If you have a rodent problem, cats offer a solution. An effective mouser will hunt and kill mice for pleasure. This will entertain your cat and potentially resolve your infestation. Just be aware that not all cats are natural mousers.
Some cat breeds enjoy hunting live prey. The best mousers include Maine Coon, Siamese, Manx, Burmese, Abyssinian, Chartreux, Turkish Angora, Persian, Japanese Bobtail, and American Shorthair cats.
Before getting a cat to hunt mice based on breed, you need to determine whether the specific cat has the right personality to be an effective predator. Certain feline breeds are more inclined to be mousers, but every cat is still an individual. Spend some time playing with the cat to see if it’s a skilled hunter with a killer instinct.
What Kind of Cat Makes a Good Mouser?
All cats like chasing mice as they are instinctually born hunters. Also, kittens are taught to hunt by their mother to survive as they need to know they can feed themselves in the wild. A lack of hunting education from the mother can affect an adult cat’s ability to feed itself. Other explanations for a cat not hunting mice include:
- Laziness: Hunting live prey takes energy and patience.
- Low prey drive: Lack of killer instinct.
- Anxiety: Some cats are more fearful than others.
- Bad experiences: Memories of being bitten by a mouse or rat.
Even if your cat is a natural hunter, it may not stalk mice. According to Applied Animal Behavior Science, cats enjoy hunting different types of prey. For example, your cat may prefer to hunt birds more than rodents.
How To Tell if A Cat Is A Good Mouser
A mouser must have plenty of energy, a high prey drive, and a killer instinct. The easiest way to test this is to play with the cat. How a cat reacts to toys is likely to reveal how it will respond to a hunt. Use a fishing rod or wind-up mouse toy. The best mousers will display the following behaviors:
- Silent stalking of the toy
- Wiggling its bottom before pouncing upon the toy
- Biting into the toy, growing excited when it squeaks
Unfortunately, some cats just enjoy chasing prey, allowing the prey to escape so they can hunt it again. A lack of killer instinct will actually magnify your rodent problem, as mice often breed when they smell predators. The mouse wants to reproduce in the face of threats, ensuring the propagation of its species.
According to Biological Conservation, this mirrors how a cat will act when hunting live prey. Of the 55 hunting cats surveyed, 49% of kills were abandoned at the site of capture, 28% were eaten, and 23% were presented as trophies.
How the cat behaves after playing will show you what to expect. Some cats will present the toy to you and meow. The cat is showing you that it has completed its hunt and is presenting the rodent corpse as a gift and expects praise. Other cats will leave the toy where it lies.
What Breed of Cat Is The Best Mouse Catcher?
There are certain characteristics associated with mouse hunting, and these breeds usually have these traits. However, you should meet and assess the cat’s predatorial skills in advance. Even within particular breeds, cats have unique personalities that ultimately determine if they will make good mousers.
Maine Coons are the most popular breed of mouser in America. They are large cats that are put to work on farms due to their hunting skills and higher-than-average consumption levels. As they are so big, this breed can even eat rats.
However, Maine Coons can be lazy, so you’ll need to keep them active and interested by playing with them regularly. Don’t overfeed this breed. You want your Maine Coon to be well-fed and healthy but hungry enough to hunt.
A mouse will not provide a cat with significant sustenance. A single mouse will account for just 30 of a cat’s 240 required daily calories. A motivated Maine Coon may chase and eat multiple mice per day.
Burmese are among the most natural hunters of all felines. This is partly due to this breed’s playful nature; hunting is a form of recreation to a Burmese. However, this breed of cat is likely to play with mice before killing them.
A Burmese will rid your home (or business) of mice because these muscular cats are as greedy as they are playful. A Burmese will eat any prey that it captures, which should be reflected in how much you feed them each day.
Older Burmese cats can grow lazy and become more placid. While young, this breed is curious, playful, and a lethal hunter. A Burmese aged between 2 and 7 is likely to be of the optimal age for mousing.
Persian cats do have a reputation for being lazy. What often goes unsaid is that Persian cats have sudden bursts of excitable, kitten-like energy. This is especially prevalent in females when prey crosses their path. If a female Persian sees a mouse, her eyes will widen before she leaps into action.
Persian cats are also intelligent, so the hunt will not last for long. A Persian will outsmart its opponent and take care of business quickly and efficiently. This makes Persian cats good mousers for small rodent infestations. They will never be the most active cats but will spring into action when the need arises.
Abyssinians are an energetic breed of cat that loves to play, so they have a high prey drive. This prey drive makes Abyssinians naturally efficient mousers. If there is any suggestion of prey in the house, their instinct will take over. As this breed is also energetic, the cat is unlikely to run out of steam and will hunt to completion.
Pairing up two Abyssinians is recommended if you have a serious rodent problem. The cats will keep each other company and hunt any intruder. Abyssinian cats do not go easy on their prey and like to gift dead animals.
Factories in Korea use Japanese Bobtails to keep the rodent population under control. This instinct will carry over to a domesticated setting, so they will make short work of any mice in your home.
You can keep the hunting instincts of a Japanese Bobtail sharp as this breed loves to play. As this breed is also highly territorial, it will quickly remove any rodent infiltrators.
Adopt this breed in pairs as they like to be with their siblings and will often hunt together. As a bonus, this company will reduce the pressure on you to provide them with enrichment and stimulation.
The American Shorthair is perfectly built to hunt. This cat averages 12 lbs. or more of pure muscle. Consequently, this breed won’t think twice about stalking and killing prey. In fact, that’s why these cats ended up in the U.S.
The American Shorthair is believed to started life in Britain. They arrived in America on the Mayflower with British pilgrims in 1620, acting as mousers aboard the ship and ridding the boat of unwelcome mice and rats.
Despite their muscular physique, American Shorthairs are not always that active. Consequently, you must commit to playing with these cats to keep their hunting instincts sharp. Mice stand no little against these skilled hunters.
The easy-going, placid nature of a Chartreux ceases as soon as a hunt begins. Strong and muscular, this breed thrives on hunting and eradicating mice. Hailing from France originally, the Chartreux is still used in French farmhouses as mousers. Few breeds compare to the Chartreux when it comes to single-minded, efficient hunting.
Manx cats lack a tail, but this does not affect their ability to hunt. They were once popular mousers on British ships, keeping rodent populations at bay. However, they are just as effective mousers when away from the open seas.
The main reasons Manx cats are such good mousers in their appetite. This is a greedy breed of cat that will hunt live prey to supplement their daily food allowance. Feeding should be in moderation to prevent obesity.
Fortunately, Manx cats are energetic, so you must ensure that you play with and exercise your cat regularly to burn off excess calories. If a Manx detects live prey, it will immediately commence hunting.
This breed of cat is esteemed by Eastern royalty due is its ability to catch mice. A cherished Siamese cat will present you the spoils of its kill as a gift as a demonstration of loyalty. The main challenge is convincing these cats to hunt.
Siamese cats are a lot of work, and they demand complete devotion from their owners. If you are busy or will not be home much, you should consider getting a different type of mouser. However, if you can make this cat the center of your universe, this breed will gleefully hunt mice for your approval.
Unlike most breeds of domesticated cats, the Turkish Angora evolved exclusively from the wild. This breed of feline remains semi-feral to this day, so the Turkish Angora retains the instincts of a street cat.
Few breeds come close to matching the Turkish Angora for agility, speed, and stealth. No matter how pampered, this cat will immediately forget its domestication while hunting. Rodents rarely stand a chance against them.
If you have a Turkish Angora cat, pay close attention to its diet. This breed has a fine muscle definition, and any excess weight will slow them down. As the Turkish Angora won’t eat the live prey that it captures, this must be considered.
These breeds are most likely to make the best mousers. Also, having a cat will deter mice from entering your property.