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Thinking of adopting a Mouser...enable me (or discourage me!) please!

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  • Thinking of adopting a Mouser...enable me (or discourage me!) please!

    I have a little mousy in my house that just will not go away. The thought of kill-traps makes me very sad (I am a horribly pathetic softy when it comes to creatures of all types- except for spiders. ick!) and the no-kill trap and release ones we have seems to be working much too slowly...we drive our captives a few miles away and turn them loose, but i think the rate of release vs. the rate of new residents is skewed, and not in our favor.
    Because i am a patheticly wimpy anti-mouse-murderer, I'm thinking of adopting a cat from our local shelter, which has a very high rate of kill for kitties. I've even got one picked out from petfinder and tentative plans to go see her on Saturday.
    Here's the problem:
    I don't REALLY want a cat. I mean, the idea doesn't completely make me unhappy, but I am lukewarm about it and I kind of feel that I should REALLY want an animal before I get one. Kind of like human kids, I guess. I'm not having them until I REALLY want one.
    I'm not a cat person...I'm head over heels with my dogs, who are the light of my life. I am kind to the barn kitties in my barn, who have food, vet attention and warmth and get affection from me when i have time after riding, but who I am never *excited* to see. Ok with seeing, yes. Excited...eh. Cats are too aloof for me, typically, and sleep far too much
    The barn cats are not happy indoors, or else i'd just bring one inside for a time being and let them do the work.
    Even if the barn cats DID want to come inside, chances are i'd feel guilty for kicking them back out in the cold after they had become accustomed to the house, so they'd become indoor cats, which, along with my philosophy that a pet is a pet for life, kind of lead me to the conclusion that I might be better off just going in and adopting a new kitty to be a strictly indoor cat. I'm also concerned that I might end up with a "dud" mouser, and have aquired said "dud" for nothing other than a new friend.
    Should I get my mouser? Or is my lukewarm desire to acquire another lifelong committment in the form of a cat reason enough to not go through with it? I know I would be a good cat owner, and would shower affection upon any living creature with four legs (aside from the mice!!) that took up residence in my house, as well as providing all of the necessary kitty health care, but I'm just not sure.
    One thing is for sure, the mice have got to go. And another thing is for sure, if we were talking about adopting a new pup, I'd be all over it like white on rice.

    Also, apologies to all of the kitty lovers out there. They are nice animals, and I like them, but the dogs are my thing

  • #2
    Let me tell you 'bout my cat story... your words could have been my words (except for the trap and release mousie story!). I'm a dog person, but I was living in a little rental place on a farm with generations and generations of mouse history deeply embedded in the walls, foundation, ceilings, closets... D-Con colored mouse poop was everywhere, but so were more mousies. Then I had to put one of my dogs to sleep, leaving the other dog all alone. Another dog was not a good option. Enter, retired barn cat. This barn cat had always been a little odd in an endearing way, and was getting up there in age for a barn cat, and one of the crazy cat ladies at the barn decided I needed to be her indoor retirement home. It actually worked out really well. She never caught any mice, but they seemed less visible. She LOVED indoor life and once when I invited her out on the porch on a sunny spring day, she declined, and that was the last time she ever went outside in her life! About a year later, our horse vet took in a runty barn kitten who wasn't doing very well, and nursed him along for a month in her truck. He became cat #2, and while he and Cassie-cat never really struck up much of a friendship, he decided he is really a dog spirit in a cat body and has lived the life of a cat-dog very happily. He was a decent mouser when we lived in the country, but now as a city-cat he prefers to sunbathe in the plant window and stalk songbirds in the fenced yard.

    Your cat will probably grow on you, and can be quite dog like if you pick the right one. Some cats will fetch, bug you to go in and out just like a dog, beg for treats, drool on you... all the good stuff without the need for long walks in the woods! Playing with your cat will keep their hunting skills sharp and be good bonding time. Cleaning litter boxes isn't much fun, but neither is picking up dog poop in the yard. You may never see the actual dead mousies (you'll just step on them in your bare feet) but the presence of a cat is sometimes enough to discourage them. Or sometimes not: I now live in a household with 6 cats and we still have mice in the basement. The cats find feathers on a string to be more entertaining than the real thing.


    • #3
      well, once it is 'your cat' (lol, I am sorry, I made a funny...once you are her servant!) things are different!

      Cats do their own thing, true.
      But that could very well be doing some crazy stuff to have you rolling on the floor with laughter!

      But in general, cats tend to be happy with the alotted number of squares a day. Some are social and like a friend, others couldn't care less...
      Some are talkative. Which can be a chore, since they are not unlike dogs (I am sorry Queen Cat) inclined to do so when you are on the phone.
      or they decide that NOW is the time to be petted....since you are not doing anything, in spite your best efforts to finish War and Peace.

      As for the mouser part. It can be hit or miss.
      BUT: I had a mouse problem and the tossing them outside did not work, they made a mess and a lot of damage....
      Once the cats grew big enough - I got the first 2 when they were barely 8 weeks old - the mouse population did not fare well. I think after the continued decimation of young stock the family finally moved out of my oven.

      Also, I had squirrels galloping through the attic....after a few month of high mortality, that, too has diminished to nearly zero.
      I do have to dispose of the remains on a regular basis though! The unfun part.
      (well, it was somewhat funny when the Queen Cat thought I needed to replenish the pantry after I found a richly seasoned squirrel in my closet and disposed of it...she dragged that thing, nearly half her size and put it in my travel bag I had just emptied....gotta love them!)


      for in depth description of my adventures.

      I would get one, but I do love me a kitty....


      • #4
        I don't have cats in the house, buy my fox/mouse hound is an excellent mouser.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
          I don't have cats in the house, buy my fox/mouse hound is an excellent mouser.

          My adopted Rat Terrier is an excellent mouser as well....and unfortunately, she's also an excellent sleeper. Once the sun goes down, she is dead to the world, and coincidentally that is when the mice come out to play. I need something more nocturnal.
          Thanks for the stories guys. I'm still undecided, but it's nice to hear good kitty stories!


          • #6
            My cats won't kill mice, they just bring them inside and watch them run around. My corgi/cattle dog mix does kill them though so maybe you just need another dog.

            On the other hand, there are so many cats in shelters that need homes, maybe you could go see them and take one of those fake mice with you and adopt the one with the highest play drive.
            My blog: Crackerdog Farm


            • #7
              I think you need to borrow a cat first.

              It's true that some cats are better mousers than others and I don't think they advertise their skills/proclivities well. They expect you to take 'em and then see what you get, blind-date-but-forever style.

              It's easier to see a cat's personality up front. And a cat who is cool and affectionate in the Battle Conditions of a traditional shelter with heinous cages will be stellar in your home. Especially for adult cats found there, what you see is what you get.

              Importing a barn cat temporarily and kicking it back out is the lesser of all evils if you really aren't sure you can pick a good cat or want one for anything other than a temporary war on mice. You and kitteh can negotiate the kick-out later. It's not clear who will win. You might get softened up and like the beast. Or feed ex-mouser well back in the barn (think of it as veterens' benefits) and it will readjust.

              Best of luck to you. I hope you get a purring killah!
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • #8
                Well....if the main goal is to send mousie to mousie heaven....as a mouse I would rather die quickly in a snap trap then be tortured and eaten by a cat.... but maybe that's just me. As a mouse. Which I'm not and can only imagine. But I'm sure you get my point.

                However..speaking as a former not so into cats person...the little tyrants have a way of growing on you


                • #9
                  Hey, I'm all for getting a cat, but if you really are lukewarm about one, get the snap traps. I wouldn't do any kind of poison (slow, painful death, such as from bleeding out internally from warfarin) but the snap traps really are quick and about as merciful as you can be in the circumstances.

                  Definitely many cats just play/torment for a long time before killing, if at all. That said, I really do think just the scent/presence of a cat seems to deter mouse activity. But still, if you don't want a cat, get the snap traps.

                  I hear you about being a softie -- I really do. Mice are CUTE! But they have no place in your house. And a tip for disposal -- not very cost effective, but I find it much easier to handle the whole situation if I wear disposable rubber gloves and use two plastic bags to just pick the whole trap/mouse up, like scooping after a dog, and throw it all away. I don't want to re-use a trap (I think of it as germy and gross once it has caught something) and I certainly don't want to have to handle a dead mouse enough to remove one from a trap, and this makes the whole situation much easier for me. You hardly have to look before it is encased in multiple layers of plastic and ready for disposal. Also, it is usually easy to just pick up the wooden part of the trap, which lessens the "ick" factor even more.

                  PS: My cairns should take care of any mice, but sadly they don't always! Fail! Although I have to admit years ago we had a brown Norway RAT get in and they did nail that sucker.
                  If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great


                  • #10
                    OP, I have a cat who fetches, meets me at the door, gets excited over every (and I mean EVERY--human, cat, dog, etc) visitor, and is pretty much non-catlike in every way except using the litterbox. I'd recommend spending some time chatting with the employees or volunteers at the shelter. Meet several, but look specifically for ones who seem pretty unflappable, social with other critters, and have a good predator instinct--take some toys (furry mice maybe) and see which ones really go after them. And then you'll have the right fit. Or at least one that, if it doesn't work out long term, will be easier to rehome due to a mellow temperament and a solid work ethic.

                    But be prepared for said kitty to worm their way into your heart. They are sneaky creatures like that.
                    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


                    • #11
                      How about fostering a kitty for a rescue? This way if kitty is a good mouser and grows on you then you just adopt kitty. If kitty still isn't your thing then you adopt her out as planned.

                      You might make a great cat foster home if you don't get attached to cats too easily. Cat gets a safe stable home and you don't get too broken up when cat goes to a permanent home.

                      Or foster a cat for one of the military personel that have been deployed. You return the cat when they come back.
                      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mozart View Post
                        Well....if the main goal is to send mousie to mousie heaven....as a mouse I would rather die quickly in a snap trap then be tortured and eaten by a cat.... but maybe that's just me. As a mouse. Which I'm not and can only imagine. But I'm sure you get my point.
                        I have to agree. If my fox/mouse hound catches one, it's instant death. If the barn cat catches one...well sometimes I take them away from her and put them out of their misery.

                        How about a Rat Zapper...they're electrocuted. No blood, no mess, instant death.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                          I have to agree. If my fox/mouse hound catches one, it's instant death. If the barn cat catches one...well sometimes I take them away from her and put them out of their misery.

                          How about a Rat Zapper...they're electrocuted. No blood, no mess, instant death.
                          I agree too. A well fed cat will often torture a mouse. Dog will snap its neck. Just my experience. I do have one cat who is a good mouser (or was before he became arthritic) and the younger one has ZERO interest. However, he kills and eats moths. Which is disgusting, but the stalking along the wall is entertaining.

                          I am totally getting a rat zapper. The "cuter" version of the original snap trap they seem to sell here just feeds the mouse--no snap. I hate using the stick traps, but they are the only ones that seem to work (then we euthanize the mice via cement block). I really don't like having to do that.

                          The foster idea is a good one too.
                          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                          • #14
                            Hey, I'm all for getting a cat, but if you really are lukewarm about one, get the snap traps.

                            no, really, I did!

                            but it's probably true.

                            the foster idea is an excellent one!

                            (however, be prepared that now, since you have voiced the lukewarm interest of entertaining the idea of acquiring the supervision of a cat, you will probably put through a rigorous job interview here in the nearest future...when the unexpected cat turn up on your door step!)


                            • #15
                              Fostering is a good idea. I rarely had any mice until I lost my good mouser last fall. This fall, I've had a few. I started out opening cabinets to give access to the cats like I did when my mouser was alive. No luck. So, I got catch and release traps. Like you, I caught a couple and drove them to the middle of no where. Thought I had the problem solved and then found signs again. Mind you, I have 4 cats, two of whom were going nuts trying to gain access to where this mouse was. It would wait until I put them out for the day and then come out. It also figure out how to get out of the trap. I swear to you, my bait kept disappearing but there was no mouse in the trap. I sealed the lid, move the bait further back, everything I could think of. I think it figure out how to put the metal plate down. I finally gave up and bought a trap that kills. It's a little different in that it looks like it would be a catch and release trap but it kills inside the little black box. I don't know how and I don't want to but it does. I caught my smart mouse the first day and haven't seen anything since (and I have a second trap set). I'm sad as I really didn't want to kill it but, since it wouldn't let me catch it... I really wanted to catch it and teach it to run a maze. It would have been a champ. So, sadly my smart little mouse ended up in the trash. I would use this trap again, though if I absolutely had to. No mess at all.
                              Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                              • #16
                                If you are any where near NW Florida I have a proven hunter that is ready to find his own home. I do TNR here, where the R= rehome. He has proven himself to be adept at killing mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, lizards, snakes and has even dispatched one copperhead snake.



                                • #17
                                  Fostering is a great idea.

                                  My rat zapper just arrived not a half hour ago. I bought the optional blinky eye mouse that alerts you when there are bodies to dispose of since it will be in the crawlspace. I hope it works.
                                  My blog: Crackerdog Farm


                                  • #18
                                    I'm going to agree with the foster recommendation. A LOT of people just aren't cat people. Just because you pick one and it lives with you doesn't mean you're going to like it (and I say that as a person who likes cats very much and has two.) Also, my cats are what I'd consider good mousers (if they see one, it's as good as dead), but the mice in our house NEVER come out of the walls or cabinets, so the kitties can't do much about it.

                                    How about fostering and snap traps? You'll help a kitty in need (or maybe a few) without a commitment and you'll likely get rid of some mousies between the two methods = )


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Ok, the general consensus is fostering. I'll go that way, and see what comes of it. Maybe i'll fall in love with the furball and it'll stay.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Wraper2 View Post
                                        If you are any where near NW Florida I have a proven hunter that is ready to find his own home. I do TNR here, where the R= rehome. He has proven himself to be adept at killing mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, lizards, snakes and has even dispatched one copperhead snake.

                                        Dispatched a copperhead snake? That ain't no ordinary cat - he's a SUPERcat!