One of the perks of cat ownership is not having to worry about mice. For centuries, cats have been used to get rid of invasive rodents. But not all cats are avid hunters. Which ones are best? What should you look for if you need a good mouser?
Below, we will look at 13 different breeds that have distinguished themselves as exceptional hunters and good pets. From America to Egypt, they come in all sizes, but they all have the same instinctive drive to leave no mouse alive. Find out what behaviors set them apart, so you can find one for your home.
The 13 Best Cats for Catching Mice
1. Maine Coon
One of the largest domestic cat breeds, the Maine Coon is an American-born breed that came about with the first settlers. The cats they brought across the ocean crossed with the native breeds and created the long-haired, hardy Maine Coon. Beloved for both its easy-going personality and its superior mousing abilities, the Maine Coon became a staple on farms and homesteads. Even today, they are still a favorite among pet owners.
Weighing up to an impressive 25 pounds, the Maine Coon can handle rats and other large rodents that may be a problem. You can enjoy your home with peace of mind when a Maine Coon is by your side.
Dating back hundreds of years, the Chartreux is a French breed that is known as both a pleasant house pet and an intimidating predator. With an athletic build, it is fast and deadly when it comes to mice. In between the games they love to play, their strong prey instinct will send them stalking and pouncing on any invaders. They were a favorite on French farms and are still loved today for their friendly nature and knack for pest control.
Although you may think of Persian cats as fluffy showpieces for your home, they are highly skilled hunters. They are very intelligent, and the prey instinct is especially strong in females. If a Persian knows there is a mouse close by, they will take care of the matter with startling efficiency.
For a cat that hunts but doesn’t climb the cupboards with energy, Persians are the ideal solution. They aren’t as active and inquisitive as other breeds, but they still get the job done. If you want a cat that combines beauty and brains, try getting a female Persian and enjoy a mouse-free environment.
Burmese cats combine intelligence, playfulness, and expert hunting skills into a great choice for a mouse-free home. With their playful, friendly personalities, they are good housepets for families. But one of their best talents is mouse catching. Expert hunters, the Burmese cat could survive purely off of his kills.
Speaking of kills, you won’t want to watch the actual act. The playfulness that makes your Burmese so endearing to you turns him into a nightmare for the mouse. They like to play with their food before dispatching it. However, their effectiveness is undeniable.
5. Japanese Bobtail
Originally used in Korean silk factories for rodent control, the Japanese Bobtail is another breed that makes great house pets. They are playful, entertaining, and love water. But they are also natural hunters. While your Japanese Bobtail can be a perfect companion, he may leave your side to rapidly dispose of any mice that venture into his territory. You can rest easy at night knowing that you are in a mouse-free zone, thanks to the Japanese Bobtail.
6. American Shorthair
The American Shorthair, after originating in England, became American when crossing the ocean with the pilgrims. They were prized for their ability to decrease the mouse populations on ships, which were a serious health danger for all those aboard.
American Shorthair cats are friendly, affectionate, and make ideal house pets. They possess the hunting instincts of their ancestors and will make sure that no mouse dares poke his nose into your home.
Siberian cats are wonderful at dealing with mice and rats. With their larger size, they can easily take care of big rodents. Reaching up to 20 pounds, the Siberian sports a thick, rich coat that served it well in his home countries of Russia and Siberia. They are surprisingly graceful and quick to hunt down any uninvited guests.
An appealing blend of intelligence and affection, Siberian cats love being close to people and make ideal pets. They are athletic and playful, which comes in handy when the time comes to hunt.
8. Turkish Angora
Originating in Turkey, the Turkish Angora breed developed naturally without any selective breeding. Because of this, they have a finely tuned hunting instinct, lightning speed, and sure-footed balance. With their high intelligence, Turkish Angoras can easily fit into your home and become a beloved pet. They bond well with their owners and love being in the middle of the action. But they will also make sure that no mouse will ever stay in your domain for long.
The Manx established its reputation as an exceptional hunter long ago on ships. They come from the Isle of Man between England and Ireland and were a favorite among sailors and farmers alike. Their ability to keep mice populations down made them a valuable asset.
Manx cats have long hind legs and no tails, due to a natural mutation. They are very social and like to stay close to their owners. They are also very intelligent and seem to understand spoken words better than other breeds. Known for their ability to take down larger prey, Manx cats are well-suited to protecting your home.
A favorite among the royal family of Thailand, Siamese cats were just as well known for their hunting abilities as they were for their regal looks. When their royal owners died, the cats would go live in the temple that housed the deceased person’s remains. They made sure that the monks lived in a mouse-free environment. Today, their natural hunting instinct serves them well as beloved housepets.
Social almost to a fault, Siamese cats stay close to their owners and require lots of attention and interaction. Their high intelligence demands stimulation and serves them well if a mouse dares venture into their domain.
With a wild heritage that came from the Asian leopard cat, Bengals are natural hunters with acute instincts. Females are more aggressive predators than males, but both are highly intelligent and make good pets. Bengals are naturally inquisitive and love to explore their environments—no mouse will remain undiscovered. If there is a mouse within smelling distance, you can rest assured that it won’t be there for long.
Another breed descended from the wild, the Chausie cat comes from Egypt and sports the athletic build of its ancestors. They can grow to 25 pounds and make imposing predators to any small intruders. Throughout their lives, Chausie cats maintain a curious nature that makes them effective mousers. With their playful and social nature, you can enjoy them as pets while they turn your home into a pest-free zone.
Bursting with energy, the Abyssinian is highly active and loves to be on the prowl for mice. In between playing games with you and any other pets, there is nothing they love better than to catch and dispose of unwanted rodents. With such high energy levels, the Abyssinian won’t be snoozing all day in your lap, but they will ensure that mice will never disturb you.
How To Choose A Good Mouser
Does your pest control plan include a new member of the household? If so, look beyond coats and markings for signs of an expert hunter.
Try observing a cat to see if they’re aware of their surroundings. Are their eyes moving and taking in the environment around them? Can you get their attention quickly? Do they react quickly?
If the answer to those questions is yes, then you most likely are looking at a good mouser. Cats with strong hunting instincts are very sensitive to their surroundings.
Watch your cat’s behavior for typical hunting movements and traits. Try using a laser toy or ball of foil to see if they chase and pounce on it. Do they intently focus and track movement? Do you sense that they have an eye on everything? If a piece of lint floats through the air and your cat tracks it or tries to bat it down, you know they will do the same to a mouse.
Knowing a cat’s history will help you decide if they are suitable for your home. If they came from a place with lots of mice, they are most likely a good hunter. If they have always lived outdoors, they probably won’t be happy cooped up in a house. It’s not always possible to find this information, but it’s always good to ask.
We have looked at 13 cat breeds that are great hunters and good pets. When looking for a good mouser, look for certain behaviors and traits that hunters exhibit. But keep in mind, a good hunting cat doesn’t always make the best housepet. The ideal cat can be a good companion and still keep the mice away and the cats listed above have personalities that will endear them to their families.
Using this list as a reference and the tips of what to look for, you should be able to find the perfect friend and mouse control expert.
Featured Image Credit: greg.visuals, Shutterstock