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Are some breeds of cat better mousers than others?

(25 Posts)
Bitzer Mon 25-Mar-13 21:56:26

We're hoping to get a cat (or kitten). Largely because we really want a cat but we are also hoping it will help rid us of the mice that keep sauntering around our house at all times of the day or night.

I'd been led to believe that the smell of a cat alone would make the mice pack their bags but then discovered via an old mumsnet thread that this is not the case. Apparently I could end up with a cat whose interest would not be piqued if mice were tapdancing in its basket.

Is there any way to tell whether a kitten/cat is likely to be a mouser or lazy useless lump not?

cozietoesie Mon 25-Mar-13 22:05:49

I have this unreasonable belief that ginger toms are the best mousers.

This is wholly unjustified by statistical evidence and only down to my own experience. It's pretty well down to luck of the draw I think.

thecatneuterer Mon 25-Mar-13 22:11:58

Entirely luck of the draw I would say. Although younger ones tend to be more enthusiastic hunters than middle aged ones.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Mon 25-Mar-13 22:17:24

I have a ginger boy (neutered) who has a very high prey-drive, he can kill a stalk of cauliflower in nano-seconds (unfortunately he then has to run around growling loudly and hiding his much loved prize from the bemused other cat and dog)

There was a dead wood pigeon sad on my lawn last summer, I don't know if he managed it on his own or if he had help from his very naughty little shit best friend, the little girl tortie who lives 2 doors away.

My other cat - Evil Cat - likes to hunt, catch, disable and then promptly loses interest and I am left with a half dead moth/bird/mouse to clear up angry. She is a black and white ball of fury (I'm not sure that is a specific 'breed' though)

I think it's all about prey-drive rather than being breed specific IYSWIM.

cozietoesie Mon 25-Mar-13 22:36:54

I think you might be satisfied if you can get that rare beast - a mature cat who has lived rough a little but wants to be a home cat from now on. (If they've had to hunt 'for a living' it's honed their instincts.) A rescue might be able to advise.

Unfortunately, even an ex-streetie who can hunt might not eat their catch if they have a plate of yummy human-provided food in the kitchen so you could find yourself disposing of a multitude of small corpses.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 25-Mar-13 23:16:31

The most prolific hunter I have ever had the honour of skiving for is the tail less wonder who is in current residence. She kills for pleasure single blow and does not munch or crunch. She has known hardship in her life whilst raising 5 kittens so I suspect she currently keeps her hand in should she ever need to fall back on it. She prefers rats to mice the bigger the better.

Slavetothechild Mon 25-Mar-13 23:19:53

Ive always found that girls are the best hunters. We have russian blues and thry are leathal . When we lived on our farm ,it used to look like a horror film in the mornings, outside the back door were loads of dead mice rats voles moles. Yuck ! Very effective breed. Siamese on the other hand more than bloody useless i think they must be buddists lol never kill any thing smile

tabulahrasa Mon 25-Mar-13 23:22:30

I've got a Siamese and a tabby moggy - both are mousers...which means you get left dead wee beasties and unfortunately they also run some sort of catch and release scheme and you end up with more mice than you had to start with. hmm

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 25-Mar-13 23:23:42

I also think that females are the 'best' hunters. I also lived on a farm, and that was the lore, anyway!

Def 2nd the idea of a rescue cat - you could ask for one that has high prey drive - likely one will have been given up for that very reason.

tealady Mon 25-Mar-13 23:24:26

We have two tabbies who have created a mouse problem in our house as they catch the mice outside and then bring them in and let them go alive for the fun of playing, then lose interest. I have caught (and freed) very many mice thanks to these two jokers. Only a small percentage of their catch are killed and we get up to three mice per day during spring and summer. Its very bl**dy annoying.

I heard that the mother cat teaches the kittens how to be good at catching so if Mum is a good mouser then her kittens will be also. No idea if this is true.

QueenOfCats Mon 25-Mar-13 23:26:32

2 of my cats have a system in place for mousing.

Fat, lazy, slow moving (previously fractured hips and pelvis) ginger boy lounges by the back door.

Younger, more lithe black long haired fella goes out and catches some poor creature.

Comes back with the oddest miaow ever, ginger boy knows exactly what it means.

Black cat leaves his gift in the garden and sits patiently whilst ginger tom ambles outside to inspect and then devour said creature. Sometimes leaves guts and head.

It's a ritual.

cozietoesie Mon 25-Mar-13 23:27:25

..... catch and release scheme....... Love it.


crazydrunkevilhamster Mon 25-Mar-13 23:32:19

I have Maine Coon & they seem to prefer to play with Insects/frogs/mice rather than kill or scare off .
I keep expecting one to bring a frog in from the garden & ask if they can keep it hmm grin

sashh Tue 26-Mar-13 03:53:16

Are you anywhere near Wolverhampton.

I occasionally feed a stray ginger tom. He definitely doesn't have a home.

He used to be allowed in but as he has not been nice to my own cat he just gets some food outside.

cozietoesie Tue 26-Mar-13 07:00:10

Oooooh. Fingers crossed.

Mondrian Tue 26-Mar-13 07:12:59

Why not a cairn terrier, ok so it's a dog but its breed for this task, can't go wrong.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 26-Mar-13 07:18:36

I think our females have been best. But we too have had a mouse problem by mice brought into the house. The crossest I've ever seen DH was when he was working hard and a mouse was plonked in his printer (a big old fashioned one). He couldn't get it out and the air turned blue. Not helped by me thinking it was hilarious.

cozietoesie Tue 26-Mar-13 07:22:04

Now that was really unfair, Wynken. Poor cat probably thought it was showing deep affection by giving him a special gift!

(Still laughing, though.)


Umanayana Tue 26-Mar-13 07:56:38

Totally agree that females are the best hunters. My boy cats are lazy sods but the girls are evil killing machines! I also have a theory that you can identify a killer by how they play. If they catch a toy, string etc and bring it straight to their mouth for the 'death bite' they will be great hunters. My best hunter is a moggie.

Bitzer Tue 26-Mar-13 14:12:32

Wow - very pleased to have got so many responses, very encouraging. Thank you for your thoughts. I've got my eye on a one-year-old female cat from Battersea Cats Home, so hoping the 'ladies are better mousers' theory is a reliable one. Might try out Umanayana's death bite test if we get a chance to meet the cat in person pre-adoption

Mondrian we're in central London with a little patio garden so don't feel it's fair to get a dog, otherwise would be v interested in the terrier idea

cozietoesie Tue 26-Mar-13 14:18:43

Good luck then Bitzer - and invest in a few old fashioned traps for the attic where the new arrival couldn't get at them. (They're only cheap.)

RafflesWay Thu 28-Mar-13 16:00:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

decorusmum Thu 28-Mar-13 17:09:14

Bengals are good too - very active cats but not to be let outside as they are extremely teritorial and often get run over. If you are letting the cat out, getting a young rescue is advisable......although I am of the opinion that a cat should stay in just like a dog, mine do really well indoors and never seek to leave the backdoor when it is opened.

Good luck with the mouse issue.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 28-Mar-13 17:14:25

Moggy rather thoroughbred

SimLondon Thu 28-Mar-13 22:49:12

Respectfully dont agree with keeping cats inc Bengals indoors, we fostered one for a while and she was never happier than when climbing trees and hunting. I have three feral rescues that live outdoors, they will come in when ready but will still be able to go out whenever they choose.

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