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Will My Cat Keep Mice Away?

Written by Aptive Environmental March 21, 2022

Will mice stay away if you have cats? It’s a common belief that cats will take out any mice in or around your home. Before you run to an animal shelter to adopt a cat, read this article to learn more about the 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 the main areas of the home. However, this doesn’t mean the mice will be gone for good and they will usually require professional treatment. 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 and Rat Control

When considering “will a cat get rid of rats?”, it’s important to note that cats may not always provide a reliable solution for rat infestations. Rats are generally larger and more aggressive than mice, posing a greater challenge for cats. Questions such as “can cats smell rats?” and “will a cat’s presence deter rats?” arise. While cats can in fact detect rats, their effectiveness in controlling them isn’t guaranteed.

Cats Can Make the Problem Worse

In rare cases, some 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, making your potential problem something that goes initially unnoticed.

Many believe that the mere presence of a cat can deter mice and rats due to their scent. Queries like “does the smell of cats keep rats away?” or “does cat scent keep mice away?” highlight a common assumption. Some evidence suggests that the scent of predators, including cats, could make rodents more cautious. However, relying solely on the smell of cats, such as cat urine or cat litter, to keep mice and rats at bay might not be effective. To address concerns like “does cat urine deter mice?” or “does cat litter keep rats away?”, it’s important to combine multiple deterrent methods.

Behaviors such as cats that kill mice and not eat them can mystify pet owners. Cats often engage in play behavior with their prey and might not necessarily consume them. This can be linked to their natural instinct to hunt and capture prey, regardless of hunger.

Mice Reproduce Fast

Even if your cat is able to catch mice every so often, it’s 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 any 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. 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.

Remove Clutter

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.

Professional Mouse Control

If you have a current mouse problem, professional rodent treatment from a properly trained pest control company is the most effective way to eliminate mice in the home. If a pest we eliminate comes back, we will too (at no additional cost)! While many other companies only focus on your current pest problem, we also focus on taking measures to keep the infestation away for good.

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