View Full Version : MOUSES are taking over - Cat allergy, HELP?

Dec. 21, 2008, 07:37 AM
Ok, the mouses are taking over my house. I am now naming them. Harold is my latest friend who isn't even shy. Sits right in middle of living room.

This is simply MORE than I can take:eek: so we're ready to break down and get a cat. However, I'm allergic. A friend of mine said she has severe allergies and she bought an air purifier and now lives with 2 cats with no problems and doesn't even take allergy meds.

Thoughts or advice?

We have a farm and it's inevitable that the mice come in when the cold comes. i just can't take those creatures anymore. we've been through every kind of bait and trap and I'm over it. We need a cat.

I had a friend who had 2 cats - one long hair one short and I couldn't stay in her house overnight. I would have terrible asthma. Now this farm had a manx cat when I first moved and it was fine. Didn't bother me in the least.


Thanks for any help or advice.


Dec. 21, 2008, 07:41 AM
A cat can and will only do so much.

If you're over run with mice you need a whole load of strategies to get shut of them.

I'd suggest you need to look at means of access, food availability first and foremost. Then look at the baiting/poisoning strategy. Then trapping and finally when you've got rid of the infestation, consider a cat to clear up the odd wonderer that happens by.

For your allergy, try this ;)

Dec. 21, 2008, 08:24 AM
Snakes? Would freak me out though. I also know folks who live with cats with an air purifier and diligant cleaning. Claritin when it gets bad.

Dec. 21, 2008, 08:32 AM
I too am allergic to cats and have had cats, but finally decided to breathe better and not have one since the last one is gone.
Sad, but there are limits to all of us.

You can get a cat and give it a bath weekly and kept it very clean with a daily wet cloth rub, but it is lots of work for you and it takes a patient cat.

Allergies are a reaction to a protein in the secretions of a cat, like oils in the skin, urine and saliva and we know how cats wash themselves, so they spread it all over their fur.
Our immune system sees that protein as foreign and attacks it, giving us allergy symptoms.
That is a water soluble protein, that is why wiping a dog or cat down very often with a wet cloth makes it easier to live with.

Most regular allergies depend on what threshold our bodies can take, so if you are exposed to a very few one day, you may not react to a cat, but if you have been mowing and come in and pet your cat, that time you, being over the top already with molds and pollens from mowing, will then react to the cat, as that throws you over that threshold of how much your immune system can handle.

There may be a few cats you may not react to most of the time and others that you are much more allergic, but I would not count on being lucky to find those and that it will hold up.
As you are exposed to a new allergen you are not reacting to yet, it is but a matter of time that you also become sensitive to that one.
Sad to get a cat and later find that after all, you were allergic to that one also.

Generally, longer hair pets can be kept cleaner as far as allergens, as with a weekly bath it will take that long for those oils to get to the surface and in great numbers, when you will be exposed to them more in a short haired animal.

I would talk to your allergy doctor, as each person is different and there are good medications today out there.
In principle, every time you have an allergy attack that involves the respiratory system, you are doing a little damage.
Over time, that can mean less lung function, so think very seriously if trying to live with an animal that you are allergic to is worth it.

Mice are a health problem and can cause a fire by chewing thru an electric cord, so you really need to stop them.
I would not count that cats will keep them out, as they may be coming thru where cats can't get to them and will only get the occassional careless one.

I would get a pest control company to come out, tell you how to close the mice out and set boxes with the appropiate bait to end your problem.
They do a good job for a relatively small cost.
At least try that first, before living breathless and maybe eventually having to give a pet up.:eek:

Dec. 21, 2008, 09:14 AM
Acknowledging the seriousness of this problem, and Bluey's post, I will tell my story.

We had the exact problem as the OP - my Dad was working abroad and my Mum could no longer handle the mice that ran in front of the TV when she was relaxing at the end of a long winter's day caring for 3 kids. Dad is seriously allergic to cats and also hates them.

Mum got a kitten anyway (well actually two since she felt bad leaving the one without its sibling). Initially it didn't go over very well... sneezing & grumbing about stupid *&^%$ cats. Then my dad says in a gruff voice "Do we have any damn string around here?" and a small truce was made. Dad never liked the cats but over the next while (I don't remember how long) he got used to them and his allergies didn't flare up from the cats (hayfever is the big one).

After 12 years of blissful mouse-free living, it was time for a new cat. My dad figured that since the mice were all gone, we could maybe just... not get one? :lol:

Got the next cat from the SPCA... he is a delight and now in the morning he gets a "hi fur-ball" from my Dad. Also we often catch him watching the hockey game on my Dad's lap ;)

Dec. 21, 2008, 09:19 AM
What about just keeping a cat in the basement? My cat loved the basement, as he could hunt, prowl and hide all he wanted without interruption. Then you could set traps in the living portion of your home.
Metal kitchen cabinets are vermin & insect proof and also help cut down infestations. I have two vintage 40's cabinets ripped out of old remodeling projects that go with me whenever I move-worth their weight!

A JRT or small fox terrier might be an excellent alternative if you're not allergic to dogs.

Dec. 21, 2008, 09:50 AM
If you see a few mice you actually have many more and there are hideous possible problems from having them. They can eat household wiring (bet they're in the attic too) and the possibility of hantavirus or other diseases. The can get inside any opening wider than 5/8" and will spread like wildfire. You need to set the spring loaded rat traps (mouse traps are too weak) and get an exterminator-but first you need to close off any opening they can get in from the outside-holes in wall board under sinks is a big one, and do you leave things open like garage doors, etc? And you need to get rid of their food sources even if it means putting everything in the fridge for safekeeping. They'll also move in under your appliances like dishwashers or fridges and eat the wiring and make nests of the insulation-causing more problems. Traps go by the edges of the room and get tossed with the dead occupant when appropriate. Do something aggressive now before they ruin your house and hatch more litters. My parents house was totally overrun in the attic-they were getting in under the eaves which weren't sealed properly-so I'm sure once you find out where they're coming from you can seal that and start working on the inside problem. Maybe you can borrow a few JRT's for a week or so.

King's Ransom
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:24 AM
When I moved into my farm house, it was pretty well over-run with mice. And, I don't like cats. Frankly, I don't even like them in the barn, but can tolerate them outside. NEVER in my house. Honestly, if it came down to it, I think I'd rather have the mice.

Having said that, a cat was clearly not on the list of possibles for getting rid of the mice. I just cleaned thoroughly, got rid of EVERY food source (and there were PLENTY of them around here! ugh!), and shored up any openings around the house (i.e., replaced rotting threshholds, etc.). Thankfully, I have not seen a mouse in the house since I moved in.

There are some field mice occasionally in the barn, but feral cats & coyotes keep their population in check.

Bottom line: cats are not NECESSARY to control mice. If you like cats (and amazingly, some people do! :lol:), then yay for them that they also catch mice. But if you are allergic, there is absolutely no real reason for you to suffer a cat just to get rid of mice. I know.

crazy gray horse
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:55 AM
When we moved in to our current house, it had been vacant for 6 months and it was winter. The mice thought they had found a wonderfully cozy home :D I had 2 cats that moved in before we did as we were doing some renovations first. The cats only caught ONE mouse. The mouse droppings were everywhere - it was disgusting. I tried every trap available. And while I caught 20, yes that's -twenty- mice in less than 2 months, there was still evidence of mice in drawers and on counter tops. The remaining mice were very smart. Could trip the traps and never get caught. I was at my wits end !!!!!

A friend suggested putting a bucket with a couple of inches of water in the bottom and a smear of peanut butter around the inside a couple of inches down from the rim. I placed it in the basement (in our case the crawl space) under one of the pipes. The first day I caught 2 mice, second day another another mouse. Periodically I'd catch another. But - no more mice upstairs in the living spaces - YAY!!!

Now that winter has set in again, I've put out the 'bucket' again. Found a mouse after a couple of weeks. This is definitely my choice for mouse control.

Dec. 21, 2008, 12:14 PM
How about living in an 1812 barn now cabin with horses on all 4 sides and one wall shared with feed room????:cry:
I walked into kitchen a couple of days ago and a mouse was just sitting there nibbling on some crumb, I hollered for my 11 yo akita who promptly came in caught him and looked at me with a tail wiggling out of his mouth, "now what?" let him outside where he tossed the mouse in the air, then killed it! Now someone tell me a cat or dog that is that good!
However the problem is there and I'm not sure considering where I live if it can ever be controlled:confused:
1. Holes, yeah we've got 'em, no getting around that.
2. Horses drop feed, other person feeding horses drops feed, always going to be the case.
3. No inside cats, Akita will eat them.
4. Outside cats are lazy, miserable fat pigs, they will watch a mouse walk by
5. Poison, they eat it, go off and die, then stink for weeks.
6. Traps you're only catching the dumb ones.
WHAT TO DO??? I can't make friends, I don't want them here, because I hate snakes even worse and I know they draw Mr. Snake here as well.....:mad:

Dec. 21, 2008, 01:54 PM
My barn cat doesn't catch mice. She barely even plays with them. So, when the mice got real bad this summer, I tried a couple of things. Tried the glue traps (don't waste your money), tried the old fashioned mouse traps (I didn't care for trying to set them) and then found the best invention ever! They make a "snap" trap. It is so much cleaner/neater than the old fashioned ones, but as effective (maybe more). These traps are easy to bait and set.

I had even brought a mouse into the house with my barn/horse laundry. Ugh!!!

Dec. 21, 2008, 02:13 PM
How about a Ferret? They are hell on mice and if you get a youngster and socialize it they make nice pets. I'm not sure about allergies though.

Dec. 21, 2008, 03:12 PM
My neighbor's Dachshund turned out to be a great mouser.

Terriers, especially, are known for being good vermin killers.

Dec. 22, 2008, 02:44 AM
I am happily mouse free (or as close as you can get - 1 mouse caught per week now vs six in an hour at first) with two battery operated electric shocker mouse traps. The mice die instantly when they step on the electrified metal plate to get the peanuts. You just open the trap lid, dump mouse into garbage or over the back fence, replace peanuts and reset.
We ordered ours thru the Northern Tool website.

spotted mustang
Dec. 22, 2008, 03:07 AM
or you could take the natural population biology approach: just keep the place as clean as you can, put all potential food sources out of their reach, and soon enough they'll go through a population crash

Tha Ridge
Dec. 22, 2008, 03:52 AM
I'm surprised no one so far has recommended a Cornish Rex cat. No cat is truly hypoallergenic, but Cornish Rex have very, very fine fur (it's down, actually) and don't shed, so if you're just mildly allergic, you'd probably be just fine. They're very playful cats too.

Dec. 22, 2008, 08:07 AM
My Standard Poodle thought that he was a terrier. He would catch and kill any available rodent. Hypo-allergenic too. We are hoping that our new Poodle pup will be a chip off the old block.

Dec. 22, 2008, 08:20 AM
Rat terrier? They are small and specifically bred to hunt rats. Just to be sure, I would try to "train"the terrier to hunt.
I, too am allergic to cats and live surrounded by a hayfield. Diligent and regular replacement of rat poison has been my cure. They seem to eat it like candy.
We had the exterminator doing it for a while - now we just keep it replaced where he put it out.
Good luck.

Dec. 22, 2008, 02:23 PM
The problem with terriers is if they are true terriers they will tear your house apart hunting down a mouse.

Clean, clean, clean. Leave out some baited snap traps. Clean some more.

If it's really bad, call an exterminator.

Dec. 22, 2008, 02:46 PM
The real problem isn't that you live on a farm or that your house isn't clean, but that you have access holes that the mice can use to get in.

A mouse can squeeze in a hole as small as a dime or perhaps under your doors. Your house can and should be sealed well enough that mice cannot get in, no matter how appealing it is.

A good pest control company will not only help you with traps etc, but will help you figure out where they are coming in. You can do it yourself, though. Look for holes in your screening, like around attic vents, little cracks in the wall, holes under the eaves, etc. They could even be climbing a tree and getting access to an apparently inaccessible area.

If you find holes, obviously sealing them with proper construction materials is appropriate. Weatherstrip under every door. However, if you have a hole and you want a temporary fix, or if it's problematic to fix correctly, stuff it with steel wool. Mousies don't like the way it feels on their noses and they won't push on it.

Murphy's Mom
Dec. 22, 2008, 04:47 PM
Have you tried one of those ultrasonic things? They emit a frequency that the mice don't like but humans can't hear. My friend is using one in her house with good results. Doesn't bother her dogs either.

Dec. 24, 2008, 12:56 PM
We have 3 strategies in place. We are using the ultrasound rodent repellers. A black snake helps keep our home rodent free until the weather gets cold and she hibernates. (It is unnerving to open a kitchen drawer and find her inside, hunting, but whatever works...). A local fox comes by every evening. She has killed all of the rats that were infesting our barn, and is working on any other rodents in the vicinity, as well as eating large Milk Bones that our dogs drop in the yard.

We used to have a couple of cats who moved in on their own. Not only was I allergic, but the cats refused to hunt mice and rats. They only killed chipmunks and song birds. I can't say I was sad when they got old and died. My allergies have been so much better without cats.

My daughter uses poison in her house and barn. I am afraid that I will poison one of the dogs, us, or our fox if I bring poison into the house or barn.