Ever since humans befriended cats around 10,000 years ago, cats and humans have lived together in harmony. That's more than enough time to get to get to know each other's habits, eccentricities and routines. However, because cats can't speak to humans, it is sometimes difficult to understand their behaviour.
When your normally sweet and friendly Persian cat comes strolling into your home with a live mouse and deposits it in front of you with a meow, utter disbelief is likely to be the outcome.
The mouse isn't likely to hang around either. Later that night, you'll probably hear the mouse as it wanders around your house, safely protected by the interior of your walls.
So what do you do in this situation?
First, Understand the Reason for the Gift of a Mouse
Long before humans domesticated cats, wild felines were bringing living mice home to their young to teach them how to hunt and kill their prey. The same thing happens today, only without their own young, spayed females bring these writhing bundles home to their human owners instead.
Not only can this be bloody (if not alarming), but it can also mean that within a week or two, you have several mice living in your walls.
Stop Letting Your Cats out at Night
Mice are nocturnal creatures. If you let your cat roam at night, you should be prepared to receive a living, or not so living, mouse. Teach your cats to come home at a certain time and then keep them inside. In Victoria and South Australia in 2016, more rain than usual created the ideal conditions for a plague of mice in 2017.
If you live in those areas, you should be especially careful.
Hire a Pest Controller
Unfortunately, as a cat owner, there is nothing you can do to curtail your cat's natural instinct to provide food for those it loves, i.e., you. However, by limiting your cat's time spent outside at night, you can reduce the number of mice brought home. You may also need to hire a pest controller to rid your home and the surrounding area of mice. While it might seem inhumane to cull the mouse population around your home in this way, if this isn't done, your cat will continue to do it anyway.
You can't stop your cat from hunting mice, but you can lower the mouse population in close proximity to your home if this is becoming an issue. If you are worried about your cat being poisoned, inform your pest controller, and request that they use pet-friendly methods when removing mice from your home and the surrounding area.
Contact companies that offer mice bait for more information and assistance.