My Cat Killed a Mouse! 4 Tips on What to Do Next
Did your cat recently leave you a “gift?” Cats are natural hunters, so it was bound to happen eventually. Now you’re left with cleaning up the mess. Not exactly the best gift, is it?
You could pick up the mouse with some gloves and toss it, but there’s a better way—one that disinfects the area and leaves behind no trace of contamination. And it only takes four steps. Trust us, it’s best to go this way when dealing with dead rodents. Let’s get started.
The 4 Tips on What To Do If Your Cat Killed a Mouse
1. Grab Some Gloves and Disinfectant Spray
Before touching anything, grab some gloves. They can be disposable or rubber.
Next, grab a disinfectant spray. The spray can be an all-purpose cleaner, provided the word “disinfectant” is on the label. You can also make a bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.
2. Spray the Affected Area (Including the Mouse)
Using your disinfectant spray, spray the area, including the mouse and droppings, if any. Leave for 5 minutes while the spray works its magic.
3. Grab Two Plastic Bags
Place the dead mouse in a plastic bag and seal it tight. Place the bag containing the mouse into the other empty bag and seal that one as well.
4. Dispose of the Mouse
Throw the mouse away in a covered trash can regularly picked up by the city.
More Commonly Asked Questions
The Mouse Is Dead, But Is My Cat OK?
It’s unlikely your cat will become ill from killing a mouse, but it does happen sometimes. This is typically caused by rodenticides or rodent illnesses.
Nobody wants mice scurrying about their houses at will, so people commonly set mouse traps that include rodenticides. Unfortunately, poison affects other animals, not just the ones being poisoned.
The challenging part is determining if a mouse was even poisoned to begin with. There’s no way to tell unless you test the mouse for rodenticides or bring your cat to the vet for blood work.
The good news is that ingesting rodenticides through another animal is less harmful than directly ingesting the poison. Still, how your cat reacts depends on how much poison the mouse ate, and if your cat ate the mouse.
Generally, your cat is probably fine if it only killed the mouse and didn’t eat it. But it’s a good idea to call your veterinarian anyway, to be sure.
On top of poisons, your cat could become ill from rodent illnesses. Rodent illnesses are common diseases and infections found in rodents that can transfer from one animal to another. A few common rodent illnesses include:
- Toxoplasmosis: A parasitic infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
- Tularemia: Also known as “rabbit fever,” this disease is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis.
- Plague Bacteria: Rodents carry the plague bacteria Yersinia pestis, making cats highly susceptible to infection. However, this doesn’t mean it will pass to humans.
- Intestinal Parasites: Parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms can be passed to your cat if it eats an infected mouse.
- Hantaviruses: A family of viruses spread by rodents. Each type of hantavirus yields different symptoms.
Symptoms of Rodent Illnesses
Thankfully, many rodent illnesses are treatable for your cat. But it helps to know some common signs of rodent illness to properly monitor your kitty.
- Pale gums
- Respiratory issues
- Weight loss
- Mouth lesions
- Loss of coordination
Should I Let My Cat Eat Mice?
It’s hard to keep cats away from mice, especially indoor-outdoor kitties. After all, cats are natural-born hunters and have to eat somehow. So, it’s up to you if you want your cat to eat mice while wandering the outdoors. However, we don’t recommend it if you can help it and want to do your best at avoiding illness.
A mouse or two now and then isn’t a huge deal as long as you’re aware of the potential threats. Opting for humane rodent-proofing methods is a good way to keep everyone involved as safe as possible.
You can quickly achieve this by opting for mechanical traps over poisonous and sticky traps. Mechanical traps are safer for cats and more humane for the mouse by offering a quicker death.
How to Stop Your Cat From Hunting Mice?
As we said, keeping your cat from hunting mice is tough. Cats are obligate carnivores and live for the hunt. Why else would they stalk and pounce on your feet as you walk by?
You can easily mimic this hunt as a cat owner with regular play sessions and proper cat toys. It will take some work, but a solid play session will send your cat to the couch for its afternoon nap instead of on the prowl for a furry snack.
Another way to keep your cat from hunting mice is by keeping them inside. This may only work for some people since some adopt cats for rodent control, like in rural areas.
Some urban neighborhoods accept free-range kitties, so the mouse population might be lower in these neighborhoods. But other communities prefer cats strictly indoors, so your cat could have more opportunities to find a mouse.
In any case, keeping your kitty indoors limits your cat’s opportunity for the natural hunt.
Finding a dead mouse isn’t going to put a smile on our faces, but when you own a cat, it is what it is. The most important thing to take away is never to touch a mouse with your bare hands. Always use gloves and disinfectant spray and dispose of the rodent in a double bag.
Once the deed is done, you can monitor your cat for any signs of illness. Call your veterinarian for further instructions if you believe your cat is sick.
Featured Image Credit: Piqsels