Cats are one of the most popular pets for many households and families out there. They’re cute, cuddly, and independent, which is why cat enthusiasts love keeping one in their home. But some homeowners also adopt them for a more practical reason – chasing mice around the house.
So will keeping a cat prevent mice from coming to your home? Cats are natural predators that have sharp senses to help them detect mice. Their smell also naturally repels mice. However, relying on cats for mice control won’t be enough because they can’t always be relied on to reach mice nests and perform other preventive methods.
Are Cats Effective in Keeping Mice Away?
Cats are loved as pets because they are intelligent creatures who can take care of themselves. They can clean themselves up and hunt small prey, like mice, for food. This makes them a helpful pet when it comes to keeping the mice at bay.
However, this is not the case all the time – a severe rat infestation in a home may be too much for a single cat to handle. For a more effective solution to a mice problem at home, calling a professional exterminator is still the best option.
How Cats Can Repel Mice
Cats are efficient mice hunters thanks to their superior senses that are several times better than humans. Their mere presence is also enough to make the pests tremble in fear and return to their nests. Here are two ways that cats help repel mice in a home:
1. They Can Detect Mice Problems
Cats have a superior sense of smell that helps them detect rodents present in the home. It is about 14 times stronger than humans. They utilize their 200 million odor sensors in the nose to sniff out the mice’s musky odor and nest.
These pets also use their 24 whiskers to sense vibrations and motions near them. This allows them to find a mouse that’s scurrying past them. Aside from the whiskers near their nose, cats also have whiskers in their legs to help them have a better grasp of their surroundings.
Aside from their strong sense of smell and sensitive whiskers, cats also have a sophisticated sight that helps them see better at night. They have a reflective layer called tapetum lucidum at the back of their eye’s retina, allowing them to see 7 times better in the dark.
2. Their Scent Can Scare Mice Away
Mice will also turn their tails when they get a whiff of a cat’s scent. According to a study by The Scripps Research Institute, predators – like cats – secrete a chemical compound that makes rodents fearful of them.
When a mouse detects the special proteins found in cat saliva, the neurons in their vomeronasal organ (a special sensory organ found in mice) are stimulated. This reaction causes them to display different signs of fear, such as freezing and staying close to the ground.
The Problem with Relying on Cats for Mice Control
Although keeping a cat at home can help detect mice and scare them away for some time, the feline pet should not be a home’s primary defense against mice infestation. Here are five problems that come with relying solely on cats for mice control:
1. Cats Can’t Reach Mice Nests
Rodents like mice usually build their nest in the secluded areas of the home like attics and inside walls. They pick places that are typically undisturbed so that they can raise their young pups in a safe environment that’s close to food and water sources.
Although cats can detect these places using their superior senses, they will have a hard time trying to reach these areas because of the entry point’s size. Mice also choose pathways, like inside wall spaces, which are hidden from the peering eyes of the cat.
2. Mice Can Harm Cats
Although mice are a lot less aggressive than other rodents like rats, they can still harm the pet cat by bringing diseases. Rodents are carriers of different pathogens that may be harmful to the cat. If the cat manages to hunt a mouse down, the pest can pass ticks, fleas, and other parasites to the feline.
Parasites that are carried by rodents can cause diseases like Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) and Lyme disease. These conditions can also be passed to humans. When a cat catches a mouse, they’re putting their health and yours at risk.
3. Mice Reproduce Rapidly
Another reason why a house mice infestation is difficult to control is the fact that they can breed rapidly. An individual mouse can already start reproducing 40 days after its birth and it will only take them around 21 days to produce a litter of 10 to 12 young pups.
It won’t be enough to just rely on cats as the main rodent control in a home. No matter how active the cat is when it comes to hunting these little pests, the feline will have a hard time keeping up with the mice population.
4. Some Cats are Not Interested in Hunting Mice
Although they are natural enemies, cats are not always up for hunting mice and eating them. A wild cat is far more aggressive than domesticated cats when chasing mice because it’s their source of food. Since domesticated cats are given pet food regularly, they won’t have much interest in hunting the little rodents.
If you’re interested in adopting a cat for mouse hunting purposes, make sure that the feline is not too domesticated. Limiting their access to food will also encourage them to chase the mice and eat it for dinner.
5. Cats Can’t Perform Other Preventive Measures
To effectively keep mice out of the home, it’s important to perform other preventive measures too, such as sealing up wall gaps, keeping the place clean, storing the food in sealed containers, and setting up mouse traps.
If the cat starts hunting around the home for mice, it’s a sign that the infestation has already started. Even if the cat manages to catch a mouse or two, there’s a huge chance that there are more mice nesting in the home. It’s better to call a professional exterminator to get rid of the mice completely.
4 Ways to Get Rid of Mice that are More Effective Than Keeping Cats
On top of keeping cats as a preventive method against mice infestation, it’s also important to perform other mice control techniques that are proven effective. Here are four ways to eliminate mice in a home:
- Seal All Gaps and Entry Points – Mice are small enough to fit in tiny holes on the walls, which is why it’s crucial to seal all these entryways. Cement, wire wool, and caulk are three materials that mice have a hard time chewing. By patching up the gaps with these materials, the mouse will be forced to find an easier target.
- Clean the Clutter – Clutter is one of the things that attract mice to a home because it provides them with the right materials to build a comfortable nest. If you have a pile of unused paper and other materials in the garage, make sure to clean them up before the mice start using them as a source of building materials for their home.
- Use Baits and Traps – Baits and traps are also utilized by pest control services because they are effective in denting and eliminating a home mice population. For more effective mice control using baits and traps, it’s crucial to select the right kinds of traps and place them in strategic areas where there are signs of mice activity.
- Call Pest Control Services – The most effective way to get rid of these furry pests is to let the professionals handle the job. Pest control services have the right tools and techniques that are needed to safely exterminate the rodent problem at its roots.
Expert Mice Control and Removal by Midway Pest Management
Here at Midway Pest Management, we want our clients to live safely and with total peace of mind in a mouse-free home. Our pest control services include comprehensive solutions which ensure that no mouse will come back to your home after the extermination.
For expert mice control and removal services, call Midway Pest Management now to get a free inspection for your property.
Read more: 6 Things That Attract Rats to Your House