Cats are natural predators of rodents. Some cats are particularly obsessive about mouse hunting. For many years, many people kept cats or fed outdoor cats because our feline friends are so good at catching mice.
Today it is much more common for people to keep their cats indoors full time. Just because your cat is an indoor cat doesn’t mean it won’t get a chance to catch a mouse. Mice will move indoors during the fall and if you have a cat, it’s likely they will be hunting for him.
This leads people to wonder:
If my cat eats a mouse, will he get sick? Should I let my cat eat mice?
If you want to be safe, you really shouldn’t let your cat eat mice. Your cat could eat a mouse and not get sick, but it’s possible they could contract a disease from mice.
Diseases mice can give cats:
- Intestinal Worms
Eating a mouse could cause your cat to be infected by one of these diseases.
Toxoplasma can make your cat sick and can cause various symptoms ranging from diarrhea, pneumonia, liver disease, or diseases of the nervous system. This disease can also spread from your cat to you!
Roundworms are a common intestinal parasite that a cat can get from eating a mouse. Roundworms can live in your cat’s intestines and compete for nutrients they would normally ingest.
Hantavirus can quickly progress into acute respiratory distress and pulmonary edema. It can also be spread to humans as well, although symptoms may not show for weeks.
Rickettsialpox causes ulceration of the area surrounding the mite bite, fever, and a rash over the body and limbs.
Another danger your cats face is that they can eat a mouse that has already ingested poison. The poison that will kill a mouse may also make your cat sick and even endanger their life.
The safest option is to not let your cat eat mice. Of course, that’s not always possible.
What to do if my cat eats a mouse?
Since you don’t know how your cat will react or if the mouse was diseased, you must carefully monitor your cat’s behavior and health for anything out of the ordinary. Watch for any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or abnormal behavior. If you notice any symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
If you don’t see any unusual symptoms but are still worried, call your vet’s office for advice. Better to be safe because early treatment is very important.
Related: 9 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained
Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841
Cat image by Stig Nygaard