If you have a rodent problem, cats can be invaluable additions to your family. An effective mouser will hunt and kill mice for pleasure. This will entertain your cat and resolve your infestation. Just be aware that not all cats are natural mousers.
Some cat breeds are likelier than others to enjoy hunting live prey. These include Maine Coon, Siamese, Manx, Burmese, Abyssinian, Chartreux, Turkish Angora, Persian, Japanese Bobtail, and American Shorthair cats.
Before committing to adopting a cat as a mouser, learn about its personality. Certain breeds are more inclined to be mousers, but every cat is still an individual. Play with the cat to ensure it enjoys hunting and has an appropriate killer instinct.
What Kind of Cat Makes a Good Mouser?
All cats enjoy chasing mice as they are born with a hunting instinct. In addition, kittens are taught to hunt by their mother as a matter of survival. Cats need to know they can feed themselves in the wild.
A lack of hunting education from the mother can affect an adult cat’s quality of life. Other explanations for a cat refusing to hunt mice include:
- Laziness – hunting live prey takes a lot of energy and patience
- Lack of killer instinct
- Anxiety – some cats are more afraid than others
- 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, different cats enjoy hunting different prey. 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 a cat. How a cat treats toys will reveal how it will respond to a hunt.
Use a fishing rod or wind-up mouse toy. The ideal mouser will display the following behaviors.
- Silent stalking of the toy
- Pouncing upon the toy when appropriate
- Biting into the toy, growing excited it squeaks
These actions suggest that a cat will be an effective mouser. The cat will enjoy the hunting process and finish the job. Some cats just enjoy chasing prey. Cats that allow prey to escape so they can hunt again later are not efficient mousers.
A lack of killer instinct will actually magnify your rodent problem. Mice often breed when they smell predators. The mouse wants to reproduce in the face of threats, ensuring the propagation of the species.
According to Biological Conservation, this mirrors how a cat will act when hunting live prey. Of 55 hunting cats surveyed, 49% of kills were abandoned at the site of capture. 28% were eaten, and the remaining 23% were presented to humans as trophies.
How the cat behaves after the play will also show you want to expect. Some cats will present the toy to you and meow. The cat is showing you that it completed a hunt. It is presenting the ‘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. These ten breeds will typically boast these traits. All the same, ensure you meet the cat in advance. Even within particular breeds, cats have unique personalities.
1/ Maine Coon
Despite their size, the Maine Coon is something of a gentle giant. This is a lovable, affectionate breed that makes a great family cat. Just be aware that it requires a lot of maintenance. The long fur of a Maine Coon needs to be regularly groomed.
The Maine Coon is the most popular mouser in America for a reason. These are large cats, often put to work as mousers on farms. Maine Coons will happily hunt, and usually eat, mice. As they are larger in stature, this breed can also comfortably tackle rats.
Maine Coons can also have a tendency to be lazy. If you want to use this cat as a mouser, keep it active and interested. Regular play will do this. Don’t overfeed this breed, either. You want your Maine Coon to be well-fed, but hungry enough to hunt.
A mouse will not offer a cat significant sustenance. Typically, a mouse will account for 30 of a cat’s 240 required daily calories. A motivated Maine Coon may chase and eat multiple mice per day, though. Ensure this is reflected in any food allowance.
Burmese cats are among the most natural hunters of all felines. This is partly due to this breed’s playful nature. Hunting is recreation to a Burmese. Do bear this in mind. This breed is likely to play with a mouse long before killing it. That can be upsetting to watch.
A Burmese cat will rid your home or business of mice, though. This is largely because these muscular cats are as greedy as they are playful. A Burmese cat will eat any prey it captures, so watch this breed’s weight.
If you decide to bring a Burmese cat into your family, ensure you do have other pets. This breed can be quite prickly. It tends to only enjoy the company of fellow Burmese cats.
Also, be warned that older Burmese cats can grow lazy and placid. While young, this breed is curious, playful, and a lethal hunter. A Burmese cat aged between 2 and 7 is arguably the most efficient mouser of all.
Persian cats have a reputation as lazy. If you encounter this breed, it will likely be relaxing or demanding human interaction. It is true that Persian cats require plenty of grooming and petting.
What often goes unsaid is that Persian cats have sudden bursts of excitable, kitten-like energy. This is especially prevalent in females, particularly when prey crosses the cat’s path. If a female Persian sees a mouse, her eyes widen as she leaps into action.
Persian cats are also intelligent, so the hunt will not last long. The cat will outsmart its opponent and take care of business quickly and efficiently. This makes Persian cats great mousers for minimal infestations. This breed will never be the most active, but it springs into life when necessary.
Abyssinian cats are great family pets. These are famously cuddly felines, so children will love them. They also require comparatively minimal grooming. Abyssinians require a lot of attention and company, though. Do not adopt this breed if it will be alone for long periods.
Abyssinians get along with any pet that can match their energy levels, except rodents. This is an energetic breed that loves to play. This means that it also has a high prey drive. An escaped hamster will quickly become a snack. Even small rabbits may be in danger.
This prey drive makes Abyssinians naturally efficient mousers. If there is any suggestion of prey in the house, instinct takes over. As this breed is also energetic, the cat is unlikely to run out of steam. It will gleefully 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. Just think twice about this breed if you are squeamish. Abyssinian cats do not go easy on their prey. A dead mouse presented to you as a gift will be a gruesome sight.
5/ Japanese Bobtail
Japanese Bobtails are among the most intelligent of cat breeds. These cats are gentle and love human company. They make great family pets if you have the time to dedicate to their care. This breed is also a natural hunter, so it makes a great mouser.
Japanese Bobtails are popular in Korea. In this country, factories employ these cats to keep the rodent population under control. This instinct will carry over to a domesticated setting. These cats will make short work of any mice in your home.
You can easily keep the hunting instincts of a Japanese Bobtail sharp. This breed loves to play. This means that they can be hard work and energetic. As this cat is territorial, it will quickly eliminate any rodent infiltrators.
If possible, adopt this breed in pairs. Japanese Bobtails are loyal and resent being separated from siblings. The company keeps both cats happy, and they will often hunt together. This will also reduce the pressure on you and your family to provide constant stimulation.
6/ American Shorthair
The American Shorthair is built for the hunt. This cat is typically 12 lbs. or more of pure muscle. As a result, this breed will never think twice about stalking and eliminating prey. In fact, that was why these cats ended up in the United States, to begin with.
Despite the name, the American Shorthair is believed to started life in Britain. This breed arrived in America on the Mayflower with British pilgrims in 1620. The cats acted as mousers aboard the ship, ridding the boat of unwelcome trespassers.
Despite their powerful physique, American Shorthairs are not always active. This breed enjoys being a pampered family pet. You must commit to keeping the hunting instinct sharp. The cat will bring you a toy when it wants to play. Make time for this. This breed needs to regularly exercise.
An American Shorthair is a great cat for a farm or rural home. This breed needs little attention and will amuse itself. If the opportunity to hunt arises though, a mouse stands no chance against this powerful opponent.
Chartreux cats are easy company, especially for single people. This cat enjoys company but is equally happy alone. While a Chartreux is loyal, it is rarely needy. If the cat wants one-on-one attention, it will approach with a toy. This will not happen too often.
The easy-going, placid nature of a Chartreux stops when a hunt begins. Strong and muscular, this breed adores hunting and eliminating mice. Hailing from France originally, the Chartreux is still used in French farmhouses as a mouser.
A Chartreux will require regular grooming. This is also a rare breed, so you may need to spend more to obtain one. This outlay is worthwhile if you have a mouse problem. Few breeds compare to the Chartreux when it comes to single-minded, efficient hunting.
Manx cats are most famous for their lack of a tail. This does not affect the ability of a Manx to balance or hunt. These cats are popular mousers on British ships, keeping rodent populations are bay. They are just as effective outside of the open seas.
The main reasons Manx cats are such effective mousers in their appetite. This is a greedy breed. It will also hunt live prey to supplement its food allowance. This means that feeding a Manx must be done carefully. This breed can easily become overweight.
Thankfully, Manx cats are also highly energetic. If you adopt this breed, ensure it can run and play regularly. This will burn calories and ensure the cat remains docile. If a Manx detects live prey while exercising, it will immediately begin a hunt.
Manx cats need plenty of grooming and enjoy human company. This breed is also difficult to faze and upset, though. As far as cats go, the Manx is easy-going. Coupled with a high prey drive, this breed makes a great family member and mouser.
As Siamese cats are so regal, it may surprise you to know they are proficient hunters. Part of the reason this breed is so esteemed by Eastern royalty is its abilities as a mouser. A Siamese cat can rid a home of rodents in no time.
The biggest challenge in achieving this is convincing the cat to hunt. Siamese cats are a lot of work. They demand complete devotion from owners. If you are busy or will not be home much, consider a different mouser. A Siamese cat will begrudge a lack of attention.
If you can make this cat the center of your universe, things will be different. This breed will gleefully hunt mice for the approval of its cherished owner.
Just brace yourself. A Siamese cat will invariably present you the spoils of its kill as a gift. This will be seen as a demonstration of loyalty. Manage the disposal of these corpses carefully to avoid causing offense.
10/ Turkish Angora
Unlike most breeds of domesticated cats, the Turkish Angora evolved exclusively from the wild. This breed of feline remains semi-feral to this day. This can lead to mood swings, so adopt with care. The Turkish Angora quickly becomes upset if its routine is changed.
On the other hand, the Turkish Angora retains the instincts of a street cat. Few breeds can match the Turkish Angora for agility, speed, and stealth. No matter how pampered, this cat will forget its domestication while hunting. Rodents do not stand a chance against it.
If you live with a Turkish Angora cat, pay particular attention to its diet. This breed has a fine muscle definition. Excess weight can be dangerous. As the Turkish Angora will never think twice about eating live prey, this must be considered.
The Turkish Angora does not require much grooming and is not too needy. As long as the cat has a reliable routine, it will be a loving pet. It also among the deadliest mousers available if treated well.
These breeds are all likely to become impressive, efficient mousers. Also, having a cat will deter mice from entering your property.