View Full Version : HELP!! Expert Cat Owners, please help!
12-20-2008, 06:08 PM
I am not a happy camper~we've just discovered MICE in our house!!
I am freaking out. I hate mice!! Okay, they *are* kinda cute in a way, but still.. *NOT* in my house!
My DH is convinced that cats are the best non-toxic way to rid the house of the little beasties. I am not sure, having never actually had cats running around.
What do you expert cat owners think?? I would love Kitty forever if he/she would keep the little fur-balls out. Are they really that good at it?
Thanks for any help! I welcome any other (non-poisonous, non-gross, lol) suggestions as well!
12-20-2008, 06:22 PM
Well, first of all - mice are not that bad:rofl: Rats are worse and termites are even worse than that. Besides, as a person who had cats for the last 15 years or so (and no, you don't own a cat, the cat owns you:teehee:), i'm not sure that mice should be the reason to bring a lovely, hairy and very opinionated companion into your life. Please don't be offended or anything, i'm just expressing my own humble opinion:hug:. As far as i know and from my personal experience, cats LOVE to play with their food and they also love to show off their excellent work. So if your cat will catch the mouse, he/she will play with it till it's dead and then bring it over to you to get their pet on the head. Sometimes they will even bring the mouse to you when it's still alive, then it really gets hilarious. So i'm not sure that a cat is the best way to go. That was my personal experience with cats and mice/birds etc.
12-20-2008, 06:41 PM
LOL!!! No, I agree, that's not the reason to get a cat..we already have a bunch of pets, including 2 cockatiels, two toads, a lizard, fish galore and a dog. I am not a cat person, but DH *is*. Mainly, I am hesitant because of the birds~I am not sure how that would work, and if the birds would be safe. I could make them cage covers for night, and I'm just not sure if that would be enough.
I don't want you all to think I would not love the cat, I am sure he/she would be well loved :p by all!
btw, I agree about the RATS. double :ick: !!
12-20-2008, 06:57 PM
UGHHH.. I hate mice!!! I have never had them in my house that I know of, but my cat goes outside and finds them. She always brings them to me. I guess it's a sign of "affection" when a cat brings you their kill. It's affection that I dont want though:teehee: Your cat will probably play with it until it's dead, then possibly bring it to you :ick: Be sure not to put any poison out, the cat or other animals you might have will eat it and die. Goodluck!! :hug:
12-20-2008, 07:11 PM
I have 2 cats AND mice. The mice are smart enough to stay in the basement (at least until I got rid of them the toxic way). The one a year that is stupid enough to come upstairs has been dispatched by one of the cats.
Unfortunately, one of them was 'played with' before it's final demise and the kitchen floor looked like there was a large massacre--blood everywhere. You KNOW a cat didn't clean that up.
So, no, mice is not the main reason to get a cat. Wanting a cat is the reason to get a cat.:thumbsup:
12-20-2008, 07:42 PM
I agree with all of the above.
I have 2 cats, and when we had LOUD crickets in the basement we thought the cats would take care of them. Nope. Neither one was interested in hunting down the little critters. Mulder didn't care, and Itchy is scared of the basement.
Cats are a lot of work and time commitment, just like any pet. You want to get a cat because you love cats, not just to dispatch of yucky critters. And the cat you end up with might not even be interested in the little things anyway.
12-20-2008, 07:44 PM
I've had 3 cats for years now and I had a mouse for about a week last winter. Scared the daylights out of me when I was cooking dinner (just shocked me seeing something tiny moving to my right when I could see all the cats in plain view)
I thought he was kinda cute named him Melvin and figured he'd take a hike when he saw the cats.
The next day my girl cat was perched in front of the stove hunting him, and that went on for a couple days. Melvin figured out this wasn't the place for him and he took off. Haven't seen him since. I am glad she never got a hold of him as I wasn't looking forward to finding a mouse in the bed.
I do live in a small one bedroom apartment tho, so that probably helps.
12-20-2008, 08:13 PM
And Ingrid, :passedout: ugh!!!!
I do realize having a cat entails loving them, feeding and caring just like I love my birds :p I would not have one just as hired Mouse Killer, lol. I just was wondering if DH was right, and it sounds like he is...although I'm not thrilled at the prospect of having a tiny mutilated corpse as a "present" (a-hem!), I would take it in the spirit it was offered..with a very long stick :teehee:
I remember we had a long-haired Himylayan Siamese ( I think thats what he was) when I was very little, but as my DDad was in the Air Force, we had to give him to my Uncle Everrett when we moved overseas. I seem to recall Fluffy (we were very creative, hehe) lived till he was 20 yrs old! So I know its a commitment :thumbsup:
12-20-2008, 09:29 PM
Yep they are...we live out in the woods so we have field mouse like you said they are cute outside, but not indoors...the mice like to some how end up in our furnace maze down stairs and then they pop out upstairs through the vents...:ick:
I've always thought/heard that girl cats were the better hunters...and out of our 2 Bella is the one that catches them...Gideon will only if he feel likes it or is trying to be catty towards Bella...
This winter Bella has caught 2 coming up through the vents and placed them both under the Christmas tree in my daughter's room...lovely...
When we first moved here we had tons of mice but last couple of years or so we have only had the cats catch a couple...and usually that's when it starts to get cold...
when we first moved in here all the vents had rat poision in them...I thought how odd why would they do that...then we discovered a mouse in the bottom cabinet living very cozy...
I agree it's not the reason to get a cat though...I'm a cat person and would have a couple more if dh would let me...:rofl:
12-20-2008, 09:53 PM
Some cats are great mousers, others not so much. Mice will enter your house for two reasons, food and shelter. So, first off, make sure you have nothing they can get into to eat. Everything needs to be enclosed in cupboards, and better yet, in plastic containers in the cupboards. The one time we had mice, we discovered an old bag of grass seed in the basement that got pushed under a workbench. We had no idea it was there, but the mice found it!
Once you are sure that there is no available food source for the mice, you need to try to figure out how they got in. Seal up as best you can (and remember, mice are chewers). Finally, you have to get rid of the mice in your home. I am a live trap and release kind of girl, but depending on where you are that might not be feasible. Do not use poison, because first of all, if a mouse dies from the toxin, you may not be able to get to it. And that will REEK! Also, if a poisoned mouse gets out and dies outside, that will pose a serious risk to any animal that ingests the remains. Ugh. I also don't like glue traps. The kill the animal slowly, and I think they are terribly inhumane. The least inhumane trap would have to be a snap-trap, but they are not foolproof. If it doesn't get the mouse just right, it won't kill it. But when they do, the mouse will be killed instantly.
If you really want to be rid of the mice, I could loan you my Jack Russell Terrier. But he'd probably destroy your house in the process. He won't stop where prey is concerned. :mrgreen:
12-20-2008, 10:27 PM
My parents have two dachshunds who are amazing mousers. Maybe you should get one of them. :)
12-20-2008, 11:13 PM
Yeah, I've had many cats over the years, my parents as well. Some would chase the mice and hunt them, others would look at a mouse and look like "Oh, that's interesting. I wonder where I should take my next nap". I swear, once my dad and I were trying to get rid of a mouse, it ran RIGHT OVER the cat's paws, and the darned thing just watched it run LOL. The other cat was trying to help us catch the mouse. That was a fun time!
12-21-2008, 12:24 AM
Man, I have some lazy a** cats! They don't chase anything, they just sit there, looking at bugs and such.
But anyway, when I was a kid, we had mice getting in the house...We bought the no kill traps...put a little food in there and, when the mouse enters the trap, it shuts and just keeps the mouse in there until you release it. My dad would take the mice down the street and let them go near the sewer there. We never had another mouse problem after that!
12-21-2008, 01:19 AM
I've owned several cats over the years, some male and some female. Most were terrific mousers and earned their keep. The cat we now have is male, and he keeps the mice, crickets, and roaches down to the point that I very seldom see one.
Be prepared however. Once they know that you like that they are taking care of the mice, they are likely to leave you... um, presents, of once living small creatures on your doorstep.
Yes...the presents...our family cat brought us a fish once :shock:
Jan in CA
12-21-2008, 12:02 PM
Yeah, some cats will chase others just watch the world go by even if it includes a mouse. Frankly I'd rather get rid of them another way than have the scene Ingrid described. :zombie:
12-21-2008, 12:08 PM
Thanks so much for all the great stories!!:roflhard: I love the one about the mouse running over the cat's paws and him just watching it go~ROFLOL!
A mouse under the tree for Christmas, huh?? :ick: !!:rofl:
The JRTerrier sounds like a great idea, but I'm not sure he'd like the commute :teehee:
I would NEVER use poison; I do not want any other animals to be hurt by my using poison to get rid of mousies! Oh, and having worked in restaurants, I have had some experience with stinky mice/rats in the walls who died from "un-natural causes", shall we say-eeeeew! I agree about the glue traps and snap traps, too. My DMIL had glue traps, and the little mice would get trapped and "cry" and squeal~it was horrible!!
Maybe I'll try the live traps; that sounds like the most humane way to deal with the little critters~and maybe my DH can get his way too and we can have cats running around too! :cool:
Thanks again, everyone, for sharing your stories! This has been very educational! :mrgreen: :thumbsup:
12-21-2008, 01:16 PM
If you want a cat to love, just wait about a week and run down to your local shelter. People get cats, kittens and puppies for Christmas, then dump them as soon as the kids go back to school (and tell the kids they "ran away".) Mousing skill is highly variable. We have a couple who would probably try to feed and groom mice. Our dear big Fred (I muss you, furry orange!) used to catch mice and throw them around like toys, then bring them to me as if he wanted me to fix them when they stopped working. I don't think he meant to kill them; Fred didn't have a mean bone in his bog soft sixteen-pound body.
And then there was Buster, who dragged a full-grown cottontail rabbit onto the porch when he was four weeks old, who thought he should hunt deer, who once brought me the ear from a roadkill in the ditch near our house (he schemed to escape the house all day and was ever so proud of himself.) Every fall, suicidal mice would sneak in. Buster would go on the prowl. No one ever saw or heard anything until he would deposit the mouse skin outside the bedroom door. Just the skin, mind, cleaned of all blood and neatly laid out like a tiny rug. We never had a mouse problem while he was here.
12-21-2008, 01:56 PM
Still, that's better than Ingrid's bloody massacre!!
I agree with everyone. If you're lucky you'll get a cat that's good at chasing mice. But I remember visiting my bf's sister once, we were just chatting in the kitchen and we saw a mouse walking on the counter. Believe it or not, they had 4 cats in the house. 4!!! :doh:They all saw it, but none of them cared enough to interrupt their nap. :teehee:
I've never seen mice in our house, but my cat has a fake mouse toy that she loves and I tell you, it's a good thing it's not alive. :shock: What she's doing to it is just torture! :doh:
12-21-2008, 02:53 PM
My parents have two dachshunds who are amazing mousers. Maybe you should get one of them. :)
Very..Very true! Small terriers are the same way with mice and our dogs do not make a mess with them. They break their neck and then you get hubby to pick them up and give the dog a treat lol
12-21-2008, 03:27 PM
A home I work in uses an exterminator. There's a new poison out that kills quickly & then dries up the remains quickly - no smell. Don't know what it's called, but it does work. They found one in a trap last week. Didn't know it was there because of no smell. You could probably find some.
I another home I used to work in, the mouse left when we found the leaky pipe under the sink. When the water supply left, so did the mouse.
Loved the cat stories. I saw on TV years ago where they watched cats & saw that the mother has to teach the kittens that mice are food & how to hunt them.
12-21-2008, 03:28 PM
When I was 16 our neighbours knocked down their coal shed and the mice who lived there moved into the surrounding houses. Our dog had died the previous year so we decided to get a cat (we are more cat people than dog people anyway, but the dog was rescued by a friend who already had a dog). Even though he was only a kitten just the smell of the cat was enough to drive them away. He has brought home presents of a mouldy green sports sock he "caught" in the football field at the back of the house, a sausage he found in the back alley and a mouldy pork chop which he wouldn't let us take, so he ate it and was sick. He also used to bring in small brown leaves he caught in the back yard as they fell off the tree, and kinda looked like mice I suppose.
He's 14 now and isn't much good at catching things as he gets too excited and makes too much noise and the "prey" is well warned in advance, and he's also getting lazier as he gets older. He did try and get my sister's goldfish until he realised that involved getting his paws wet. He isn't much interested in my sister's hamster either unless it's running around in it's ball, then it's a giant toy - so the hamster is kept separated at all times.
My friend's cat however ate all of her sisters goldfish, and then was sick on the bed. Another friend has a cat who brought home a rat that was bigger than him.
Suppose it depends on the cat really, but if the smell of the cat was enough to drive away our mice, maybe you could borrow some used kitty litter and leave it in strategic places for a few days
12-21-2008, 05:36 PM
I haven't read all the replies but I think I will add to the general gist that cats are not a good solution. Domesticated pampered cat food fed cats don't need to catch mice. Some might anyway but it's not reliable. Some will play with and torture the poor mice but not kill them. A barn cat might do the job quite well in that setting but in a house they don't have too.
Call a non toxic exterminator.
When I was growing up, my parents had a vegetarian Barn cat
he would eat cat food, milk, and the like, but when we put him in the chicken coop to take care of the rats that were eating the eggs (my father said the cat would change the direction he was facing before his feet hit the ground, and if the door was not slammed shut fast the barn cat would escape)
in the morning my father would go to check on them (Chickens rats and cat) and as soon as the door was opened a tiny bit there was this golden streak of lightning, out the door, and he would find various rats with their throats neatly dispatched lined up at the door
but not one nibble out of any of them
Much later in my life I had a cat who brought my Xh many MANY gifts, snakes, mice, and twice a Pigeon (now this cat was not much bigger than either of these pigeons) and when we moved here to Maine, we had the Animal Control officer come warn us some kind of Bobcat or Lynxx may be about because something had attacked a Fox (very shortly after the cat came home with evidence of having been in a fight)
she was a good cat till she ran away or got taken down by a fischer
and I find the snap traps may be a bit gross, but they do wonders
especially the Snap Traps (http://www.victorpest.com/store/rodent-control/M130)
smear peanut butter on the inside top, and set
to dispose of just pinch the back over the toilet and flush
the trickier/tippyer ones do not work as well
12-22-2008, 02:00 AM
I have a toy poodle named Zoe that will hunt out anything very well. We did have have a few mice... until she brought them to us (Blech) She'll attack every squirrel, insect you name it.
Now just stop making her EAT the crickets..
12-22-2008, 10:04 AM
I have had mice before, and I have a cat. She could have cared less about the mice. I can not rely on her to be a mouser.
I got rid of the mice by traps and poison (in places my pets can't get to).
Not the green way, but I am sure glad the mice went away. It was that stuff that makes them really thirsty so they leave in search of water, but you have to turn off all your water r they will die somewhere in your walls and not actually leave.
12-22-2008, 10:25 AM
Only thing my "indoor" cats hunt (and bring too me) is my yarn projects and my bamboo needles (with neatly chewed up ends):passedout:
I love that there are so many cat people on this forum!!
Here's my 2 cents - we lived in the woods for 6 years and we know that there were mice on the outside, but we never had a single one in the house. I'm convinced that the cats had something to do with it - maybe the mice could smell the cats in there or something?? We did find cricket parts (legs, etc.) in the basement a lot, which we knew were from the cats. One of our cats especially would come up out of the basement with cobwebs on her whiskers. Who knows what she was looking for and/or finding!!
And yes, there are gazillions of cats in the shelters. The sad fact is that foreclosures and economic problems are leading more and more people to give up their (perfectly wonderful) pets. It's heartbreaking! So ANYONE:
<standing on soapbox>
1. If you want a pet, please go to a shelter rather than a breeder.
2. Before you get a pet, make sure you are in it for the long haul (for better or for worse...)
3. SPAY/NEUTER your pets!! Unless you are a reputable breeder, there is no excuse not to!
Good luck with that!
12-22-2008, 02:40 PM
Also consider that cats can get tapeworms from eating mice. And if the mouse has been exposed to poison of any kind & kitty eats the mouse...........
Sorry I work in a vet clinic.
12-22-2008, 03:15 PM
I am in the camp that if you want a cat as a pet, get a cat. They are fun but they also live between 10-20 years and it is a commitment. I adore cats but I have had cats that love to catch things and other that could care less.
I listened to a podcast where the man that owns Victory mousetraps was interviewed. It was either Science Friday or Scientific American. They are cheap (a buck for three) and they work something like 98% of the time. There is no better mousetrap.