The mouse chose to run down the drain instead of being bitten again. Repercussions? Advice?
June 14, 2008 8:36 PM   Subscribe

My cat brought a small mouse home from outside and was playing with it in the bathtub. I went over to rescue it before things could become violent. Things did get violent and, unable to climb up the sides of the tub, the mouse just scurried into my shower drain. What are the repercussions? Is there anything I should be doing?

The mouse was quite small, a bit smaller than the drain opening even without any squeezing on its part. Looking into the drain I see there's water there, its level less than an inch below the surface. I can't see the mouse, but I'm not sure if I would even if it were still there right below the surface? Do shower drains tend to have u-pipes? Will the mouse drown right there? And then fester? Is it probably crawling through the pipes? Is there anything I can do, either to help the mouse (it sure was cute! standing up on its hindlegs to face the kitty, then resting a single front paw against the side of the tub to balance itself) or to deal with any unhygienic repercussions? For what it's worth, I rent the apartment and I'll most likely be here for the next couple years. And as far as I know the building doesn't, at least as of yet, have a mouse infestation. Thanks.
posted by nobody to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
Try running the water in the tub. It might flush the mouse down the pipes, and out of your mind.
posted by SansPoint at 8:44 PM on June 14, 2008

I would leave it for a night, lock the cat out of the bathroom, and hope the mouse gets out on its own. Then, run water to drown it (if it's still there), and Drano to get rid of the body (might work).

In the future, it seems horrible but you're better off letting the cat finish the job. I learned in my wild animal rehab course that cat saliva is chock-full of bacteria and other nasties so most animals a cat bites or claws will inevitably end up dying slowly of infection and disease. Better to kill it quickly.
posted by schroedinger at 9:00 PM on June 14, 2008

Put some rope or string down the drain and side of the tub so it can climb out. If it dies in your drain I very much doubt it'll make it down alone.
posted by fshgrl at 9:19 PM on June 14, 2008

Shower drains, like other household drains, have water-filled U sections to keep the sewer gas out of your house. If you see water but no mouse, he is either drowned in the elbow or trapped between one wet place and another. If he's alive, a rapid water flow out to your sewer or septic system or whatever will probably give him a better chance than a few days to starve in the air gaps in your plumbing.

Probably your bathtub, toilet, and sink plumbing all join into a slightly larger sewer pipe below your bathroom floor, or in your wall. If a tubful of water drains slowly, a sink plunger might help get him past the elbow.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:41 PM on June 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

You don't need to do anything unless you smell something rotting, and if that were to happen it would occur soon.
posted by longsleeves at 9:58 PM on June 14, 2008

Run water down there and forget it. Next time let the cat get on with it.
posted by fire&wings at 3:55 AM on June 15, 2008

Thanks for the advice, all. My cat was staring at the drain all night, it seems.

Prudence won out over compassion (I was afraid if I went the string route the mouse might get out while I wasn't watching and burrow under an appliance or bed) and I ran a torrent of water. But after 30 or 40 seconds of vigorous dowsing the mouse popped up out of the drain, wholly soaked! I guess it was still in the u-pipe after all. I put a bag on my hand, picked it up by the tail, and brought it outside.

Thanks again!
posted by nobody at 7:16 AM on June 15, 2008 [4 favorites]

The water "plug" caused by the bend in the drain keeps you from smelling rotting sewage, and will also keep you from smelling rotting mouse. So at least you won't have to worry about that! Similarly, all those nasty trapped gases will probably asphyxiate your mouse. Sorry.
posted by thejoshu at 8:09 AM on June 15, 2008

Woah. A saved mouse was the last thing I was expecting out of this story! Bravo, nobody.
posted by Drexen at 8:33 AM on June 15, 2008

way to go, nobody!
posted by msconduct at 12:06 PM on June 15, 2008

Yay mouse!!!
posted by GardenGal at 7:34 PM on June 15, 2008

« Older Low calorie snacks?   |   Sights and activities for a two week trip to New... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.