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How cats hunt
Your cat is more than equipped to hunt mice, rats, birds, and even other small mammals like rabbits. From his sharp teeth and claws to his keen senses of sight and smell, your furry little pal can be an effective pest exterminator.
So successful are domestic cats in hunting that in some countries, the population of wildlife has dwindled at an alarming rate.
But how exactly do cats hunt? Generally, cats use three strategies when hunting: ambushing, stalking and pouncing, and fishing.
In an ambush, a cat keeps his body close to the ground by crouching. He may also quietly lurk, camouflaged by his surroundings. He will bide his time, waiting for the perfect moment to attack. And when the right opportunity arises, he will swoop in on his prey quickly.
The stalk and pounce is similar to the ambush where a cat crouches low. The difference is that he may start and stop multiple times to avoid being detected. He continues drawing close to his prey until he is within close distance. When he is close enough to make a successful attack, he will pounce on his prey.
Although many cats do not like the water, there are some breeds like the Maine Coon that have a natural affinity to it. As such, it should not come as a surprise that these cats are capable of fishing. These felines will wade into the water to hunt for prey.
Take note that not all cats eat their quarry. Feral cats and pets that spend part of their day outdoors may feed on mice and rats if there are no other types of food available.
Indoor cats, on the other hand, may simply catch mice and play and kill them just for the thrill of it. Because food is readily available, your pet does not need to eat the small animals that he has managed to capture. It just means that his instinct to hunt is still intact even if you see him as a lovable and cute pet.
Your cat may also bring to you his recent kills as a gift. Although feline behaviorists are still unsure about why cats do this, they have a few theories.
One of the most popular of these theories is that cats gift their owners their prey because their ancestors used to do this with their offspring. Your cat brings you gifts because he is trying to teach you to hunt and at the same time, tries to provide you with food.
Another theory suggests that the dead and half-dead animals that your cat brings you are not exactly gifts. He is just trying to ask you to keep these so that he can feast on them later on.
The Best and Worst Cat Breeds for Catching Mice
When it comes to getting rid of rodents, most people consider getting a cat. There is little thought about the fact that some breeds are better at catching mice than others. Cats have built a great reputation for being the world’s best mousers. Although some excel at this type of hunting, there are cat breeds that could really care less about catching mice. What it boils down to, is that some cat breeds have a natural instinct that drives them to hunt rodents. Others spend hours training their young to properly hunt the furry creatures. If you’re in the market for a cat that will annihilate your mouse population, we’ve put together a list of the best cat breeds for catching mice, as well as an honorable mention for those who are not that great at the activity.
Persians – Great mousers
Persian cats are a favorite choice for owners who enjoy having an attractive cat around that has a luxurious coat. They have a reputation for lying around the houses as a living addition to the decor. These lounging beauties are deceiving. They may seem to be ambivalent to everything around them, but we dare you to turn a live mouse loose in front of them. These highly skilled mousers will hunt a rodent down and take care of business swiftly. Persians are well above average in their intelligence. Female Persian cats have a natural instinct to hunt mice and other small rodents that is quite strong. If you’re in the market for an attractive mouser, you may want to consider a female Persian cat.
Chartreux – Good choice for mousing
The Chartreux is a cat breed from France that dates back for several hundred years. They thoroughly enjoy playing games of fetch and playing games with their owners. This playful cat, however, has a serious side. It is built for speed and agility with well-defined and strong muscles. The hunting instinct is inborn in these cats. They are fond of stalking, then chasing down their prey. A longtime favorite at French farmsteads, the Chartreux is a great choice for keeping the mouse population down. Ordinarily a calm and pleasantly natured cat, hunting brings out the beast in a Chartreux. They also make wonderful house pets.
Burmese – Excellent mouser
Burmese cats are consistently on the lookout for food. They enjoy eating and if turned out with a good supply of mice, this cat will not go unfed. They are expert hunters who are known for their skills at catching mice. Burmese cats are very intelligent. They love to play with children and they do make excellent house pets, but one of their bests skills is catching mice. Because of the combination of the playful nature and amazing hunting skills of this cat breed, it’s not a lot of fun to watch them hunt their prey. They are not the kind of cat that will instantly kill and eat a mouse. They would rather play with them for a while, and the act can become grim very quickly. If you own a bookstore, other kind of shop, or just have a home with a mouse problem, a Burmese is a good solution.
Japanese Bobtail – Bred for the hunt
Japanese Bobtail cats are born hunters. They were popular cats for keeping the mouse population down in the silk factories in Korea. This is another playful cat breed. Japanese Bobtails make wonderful household pets. They are entertaining and make wonderful companions, but they also do the job of keeping your home rodent free. Mice don’t usually last long in a house that is occupied by a Japanese Bobtail. One of the more unique aspects of this cat, it that it is not usually afraid of the water, so don’t be surprised if your pet jumps into a nearby pond or into the kids’ wading pool.
Siberian – Fast and agile hunter
The Siberian cat is another breed that is good at catching mice. They’re also large enough to tackle some of the bigger rats if you’re having these kinds of problems. Siberians can weigh as much as 20 pounds. They originate from Russia and Siberia, which are colder climates. This is one of the reasons why Siberians sport such thick and plush fur coats. It is amazing how cats that are this large can be so agile and graceful. They also make good house pets.
Turkish Angora – Street smart hunter
The Turkish Angora cat breed is a middle-eastern cat breed that originated in the country of Turkey. This cat breed is not one that was created by man through selective breeding. The Turkish Angora is one that has occurred totally in nature. The members of this breed come intact with their natural hunting instinct. They are sure-footed creatures who move gracefully, and they make wonderfully affectionate pets. When it comes to catching mice, they are lightning fast. This intelligent cat has got it all. It has street smarts, high intelligence, they make great house pets and they’ll rid your home of small furry rodents.
Manx – Skilled hunter
Manx cats are a breed that originates in the region that is located between England and Ireland, known as the Isle of Man. Manx have long been valued as a travel companion aboard sea-going vessels. It’s skill as a hunter has earned many a Manx a spot among the crew. They were used to decrease the mouse and rat populations aboard ships. They do just as well on dry land. Farmers also relied on Manx cats to keep the farms free of rodents.
Siamese – Royal mousers
Siamese cats were the firsts choice of the royal family in Thailand. Upon the death of a royal, the Siamese cat that the person owned would be sent to live in the temple where the remains of their former owners was laid to rests. It was the job of the cat to live amongst the temple monks and enjoy the finest luxury accommodations. Long regarded as a favorite for hunting down rats and mice. To this day, the royal mouser is an excellent hunter with good instincts for locating and ridding homes of their mouse problems. They are known for their mouse hunting prowess throughout the globe. This prolific talker serves as the base cat for the creation of Ocicat, Himalayan and Burmese breeds.
Maine Coon – Chief mouser of the USA
The Maine Coon is a cat breed that has been in existence in the North American continent for about as long as the United States has been a nation. Colonial Americans appreciated the great hunting skills of the Maine Coon and kept them around to keep the homesteads free of rodents and other pests. This large domesticated cat made its way across the ocean on sailing ships. It is still highly regarded as a skilled hunter as well as a good house pet. Maine Coons are large in size and they are not only good mousers, but they are also good at catching other larger rodents, including rats.
American Shorthair – Professional mouse hunters
The American Shorthair is a breed of cat that originated in Great Britain. It is rumored that this breed made its way to the United States of America aboard the Mayflower, with the pilgrims. The breed is known to have been in existence for roughly three hundred years. Aboard the ships, these cats were useful for wiping out the population of mice and rats. This was a huge benefit as the furry rodents are known to carry diseases which could be transmitted to humans. The early colonists knew the value of these cats, for keeping mice out of their food supply. These wonderful hunters are also very loving and affectionate pets. They are good house-pets who contribute to the household by offering their love, affection, and keeping the home free of rodents.
Bengals – Wild genes for hunting proficiency
Bengal cats are among the most intelligent and active cat breeds. They usually get along well with other household pets including other cats and even dogs, but they are skilled hunters that can take on any mouse within smelling distance. The Bengal cat breed was first introduced to the world in the 1960s. They were bred by crossing an Asian leopard cat with a domestic cat. Breeding efforts continued through the 1980s at which time the breed was perfected. With the genes of the wild Asian Leopard cat, Bengals remain natural hunters who do so instinctually. The females of the breed are the most aggressive when it comes to tracking down and killing mice. They are very smart cats who are not difficult to clicker train. They make good house pets as well as mousers.
Chausie Cat breed – Large jungle ancestors
The Chausie cat breed is extremely large. It is not uncommon for these cats to reach a weight of 25 pounds. The breed originated in the country of Egypt. Their ancestral lines can be traced to a wild breed that lived in the jungles. They are highly athletic cats that have the ability and instincts for chasing down their prey quickly. They make excellent mousers. In addition to being skilled hunters, Chausie cats are also good house pets because they are playful in nature and they enjoy interacting with people.
Abyssinian cat – Active and on the prowl for rodents
Abyssinians are a breed that are good at catching mice. They are among the most highly active breeds in the world. They are a good choice for anyone who is looking for a smart cat that is loving and playful, yet high in mouse hunting instincts and skills. Abyssinians have a lot of energy and enjoy playing with family members and other household pets. They get along well with other animals, unless the animals are rodents. There isn’t much that is docile about this breed of cat. They make the best pets for families who are active and outgoing. Your Abyssinian is not likely to do much lounging around the house being lazy, but he will beg for attention and show you a lot of love. You may not want to watch this playful cat when he’s about the business of ridding the home of mice though. They don’t take it easy on these furry little critters.
Bombay Cat – A few of them will hunt, but it’s not really their forte
We’ve highlighted the cat breeds that are the best for catching mice, but now it’s time to look at the breeds that are the worst. The Bombay cat may look like a good hunter, but it is only mediocre. Every occasionally, a Bombay may go out and catch a mouse, if it’s in the area anyway, but he won’t go out of his way to do it. They are a little above average in activity but rank high in playfulness and giving affection. Bombay cats have an average need for attention. They’re usually of average intelligence and they are among the more docile cat breeds. A Bombay would rather lie around the house and avoid conflicts. They’re fairly dependent on their owners and have an average score for health and fitness. Bombay cats are best for people who do not have a mouse problem but want a loving and affectionate pet that generally minds their own business and just wants to get along with everyone.
Cornish Rex Cat – A lover that isn’t looking for mice in particular
We’re not saying that a Cornish Rex cat won’t catch a mouse, but it’s not his life’s ambition, as with some other breeds. This cat has plenty of energy and is highly active. He loves to play with his owner, but he may not always get along with children or other pets. He likes to have all the attention for himself, but he’s also willing to give it back. He’ll be your lap cat and give you plenty of hugs and snuggles. He’s not a docile cat and you may need to be firm in his training to teach him not to play too roughly. He’s not an independent cat and you’ll need to take him to the vet for regular checkups because this breed only scores 4 out of 10 in health and hardiness. He’s an intelligent cat that is best suited for an owner who is able to offer a lot of attention and to take a firm hand in his training. The Cornish Rex cat is not the best choice for households with small children.
Ragdoll – Recent additions to the cuddly kitty club
Ragdoll cats are a relatively new breed that was developed in the 1960s. They hail from California in the United States of America. These adorable kitties are cute beyond belief, and they are as lovable as they appear. Ragdolls are devout lap cats who are given to bouts of intense snuggling. They get their name because when they get love and affection from their owners they collapse in a state of ecstasy. When it comes to catching mice, you had just as well forget it. Once in a while you may see a ragdoll give a mouse a run, but they would much rather be lovers than fighters. Definitely not the cat to own if you want a mouser, but a sweetheart who will light up your life in other ways.
Ragamuffin – Big teddy bear kitties
Ragamuffin cats are a long hair breed that thanks its Persian ancestors for the long, plush and beautiful fur. These big cats often reach a weight of twenty pounds. Although they would be a formidable opponent for any mouse, it’s not their life’s goal to hunt them. It’s as though the hunting instinct of the Persian did not transfer to the Ragamuffin. These cats are best known for their lovely long coats, their large size, and their strong desire to cuddle with their loved ones. They’re lovers and very few of them are fighters. Once in a while a Ragamuffin will catch a mouse, but it’s not something that you can depend upon.
American Curl Cat – Unique in temperament and an occasional mouser
The American Curl breed of cat is a fairly active feline that loves to play. These are hardy and healthy cats who don’t generally succumb to genetic health conditions. They’re not that vocal, but they know how to keep you amused. Their need for attention is high on the rating scale, but you’ll soon discover that they give back every ounce of affection that they receive and then some. American Curls tend to be average in docility, which means that they love to play and have fun, but they are not excessively rowdy. American Curls are just as likely to curl up for a nice afternoon nap and lounge around the house. This intelligent cat is capable of being independent, but they are also dependent on their owners for a lot of attention and cuddling. They are known for being great with children and with other pets. When it comes to catching mice, they are very capable and will show up with one every now and then. They can hunt, but often choose not to take the initiative. If your American Curl does get its paws on a mouse, it’s not going to be a pretty sight because of their fondness of play. For the most part, American Curls are content to play and to get along with everyone around them.
Balinese Cat – Can mouse but must be in the mood
The Balinese breed of cat is a highly active cat that cannot be described as a docile creature. They are quite playful in nature, and they tend to be highly vocal. These attention lovers are also very affectionate to their owners. When it comes to children and other pets, they do okay, but should be supervised. Balinese cats may easily get jealous of kids and other pets if they think that they are taking their share of the attention. Most of them are extremely affectionate. They are very smart and they do possess the ability to catch and kill mice, but they don’t usually seek them out. They’re not among the greatest feline mousers in the world, but neither are they the worst. If there is a mouse nearby, your Balinese won’t simply let them pass by, but if they’re not in the mood to hunt, the mice will be safe as long as they stay out of the cat’s way.
Birman Cat – The docile lounger
The Birman cat breed is well known for their inactivity. These cats are among the most docile, and they prefer to lie around the house. Perhaps a little over half of the time, a Birman will get an inspiration to play, after all, they are cats. They consistently seek attention and affection from their owners. These cats are of average intelligence, but they’re not very independent. They do love cuddling with their owners, any children in the house, and Birmans have also been known to form relationships with the family dog. They may catch a mouse every occasionally, but they’re not really that into hunting, stalking and chasing mice down.
Cymric Cat – Affectionate playmates who like to take it easy
The Cymric breed of cat is known for its high vocalization as well as its playfulness. They are quite affectionate towards their owners, and they are good with other pets and children. They do have bouts of energy, but their activity levels are low to moderate. Cymric cats like to have attention now and then, but they are of average independence. They are very smart, and most will find things to do to keep them entertained. This breed tends to have more health issues than many of the other hardier breeds. Cymric cats are just as content to lie around the house for most of the day, and if a mouse makes an appearance, a Cymric cat will pounce and take the rodent to task. They can and do catch mice, but they’re not as aggressive in their pursuit as some of the other breeds who have a natural instinct to catch mice.
What Are The Best Cats To Catch Mice? – Your Ultimate Guide
Cats are born with hunting instincts. That is one of the main reasons why cats are so great domestic hunting animals. So, if you have a problem with rodents who do you call? Your feline, of course. Read on and discover the top 20 best cat mousers.
Cats are gladly seen guests of many homes. People welcome them for a number of reasons, from wanting a furry friend 24/7, finding a small kitten on the street on a rainy day, or they take them in for children who desire a low-maintenance playmate.
On the other hand, there are people who fancy cats for different purposes, like for their natural skills and gifts, including their hunting instincts.
What to Do If Your Ragdolls Catch Rats
If there is a mice infestation inside your house, instead of getting a cat to get rid of them, you should call mice removal service. This is because rats and mice are very dirty and their body contains various diseases that can affect your cat if your cat comes in contact with the mice and rats. Instead of using your cat to catch mice, you actually should make sure it doesn’t go anywhere near the mice and rats.
As a Ragdoll owner, you are lucky because this cat breed doesn’t like hunting mouse. This cat can be very lazy and clumsy so don’t expect them to get rid of mice inside your house. However, if you find your Ragdoll start catching mice and rats, there are some things that you need to do.
Firstly, if the cat hunts the mice outside, then make sure you don’t give your cat access to go outside. Secondly, you need to remember that hunting mice is not a Ragdoll’s favorite pastime. So, if you find your Ragdoll start doing it, you must find out why the cat does it. If it is because your cat has sharper hunting instinct compared to most Ragdolls, then you need to provide another activity to shift its attention. Ragdolls love being pampered. So, sometimes all you need to do to take its attention is simply by putting the cat on your lap and play with it.
Domestic house should not be let hunting mouse. So, make sure you pay attention to your cat’s behavior to keep it free from diseases that mice and rats can bring.