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Our ~9 month old cat recently started bringing dead (or barely alive) mice into the house, and now we seem to find a mouse every day.

She doesn't seem to be interested in playing with, or eating them, she just places them on the floor somewhere. We don't mind that she's hunting mice, but we are concerned about our health when she brings them into the house.

She can come in and out of the house through a cat door, and we would like to continue allowing her to come and go as she pleases, so is there any way we can discourage her from bringing mice inside without locking her in or out of the house?

  • Be grateful she's not bringing in live catch, who promptly scamper off. Has some advantages for our cat: she has something to play with every night until the mouse (once, a bird) becomes sufficiently enfeebled that even a human can catch it and remove it from the house. – TomRoche Aug 3 '16 at 23:18
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The reason that she does this is she considers you to be part of her pack and is bringing you food as a gift. I read somewhere that it's because she thinks you need help feeding yourself, so she's trying to help you.

Though it's a valid concern, it's actually your cat showing you that she loves you. She clearly did play with them before because she hunts them, and now she's gifting her kill to you.

Make sure when she does this, you don't yell at her or get upset because she's only doing what she's supposed to do and what she finds natural. Otherwise you'll be telling her that you don't accept her love.

Obviously you don't want the mice in your house. I would try taking the dead mouse and putting it on the step directly outside the cat door. If she sees you doing this, she might decide that this is where you plan on having dinner, and she might start leaving them there as well. Make sure she sees you putting them there.

I wonder if a smaller cat door, or one that she has to push with her head a bit harder might dissuade her a bit. That's more a guess than anything though, and really depends on your cat. The idea is that it's more work to get inside than she feels necessary.

The only other option that I can think of is having her not go outside, or at least closing the door and only letting her in and out when you're around. There are so many worries with letting your cat out, and I'm sure you'll find arguments with both sides, but if you want to let her out at her own will, you might have to accept that these things can happen.

I just hope that she hasn't let some live mice in without you noticing yet!

EDIT: Here's an article that gives support to my point about why.

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    Thanks. I knew enough to not scold her for bringing them in. So far I flung the mice as far away as i could, I hope I didn't offend her with that. Anyway I'll try to put them just next to the door and see if she starts leaving them there. – TNO Oct 8 '14 at 20:42
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    It seems to be working. She now leaves the mice in front of the door. – TNO Oct 12 '14 at 11:25
  • I have had cats bring in surprisingly large stuff through narrow openings, so I'm not sure a small pet door will help with mice, who are smaller than the cat's head anyway. – Oldcat Apr 2 '15 at 20:56

protected by John Cavan May 10 '16 at 12:42

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