out, then position itself to catch the mouse once it’s in close range.
Some smart cats already know the routes of mice and also are used to the visiting time of each mouse, and their job is just to sit and wait for time to get by.
See it this way: if a cat can not hear a mouse, then how will the cat know the mouse is around its territory. So cats hear mouse loud and clear more than humans.
Do you think an indoor cat will try to run away from home?
What to do when your cat catches a mouse
This is subjective opinion people see it different ways but here is how we see it.
If you keep an indoor cat, it is right not to allow it to eat a mouse, because the mouse is a rodent that carries a lot of diseases that will get your indoor cat sick.
When your cat gets these diseases transmitted by a mouse, you spend a lot to take care of your cat, so in our humble opinion, this is how to go about it.
When your cat catches a mouse, and you’re close quickly get a treat and give your cat, gently pet and rub your cat’s head giving more treat.
Use the other hand and take away the dead mouse and at this point start a play, bringing in your cat’s favorite toys. Just to distract your cat’s attention from the dead mouse.
Knowing that it will cost you time and money, do your best to keep mice away from your home.
If your cat eats a mouse in your absence, see your vet for advice.
Always talk to your vet for some immune boosters if you are not always home and close all mouse entrance and exit.
For those who keep an outdoor cat, it is a normal routine for your outdoor cat to catch and eat a mouse; we advise you get immune boosters from your vet for your cat. Or keep your cat indoors.
Best cats for hunting mice
Here are some of the best cats you can use to keep mice away from your property.
- Maine Coon
- American Shorthair
- Turkish Angora
How Long Does It Take A Cat To Catch A Mouse
It takes a cat less than 5 seconds to catch a mouse, provided the mouse is in sight and in close range. There are lots of factors that might influence how long it will take a cat to catch a mouse.
We know cats to be primary hunters of mice, irrespective of the age of a cat. Every cat will always enjoy hunting a mouse, be it indoor or outdoor cats.
However, it is important to note that outdoor cats are better hunters when compared to indoor cats, no matter the age or size of the cat, this is because outdoor cats are more experienced.
It can be said that most outdoor cats use mice as their basic food, while we always feed indoor cats with normal cat food.
Due to experience most outdoor cats are too skillful for catching a mouse at any level, some outdoor cats already know where to wait for the mouse and when to attack.
Factors that influence how Long it takes a cat to catch a mouse?
Here are the factors that might influence how long it takes a cat to catch a mouse, be it indoor or outdoor cats.
The status of the cat is important when considering how long it takes a cat to catch a mouse, this because the current status of the cat matters most.
When we say the status we are talking about if the cat is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, and of course, you do not expect an indoor cat to catch a mouse at the same time as an outdoor cat.
It will take an outdoor cat shorter time to catch a mouse as opposed to indoor cats who take longer time.
This is because outdoor cats are more experienced, skillful, and see catching a mouse as an alternative means of survival.
Every outdoor cat has lots of encounters with a mouse, which comes in play the next time they come across a mouse.
An indoor cat with little or no experience will sit to stall a mouse, and right before its eyes, the mouse will escape.
The health status of the cat should also be considered, because a healthy cat will move faster to catch a mouse as opposed to a cat that is not feeling too strong.
A sick indoor cat can sit and watch a mouse play political violence in its city, but a sick outdoor cat will make more effort to stop the mouse from playing political violence in its city.
The Breed Of Cat
There are many breeds of cats that can successfully hunt down a mouse, and when considering how long it will take a cat to catch a mouse, we should consider also the breed.
Some breeds of cats are bred to be companions and not for outdoor ventures or hunting. An example is a ragdoll.
You can not compare how long it will take a ragdoll cat to catch a mouse to how long it will take a Siberian cat to hunt down a mouse.
So some breeds of cats are just better hunters than others and will take the better hunters shorter time to catch a mouse than other breeds.
The Age Of Cat
The age of the cat matters a lot when considering how long it will take a cat to catch a mouse.
Younger cats might even be afraid of the mouse and would not attack at the proper time, while older cats will attack once to protect its territory.
Of course, you do not expect an 8 weeks old cat to attack as a 6 year old cat will attack, because the 8 weeks old cat will take more time to stall a mouse, will the 6 year old cat may attack once.
The older the cat, the more experienced the cat, and the more developed the protective instincts.
The older the cat the more fearless the cat will become and this contributes to how long it will take the cat to attack a mouse.
The Distance Between the Cat and Mouse
The distance between the cat and the mouse is a major factor that determines how long it will take a cat to catch a mouse.
Most times the cat has to sneak in just to reduce the distance it will take to pounce on the mouse.
So it is correct to say that the longer the range or distance between the cat and mouse, the more time it takes the cat to catch the mouse.
The shorter the range or distance between the cat and the mouse, the shorter time it will take the cat to catch the mouse.
If the distance is longer, it will take the cat more time to sprint and cover more ground as opposed to when the mouse is in close range.
The Pathway that Leads to the Mouse
Obstacles in the cat’s path can increase the time it takes the cat to catch the mouse.
Sometimes the cat has to run and jump over some objects before it pounce on the mouse and this will definitely extend the time to catch the mouse.
The cat might even miss a mouse because of obstacles on its way.
Therefore, it is right to say that the clearer the pathway of a cat to get to a mouse, the shorter the time to catch the mouse.
The more obstacles that stand in the path of a cat, the longer the time it takes the cat to catch the mouse.
Level Of Hunger in the Cat
Just like we know a hungry cat can eat anything around just to stay full, in the same way the level of hunger in a cat can affect how long it takes the cat to catch a mouse.
In humans, the rate you eat when your hungry differs from the rate you see food when you’re not hungry.
A cat that is not hungry might just want to kill a mouse to play with it and may not put in more effort to catch the mouse.
A hungry cat that has not seen food for several hours will delay no time to pounce on a mouse and start feeding on it immediately.
Cats when hungry are restless and will keep roaming around looking for food, and in the event of seeing a mouse the cat will attack in less than 5 seconds. This is because the level of hunger is high.
The Vision of the Cat
The more clear a cat sees a mouse, the shorter time it will take to cat to catch the mouse.
It will take a cat longer time to catch a mouse when the cat has no unimpeded view of the mouse.
For a cat to pounce on a mouse, first the cat has to get an unrestricted view of the mouse to avoid missing its target.
Read this>>> Why Cats Disappear Without a Trace
The Experience of the Cat With Other Mouse
The experience a cat has the last time of catching a mouse might affect how long it will take to catch a mouse.
Let’s say the cat missed its target and got injured, or the cat just had bad experience in the past when trying to catch a mouse, it will take such a cat longer time to catch the mouse.
Or the last time the cat caught a mouse, the owner was mad at it. This will significantly affect how long it will take the cat to catch the mouse.
Due to a terrible experience, the cat has to sit and wait before attacking, even during attacking the cat might slow down due to an awful experience.
Size of the Mouse
Most mouse has an intimidating size, and this might put fear in the cat, making it to take longer time to catch the mouse.
The bigger the mouse, the longer the time it will take a cat to build the courage to attack the mouse.
A smaller mouse will be easier to attack than a bigger mouse. And this will reduce the time it will take the cat to catch the mouse.
At What Age, Should A Cat Hunt A Mouse?
A cat can start hunting a mouse as from 7 weeks old, however this depends on the size of the mouse and that of the cat.
Sometimes, a cat will start hunting as soon as something separate it from its mum. Even though cats that are born outdoors start hunting earlier than indoor cats.
Factors that might influence when a cat should hunt a mouse
Here are few factors that might affect the age a cat will start hunting mice.
Cats that are born in the woods or wild will start hunting earlier than indoor cats, this is because most times they join and watch their mum hunt down a mouse.
Outdoor kittens spend more time with their mum learning different hunting skills than indoor cats.
Find out more about Causes Of Depression In Cats.
Some breeds of cats are better hunters than others, and this will reflect once they are born.
Naturally some breeds will start showing their hunting skills earlier than others.
Size of Mouse around
The bigger the mouse around, the longer and older it will take a cat to hunt down the mouse.
If there are small breeds of mice around, the cat can start hunting them at a very young stage, as opposed to when there are big mice are everywhere.
The bigger the mice around, the more intimidating it will be for a young kitten.
Some mother cat starts to teach their kittens hunting skills earlier than others.
You can observe this when the mum lay down and uses her tail to swap over her kittens, while the kittens try to catch their mum tail by jumping up and down.
Some mum will catch a mouse and bring it back, allowing its kittens to hunt down the mouse, making sure the mouse doesn’t run away from her kittens.
Some cat mun will take her kittens to hunt as early as they walk well.
Some environment allows for kittens to hunt earlier than others.
An environment with lots of predators will not allow the kittens to hunt earlier than some environment with fewer predators.
So the safer the environment, the earlier the kittens hunt or learning how to hunt.