Why Won't Some Cats Catch Mice?

Posted on: 14 October 2015

If a mouse ventures into your home, you may well expect your pet cat to deal with it. After all, cats are naturally supposed to catch mice. This doesn't work with every cat, however. Although some cats are natural hunters that will track down and kill any mouse that sets foot on their territory, others may show no interest in mice at all and may even be a little scared of them. Perhaps most irritatingly, some cats will use their hunting skills to catch mice really effectively, before playing with them for a while and then letting them go again.

Some Cats Don't Have Hunting Instincts or Skills

If your cat won't chase a mouse, it may simply not be interested in hunting; it may also lack the skills needed to catch prey. In some cases, this may down to its breed. According to the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals, cat breeds that have been domesticated for many generations may have lost some of their natural hunting instincts, while breeds that have been kept as pets more recently, such as Siamese cats, may retain more of a killer instinct.

Also, some cats don't hunt because of their early experiences as kittens. Typically, a cat's mother teaches her kittens how to use their natural hunting instincts. If a mother cat doesn't teach her kittens how to catch prey, or if they are taken away from their mother too early, cats may never fully develop the ability to hunt effectively.

Use Your Cat's Scent to Deter Mice

Even if your cat is a useless mouse killer, it can still help you deter mice from coming into your home. Mice can identify a cat's scent and will naturally avoid it. If you have a problem with mice in areas of your house where your cat doesn't normally go, it's worth encouraging the cat to hang around in those rooms for a while. It will naturally spread its scent around, which may be enough to convince some mice to stay away.

If your cat's scent doesn't stop mice from running riot in your home, or if they continue to live in hard to access areas, such as under floors or in your wall spaces, consider consulting a pest control specialist from a company like Statewide Pest Control. Make sure to tell the company that you have a cat, so that it can recommend a safe solution that will not harm your pet.