Can I Feed My Cat Mice? (Risks & Why they do it)
If you are thinking about what your cat can eat, you may have been curious about mice. Or maybe your cat is feeling sick after eating and you are worried if it’s connected to a mouse (this could just be because she ate too fast – Click here for my 3 best slow feed cat bowls to sort this) Either way let me explain the deal with mice & cats…
Can I Feed My Cat Mice? Yes, you can feed your cat mice(if you want to). However, you need to make sure that you do so under certain circumstances. If you allow your cat to eat just any mouse you will run into problems. If you purchase a mouse and know its history it’s better.
Now you know your cat can eat mice, let me explain the reasons why I say wild mice are not good, why cats even eat mice, the potential diseases mice can pass on (even to you) and more…
What’s the problem with wild mice?
Basically, you do not want your cat to eat any random mouse that they find on their journeys. The reason for this is, you don’t know where that mouse has been. You don’t know what disease it could bring to your cat (more on this later).
Cats are natural hunters, anything that is moving will entice them. They will instinctively go and attack it. So, if you want them to just play with the mouse, instead of eating it, you need another strategy.
Basically, you need to make sure they’re fully fed before you allow them to play with the mouse.
Why do cats eat mice?
To cut a long story short this is basically because it is ingrained into their system. Hunting is instinctive from birth.
From the age of only 6 weeks old, you can see signs of a natural hunter. Have you ever tried to run a piece of string past a kitten before? I don’t even need to spell it out, they will chase that thing until the cats come home.
Hunting for Survival
Less than 100 years ago cats were largely living in the wild and hunting for survival. In time they were gradually domesticated to help with pest control issues by their cat owners.
Many years on from this, they are more kept now as fun-loving pets rather than pest controlling animals. However, they still have that same animal instinct built into them.
One of the main features of a cat that made them the ultimate pest controller is their acute hearing. They are capable of seeking out their prey even if they cannot visually see them.
Do mice present any risk of disease to your cat?
If you provide mice that you know the history of, maybe you purchased it from a pet shop, then it is fine.
However, if your cat comes into the kitchen with a random cat in his mouth then you need to be concerned.
There are a number of diseases that your cat could be carrying. However, there are also other risks. Such as rat poison consumed by the mouse.
Obviously, you do not want your cat consuming this poison indirectly through the mouse so this could be an added risk.
Fortunately for you, the chances of this happening are quite low because you are unlikely to be putting down rat poison if you have cats running around your house, right?
So for the most part, the biggest risk will be the diseases it can pass on such as toxoplasma, hantavirus, rickettsialpox & roundworms.
What should you do if your cat has already eaten the mouse?
In this situation, you have no choice but to monitor your cat and see how they react to this. Because you have no idea where this mouse has come from.
You should look out for the following symptoms:
- Abdominal issues.
- Generally out of character.
- Also diarrhea.
This is a general guide of what to look out for, but in general, you should look out for anything that causes concern or is different from the norm, are you with me?
If you detect any of these symptoms or anything else that concerns you then I would advise that you contact your vet as soon as possible.
In fact, even if your cat does not display these symptoms and you have any slight concern, the best practice is to go ahead and contact your vet. Even if it’s for general peace of mind.
In this section, I’m going to cover some related questions to cats eating mice. If you feel that there are questions in your mind that have not been answered feel free to leave a comment below.
Will getting a cat keep mice away? In general, it will help but it won’t necessarily get rid of the entire problem. If you have a mouse infestation the problem is mice have a knack of getting into places that your cat simply cannot get to.
For example, you may notice that there are mice hidden in your attic, cavities in the wall or even hidden just behind your skirting boards.
The chances are, even if your cat has an idea that they are there, it won’t be able to deal with the problem
Can mice detect or sense that a cat is in your house? Yes, they have a special organ in their body called “vomeronasal”. In basic English, it is an advanced sense of smell.
They use it to detect the scent of your cat. This will ultimately deter them from nesting in your house. Obviously, this is not guaranteed to completely get rid of an infestation problem. But, it will help you.
Are mice afraid of Cats? Yes, of course. This may seem like a silly question to ask now, the reasons why is more interesting.
According to the BBC, there have been recent studies done to confirm that when mice detect cats or rats, identified by special proteins in cats and the urine of the rats, it causes immense fear.
What should I do if my cat catches a mouse? First of all usher your cat out of the room, without the mouse. Leaving the mouse behind for you to clean up. Put on some rubber gloves and start preparing yourself to clean.
Use some bleach and disinfect the area and make sure it’s clean. However, only take this approach with a hardwood surface. You can also use a watered down bleach solution, such as one part bleach and ten parts water. This will be a bit safer, are you with me?
While you still have the gloves on, pick up the mouse, place him in a plastic bag. However, make sure that you seal the bag before placing it into the bin for removal.
If the mouse was dumped onto a fabric-based surface, such as a sofa. You will need to clean it differently. For these surfaces, you will need to either steam clean or use special fabric furniture cleaner.
The reality is, she will probably do this again, so make sure you have your cleaning items prepared for the future.
Do Cats Actually Eat The Mice? Yes, some do. The reality is some will, some won’t. The chances are she will hunt the mouse. Grab it and play with it. If she is really hungry, she probably will, but it is less likely in a domestic environment.
As discussed earlier, the are instinctive hunters. They rarely hunt for food in a domestic environment. Think about it, they have no need to, right?
You feed her daily and spoil her rotten, why would she even have the need to find food. The fun for most of them is merely catching the mouse, rather than eating it.