Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


How to Train a Cat to Kill Mice

| Updated August 11, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Cat toys

  • Mouse traps (optional)

  • Cat treats

Cats are born with a natural instinct to hunt, as cats born in the wild must hunt in order to eat. This natural instinct can be used to help in pest extermination in your house, as your cat can be used to hunt mice in your home. While it is possible for your cat to take up mousing on its own, due to its instincts, there are methods of raising your kitten into a cat which can encourage it to take up hunting, making it more likely that your cat uses its hunting instincts.

Play with your cat frequently when it is a kitten, using toys which encourage it to use its natural hunting and stalking instincts. Toys such as balls with bells inside and toys attached to a string which can be held and jostled by a human are great resources for teaching a cat to chase and pounce.

Purchase toys for your cat which are designed to look like mice. The more realistic the mouse toy is the better chances are that your cat translates experiences into chasing real mice.

Drag the mouse toy through your house along the ground, as a mouse will run. While other predator toys can be dangled above a cat's head, it is important to most accurately replicate the behavior of a mouse with the mouse toy so that your cat associates real mice with the mouse toy.

Present your cat with any dead mice which are caught in traps if you are using traps while you teach your cat to take over the job. Mother cats will often teach their kittens to hunt by first bringing them back dead prey, to set an example.

Encourage your cat when they hunt and kill a mouse. If your cat enjoys affection and petting, reward it with a session on the lap during which you pet it in areas you know it most appreciates. If your cat is more of a loner, reward with kitty treats when she catches a mouse. Eventually, with encouragement, the cat will enjoy catching mice on its own and will not require validation after a successful hunt.