What did she do with the body?
November 6, 2011 10:04 PM   Subscribe

Feline behavior: Kitty killed a mouse, where is the other half?

So I was out of town for a couple of days and came back to find the back half of a mouse in the middle of my living room. There was a little blood around it on the floor and I am wondering what happened to the other half. I looked all through the house and could not find any blood or fur -- other than within a few inches of where I found it there was nothing else [I could find] that I needed to clean up.

This is my first cat, and this her first kill. What I want to know is what did she do with it? Did she eat the front half? Where is the head of the mouse? Where are bones? Hooray for her hunting instinct, but did she stash a trophy somewhere that is going to rot or spread disease? Will I find a mouse head on my pillow? Help me understand what she is thinking!
posted by cgk to Pets & Animals (29 answers total)
 
If she has stashed it somewhere, you will soon know because of the flies.
posted by AndyInTheory at 10:09 PM on November 6, 2011


I've come across the back ends of a lot of rats in my neighborhood. From this I concluded that cats like to start chewing at the head end. I could be wrong, but my best guess is that ground mouse head and shoulders are in your cats stomach now.
posted by Good Brain at 10:16 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


My guess is that she ate it. The only thing worse than finding a dead mouse is finding a dead mouse part. Yuck.
posted by Maisie at 10:16 PM on November 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


She almost certainly ate it. I used to have outdoor cats as a kid and would occasionally watch them eat mice. They eat the head first (it makes a somewhat disgusting crunching sound) and work their way back.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:21 PM on November 6, 2011


My cat did this! She was playing with a mouse, and by the time I came back with a heavy object to put the poor thing out of its misery, she'd eaten its head and its tail. Left me the hindquarters, though, which was... nice? Your cat probably just ate the rest.
posted by verbyournouns at 10:22 PM on November 6, 2011


She's thinking "Nom!"

Cats easily consume small bones like that. Of my various hunters, they all start at the head and if left uninterrupted, sometimes leave only a tail and occasionally the stomach.
posted by jamaro at 10:25 PM on November 6, 2011


It's in the cat. Unlike modern domestic dogs that usually have to be taught to hunt, cats have never really lost their hunting instincts. They will catch, kill, and eat mice and other vermin on their own.
posted by valkyryn at 10:56 PM on November 6, 2011


Nthing "inside kitty". She saved you the rest of it because she loves you, and you obviously can't feed yourself, you poor clawless creature.
posted by jrochest at 10:56 PM on November 6, 2011 [33 favorites]


Yup. She ate it. A while back we went out of town for a day and came back to find a single mouse foot left strategically in the middle of a throw rug.
posted by daisystomper at 11:24 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bones and organs are full of nutrients. They are also, apparently, delicious. (Cats are weird.)
posted by anaelith at 12:05 AM on November 7, 2011


Nthing "she probably ate it". Cats don't tend to hide what they catch; you found the remains because she left them as a gift for you. If it happens again, she'll probably leave the bits in the same place.
posted by altolinguistic at 1:01 AM on November 7, 2011


Yup, inside the cat.

You may need some worm pills soon.
posted by St. Sorryass at 2:12 AM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ate it. Ate the bones. My cat doesn't like the stomachs.

The only thing worse than finding a dead mouse is finding standing on a dead mouse part with bare feet.

FTFY.
posted by pompomtom at 2:19 AM on November 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


If she does it again and, say, drops a dead mouse on your bed in the middle if the night, remember that she thinks it's a marvelous gift and thank her appropriately.
posted by Mavri at 2:43 AM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


As everyone else has said, she ate the mouse front, including the bones. You might find a fresh mouse on your pillow, but only if she decides to give you a gift. She will not kill a mouse and hide it to eat later, like a dog might with a bone.
posted by jeather at 4:01 AM on November 7, 2011


n-thing the 'ate it' explanation.

My cats have often left me mouse tops, mouse butt, and on one occasion, a mouse face. There's usually a little tiny organ they eat around, too.... so sometimes you just get microscopic mouse offal. What they expect you to do with them I don't know.

Cats are disgusting. God, I love 'em.
posted by FauxScot at 4:19 AM on November 7, 2011


She ate it.
She left the body for you. It's a present.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:26 AM on November 7, 2011


In the past, I've found half a mouse in the middle of some room, and the other half in or on the shoes I leave by the door, seemingly bc they knew I'd find it there.

I prefer not to think of it as a "gift," but rather as a "tribute." (yeah,
I know I know...I only live here bc my cat lets me....)
posted by nevercalm at 4:39 AM on November 7, 2011


If she has stashed it somewhere, you will soon know because of the flies.

Or the smell.

Took me TWO DAYS to figure out what that smell near the bathroom door was.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:36 AM on November 7, 2011


Cats are disgusting. God, I love 'em.

Yeah. When I was owned by a cat I often came in to find birds legs on the carpet, as if they were still attached to a seated-but invisible rest of the bird.
posted by penguin pie at 5:36 AM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have found half a mouse, half a bird, half a squirrel and many half-chipmunks by the door. Your kitty ate the other half and left you a present. Nothing to worry about, but mention it to the vet if she has any problems.
posted by mermayd at 5:56 AM on November 7, 2011


Ate it. I had a barn cat that would leave all the mice butts in a line at the barn door for me every morning, she just liked the delicious delicious brains. We called her Zombie cat because of that, though she was actually just a sweet cat that hated being in the house and liked mouse brains. If it makes you feel better she probably left you the other half because she thinks you suck at hunting and she is worried you'll starve.
posted by wwax at 6:55 AM on November 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


Ate it, especially if the kitty left you the parts below the heart/lungs/brains. YMMV, my experience is with lizards/birds only.
posted by atomicmedia at 9:47 AM on November 7, 2011


"Tail goes down last." S'what my grampa always used to say about his farm cats' eating habits.

Our own outdoor kitty was an excellent mouser but never ate what she caught. She'd leave them by our back door for the other cats to munch on. If there was anything left when they were done, it was the back end and one or two undesirable organ pieces that were always my job to dispose of due to my dad's squeamish feelings about mice.
posted by iceprincess324 at 9:50 AM on November 7, 2011


Cats eating mice is at least one reason why they were domesticated. Encourage kitty to eat other critters; I had a cat that kept my apt. roach-free. Gooooood kitty.
posted by theora55 at 10:26 AM on November 7, 2011


I don't know as I'd encourage a cat to eat various wild beasties (the more critters a cat eats, the greater the likelihood he may get some weird parasite or something), but there is no denying that sometimes "snacking" is part of the "Hunting" instinct.

Cat's don't have the manual dexterity to rip a body in half, if you think about it, so the only way that you COULD have ended up with just part of a mouse is if the cat bit it. And cats bite things when they want to eat them, if you think of it, so..."the other half of the mouse may be inside the cat" seems a safe bet.

Although if it's not, there will be a weird smell from one small corner you'll notice after a couple of days. (My own cat was a mouser, but NOT a snacker -- he would play with mice until they "broke" and then abandon them. So I always found intact corpses -- but I'd never be entirely certain just how long they'd been there, but if there was a smell I'd have an idea they'd been there kind of a while....)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:38 AM on November 7, 2011


Encourage kitty to eat other critters; I had a cat that kept my apt. roach-free. Gooooood kitty.

I had cats in every apartment I ever lived in in NYC, and even ones with notorious roach problems according to neighbors suddenly didn't. I'd find the occasional wing or barbed leg or whatever, look at sleeping kitties and just shiver.
posted by nevercalm at 10:54 AM on November 7, 2011


What a great set of responses, thanks everyone. I have been giving Mishu extra love -- this is the time of year that the field mice start to come indoors so I appreciate the help.

That said, I will try not to look at her sweet face and think of her eating the mouse head.
posted by cgk at 4:30 PM on November 7, 2011


Yup, tail last. Must be gristle-y and flavorless.

That's why they usually save that part for you.

My cats always leave the tails and the 'green wobbly bit' on the back steps.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:30 PM on November 8, 2011


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