Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
posted 6 years ago
A few minutes ago I heard a squeal outside and sure enough my cat brought in another rodent. He likes to bring me gifts and he was very proud (I could tell). It turned out to be a baby rabbit. Ever since I adopted two cats as kittens, though one is a lazy chubby pin cushion that couldn't catch a cold his brother is the avid and true hunter so my mouse problem has disappeared.
I used to periodically get little chew marks in some of my bagged foods. It was not a big problem but it could have grown to be one. Thankfully, my cats or rather one of the cats has eliminated my problem. I would get little dead mice at my doorstep every once in a while because cats like to give "gifts" to their persons. I do enjoy seeing the cats taking care of my rodent problem. Sepp, was wrong......wrong, wrong, wrong about cats!
Why do cats hunt for their owners? Maybe this would help clear things up.
Cats have always made a significant difference in rodent populations in my experience. If you are thinking of getting one, a way to get one that is into mousing as opposed to loafing is to take a fresh killed mouse with you to the pound or or litter, and the cats who are into it will go right for it. This is the second time I've tried this - the local vet clinic had 3 adoptables, and one was into eating the vole on the exam table. The other two were not interested. He's out there all the time hunting.
The first time was with a litter we had, and only one kitten went for the mouse. Perhaps barn raised litters have a higher percentage once they get used to them.
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
posted 6 years ago
Perhaps barn raised litters have a higher percentage once they get used to them.
I believe that is a key point.
Barn raised kittens are taught by their mother - who relies on her hunting skills to survive.
The natural instinct is still there for kittens raised in a cozy section of a warmed home.
However, it is probably not 'hammered home' in the same manner by a spoiled 'lap cat' who grew up on cans of 9-Lives.
The same general principal can be applied to hatchery raised chicks.
If they always have a feeder full of "Chick Raiser" in front of them, they may ignore their natural instinct to forage.
If you throw them a clump of weeds (complete with insects) every day - from 1 week old, they learn to forage.
Natural instincts are always there, but can be over ridden by complete domestication:
I have seen a photograph of a mother hen, and under her wings were a half dozen chicks, AND a baby mouse!
Perhaps, the 'mothering' instinct is stronger than the 'foraging' instinct.
I would imagine that none of those chicks will ever catch/eat a mouse.
Is that a black Burmese ? I have one just like him and my sister had one that lived outside for about 15 years and never showed her age, never had a health problem and hunted vigorously for all her food. She finally was a little slow at getting out of the way of the tires one cold morning when my sister left for work or I figure she would still be out hunting and thriving.
The one I have is young and had been raised inside all his young life until he landed here...now he's finding out what it's all about to be a cat. He is turning out to be a great hunter and I saw him gobbling down some form of rodent just today. He also provides some company for the dog and has learned quickly that my new chicks are not food, learned quickly to stay off the porches and he's affectionate but not overly so. I'm liking his help on the place.
The wonderful thing about the Burmese cat is that it is perpetually and greedily hungry and this makes them a very prey/food driven animal. When kept inside they tend towards obesity if free fed. Outside they become hunting fools!
I'm pleased that this former house cat is cleaning up the rodents and we are hoping he develops an intense dislike for moles and starts in on that population as well.
We recently adopted a feral/stray cat through a charity here that does a 'house a mouser' scheme. This one was probably a domestic cat that was abandoned, as he is very friendly with humans but very self-sufficient. He lives outside, he has a box in the shed to sleep in. We do feed him dry food but he supplies his own wet food, and a fine job he does too - within moments of being let out of the shed the first time, he nabbed a mouse. As far as we know, he seems to get at least around 4 mice and moles and voles per day. Haven't seen him with a rat yet, but we're not sure that we still have those around anyway. We haven't seen him with a rabbit, but our rabbit problem is minimal at the moment. He has lately taken a few small birds, which is less great I guess. But I'm definitely happy with his rodenticide. And the things he leaves as gifts, rather than eating up himself, get thrown to the chickens who are very appreciative! Now if I could just train him to eat slugs... (can't free-range the chickens at this time sadly).
The Siamese that we had when I was a kid, traded dead rats for fried eggs and chicken. He would yowl at the door and then walk a circle around his prize. Then he'd yowl until you got out the frying pan. He had been a city apartment cat who was afraid of his first mouse. Dad said, "Don't feed anything to that useless cat." A month later he was killing grown rabbits. He liked them cooked as well. I skinned and cooked several, which we shared.
I've never seen a more athletic animal. He would jump up and squish flies against an 8 foot ceiling. The neighbor had three cats. Ours would walk up to their food dish and watch them scatter. He only stole the choice bits and left them the bulk of it. When a big stray dog got in a fight with ours, Taiwan (his name) jumped on it's back and wrapped his legs around the neck which he chewed with the ferocity of a tiger. The bleeding dog ran for it's life.
posted 6 years ago
We have allowed our cats to be indoor/outdoor creatures for years, The neighborhood, once becoming overrun with moles, mice and other small vermin, is pristine. This year, our two hunters left 320+ corpses new the front steps. Most were moles (including many 2" young and up to an 8" King Daddy Mole). We needed to stop feeding squirrels (sorry, soft spot for me) as the cats began killing them, too. Those were always consumed, but the moles and mice were usually left for us to find. The neighbors are appreciative and welcome visits from the cats -- they save $ on traps and hassles!
Whenever a feral cat finds us, we have it neutered/spayed and return it to our neighborhood where it can live unencumbered with lots of food and some insulated winter huts (see pic)