No matter how cute your little fluffy friend is, she or he is a natural hunter. They crave hunting and their instinct to catch prey is ingrained in their brain. Nothing you can do will take that away from them; they’re carnivores after all!
Yep, it isn’t nice to have to clean up half-eaten mice, birds, and whatever else your feline friend finds. But, it’s something we cat lovers find ourselves doing pretty regularly.
The hunting process goes like this: eye, stalk, pounce, grab, and finally, kill. However, you’ll find that domestic, well-fed cats won’t actually get to the killing stage because they don’t plan to eat it. This shows that they aren’t after food, they just want to take part in the hunting process. You’ll know if this has happened since they’ll go back to step one. Although at this point, they’ve probably managed to injure the animal enough so it won’t run away and your cat will inevitably get bored.
As we mentioned, this hunting instinct is hard-wired into them and it’s not something that you can remove. Having said this, there are some tactics you can implement to ebb the flow of dead or half-eaten animals laying on your living room floor.
We are going to look at the common animals that your cat brings in and give you some ideas on the things you can employ to stop each of them. After all, wondering “how to stop my cat bringing in animals” every night isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time!
Let’s start with the main culprit, shall we? Yep, you guessed it — mice!
How to Stop My Cat Bringing In Mice
Mice are one of the main animals that cats like to bring inside to play with — or to give you as a gift. Dead or alive, you probably don’t want to be dealing with these rodents inside your house, right? Well, you can do something about it (whether or not it will work is a different story though!).
1. Try A Bell Collar
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First and foremost, you should try popping a bell on their collar. Our cats do not take kindly to this. We bought a quick-release collar with a bell on for the two of them and they had them on for five minutes before they were gone! To be honest, we couldn’t blame them — would you want a collar around your neck that prevented you from doing the thing you craved? Probably not, right? Exactly!
Now, we don’t mean to sound like we’re putting you off this idea since it is a really effective method to stop your cat from bringing in mice. However, if it doesn’t work, you need to take it off immediately. Why? Bells can alert nearby predators to the fact your cat is around which is, of course, bad news since they’re then vulnerable.
If you do fancy trying a bell collar, you should aim to get the best one you can afford. And no, it’s not just about style, it may save your furry friend’s life. Have a look at our recommendations below:
The Best Cat Collars For Safety and Animal-Slaying Prevention:
- Neck 9"-13", Width 3/8";
- With the coming holiday season, we are releasing a value pack with two of our favorite cat collars, geometrical patterns of parallel and diamond.
- Designed with adjustable and breakaway buckle, a guarantee for your cat being fabulous and safe under any situation.
- All-match pieces that suit all breeds and every mood for even the pickiest feline!
- Made with durable and high density polyester webbing, easy to take care of, but with sophisticated look.
This one is great because of the sweet designs you can choose between. Again, it comes with a bell that you can put on and take off as you please. Not to mention that it is really comfy for your feline friend. Although, that does not mean they’ll appreciate it! If you’ve never put one on your kitty before, they will probably try to take it off immediately. Still, it’s definitely worth a shot if you’re desperate to keep those mice out of your house.
- The high-density nylon construction makes for amazing durability
- A few different patterns to pick from
- Adjustable breakaway safety buckle
- Smallest is 9 inches, largest is 13 inches
- Pack of 2
- Frays over time from lots of scratching or chewing
- If your cat is particularly weak or young, the breakaway might need more force behind it than they can muster which is pretty dangerous. But you know your cat better than anyone!
- Some people have found that there is a lot of extra material that they’ve had to cut off (this wasn’t a problem for us)
- New Whistle models available: Whistle go explore and Whistle go
- Nationwide location tracking: pinpoint your pet’s location with this top-rated SMART GPS activity tracker for your pet anywhere AT&T 3g cellular service is available.
- Proactive alerts: get text, app or email notifications when your pet leaves home.
- Get health insights: monitor your pet’s daily activities and know how your pet measures up for their age, weight and breed.
- Long battery life: lasts up to 7 days! Battery life may vary depending on your pet’s activity, Wi-Fi signal strength and pet’s time spent out of Wi-Fi.
This one does come with a collar but as you can probably tell, you are paying for much more than that.
If you know your cat likes to roam and hunt (clearly they do otherwise you wouldn’t be here!), then this GPS pet tracker is essential for keeping. An eye on your furry friend.
We love the fact that it sends you notifications about your cat’s movements. Plus, you can set completely custom “safe zones” for your little fuzzy one.
- Can see exactly where your feline friend is at all times
- Tracking is accurate and pretty quick
- Tracking is done via GPS and cellular tech
- You can set up alerts via the app or by text
- Easily monitor your little fur ball’s activity
- See where your cat has been over the last 24 hours
- You can set safety zones for your kitty (completely customizable)
- Can attach it to any collar
- Must have WiFi in the house
- Some people have reported that notifications are delayed
- Doesn’t work outside of the United States of America
- You have to pay for a monthly subscription, which some people find off-putting (this is the main reason why we don’t currently use this for our kitties, but you might not think this is an issue)
2. Know When Mice Are Most Vulnerable
Knowing when mice are at their most vulnerable can you help to control the times your feline friend is allowed outside. If they use a cat flap, this is less helpful since you’ll have to lock it periodically which will create confusion. However, it can be done.
Keeping your kitty indoors while mice are active will stem the stream of rodents they bring in your home. It isn’t guaranteed to work though since cats will try to sniff them out (and nine times out of ten they succeed).
We understand that this technique isn’t practical for everyone but there’s no harm in trying, right?
3. Play With Your Cat
Every cat lover will play with their cat — trust us, we know! However, you might want to try playing games with them more often or for longer periods. This can curb their hunting appetite and make them less likely to want to go out and bring you back alive (or dead) mice.
We don’t want to insult your intelligence by telling you how to play with your precious little cutie cat. But, we’re going to show you a few games that you might not have tried yet. Deal? Okay, let’s take a little look.
1. Crumple Paper
Yep, just crumple a bit of paper up and roll it along the floor. In general, cats find the sound of crumpling paper irresistible. They will spend ages batting it around and carrying it in their mouths — especially if they’re still in the kitten phase!
2. Feather Play
Our cats love this one. Just grab a piece of string and tie a feather to the end of it. Then, dangle it near their head or drag it along the floor to entice them into the play. They will quickly become involved!
If you don’t feel like doing the tiny bit of DIY, you can buy toys that have fake feathers on the end of a ribbon. However, we’ve found these to be rather unnecessary as it doesn’t take much to tie a feather to a bit of string!
3. A Cardboard Box Or Paper Bag
Like children, cats love a box. The amount of enjoyment your feline friend will get from a single cardboard box is just magical. They’ll hide in it, jump around it, place their toys inside it, and so much more.
You could even go one step further and build them a whole city with a bunch of boxes and paper bags. This gives them loads of levels and dimensions for them to play in, on, and around!
4. Try An App
There is, quite literally, an app for that. If you have a tablet or smartphone, download a game for your feline friend! Our kitties love the fish pond one but you can get a mouse version too (and probably others).
How to Stop My Cat Bringing In Birds
While the main tips are the same, there are a few extra ones that apply to stop your cat from bringing in birds.
1. Again, Try A Bell Collar
Don’t worry, we’re not going to go through all of this again. With that being said, we do just want to reiterate the importance of taking that bell off if it’s not working for your little one!
2. Place The Bird Feeder Up High
This one is specific to birds (obviously).
While cats do climb trees, they generally won’t try to jump at a bird feeder that’s a long way from the ground. By placing it up high, you will be encouraging birds into your garden safely. In other words, they won’t feel like they’re about to get attacked by your feisty feline.
3. Consider When Birds Are Most Vulnerable
Birds are normally most vulnerable at dusk and dawn. They find it harder to get away from cats and other predators at these times so try to keep your furball indoors. Again, we know this isn’t practical for every kitty household but if you can, give it a go.
4. Play With Your Cat
We gave you a few ideas earlier but we’ve got another one for you now. What is it, we hear you ask? Well, it’s simply to rotate their toys. If they have a load of shop-bought bits and bobs, don’t just leave them all lying around. Instead, let your kitty have one or two for a few days before switching them out. This way, your feline friend is less likely to get bored.
The Bottom Line
While you won’t ever be able to get that hunting instinct out of your little one, there are a few things you can do to stop them from bringing you loads of “gifts”. Remember that every cat is different, so what works for ours might not work for you. It’s just a case of trial and error — and a bucket full of patience on some days!
Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API