Contrary to popular belief, a cat doesn’t kill a mouse by biting its head off.
Instead, a cat would vigorously shake a mouse in its mouth its spinal cord or neck vertebrae snap, thereby, paralyzing the mouse.
Such a mouse eventually dies either from internal organ injuries or from the sheer fear of death itself.
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Do Cats Kill Mice Or Just Play with Them?
To a cat, a live mouse is not much different from any of your cat toys.
Certainly, it’s small and easy to manage.
However, the unpredictability of a living rat is far more captivating than any of the regular cat toys.
It is highly probable that your well-fed domesticated cat only wanted to play with that mouse.
Though, a cat playing with a rodent is similar to someone manhandling an infant. And so, whenever a cat plays with a mouse, it usually doesn’t survive that cat’s pleasures.
Perhaps, a more appropriate question will be how fast or brute the killing will be?
Surely, a hungry wild cat won’t delay the death and eat the mouse as soon as possible.
But your well-fed pet doesn’t need to eat that mouse and will take its time to play with that mouse.
In either case, the mice have no say in the manner of their deaths.
You must be wincing, “Why would a cat kill a mouse when it won’t even eat it?”
Well, hunting is a feline instinct.
So, a healthy cat would never let a mouse simply slide by.
What To Do When Your Cat Catches a Mouse?
Once the cat catches a mouse, there is nothing much you can do now.
I suggest let your cat have its day.
Though, do intervene only if you suspect that the mouse was infected.
Besides, the moment your cat has hold of the mouse – it is too late.
At this point, your cat has already snapped that mouse spinal cord.
So, even if you rush to a vet, the mouse won’t survive.
Now that mouse may succumb to some internal injuries.
Otherwise, it might go into the shock of being in a cat’s mouth and may end up having a heart attack.
Since mice are often infested with infections. S
o, I suggest you either add food-grade pesticides to your cat’s diet or better still, take the cat to the vet.
Again, cats don’t just eat or play with the mouse.
Sometimes, they bring mice to their owners.
Now you must wondering…
Why Do Cats Bring Mice To Their Owners?
Honestly, no one knows for sure.
Scientists suggest that maybe:
- Your cat wants to educate you about hunting as it has never seen you hunt before.
- The cat is proud of its hunt and wants to show off its talents to you. Probably, that mouse is just a prized trophy.
- Your cat adores you and that dead mouse is a gift of gratitude and love.
However, cat Behaviorist Dr. John Bradshaw rejects all these theories.
According to him, your cat killed that mouse and it wanted to eat it somewhere secure.
To a domestic cat, the safest place is you- its owner or should I say to it’s slave
But once, your cat got to you, it remembered that their normal food is tastier than the mouse and so, it’s not lost interest in the mouse
Consequently, you were left with a dead or partially dead mouse at your doorstep.
I know what you’re thinking…
What Should You Do When Your Cat Brings You a Mouse?
Since this may be a gift to you, I suggest you don’t get angry or freak out.
Here are a few things you ought to do:
- If the mouse is still alive, don’t think about calling your vet. You will only prolong its misery. I recommend you grab a flat shovel and kill the mouse with blunt force. (I know it’s hard to do as I know I can’t do something like this!)
This may make you squeamish, however, you killing it neatly is only mercy.
Any time you waste flinching is the time, that mouse is experiencing agony.
- Once you are sure that the mouse is dead, make sure to wear gloves and a mask. Discard the mouse dead body to a suitable waste bag, and then clean the area with disinfectant.
Make sure your cat is not around for this show.
- Clean your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water after disposing of the mouse
- Take your cat to the vet immediately, if you suspect that the mouse was infected.
You must be thinking that your cat is quite cruel to mice.
Is It Bad For Cats To Kill Mice?
If anything, its nature and nature can be pretty brute at times.
Indeed, a cat playing with a mouse is nothing hilarious like scenes from the “Tom-and-Jerry” show.
Rather, it’s a mouse trying to escape death to the point of exhaustion and a cat killing a mouse for mere amusement.
Keep in mind that your cat does not think like humans.
And so, your cat is not some sinister being when it’s killing that mouse. It’s simply exercising its hunting instinct.
So, I wouldn’t call it bad, it’s just:
A cat is a born predator and small rodents are its featured prey.
To a cat, a small mouse trying to scurry away does not only look convenient but, is bound to be mentally and physically stimulating.
I have heard some new cat butlers complain,
[su_quote]“But, cats have been domesticated for ages and they are well-fed. Why don’t they just stop this hunting madness?”[/su_quote]
I must tell you, that the hunting instincts of cats are as alive as they were centuries ago.
It’s because most domesticated male cats are mostly neutered and so, 85% of all cats are born from wild-cat parents.
Related Article – Should I let my cat eat mice?
Does Playing With a Mouse Benefit The Cat?
If the mouse is not teeming with parasites or infections, then playing with a mouse is probably healthy for your cat, as it contributes to:
[su_list icon=”icon: check”]
- Satiation of your cat’s hunting instincts
- Physical wellness with reduced arthritis risk
- Development of agility and prowess
- Legal outlet to your cat’s aggression
If perchance your cat does eat that mouse, it will only be essential nutrients.
How Do Cats Get Rid of Mice?
By gobbling them down whenever possible.
Not entirely kidding.
Though, apart from pouncing and active hunting, getting a cat will automatically reduce the mice at your place.
You see, mice have evolved to sense the presence of cats through a special sensory organ “Vomeronasal”. This organ has nerves specialized to detect proteins called “Mups” from a cat’s saliva.
So, a mouse sensing the presence of a cat will likely feel fear and therefore, will avoid such a place.
That said, I discourage getting a cat solely to get rid of mice.
Firstly, cats that eat loads of mice don’t survive longer than 2 years. Secondly, mouse traps are far more efficient than cats in managing mice infestation.
An average mouse can produce up to 60 off-springs, and it takes only 42 days for a new mouse to reproduce. Meanwhile, a cat will only eat, say one mouse a day.
So, there will always be more mice than cats to live with.
I recommend you call some pest control services to get rid of mice at your place and get a cat only if you are a cat lover.
Wrapping It Up
A typical cat snaps a mouse’s neck and paralyzes it.
The mouse will eventually die from internal bleeding or heart attack.
If your cat catches a mouse, it will either eat it or play with it until it perishes.
In either case, you cannot do anything much.
If your cat brings you a dead mouse as a gift, make sure to properly discard it.