Is a cat effective pest control?

(Unsplash photo)

Can a cat take care of your rodent problem? Yes, actually. But it’s a little more tricky than that. 

For thousands of years, cats have been man’s best rodent control, protecting barns and silos -- and even manuscripts -- from mice and rats. It’s been a nice arrangement: Cats keep the farm pest-free in exchange for room and board. 

So does that mean your rodent problem just needs a feline solution? Maybe. But tossing Fluffy at the garage and hoping for a mouse massacre is probably not going to be the best approach. Here’s what you should know about it. 

Not all cats are up to the job. 

Your lap cat who eats lasagna and hates Mondays isn’t going to be the right hire for your rodent problem. While cats are natural hunters, some cats’ skills are more honed than others. Domesticated cats who’ve spent most of their lives batting at squeaky toys and eating that treat paste that comes out of a tube have likely lost their more ferocious sensibilities. That’s a good thing! 

It can be a bit of a mess. 

You may have already had an encounter with your cat’s attempt at rodent control. If Fluffy has ever dropped a dead mouse on your bed, well, you know what we’re talking about. While cats can and do pursue rodents for pleasure and for food (sometimes), they mainly just want to play, and will bring you the corpses of their prey to show off. So a pile of carcasses to dispose of may not be your preference, but it is an option!  

But you can find a cat specifically for pest control.

Check out your local Working Cats Program. These are foster agencies that often supply cats for free (again, in exchange for your feeding and sheltering them) specifically for this service. For people living in rural areas, on farms and on many acres of land, having a working cat out in the yard to beat back the rodents is a fine strategy for pest control. It’s just not a complete one. 

It doesn’t get at the root of the problem. 

If you do have a cat who’s right for the job, that can be a good contributor to a solution to the problem. But in order to truly take care of a rodent problem, you’ll need a pest control professional to get to the source. Cats catch mice who’ve already grown up and left the nest, so to speak. That can be handy here and there, but it’s not a comprehensive solution. At Dixon Pest Services, we fully excavate the issue. 

Do you have rodents in your house? Or has Fluffy dropped one off recently, leading you to believe you may have an infestation? Give us a call for a free estimate. We promise we won’t fire your cat.