Will My Cat Keep Mice Away?
Will mice stay away if you have cats? It’s a common belief that cats will take out any mice in your home. However, this often isn’t true. Before you run to an animal shelter to adopt a cat, read on to learn more about the topic (including potential dangers, how cats could make your mouse problem worse, and alternative ways to deter mice).
Do Cats Keep Mice Away?
Typically, cats will do a great job at keeping mice away in main areas of the home. However, this doesn’t mean the mice are gone for good and they will usually require professional extermination. They typically nest in hidden areas of the home that cats don’t have access to such as basements, attics, or inside the walls. Once they realize there is a cat nearby, they can easily remain hidden and travel through the walls instead.
Some Cats Don’t Hunt
Every cat has a unique personality. While many of them love to hunt, there are some who won’t bat an eye if they see a mouse – some are even afraid of rodents. In these cases, adopting a cat won’t be the best house mouse control method. Unless you already have a cat that you know loves to hunt, it can be hard to tell if a new cat will be a hunter until you get it home.
Cats Can Make the Problem Worse
In rare cases, cats can make your mouse problem worse. Many outdoor cats like to bring their prey home as a trophy or something to play with (sometimes when it’s still alive). If you live near a field or similar area with mice and have an outdoor cat that likes to hunt, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. They could bring a mouse infestation into your home if they let their prey loose. Most cats hunt at night, so you will likely be sleeping if this were to happen.
Mice Reproduce Fast
Even if your cat is able to catch mice every so often, it’s very unlikely it will catch them all. Not only will most of the mice hide from the cat in walls, but they also reproduce quickly. Female mice can have litters of 4–10 mice every 3 weeks and babies are able to mate just 6 weeks after they are born. This is why it’s important to eliminate the infestation right away.
Dangers of Mouse Hunting
Most pet owners don’t realize they could actually be putting their cat (and themselves) at risk by relying on it to hunt mice. These rodents carry diseases like HPS or Lyme Disease that they can easily spread to cats, then spread to humans. Cats can also get fleas, ticks, and other parasites from mice. Even if these aren’t life-threatening to your feline, it can result in a hefty vet bill.
Tips for Keeping Mice Away
Luckily, cats aren’t your only hope for deterring mice.
Seal Cracks & Holes
Even if your cat does a good job at catching mice, this doesn’t fix the source of the problem. How are they getting inside? One significant way to make sure mice don’t enter your home is to remove their entry points. Make sure to seal any cracks and holes you can find in your walls. In addition, seal any gaps beneath doors.
Mice like to make nests in cluttered areas. To discourage them from nesting anywhere in or around your home, it’s important to keep everything clutter-free. Keep your landscaping clean and move any piles of wood, bricks, stones, or leaves away from your home. Do the same for your garage, basement, attics, and any other hidden areas in the home where mice may nest. On a side note, keep your kitchen clean of crumbs and any easily accessible food sources that mice may come looking for.
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