GENERAL BREED INFO

Best Cats for Catching Mice: Your Guide to Finding the Perfect Cat

Image showing a cat-playing-with-toy-mouse
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

If you’re looking for both a companion and a mouse hunter, you may be thinking that any cat will be able to get the job done. However, that’s not the case. Of course, all cats are predatory animals. However, some breeds are more gifted at hunting mice than others. If you live in an area where mice and other rodents are a frequent problem, you’ll want a cat that’s an optimal hunter—namely, the best cats for catching mi

House cats these days don’t have the same instincts their ancestors used to; why would they need to hunt when they’ve got us—their human slaves—to refill their food bowls for them? Luckily, it’s not impossible to find a cat that’s great at catching mice as long as you pay attention to their personality, history, and breed. By carefully selecting a cat that’s agile, keen, and eager, your house will soon be free from mice.

Best Cats for Catching Mice

In this article, we’re going to show you the best cats for catching mice. Not only will you learn which breeds are generally better at catching mice, but you’ll also learn what traits you should be looking for in the cat, so you’re going to end up with one that fulfills your expectations and more. Before we get to the recommendations, however, we’re going to update you on some relevant basic information about using cats to hunt mice.

Things to Know about Using Cats to Hunt Mice

Did you know that cats were largely applauded for the important role they played in ending the black plague’s reign of terror? They heroically hunted the rodents down and freed humanity from diseases and suffering.

Today, if you live in an apartment building in the city, you may not necessarily need a hunting cat since there’s a less likely chance of mice being there. However, if you live in a house, farm or rural area, then you’ll most likely encounter a mouse or two.

Benefits of Adopting Hunting Cats

Of course, when your cat is curled up on your lap, you may not think that your sweet cat would be capable of killing a mouse. However, cats are natural born predators. Though your cat may be domesticated, they come from a long line of predators that hunted to survive.

Image showing a cat ready to hunt a mouse

Cats can hunt birds, reptiles, fish and other small rodents. Have you seen your cat eagerly watch a bird that’s flying outside their window? This is their predator side exposing itself. Also, they’re designed with sharp claws, quick reflexes, and a strong jaw. Hunting cats will help keep your mice population down to a minimum. Thus, you won’t have to worry about them destroying your house or freaking out your children.

Factors that Affect a Cat’s Hunting Capacity

When it comes to choosing the right cat, you want to make sure you choose one that’ll actually hunt mice. Of course, it’s always hard to tell right away if they’ll be good hunters. However, there are some signs you can look for to see if they have the hunting streak in them.

Factor #1: Demeanor

You’ll want to look at the demeanor of your cat as that’ll tell you a lot about their ability to hunt. If your cat is somewhat skittish and highly aware of his surroundings, then they’ll most likely be a great hunter.

Image showing a young orange cat playing with a toy mouse

However, don’t rely solely on that. Cats are much more complex than what they show. Their instincts are extremely subtle. You may even have to judge based on little things such as whether their ears swivel or not at the slightest sounds. You’ll have to be attentive to these signs.

Factor #2: Behavior

You’ll need to watch your cat’s behavior. Strong cat hunters will present extreme interest in their prey. For example, they’ll track your fingers or the toys that are in front of them. Every little twitch will be caught in the corner of their eye.

Litte cat playing with a toy mouse in house

Through time, you’ll be able to catch onto some of these hunting traits that your cat is showing. Try to use a laser pointer and point the laser in front of them. If they’re into hunting, they’ll be going crazy after it.

Factor #3: Adoption History

Sometimes, your cat’s history will be able to tell you what they’re like. If your cat is a rescue cat, you’ll want to try to gather as much information on them as possible.  Perhaps they lived on a farm before or were found feral. If you’re not planning on having your cat as an indoor cat, you should opt for a semi-feral or feral cat. House cats, in general, are less likely to kill mice than feral cats. Why?

Image of a cat in the grass hunting something

Because they’re not used to having to hunt for their food since you feed them, thus, they do not encounter small animals very often. Semi-feral and feral cats must hunt out of necessity. Thus, they become savage hunters. So, if you have a rodent problem around your home, this is the best option.

Factor #4: Health History

One part of the cat’s health history that doesn’t play as important a role as many people think is whether the cat has been spayed/neutered or not. Many people think that spaying or neutering their cat will affect their ability to hunt properly. Fortunately, this is a myth. Spaying and neutering your cats purely depends on whether or not you want your cats to have kittens.

Little kitty and her owner

Of course, if you have a litter of kittens, there’s a higher chance of your mice problem decreasing. However, then you will have a cat problem. It’s best to neuter or spay your cat since there are too many of them already. Many had to be forcibly retired because the shelters simply couldn’t take any more in.

8 Cat Breeds That Are Effective Mouse-Hunters

You may be curious about specific breeds which historically are known as superior hunters. Of course, you want a cat that’ll hang out with you, but at the same time, you need one that can hunt too. To help you get a cat that can do both, here are some cat breeds that have been known to retain their hunting instincts well despite being domesticated.

American Shorthair

American Shorthair has a long history living alongside humans. They’re originally from Britain, however, were brought to the USA.

American Shorthair cat laying down

They were used to keep the mice out of the food stores. Not only are they great hunters, but they’re also highly affectionate, which is why people love them.

Chartreux

This French breed is very popular in storybooks for young children. They’ve been around for a long time. They’re highly muscular and are natural born predators. When they’re not hunting, they’re extremely calm and collected in temperament.

Siamese

We all know the Siamese cat, but not many know that they’re actually predatory cats and are naturally gifted with patience, keen senses, agility, and caution.

Image showing a nervous siamese-cat

They’re one of the oldest Oriental breeds and are a favorite throughout the world. Though, they’re not as affectionate as some of the other breeds listed below.

Turkish Angora

This is the national cat of Turkey and is actually a breed that naturally developed on their own in the wild—instead of being conceived by an inventive breeder. These cats are extremely graceful and highly intelligent.

Turkish Angora cat sitting on a bench in the sun

What people love about this breed is that they are extremely affectionate while also being great hunters. So, you’ll be able to have both a hunting cat and a domesticated cat.

Maine Coon

The Maine Coon breed is widely famous for being one of the largest cat breeds, but they are actually also famous for their hunting skills. They’ve been around since the formation of the USA, hence, their breed’s name.

Close-up image of the Maine-coon-cat

They may look bulky and slow, but don’t be fooled. This breed is an excellent hunter and even has water-resistant fur.

Burmese

If you have a lot of mice on your property or in your home, then you’ll want a cat that thinks with their stomach. Well, then you’ll be wanting to get yourself a Burmese.

Red and chocolate burmese kittens

Burmese cats are very food-motivated, so, if you praise them with treats for catching mice, they will keep doing it. In addition, Burmese are extremely intelligent and very amusing, so, if you have children, they’ll fall in love with your Burmese cat.

Persian

Persian cats are very tricky. Though they’ve coined the nickname “furniture with fur,” don’t be mistaken as they are very crafty and stealthy hunters. Persian cats are known to be highly intelligent. In comparison to males Persian cats, female Persians are extra gifted with a talent for catching mice.

Siberian

Siberian cats are extremely large and can weigh up to 20 pounds. Their thick coats are attributed to the cold Siberian climate. Now, you may be thinking that these cats are not going to be very good hunters due to their size. However, that’s incorrect. They’re extremely agile and quick.

siberican cat in the snow looking up

Instead of purchasing any of these cats in pet stores or from breeders, you should adopt one from shelters. You won’t struggle to find any of these breeds as shelters have a very varied selection of cat breeds.

How to Help Your Cat Become an Effective Hunter

Despite being renowned as one of the best solutions for a rat infestation problem, not many cats are actually proficient at catching mice. Even if you chose to adopt one of the breeds we mentioned above, each cat is an individual and yours may not be interested in hunting at all. But don’t give up too soon because you can actually train your cat to become the best hunter.

Start Early

If you’re the owner of a kitten that comes from a breed that isn’t known for their hunting capacities, it doesn’t mean your kitten won’t grow up to be a hunter.

Image of a little cat playing with a cat toy

You’ll need to train your kitten by making sure you work their reflexes. Also, use cat toys to train them to hunt and keep their instincts alert.

Use Cat Toys

Whether you have a kitten or a full grown cat, you should interact with your cat using training toys. Pick a toy that’s shaped like a real mouse. They’ll be able to associate the toy with the actual animal.

Amaizing Ragdoll Cat with Blue Eyes Playing with Mouse

They can practice stalking, shaking, biting, and clawing at the toy mouse. This behavior mimics actual hunting behavior and will help indicate your cat’s ability to hunt and kill mice.

Don’t Forget to Vaccinate

If your cat is going to be chasing and killing mice, you’ll want to make sure that your cat is up to date on their vaccines. Cats who hunt are more susceptible to contracting specific diseases.

Cat getting a vaccine at the veterinary clinic.

Mice and other rodents—despite the fact that they are a part of your cat’s natural diet—do carry parasites and diseases. We recommend that you worm your cat every six months and look up the health concerns for cats in your region.

Don’t Use Poison

If you have a hunting cat, there’s no reason to use rat poison. This is mainly concerning for your cat’s health. You cat could directly consume the rat poison accidentally or consume it through the mice they kill. The rat poison you use for rodent control could end up killing your cat.

Wrap Up

Dog lovers and cat lovers are different. Dog lovers tend to crave affection, but cat lovers a different. They’re not looking for attention; they are simply looking for a relaxed companion to share their home with.

Kitten plays with toy mouse

Of course, people adopt pets for different reasons. If your home is having a mice and/or rodent problem, you should be looking for a cat that can be both a friend and a hunter. However, this means you need to choose the right cat for the job.

We’ve given you tips on how to choose the right mouse hunting cat, as well as some of the top mouse hunting breeds. We believe that you’re well equipped now to make an informed decision regarding what kind of cat you should adopt to solve your rat problem.

Image showing a playfull cat

Although, before you set off for the nearest shelter, make sure that you’re aware of the responsibility and work that goes into having a pet. Your mouse hunting cat will take care of your rat and rodent problem, so in turn, you need to make sure that you’re capable of taking care of them.

Look at what you need in a cat and choose one that suits your lifestyle. Do you have a mouse hunting cat? Which one? Does he belong to one of the mouse-hunting breeds we mentioned or did we miss him? Let us know in the comment section below!

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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