Cat, Mice And A Dog... Oh My?!?

Lounge By TexasSugar Updated 22 Apr 2008 , 1:38am by TexasSugar

TexasSugar Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 2:17am
post #1 of 9

I unfortunately have an issue with mice in my house. I have a field behind and beside my house that I feel add to the problem with mice, plus my house must just be an easy house for them to get into. Every year I have to break out the poison to get rid of them. And when complaining about it I usually hear one of two statements. You need a cat or you need a snake. The snake is sooooo not an option, so me, the dog person, is thinking about getting a cat. But I'm trying to figure out the pros and cons to this.

I'll be honest and say up until this point I haven't ever thought I would get a cat. I like them, they are cute, but I never really had a need to live with one, plus I already have a dog. I'm hoping some of you cat lovers out there can give me some advice and opinions to help me make up my mind.

1. Does your cat actually hunt, catch or kill mice?

2. What type of cat do I look for to hunt mice and that would get along with a dog?

3. What do I need to know about owning a cat?

4. How do you train them to stay off the kitchen counters? This is the part I have the biggest issue with.

Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated. icon_smile.gif

8 replies
dragonflydreams Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 3:13am
post #2 of 9

. . . what kind of dog do you have . . . there are also dogs that might help elevate your problem terriers (rat terriers among others) have a reputation for killing rats - so they might also take on the rat's smaller cousin??

How does your dog get long with cats . . . or other dogs . . . I know my current dog would not likely tolerate another cat coming in the house (she put up with the 3 that we "had" until they passed away - but then the cats were here first - I wouldn't trust her with a kitten at this point!) . . . but lots of dogs are very passive when it comes to new comers, canine or feline . . . so how does he/she socialize???

Not all cats are hunters . . . some are lazy . . . others do it for sport . . . and some out of necessity. I knew a "barn cat" that was as big as a house and it wasn't from eating mice/rats . . . he would "play" with the mice until he tired of the exercise and then simply walk away and so did the mouse/rat (walk away, I mean) . . . and as far as training a cat to stay off the counter - well good luck - now that isn't to say that all cats go on the counter . . . but if you have one that "wants to" you will really never be able to "train" it not to (it will simply do it when you are not there - they are not stupid - they will learn that you don't want them to be up there - so they just get sneaky about it . . . same as when you try to "teach" them not to claw the furniture - unless you can substitute something that they would "sooner" use/do you aren't likely to be successful) . . . they are indepentant and for the most part have a mind of their own . . . unlike alot of dogs who for the most part "want to please".

As I stated above . . . I had three house cats at one point . . . so hopefully noone will think I am coming across as a cat hater . . . I really do love them/l love dogs too . . . but they are very different animals and if you have never had a cat you may not know how different they can be (some cats are alot like dogs as far as personality goes too - but don't count on it)

Good luck what ever you decide . . .

TexasSugar Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 3:22am
post #3 of 9

I have a Shih-tzu and he is either scared of or indifferent with the mice. He has not been any help at all with them.

When I go to my parents house I take him with me, and he gets along with their dog just fine. Of course their dog is older and just pretty much ignores him. He's been a little hyper with around other dogs at first but he calms down when he is around them for a period of time. He has never been in a fight with a dog.

I don't really see him attacking a cat, and figure he probably make friends or just ignore the new addition. He hasn't been around any cats though, so I don't know for sure.

dragonflydreams Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 3:54am
post #4 of 9

When looking for a good mouser you want one that is playful . . . good mousers often like to carry things around in their mouth (like soft cat-type toys) . . . so if you decide to go ahead with this type of mouse control - take something with you when you go cat shopping . . . like a feather on the end of a string or something similar to see if the cat/kitten is interested . . . pick the cat that "claims it's prize" rather than the one that just bats at it a little . . . barn cats usually tend to be natural mousers, having learned it from their mothers (if they were "born" in a barn . . . my friend "Max" was NOT born in a barn . . . he was born with his head in a 25pound bag of Purina!) . . . and generally speaking females have better reputations as mousers . . . on a side note . . . lots of times they will bring YOU their prize and present it to you (so be ready for that possibility too) . . . and lastly don't forget . . . a good mouser will also be a good birder so if you don't want them to catch birds you will want to keep them indoors (a bell will alarm birds - but it will also alarm mice!) . . . if you have a specific room that the mice are showing up in that would be the right place to keep the cats food dish (the food might attract the mice for a minute - but once they realize there is a CAT in the house that they call home chances are they will vacate!)

sorry this is sooo long winded . . . but hope it helps you with your decision . . .

maryjsgirl Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 5:33am
post #5 of 9

I am sure they don't work since they have been sold on infomercials, but have you tried those plug ins that are suppose to send out a noise that keeps pests away?

TexasSugar Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 3:52pm
post #6 of 9

No, I haven't tried those.

TexasSugar Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 6:52pm
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by dragonflydreams

sorry this is sooo long winded . . . but hope it helps you with your decision . . .

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. I haven't totally made up my mind yet on the cat, but I am seriously considering it and your reply gave me lots of things to add in to my thoughts. Thanks!

dldbrou Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 12:42am
post #8 of 9

I use to have a weiner dog and she would find and kill any mouse that was in the yard or house. I now have a Border collie that will hunt baby rats in the back yard. We have a railroad track that touches our backyard, so we get plenty vermin. Anyway, the cat we have now never hunts anything other than his food bowl. However, the outside cat we use to have would hunt all over our neighborhood for any leftovers that were thrown in the trash, but rarely ever a mouse. So, you might just get another type of dog to hunt mice and also be a playmate for your Shih=tzu.

One thing that I have heard is that mice do not like peppermint, so you might put some around where you thing they are coming in. Look at the pipes that come into your house, like under your sink and seal them closed with that sprayfoam.

TexasSugar Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 1:38am
post #9 of 9

I think my dog had a run in with mice early on and now ignores that they are around. In fact he has even stopped eating his dog food in the past and I think that is because he knew the mice were eating it.

I've read that peppermint oil as well as cloves is suppose to keep mice away. But I also read the problem with those is the scent fades fast so you either have to reapply it all the time or it doesn't work for very long. I've also heard that you can stuff the mouse holes with Blounce Dryer Sheets or steal wool, but believe me they just chew a new one. And after everything I have seen them eat or chew on in my house, I'm pretty sure the spray foam is not going to stop them.

Did you know they will make 'snow' out of a stryofoam cake dummy? Or that they will eat candles as well as candy melts? Apparently they like chewing on wood and I have even found a cake pan that I think they were trying to "eat". I even had a mouse drag a tampon across the room, unwrap it and pull part of it in to a mouse hole. (Wish I had gotten a picture of that one!)

We are going to try to close off under my house from the mice, but I do not have a slab fondation, and they can get in the smallest opening so I'm not sure if we can totally close the underneath off from them. I also live next door to my dad's office, and they have 3 or 4 dumster cats that sometimes live under my house. They haven't kept them away, but I also don't know how often they are under my house and how much time they spend off somewhere else.

I'm thinking the cat would be a more long term solution if I can find a mouser. My brother's FIL has some barn cats and they just recently had babys so I may be looking at getting one of those.

At this point I think I'd rather try a cat then keep finding things that the mice have ruined in my house.

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