Get the mouse out of my house!
August 13, 2010 7:13 AM Subscribe
Are there any ways to reliably pick a good mouser without knowing much about a cat's history?
posted by kataclysm to Pets & Animals (34 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I live in an old, old house with a cat and a dog. Occasionally, mice come into the house. Sometimes they get killed in mousetraps, but sometimes they evade the trap.
My cat is the worst mouser ever, due to having been found abandoned at 2 weeks old and therefore not having been taught to kill prey by Momma Cat. My dog is a big ol' Black Lab mix and mice are too little for him to even care about -- I once saw the cat ineffectually bite a mouse and drop it. The mouse ran OVER the (awake) dog's body and the dog did not even bat an eye. The mouse then disappeared under the refrigerator.
So, I'd like to get an additional cat that actually knows how to kill things. I posted an ad to the local Craigslist looking explicitly for a good mouser, but who knows whether that will result in anything except love letters from scammers. Our local kill shelter is having a $10 adoption special on all adult animals tomorrow, so I was thinking I might go there and save a kitty. However, their intake forms usually don't have a "good mouser" checkbox to tick. I would get a cat that had been found as a stray, on the theory that if the cat lived on the street without starving then it can probably kill things; however, since I have a cat and a dog, I would prefer to get a cat that had been socialized to live with other cats and dogs.
Does anyone know any way, short of smuggling feeder mice into the animal shelter, to determine whether a cat is likely to be good at killing mice? Barring that, is there any way that a human can train a cat to learn to kill mice without committing cruelty to animals? I've had well-adjusted, indoor-raised housecats who were good mousers in the past, and I'd like to have one again.