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Using Cats for Pest Control

Household Pet Turned Hunter

There are over seventy million pet cats in the United States today not counting the numerous feral cats that run the streets.  If the feral cats don’t have owners, then what do they eat?  Like many cartoons portray, cats chase, hunt, and eat mice for meals but mice aren’t the only rodents that cats like to hunt.  Cats are speedy and able to catch mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, moles, birds, and gophers alike.  Some cats have a special call that they use to attract the rodents just before they pounce on them.  It is in the nature of felines to hunt so they really love the job of rodent control.  If you have barn cats, you will see that they are eager to please as they leave “presents” of mouse carcasses on their owner’s doorstep or front porch.  Indoor cats will do the same but tend to play more with the rodent carcass than actually eat it for a meal.  Interestingly, cats will hunt in groups to accomplish a greater goal.

Cats have been used for hundreds of years by farmers to control rodents that threatened their crops and livelihood.  Although it may seem harsh, cats are actually helping the landowner.  Gophers and moles can destroy a yard or pasture and are more prevalent in rural areas.  The presence of felines is just another natural way to keep the population from rising too quickly and getting out of control.

Fluffy makes a great household pet but she is an asset for rodent control.


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