Tabby cats are one of the most popular types of cats to keep as pets. As you may know, cats love to play with toys that resemble mice or other small rodents. So, by that logic, you’d think they would be good at mousing. So, let’s find out, are tabby cats good mousers?
To put it simply, YES, all cats can be trained and encouraged to be effective mousers. However, tabby cats are not a breed of cat specifically, but a grouping of cats with certain color markings, whatever the breed may be. Cats have been used for centuries to curb mice infestations. In fact, domesticated cats are thought to have been brought to America on the Mayflower to keep mice out of the ship’s food stores Maybe your tabby is a direct descendent.
But, are tabby cats good mousers naturally? Let’s continue and find out.
Are Tabby Cats Good Hunters?
All domesticated cats are good hunters and will instinctively prey on animals around the house. If you’ve ever seen a cat jump up onto a bookcase or a curtain rail, you know how agile they can be. Cats have this adaptation to stalk prey and pounce while making almost no noise.
This makes them fierce hunters in or outside the home. Although cats are now domesticated, meaning they rely on humans for food and habitation, their instinct and evolutionary aptness to hunting will see them taking care of mice.
As you may know, as a cat owner, I’m sure your cat sometimes bring dead or alive prey into the house from outside. This is normally understood as the cat bringing in a gift. In fact, this practice is now understood to be the cat bringing prey in to teach their owner how to hunt, since we don’t hunt ourselves.
Research (in the journal Nature Communications) shows cats kill billions of birds every year! and some other mammals and rodents as well. and that’s only in the united states. So, I guess we can definitely say cats are natural-born hunters.
Now, you may ask, Which breed is the best mouser?
Which Breed Of Cat Is The Best Hunter?
I recommend you, before choosing your mouse hunter by its breed, please take into account the following:
Behavior: You can tell a lot of your cat’s hunting instincts by his behavior. A hunter will seem to be alert all the time by moving his eyes for any movement. Try to play with the cat and see his instincts, move your hands quickly like throwing something, see if it reacts to it, if so, you may if your self a good hunter.
Origin: Not all the time you will be able to know where this cat came from, but if you do, and for example, if this cat lives mostly outdoor, most chances he grew up by hunting prey and will be a great hunter for mouse also.
Now, let’s talk about the best cat breeds for hunting mice.
Like their distant cousins in the animal kingdom such as the lion or the tiger, different breeds of cats have slightly different adaptations. So, are tabby cats good mousers, or are there other breeds better suited?
Persian cats seem calm and relaxed, not exactly like a natural hunter at first sight. However, don’t let the first look mislead you, Persians are known for their higher intelligence and great instincts. You can be sure this breed of cats are particularly gifted when it comes to catching mice.
As the name suggests, this breed has shorter hair than others. They are thought to have been domesticated for over 300 years. As human settlements attract mice, this, in turn, attracted cats to prey on those mice. The American Shorthair is potentially the first breed of cat used for mousing.
This breed of cat has a longer coat, suited to the snowy winters of Maine. The breed is commended for its size as one of the largest domesticated breeds. Their size and ability to thrive in cold temperatures could make this breed the best for outdoor mousing.
This French breed of cat is known for its short limbs and very fast reflexes. Chartreux will happily play fetch with their owner and for this reason, can be encouraged to hunt for mice. Their intelligence and agility make them a good potential mouse hunter give the right training.
Whichever breed of cat you have or choose to get, it is important to reward their hunting endeavors. If your cat receives a treat for hunting, they will replicate that behavior for more treats. Before you know it, they will be catching mice for fun, as the behavior is learned.
With all related to food, Burmese cats think with their belly and that makes them the perfect hunters. You can count on your Burmese cat to keep your house clean from mice.
Are Male or Female Cats Better Mousers?
The gender of the cat will not necessarily determine its ability to catch mice. Unlike humans, cats are not very sexually dimorphic, meaning the difference in the body between a male and a female is tangible. Therefore, males or females don’t have an advantage over the other, when it comes to hunting skills.
A cat’s ability to hunt will mostly be down to their personality. Some cats are fierce and stealthy killers, whilst others are couch potatoes. You could get the best breed of cat, whose parents were great hunters, but it won’t guarantee yours will be.
If you have a mice infestation, then getting a tabby cat may be a good idea. Remember that tabby cats are not a breed in and of themselves, but just a grouping of certain colorings. When choosing a breed, ask about their hunting abilities.
If your mouse infestation is extreme, then one or two cats may not be the best answer. An exterminator may be a better option in this case. Remember that mice can carry germs and illnesses that get into your food as they burrow into containers and through cabinets.
Getting a cat just to get rid of mice may work, but cats can live as much as 20 years. Committing to looking after a cat is more important than just removing mice. Make sure your intentions are good for the cat, remember that it is a loving pet and not just an exterminator.