Why You Should Adopt Cats for Mouse Control

As a student of Permaculture, I detest the primary and ever present role harmful chemicals play in our modern lives.  Monocultured lawns are sprayed with this one. Sidewalk cracks are sprayed with that one. The veggies on your family’s plates have been drenched multiple times in another.  The porous shells of the industrial eggs you buy at the grocery are irradiated and sprayed with something else.

We try to live as free from as many toxins as possible and always seek more natural and healthy solutions.  However, sometimes convenience and marketing wins the day and even us at the ol’ Gentleman Homestead give in.

Our first winter here, when we heard some scratching in the walls and caught a couple mice inside our kitchen sink’s cabinet…  I declared war and implemented lots of improvements to mouse-proof the house, including building my (awesomely effective) Five Gallon Bucket Redneck Mouse Trap.  That stuff helped… and even though our problem was far from an all-out infestation, and every neighbor chuckled while advising us to “Get used to it”… we still weren’t happy.

So, it’s confession time.

We hired an exterminator service and paid a hefty upfront cost plus about $30 per month (!!!) for them to stop by every quarter and refill doggie-proof bait houses with anticoagulant poison.

That was last year.  Now that we’ve added a few more animals, all of whom would not think twice about feasting on a poisoned mouse that happened to keel over near their coop, and our Toddler is much more mobile and ornery than he used to be (hard to believe), I stopped filling those bait houses in early spring, boxed them all up, and am going to try a different, more natural route.  Besides, I always felt dirty walking past those mouse hotels since they go against the Permaculture ethics by which I strive to live.

I fired our local A Abel Exterminator service.  I adopted Gray and Abel as exterminators. (But I’m still calling them by their original names Gracie and Oliver while we all get acclimated.)

Kennel

“Just cuz you bring me tuna doesn’t mean I trust you yet.”

We’re very happy to have Gray and Abel with us and are slowly but surely getting used to each other.  I hope they’ll live long and happy lives out in my workshop… regularly patrolling the house perimeter… and hating mice as much as we do.

I performed a lot of research into the proper way to adopt, acclimate, and care for indoor/outdoor “working” cats.  I have an upcoming post on that process.  Thankfully, my research led me to Royal Rescue, a local organization that specializes in socializing and finding homes for stray or feral cats.  Many Humane Societies have a similar program for felines who are unlikely to be adopted as indoor lap kitties for various reasons.  Unfortunately, I learned some “unadoptable” cats in those types of programs are either released to a life on the street, or destroyed. I’m very happy to give our two loveable furballs a new home and a second chance at life.

Will this be an effective solution to all the mice living in our fields and woods who get too close to the house?  Time will tell.  For now we’re still working on accepting treats and petting without darting for cover.

Will this be a cost effective solution compared to a $30/month exterminator service?  Probably not.  But that’s not my main motivation.  I take very good care of the animals I’m entrusted with, including these cute little guys who will be “barn cats” and have a job to do.  Gray and Abel will always have shelter, food, clean water, monthly flea/tick medication, vaccines, and a (free!) scratch behind the ear multiple times a day.

So let’s take a look at our Big Board of Animals, shall we?  This brings our count up to:

2 Dogs

12 Chickens

6 Ducks

2 Cats

And hopefully a dwindling number of mice.

–Mike

Question of the Day: Have you swapped out a toxin for a more natural solution?  Let’s hear about it.

Posted in Pest Control Tagged with: , , ,
22 comments on “Why You Should Adopt Cats for Mouse Control
  1. Nature Advocate says:

    If you think that cats make good rodent control, think again.

    Your myth about cats being good rodent control has been disproved on every island where cats were imported to take care of the imported rodents. Hundreds of years later and there’s nothing but a thriving population of cats and rodents — all the native wildlife on those islands now either extinct or on the brink of extinction — even those native species which are better rodent predators than cats (such as many reptiles and shrews which destroy rodents right in their nests), the cats having destroyed them directly or indirectly. And I bet you think of yourself as educated.

    The rodents reproduce in burrows and holes out of the reach of cats, where they are happy to reproduce forever to entertain cats the rest of their lives, and make your own lives miserable, on into infinity. On top of that, when cats infect rodents with cat’s Toxoplasma gondii parasite, this hijacks the minds of rodents to make the rodents attracted to where cats urinate. ( scitizen.com/neuroscience/parasite-hijacks-the-mind-of-its-host_a-23-509.html )

    Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are. The cats then contract these diseases on contact with, or being in proximity to, these rodents. Like “The Black Death”, the plague, that is now being transmitted to humans in N. America directly from cats that have contracted it from rodents. (Yes, the plague is alive and well and being transmitted by cats today. Many people have already died from cat-transmitted plague; all three forms of it, septicemic, bubonic, and even pneumonic transmitted by cats.)

    Cats attracting these rodents right to them further increasing the cat/rodent/disease density of this happy predator/prey balance. It has been documented many many times. The more cats you have, the more rodents and diseases you get. I even proved this to myself when having to rid my lands of hundreds of these vermin cats by shooting and burying every last one of them. A rodent problem started to appear about the same time the cats started to show up, 15 years of it. Then all rodent problems disappeared after every last cat was shot-dead and safely disposed of. All the better NATIVE rodent predators moved back into the area after the cats were dead and gone. Not seen one cat anywhere nor had even one rodent in the house in nearly five years now.

    Cats DO NOT get rid of rodents. I don’t care how many centuries that fools will claim that cats keep rodents in-check, they’ll still be wrong all these centuries. Civilizations of humans have come and gone in great cities like Egypt, yet their cats and rodents remain in even greater pestilent numbers.

    No cat population anywhere has ever been able to control rodents effectively. But native predators can — easily.

    Keep deceiving your astoundingly ignorant selves.

  2. Nature Advocate says:

    Here’s a good read to show you what happens to every last one of your relocated invasive-species vermin feral-cats that you dump-off on farms and in other rural areas in ANY location of North America.

    predatormastersforums D0T com SLASH forums/ubbthreads D0T php?ubb=showflat&Number=2628942&page=1

    All you are doing is adding to the cat-shooting quotas of everyone who lives rural. What a nice waste of your money and time. I personally shot and buried hundreds of your invasive-species vermin to stop them from gutting-alive and skinning-alive the last of the native wildlife on my lands. Cats that, morons just like you, adopted out from your “humane” barn-cat programs.

    Cats that are relocated NEVER stay where they have been dumped. This is why you read reports of cats trying to get back to their points of origin hundreds of miles away. All the while senselessly destroying countless numbers of valuable native wildlife in their wake by torturing animals to death for their hourly play-toys. People in rural areas have enough of their own problem keeping these disease-infested vermin in check by shooting every stray cat they see (if only to protect their own animals from all the diseases these pestilent cats carry).

    Don’t go adding to everyone’s weekly cat-shooting-quotas by releasing more of these pestilent vermin. “Cute” they are not. They ALL need to be destroyed. There are dozens of native predator species that are MUCH better suited for rodent control. Ones that eat rodents only and don’t destroy everything that moves, like cats do. There’s a good reason one species was even named the “Barn Owl”. Gray-Fox being another excellent mouser, they don’t even have European fowl on their menus and will even climb trees to keep squirrel populations in check. Even the 1.75-inch Masked-Shrew, a David & Goliath success story, evolved a poisonous bite specifically for preying on rodents right where they breed. Even the scent of them being around drives away rodents. But what do your cats do? They destroy these most beneficial of all rodent predators the very first chance they get.

    Learn to become a responsible steward of this planet by getting at least a high-school level of education in matters of ecology and biology, so the rest of us don’t have to teach you a valuable lesson by shooting and burying every last one of your invasive species vermin cats for you.

  3. Nature Advocate says:

    You might also enjoy knowing …

    If you advocate for cats as rodent-control on farms and ranches you’ve already doomed them to being destroyed by drowning or shooting when it becomes a financial liability more than any asset. Ranchers and farmers worldwide are fully aware that cats’ Toxoplasma gondii parasite can cause the very same birth defects (hydrocephaly and microcephaly), still-births, and miscarriages in their livestock and important wildlife as it can in pregnant women. Consequently, this is also how this cats’ brain-parasite gets into your meats and onto your dinner-tables, from herbivores ingesting this cat-parasites’ oocysts in the soils, transferred to the plants and grains that they eat. Not even washing your hands in bleach nor hydrochloric-acid will destroy this parasites’ oocysts if you have contracted it from your garden or yard that a cat has defecated in.

    This is why any cats are ROUTINELY destroyed around gestating livestock and wildlife-management areas in the most efficient, humane, and least-expensive method available. Common rural practice everywhere. The risk of financial loss from dead livestock and important native wildlife from an invasive-species cat is far too great to do otherwise. This cats’ parasite is now even killing off rare marine-mammals (dolphins, seals, otters, etc.) along all coastal regions around the world from run-off containing this cat-parasites’ oocysts.

    Children on farms and ranches also learn how to be a good steward of their lands when it comes to invasive domesticated species like cats, with one simple statement from the ecologically responsible parents (those who are directly dependent upon the very lands on which they live, including yourself), “If you see a cat more’n 100 yards from any building, shoot it! It’s up to no good.”

    So the next time you bite into that whole-grain veggie-muffin or McBurger, you need to just envision biting down on a shot-dead or drowned kitten or cat. For that’s precisely how that food supply got to your mouth — whether you want to face up to it or not. It’s not going to change reality no matter how much you twist your mind away from the truth of your world.

    If you want to blame someone for the drowning and shooting of cats, you need to prosecute yourself — every time you eat. Enjoy your next meal! At least 1 cat paid for it with its life.

    Here’s some other ways that everyone humanely kills livestock for your weekend barbeques and their own animals; outside of your psychotically isolated, myopic, bambi-cartoon-educated, pavement-brained, mommy’s-basement grasp of reality:

    granny-miller D0T com SLASH small-animal-livestock-euthanasia-on-the-homestead-what-you-need-to-know/

    You are aware, aren’t you, that out of ALL types of pet-owners on the face of this earth, that cat-owners are directly responsible for the suffering deaths of more animals and more species of animals than any other pet-owners on the planet. If not having animals killed for their own consumption, then they are having animals killed and crammed into bags and cans and having a “CAT FOOD” label slapped on them for their cat’s consumption, and if they let their cats outside then they are senselessly torturing billions of native animals and countless thousands of native species to death yearly just for their cats’ play-toys. As well as the countless BILLIONS of offspring of all those animals that are either starved to death or never get born. Cat-owners are a triple-threat to all animal life on earth. How many animals are they going to have senselessly killed or tortured today for their entertainment and their self-serving “but cats make me feel good!” values?

    • Derek says:

      You are insane. Someone should take away your internet access.

    • Life is Sacred says:

      I find your comments very disturbing on several levels that I Must respond to.
      Any positive or accurate information you are conveying about preservation of Nature is being completely underwritten by the appalling level of aggression in your tone. I get the message that you hate cats, and are willing to murder them for the sake of your environmental tirade. Pet owners would sue you.
      if you want to actually make a change, and bring up valid issues about domestic species causing issues in wildlife populations, health, or any other concern, please try to do so in a more positive manner. Domestic animals can ALL cause problems, cats included, but they also have a very important place in life. Killing animals from this place of rage, calling it a pest is simply adding to the problem. Why don’t you advocate for domestic cats being kept indoors,having a catio, or having so much food and entertainment available to them that they will not decimate wildlife, for starters. Anything less violent than “I happily murder any cat I see”. “cats indoors” is a message I can hear, but your message, although perhaps enviromentally motivated, still, makes me want to vomit, from a sense of animal cruelty.
      I love cats, just like I love sea otters, song birds, foxes snakes and owls. I also own a cat, she is FAMILY to me, and if I ever heard that you shot my cat, I would personally want you in prison, and I imagine many other cat “owners” would feel the same. I want ALL animals to have a place, habitat, food sources, clean resources.
      Please Stop responding to ignorance with hatred. Treat life as Sacred, no matter where it comes from.
      Furthermore… if you want to look at species, and their harmful effects, try looking at Humans. We are the most responsible for widespread damage as any one species in existence. Evidence is overwhelming. Are you going to start exterminating humans? Because that is exactly where your attitude takes this.
      Try finding another approach. One that respects all life as sacred.
      Respect that this man on the internet wrote this article about his earnest actions doing his absolute best to break the cycle of violence (by using rat poison, which kills any owl, snake, or cat that injests the mice) and turn it into a full cycle of animals eating each other. If he was mistaken, that is one thing. Writing about how you kill cats doesn’t solve anything. it just makes other people hate you, and you loose the vital opportunity to say something important, such as “please don’t flush your cat litter down the toilet, because the bacteria harms marine life”, you loose the opportunity to be heard.

  4. Mike says:

    Welcome N/A! Glad to have you here since your polite, helpful tone is only outpaced by your brevity.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Whew! N/A is quite a cat-hater. And while some things he/she said may be true, I would take a much more conservative view about cats being the monsters he/she says they are.

    I live in Staten Island, NY, and currently am down to 6 indoor cats, all of whom started out feral. Only one has shown himself to be a mouser, though several will play with any stray crickets that escape from our bearded dragon’s tank. So don’t assume your cats will be mousers.

    I tend to think that mice, voles, etc. that live outdoors can stay there, live well and prosper, and would only worry about the ones in the house. So I would consider keeping the cats indoors as pets and therefore avoiding all of those dread diseases (assuming your vet already checked the cats and pronounced them healthy). Keep working on taming them, but again, being indoor cats makes that easier. The more you interact with them, play, pet, brush, talk to them, etc. the better. We took in one adult cat that took several years before he became a lap cat. Kittens are easier.

    Pretty much the opposite view of N/A from a not-so crazy cat lady.

    • Mike says:

      Hi Kathleen! Yeah, I know there’s no guarantee any one cat will turn out to be a decent mouser, but I figure it’s worth a shot. No matter what, I hope they enjoy their new home as there’s lots of room for them to stalk and lounge about. We’re happy to give them a second chance at life, even if they never get a mouse.

  6. Congrats on the new additions! We had a litter of feral cats born in our barn last summer and ended up keeping two. One is handicapped but still manages to catch flies, the other is a master mouser. Unfortunately he likes to catch them, drop them in the bathtub and play with them before eating them. Our original cat used to be fat, lazy and hateful but now she has to keep up with her *little brother* and she’s killed quite a few mice.

    I can always tell if we have one in the kitchen by the the accumulation of furry door stops staring at the oven!
    Alecia @ Chicken Scratch NY recently posted…Salt PotatoesMy Profile

    • Mike says:

      We have two indoor dogs and one is a miniature poodle. I kept waiting for her to start mousing any inside the house. Hopefully the numbers have been so small she hasn’t had much of a chance. ….. Or she’s just the most coddled, spoiled tiny toy dog in the world. One of the two. 🙂

  7. Nature Advocate says:

    Destroying cats is neither hating cats nor a fear of cats. I had to legally shoot and bury literally hundreds of these invasive species vermin to stop them from gutting-alive and skinning-alive the last of the native wildlife on my lands. (true story) Apparently gutting-alive and skinning-alive animals with everyone’s vermin cats, tortured to death just for their cats’ play-toys, no other reason, is perfectly acceptable to you.

    Why do mentally-unbalanced and psychotic cat-advocates always presume that if someone is removing a highly destructive, deadly disease spreading, human-engineered invasive-species from the native habitat to restore it back into natural balance that they must hate that organism? Does someone who destroys Zebra Mussels, Kudzu, African Cichlids, Burmese Pythons, Brown Tree Snakes, or any of the other myriad destructive invasive-species have some personal problem with that species? (Many of which are escaped PETS that don’t even spread any harmful diseases, unlike cats.) Ignorance and blatant biases are revealed in declaring that people who destroy cats must somehow hate or fear cats. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    It is people who let a destructive invasive-species roam free that tortures-to-death all other wildlife that have zero respect for life. They don’t even care about their cats dying a slow torturous death from exposure, animal attacks, diseases, starvation, dehydration, becoming road-kill, environmental poisons. etc., the way that ALL stray cats suffer to death. (A well-aimed bullet is BY FAR the MOST humane death than any stray cat will ever hope to meet one day. That’s even more humane than methods used by vets and animal shelters.) These pathetic cat-lickers don’t even respect their fellow human being. This speaks more than volumes about their disgusting character. They should be locked up in prison for life for their cruelty to all animals, cruelty to their own cats as well as all the native wildlife that they let their cats skin alive or disembowel alive just so they can entertain their cats. If they let cats roam free they are violating every animal-abandonment, animal-neglect, animal-endangerment, and invasive-species law in existence.

    If people DO hate cats today, have LEARNED to hate cats today, you have nobody but those who let cats roam free to blame. THEY are the reason people are now realizing that all excess cats must be destroyed on-site and on-sight. They’ve done so much to make people care about cats, haven’t they.

    THIS IS THEIR FAULT and THE FAULT OF EVERYONE JUST LIKE THEM. They have NOBODY but themselves to blame.

    They can take that all the way to the very last shot-dead cat’s grave.

    You are aware, aren’t you, that out of ALL types of pet-owners on the face of this earth, that cat-owners are directly responsible for the suffering deaths of more animals and more species of animals than any other pet-owners on the planet. If not having animals killed for their own consumption, then they are having animals killed and crammed into bags and cans and having a “CAT FOOD” label slapped on them for their cat’s consumption, and if they let their cats outside then they are senselessly torturing billions of native animals and countless thousands of native species to death yearly just for their cats’ play-toys. As well as the countless BILLIONS of offspring of all those animals that are either starved to death or never get born. Cat-owners are a triple-threat to all animal life on earth. How many animals are they going to have senselessly killed or tortured today for their entertainment and their purely self-serving “but cats make me feel good!” values?

  8. Mike says:

    Hmmm, someone is sounding a little repetitive.

    We must eradicate every cat from the planet, lest they hunt down and destroy our most sacred American traditions – like apple pie and blog comment copy/pasting.

  9. Nature Advocate says:

    After you’ve let your cats roam free for a few years, and then no longer hear any owls, see any foxes (gray-fox being the absolute best mousers on the planet, they don’t even have European fowl on their menus and even climb trees to keep squirrels in check), no longer see any wild-turkey or grouse, no longer hear any owls, no longer get to hear a chipmunk chorus most every morning or late afternoon, no longer hear any songbirds to wake you up, no longer hear any spring-peepers to herald-in Spring, no longer see any other native animals around your home — then I hope like hell you die of emptiness in that dismal and bereft wasteland of just you and your cats.

    Because that is EXACTLY what you are looking forward to by claiming cats are beneficial “mousers”. It happened by me!

    All NATIVE wildlife on my land is now returning to normal, it rebounded faster than I could have ever hoped for. I estimate about 1 returning or 1 never-seen-before native species are arriving on my land PER DAY for 5 years since every last cat is gone. That’s a LOT of species that cats destroyed or starved to death during their 15 years here. Nature is once again back in balance, as it was, and as it should be. Native predators are no longer starving to death due to cats destroying their only food sources. No countless thousands of prey-specie animals being tortured to death for disemboweled and skinned-alive twitching play-toys for vermin cats. No longer are these invasive species cats spreading their deadly diseases to all animals and humans. AND I no longer have any rodent problem. Owls returned, as did the hawks, fox, raccoons, shrikes, and opossum and other NATIVE predators that get rid of them the RIGHT WAY, without attracting more of them. The most valuable of all are the tiny 1.75-inch Masked Shrew, which evolved a poisonous bite specifically for preying on rodents at their very source, in the burrows right where rodents breed. Cats ALWAYS destroy these tiny David vs. Goliath marvels first, thus ensuring an endless supply of rodents to entertain the cats on into infinity.

    I get to hear owls hooting again every night, a sound I had not heard for 15 years because cats had destroyed all their food sources. One so tame it sits on a branch about 10 ft. from my door. It caught a vole I had disturbed one time walking through my yard, the owl landing nearly between my feet to capture the vole. It just looking straight-up at me all proud about its catch. I had to step over that owl to let it continue on in its proud moment. Hawks soar over my trees again. Chipmunks treat me to a chipmunk-chorus most every calm summer evening again, another sound I had not heard for 15 years. (Ever hear that sound? It sounds like a melodic wooden wind-chime coming from every direction in the forest as they call to each other, each clucking with their own unique note of their chorus before bedding-down. It’s an astounding experience to hear it just once in your life but I get to hear it most every calm warm day before sunset, sometimes in calm late mornings too before they take their noon nap.) A family of Gray Fox (one of the most beneficial native animals to grace the land) made a den near my home. I often see them bringing a clownish kit or two along with to patrol my yard for any edibles. Birds I had never seen in my life before now nest here. 2 of the species are warblers listed in the top-10-songbirds of the world. What an amazing sound to awaken to during warm months. If I wasn’t a birder before, these amazing animals are now convincing me otherwise.

    The lifelong rewards for destroying and disposing of every last one of your invasive-species vermin cats on your lands are priceless and immeasurable.

    I now feel nothing but pity for anyone who has cats around them. Their lives are dismally bereft and empty and they don’t even realize it.

    Don’t be stupid.

    • Mel says:

      Cheezzz, NA…I have 4 cats (1 indoors, 3 outdoors), AND mice, AND squirrels, AND birds, AND foxes, AND all that other stuff! They just all ignore each other…maybe cuz I FEED my cats!!!

  10. ECHO!
    Patrick (heliotropicmoth) recently posted…EGGS!My Profile

  11. Echo.. echo… o…
    Patrick (heliotropicmoth) recently posted…EGGS!My Profile

  12. Judi says:

    That is great that you adopted some cats. I hope that you practice responsible cat ownership. That is all that is important. The first thing I did, when I joined my boyfriends farm (he had rats and an over population of mice) was get him some cats, problem solved!!! Nothing better than a good mouser, or a few if you are able to have them. I live out in the country and wish I could have a nice house cat but due to my allergies I can’t live with them.

    That is not the same as people relocating/dumping cats on farms. I had a neighbor with feral cats and all they did was eat my rabbits and THEY had rats that ended up coming to my place. They had over 30 adults cats living there, but they had a mess for the cats and rats to live in and lots of food for the rats and the cats and the cats came to feed their babies on on baby bunnies!! That creates people like the wing nut above so it is important to be a responsible pet owner! We have only females, no males allowed – they are shot on sight, dirty, nasty killing things that they are!!! If I can find a nice one that can be fixed, I will catch him and fix him so he can discouragement whole males to stay away.

    Enjoy your cats, if they are good mousers, you should find a huge decrease in mice. If not, you should get someones good barn cats. That would be the best place to go. Usually kittens to be found, for free, at the local animal sales barns.

  13. Laurie says:

    Wow. I feel sorry for NA,but to each their own.

    We live in the country. All of our cats are adopted. They showed up, moved in, and we had them spayed and neutered. They do keep rodents in check. I have seen them in action and regularly find the neat little gut piles they leave behind after finishing their dinner.

    We also have snakes,and foxes. Their are plenty of mice for everybody.
    Laurie recently posted…Spiced Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe – Secret Spices Make the Mix!My Profile

  14. Laurie says:

    Oh, and by the way, cat purrs can also help reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure. 🙂
    Laurie recently posted…10 Easy Herbal Gifts to Enjoy Now, Plus One Gift That Lasts All Year LongMy Profile

  15. Mel says:

    I love, love, love my cats! Glad you have some around your farm now. Mine are all ‘rescues’ too. My boys were neutered a little late in life and still like to spray things, so they get to live outside.

  16. MoreFeralKittens says:

    N/A… I’m going to say what everyone here is thinking. You sound like a lunatic. Take your idiotic rambling somewhere else, like a mental-health professional perhaps. You sound as if you are in desperate need of one.

  17. Mrs P says:

    Someone, *cough* every reader will immediately identify, is in need of more than professional mental health help, but a geography lesson as well.
    Egypt is a country, and a very large one, Not a “city”

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Why You Should Adopt Cats for Mouse Control"
  1. […] time, you met our cute and relentless mouse terminators – Gray & Abel – and I shared a little about why I fired our exterminator service.  Here you’ll read […]

  2. […] Here is another great blog post about a Gentleman that brought cats to his farm: http://gentlemanhomestead.com/why-you-should-adopt-cats-for-mouse-control/ […]

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