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To cat or not to cat? Mice trouble

(28 Posts)
deelite72 Fri 14-Mar-14 14:53:19

We live in London, typical Edwardian House, on a typical road where the moment the builders leave one property, they're at another. The builders never stop coming. Even the houses that look immaculate have the builders in. I'm thinking of course that this contributes to our chronic mouse problem.

Humane traps- tried them. 'Epic fail'
Calling the council or rentokil- haven't done this yet... feeling a bit cautious. I'm in my last trimester of pregnancy and we have two other kids, so I don't feel great about having poison everywhere.
DIY plugging holes, constantly hoovering, keeping house clean, high pitched buzzing things... hasn't really worked at all and also, I feel like I could make a career of just trying to work and live around the needs of the mice. I'd like to live in a state where I am not constantly mouse proofing our home, if that's possible in London.

Is it time for a cat? I know some are rubbish at catching mice, but we had loads of cats growing up and they were all mousers, on account of the fact that they were all products of our oldest cat and queen of the hill, their mum. So they were taught well.
The thing is, I can't remember how long a kitten needs with it's mama in order to learn to 'hunt/mouse'. This would be crucial for us if we were to go down to cat route.

Any advice on owning a cat who is a good mouser would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a million.

catsofa Fri 14-Mar-14 14:55:36

Why get a kitten? Get yourself an adult cat who you already know will catch mice, there are plenty in shelters needing rehoming!

Hassled Fri 14-Mar-14 14:58:55

There's no way you can possibly predict whether a kitten will become a good mouser. Two of ours came from a farm - I'm assuming the mother/grandmother knew about mice - and they're bloody hopeless. They catch them, bring them into the house alive, lose them somewhere, lose interest and wander off to sleep.

Call the council, explain your pregnancy/small kids, and see what they say. They're not going to put you at risk, and you won't be the first pregnant women with rodent issues they've dealt with.

Sheldonswhiteboard Fri 14-Mar-14 15:03:58

I have a brilliant mouser, adopted him a few months ago. The thing is though I don't need a mouser, he just brings them in. If I'm not there to rescue them they suffer. Cats don't kill their prey quickly, they like to toy with them, I would exhaust all other avenues before getting a cat to be honest? You'll also have to be prepared for the fact that if the cat likes to hunt it will kill birds as well and leave the remains strewn around the house!
I would agree with catsofa though if you do want a cat go for a mature one.

GrendelsMum Fri 14-Mar-14 16:07:52

I'm told that just having a cat in the house makes a massive difference to the number of mice / rats that will come in - they can smell its dangerous territory. Certainly we've had much less of a problem than previous owners and neighbours do. (i.e. one or two mice behind the walls where the cat can't get them, despite having had a jolly good go, never any mice getting through the walls into the house).

Our cats have all been mousers and not bird-catchers - I don't know if this is something they learn from their mothers? And we've had all of ours as adults from the Blue Cross.

roslet Fri 14-Mar-14 17:32:22

We had one of those plug in mouse repellers in our first house (similar sort of street) and bizarrely we had no more problems until for some reason we unplugged it for a couple of months. Not sure why they work, but it seemed to for us.

tb Fri 14-Mar-14 19:57:57

Our current cat is a pedigree - and caught her last mouse just over a year ago - she's 19.

Her predecessor, who was a moggy, thought food came from a tin, and wouldn't have twitched a whisker if a mouse had run across the sitting room and gone to pinch her food from the kitchen.

docsarah Fri 14-Mar-14 20:03:27

Use proper mousetraps - the snapping kind, with peanut butter. A quick death by mousetrap is a bit more humane than being tortured to death by a cat, and cat shit is the last thing I'd want to deal with when pregnant.

A good mousetrap is the only thing that worked for us, as well as being careful not to leave food out.

heartichoke Fri 14-Mar-14 20:18:06

Whenever I've not had a cat, mice have surfaced - particularly in victorian houses in towns where they're just sort of embedded along whole streets somehow. Cats are the only effective answer - they might bring mice in occasionally, but the mice brought in by cats don't last long enough to form communities! And I think Grendelsmum is right that they don't have to be particularly strong mousers - mice just avoid cats' homes...

The only problem is how to deal with the inevitable decaying mouse bodies that seem to turn up where poor rodents have been chased under furniture and then expired.

beaglesaresweet Fri 14-Mar-14 21:09:07

I don't understand why the mouse repelling devices work well in some cases (poster above!) but don't work in others. Surely it's he same principle? or are some devices better/more expensive? Would have been so simple if they just worked..

Honsandrevels Fri 14-Mar-14 21:18:09

If you have a cat but no cat flap then the cat can't bring in live mice. I've lived in old houses all my life but only once have I ever seen a mouse or signs of mouse activity but we've always had cats.

I've seen many a mouse or rat body on the doorstep though.

The trouble is you don't know whether a cat is going to be a mouser. The one time I saw a mouse it scuttled across the lounge floor. It was spotted by our old family cat who looked terrified and ran the other way!

TypicaLibra Fri 14-Mar-14 23:43:53

I got a mouse-repelling thingy that I saw on here recommended by a mumsnetter. Got it in about November and not seen hide nor hare of a mouse since. Wholeheartedly recommend.

Otherwise a normal trap, not a humane trap. You need to finish them off or they just come back or become someone else's problem.

beaglesaresweet Fri 14-Mar-14 23:53:02

Typical, do you know whether they are all the same, or if not which brand did you buy? Do they buzz noticeably, and do they emit any chemicals?

Did you have a persistent problem before, or just an odd incident?

MummytoMog Sat 15-Mar-14 09:14:25

Cat, but get an adult rescue with a strong hunting instinct. We have four cats, two hunt, two don't, but we never get mice inside, but we do get them in the garage so I know they're around. Our Serengeti (Bengal Siamese cross) is deadly. Like a mini cheetah. We also don't get woken up by pigeons since she cleared out all their nests a couple of years ago. I do feel bad about the squirrels though.

AClassyMove Sat 15-Mar-14 10:55:12

Our first cat was a great hunter, it was part Scottish wildcat. The second cat was trained by the first, not from the same family. The first died and we have a third now, part maine coon/norweigan forrest cat, I hope that the youngest is good with mice too. We have never had a problem with them, twice live mice were brought in the cat's mouth to play with, I got them in cardboard and put them back outside.

I agree get a mature cat who enjoys to hunt.

AlpacaLypse Sat 15-Mar-14 10:58:40

AlpacaCat's very presence has frightened the little horrors out.

However cat poo is a big fat no for you at the moment.

Could you foster a cat from rescue?

Sicaq Sat 15-Mar-14 11:00:27

I know this doesn't answer your cat query, but I haven't seem my furry guest since I started leaving peppermint essential oil to vapourish near his favourite routes. Apparently they hate the smell.

Apologies if you've already tried everything, it is a horrible feeling knowing the feckers are lurking behind your walls.

SaltyGoodness Sat 15-Mar-14 11:10:53

I know that some adopt-a-pet websites ( was the best from memory) will sometimes have whether a cat is a good mouser on the cat's profile, so that might be an option? Worth a look!

Definitely agree with adopting an adult cat.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 15-Mar-14 11:23:09

Rentokil are used to coming into houses with small dcs and will provide you with child safe traps. Of course, if the child is really determined they can get in but it would take a while. Iirc they c

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 15-Mar-14 11:24:24

Sorry fat fingers.

Rentokil came back 3 times and the problem was sorted. I'd only get a cat if you want one anyway and then I'd get a rescue.

ShoeWhore Sat 15-Mar-14 18:35:22

Just call the council. Ours came out and left traps baited with peanut butter. Job done.

TypicaLibra Sun 16-Mar-14 09:16:16

beaglesaresweet, sorry I've only just come back to the thread - no humming sound, and yes I did have a persistent problem before during the winter months. Too many little cracks / holes in old stone house I guess that they could sneak in through.

I have it in the corner of my bedroom - it's a biggish room, and was the one where I had the problem - guess it's because it's an attic room, maybe they were sneaking in under the eaves, I could certainly hear them in the cavity between plasterboard and tiles somewhere.

My model is very similar to this one on Amazon.

I must have been lucky because the instructions say that if they've nested, they might not go for 6 weeks, but mine can't quite have nested because they went the same day!!

Hope you get rid of the little blighters!

justaweeone Sun 16-Mar-14 10:33:01

We live in the country and have no problem with rats or mice in our house.
This is what happens to our local vermin. This is the latest offerings this week!

justaweeone Sun 16-Mar-14 19:20:31

Forgot to say that we do not have a cat flap as you really not want that left in your house as a special gift !!

Ludways Sun 16-Mar-14 19:28:25

I have three dead mice at the patio doors at the moment, dh can dispose of them this time, I did the last lot!!

A good mouser will have the problem sorted in no time. However, they torture them when they're bored, it isn't always a quick kill.

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