Cats are not only excellent furry companions that brighten our lives, but they are also incredible hunters by nature, which becomes a huge advantage for those who care about having their homes always free of rodents.
For people who live in places where a warm climate prevails, having a cat is an effective solution to kill mice, especially in rural areas. However, for various reasons some cats may not have this highly developed ability, so in this post we will show you how to train a cat to hunt mice.
Are all cats hunters?
All cats have the hunting instinct, however some develop it much more than others. Felines learn this behaviour from their mother when they are in the cub stage.
At approximately 7 weeks of age, the mother cat presents with a dead prey and eats it in front of the babies. As the kittens grow, they mimic this behaviour. Something that also helps them develop this hunting instinct much more is seeing other cats stalking rodents.
In this sense, if a cat is separated prematurely from its mother, it clearly will not have the opportunity to see the hunting example of its mother. Likewise, if a kitten is all the time locked inside a house without contact with other cats, it is likely that its hunting instinct is also very low because it has no one to follow the example.
Steps to train a cat to hunt mice
As we already mentioned, depending on the living conditions in which a cat has grown up, its hunting instinct will be more or less intense. If you think that the feline you have in your home is not the most excited predator you have ever seen, then we recommend that you follow these steps so that you can enter a cat to hunt mice.
- Play frequently with your cat using toys that stimulate its hunting instinct. They can be balls with bells or feathers. The idea is that they are objects with attractive movements that the kitten can chase.
- In the market you can find many toys that are shaped like a mouse and are designed for cats. It is recommended that you buy some of these toys so that you can simulate a real experience and the cat knows how to act when it sees a rodent as a similar shape.
- You can show your cat a dead mouse that you have caught with a trap, because you will be doing what its mother would do what it is to teach it with the example of a dead prey.
- Congratulate your cat every time it kills a mouse and reward them with treats to make them understand that this behaviour is correct.
Should I let my cat eat the mice?
Now that we have explained how to train a cat to hunt mice, we want to clarify a very important question and it is about whether you should let your kitty eat these rodents. The answer is NO, if you want to take care of your cat’s health, you should definitely not let it eat rats and mice.
These elusive animals usually have parasites, as they love to be in unsanitary places, such as garbage, sewers, etc. If your cat eats mice, it is most likely that it will contract these parasites, as well as other diseases.
However, if you have a mouse problem in your house, the cat will help you solve it, because its smell drives away these rodents. In addition, most cats, especially when they are well fed as is the case with yours, hunt only for fun and instinct and not for hunger; so it is unlikely that they will end up eating their prey.
In conclusion, you can train a cat to hunt mice, but try to prevent it from eating them. Also, make sure to correctly comply with your deworming schedule to avoid any illness in your furry.