After we started thinking more seriously about expanding our family, my husband brought up the idea of getting a pet or two. While I was completely against the concept at first, I realized that it might be helpful for our children to warm up to the idea before having another sibling. We got a dog and our kids were tasked with the job of feeding it every day and doing other tasks, and it was amazing to see how much the animal helped our family to grow. Pets can be a wonderful addition to a home, which is why I made this blog. Check out these fun pet posts.
It's pretty natural for cats to hunt and some pet parents encourage it. After all, hunting down mice and eliminating them will help to keep them from getting into your home. However, if you choose to go this route, you could be putting your cat's health at risk. Here's why it's not such a good idea to let your cat be a mouser.
One potential problem with letting your cat capture mice is rat poison. Many people resort to poison in order to control a rodent problem. When a mouse eats this poison, it doesn't necessarily kill it right away. Instead, it might weaken or disorient the rodent, making it easier for your cat to catch it. Since cats bite the back of the neck to exterminate prey, your cat could end up consuming rat poison themselves through blood contamination.
A cat that goes mousing is likely to try and follow mice. Mice are notorious for hiding in small spaces and dark places. If a cat were to squeeze into a small opening and couldn't get out, it could be disastrous. It's also possible that your cat could follow a mouse into something like a shed and end up getting closed inside. This could lead to starvation and dehydration, which both require medical attention from a vet.
Mice may look cute, but when wild, they can carry a wide number of diseases. Some of these diseases can be transmitted between animals. In other words, your cat could catch it from any mice that they hunt. If they're the type to bring home mice to your doorstep, you could end up being exposed to some nasty bugs, too.
How to Prevent It
The easiest and most effective way to prevent your cat from getting sick or hurt while hunting mice is to keep them from hunting mice entirely. For most cats, this means keeping them indoors. By making this one change, you can ensure that your cat will encounter little to no mice in their lifetime and will be unlikely to be harmed.
If you must let your cat out, make sure to immediately contact a veterinarian if you ever see your cat hunting rodents. Most cats will bring home their prey to their owners, so you should be able to tell easily enough. Even if your cat seems to be symptom-free, it's better to be safe than sorry in a situation like this. Your vet will be able to treat your cat for poisoning, transmitted diseases, and any dehydration or starvation they undergo as a result of hunting rodents.
For more information, contact an animal hospital like Center-Sinai Animal Hospital.