Mice - suddenly successful hunter - is there anything we can do?(15 Posts)
Our roughly 18 month old boy cat (who is neutered) has suddenly become successful at catching mice. Up to yesterday, he had only ever brought in two birds and caught nothing else we knew of.
Yesterday, he caught a mouse outside somewhere, brought it in and played with it, chasing it round the house. DH finally caught the mouse and put it out (at the end of the garden I think).
The cat brought two more in through the catflap later in the morning - one survived and DH caught and released that one, and one that expired.
DH did a run to B&Q and bought up virtually their entire stock of pet-friendly mouse traps that are now dotted round our downstairs including one just under the cat flap.
All was quiet last night, but today the cat has brought in another and is chasing it round the living room. I am typing this from work so I cannot help at all, but it is driving DH spare. The cat won't take the mice out and just plays with them.
This sudden success is obviously bringing him great joy but as relative novices at this cat-owning lark, do we have this to look forward to forever now? Will he get bored and stop bringing them in to play with? Now and again we could cope, but three in one day is more than DH and I can take.
Does anyone have any tips as to what we can do to make him less interested in hunting or less successful at it, or at least less interested in bringing his catches into the house and playing with them?
I do understand this is a hazard of owning a cat but we hadn't expected this level of hunting. To be honest, I am wondering at where all these mice have suddenly appeared from!
Sorry about the long post.
Dose cheese with steroids and scatter it around. If he can't catch them, he can't play with them.
I think it is the chase part he enjoys sadly.
In our case, it was a surge in mouse population caused by a neighbour with unsealed bins. The hunting dropped away after the problem was sorted. Domestic cats are quite lazy buggers - they do enjoy the chase, but they will tend to only begin if there's a lot of prey to get them started.
After that, we had a big flock of birds move in nearby, and it was pigeons in the bed for a month or two. These things pass, in our experience.
Do you have any long grass directly outside? Mice often make 'runs' in the long grass so cutting it back close to the house might shift the cat further away/make them a more difficult catch.
Has he got a collar with a bell? A really jingly bell is good.
Brilliant - thanks for all these ideas. Our longish grass could well be a problem cozietoesie - we are not great gardeners and haven't mowed since the end of summer and even if it is not the grass that is the problem, the beds are a bit overgrown due to us not tending them properly. That would be worth tackling definitely.
Also, a surge in mouse population was something we wondered about Mephistopheles - whether the cold was bringing them closer to the house or something? We don't have unsealed bins (and I don't think our neighbours do). However, they do love wildlife and could easily be putting food out...
It is the idea of wildlife in the bed which is particularly freaking me out - we have had none so far, so we are due probably.
He doesn't have a collar Kilmeny - he worked the one we got him when he was a kitten off pretty quickly so we never bothered again. I think we will revisit that.
Fingers crossed one or all of these will sort the problem out.
You have not lived until you're changing sheets in a bunk bed and a panicked black bird attacks your face.
Thanks, cat. Your gift of blood, black feathers and heart failure is appreciated.
Both of mine are hunters. One is deadly efficient, catches and kills at the same moment and eats it, bringing in the odd dead present to share. The other just brings home lots of live stuff. Usually unharmed minus the odd insect I've had to finish off. I find the mice usually come in waves, we'll get none for weeks then a sudden surge of them. The other cat can't be relied on to catch them in the house as she's very much kill to eat, so only expresses interest in them if actually hungry.
My only method has been catching them when she brings them in, and keeping her in when I'm in bed so I know what's been brought home before they disappear.
Our girls are champion hunters. There are certainly more mice around in the winter, they move indoors! They stay well hidden since we got the cats, which is a good thing - no more brazen assaults on the worktops by grandma thunderfoot and her family. I'm not a fan of treading in entrails in my bare feet, or hoovering up feathers first thing in the morning, or chasing a live rat around the house, so the catflap is set to out only and we let the cats in when they need it, and we can see if there is wildlife dangling from their jaws.
As pp the only thing that I done was set flap to out only and got into the habit of checking his mouth before opening the door to him.
Mice etc don't actually bother me although I've had a succession of cats who disposed of any catches neatly so I've been lucky in that. It goes with the territory for me and I would rather have a house free of rodents than one where they were running and nibbling everywhere.
I have had cats more or less all my life and have only had a mouse in bed twice, both with my current little boy. Mice in shoes and boots on the other hand...
A bell might help. If they'll keep it on. My first, late beloved cat Sam, who lived a short but full life, used to dispose of several collars with bells per month. He was a pro hunter. We once had a three day turf war over half a pigeon. He brought it in and put it on my pillow. I disposed of it. He found it, and brought it back for me. Et infinitum. When he was belled, he did catch less, until he managed to undo the collar and leave it somewhere.
In essence there is pretty much nothing you can do to stop kitty from hunting! I found bells are pointless and the only barrier we have is not having a cat flap, a door or window has to be opened and we can deal with any presents before we come in.
We have 10 cats and my big boy is a true hunter, he has brought me mice, rats, moles, lizards, birds including pigeons, also we've had 2 squirrels and one hare! In summer we normally have 3 or 4 presents a day.
We also have about a 3rd of an acre of garden, we keep the grass well maintained but we have lots of burrows in there. It would be an idea to check the bin situation, but I've found that if you have a hunter, they will always find something. I would suggest having an out only cat flap or no cat flap.
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