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Live feeding for cat?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Here's my idea: buy feeder mice that you use for snakes from wherever for the purpose of giving my cat something to hunt and kill. The storebought ones should be disease free unlike wild mice. Im sure some people would think thats weird and cruel, but I dont. Cats would naturally predate on mice in the wild, its not like its unnatural. Im not about to just let him outside (especially since I live in the city), and in a way I think that its cruel not to let him hunt. Cats after all are natures most efficient predator. Ever hear of anyone doing that? I think he'd love it.
post #2 of 29
I personally wouldnt do it.I would be worried about the problems that could happen from ingesting the fur, and all of that. i know its natural..but..i couldnt do it.dont know anyone else who does either..
post #3 of 29
The problem I see with that is that if you live in the city, it could be against the law for you to let a mouse free. (which is the only way you would be giving your cat the 'hunting experience')

There really isn't any way to guarantee your cat will catch the mouse and mice are crafty little buggers. It's reasonable to think the mouse could find a way to hide and get out. Not to mention, some cats are not mousers. Hard to believe, but it's true. Do you live in an apartment or condo? I can't imagine they would be thrilled with your idea. And it might be illegal, I would check the local laws on that.

If, by chance, the mouse gets free, you are contributing to a rodent problem.

I don't see this as a good idea when there are plenty of non-living alternatives to satisfy cats natural hunting instinct. (toys)
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws808 View Post
Here's my idea: buy feeder mice that you use for snakes from wherever for the purpose of giving my cat something to hunt and kill. The storebought ones should be disease free unlike wild mice.
You would think that but they're usually not. Mice do not need to be healthy to reproduce, they can carry parasites (some transmittable to humans) and if you go in the back of some stores where they're breed, it's a mess. Dirty cages, no food, no water, dead animals, and over crowding. Many serious snake keepers do not buy mice from stores. They buy reputable pre-killed frozen or breed their own. Those that breed their own completely control diet as well, anyone feeding reptiles knows what goes into the feeder goes into your animal.

As I said in a previous thread, where I to start keeping reptiles that needed mice I would breed them and consider giving my cats humanely pre-killed mice. Live is too risky.
post #5 of 29
From what I understand cats/kittens HAVE to be taught that mice are food from their mothers. Most all cats would kill the mouse, but very few would actually eat it - they would just bring it to you dead as a "present".

Our barn cats killed and ate mice, ground squirrels, rabbits because they were barn cats and were taught by their mothers prey was food. They also got dry cat food to eat.

Ling and Charlie would kill the mouse, but not eat it. Ling might tho - her mom was a barn cat and she's very "prey oriented" considering she was inside the house from 5 weeks old on and mom never got a chance to teach the kittens to hunt. But mom was an excellent hunter - so it might be part heriditary. I'm not about to really test the theory
post #6 of 29
myself, I'd be worried about the mouse hurting my cat. Something to induce hunting and fun times could easily turn into an owie...who knows what kind of bacteria might end up in that sore too.
post #7 of 29
i had thought about it because it would be fun for my cat but i never did it. there are LOTS of things that are fun but inapropriate for cats and humans.
it is not cruel to your cat to not let it hunt a mouse. animals in the wild hunt because they have to to survive. your cat has everything provided for it.
people used to have to hunt for food too, and sometimes still do, but people hunting animals for sport is not right and its not right for your cat either.
post #8 of 29
I've heard that thing about cats having to be taught to hunt by their mothers, but I wonder if it's true. Every cat I've known has been an excellent mouser (and hunter of bugs big and small)... and they both kill and eat the kill. So you don't have to worry about the mouse hurting your cat, or the ingestion of the mouse. I don't think it's inappropriate or immoral for cats to hunt. Though I've never provided a mouse for a cat to hunt... and I do sometimes save bugs before my cat can eat them.

The only concern is that the mouse might get loose into your walls before the cat could get to it. This would depend on whether you have an old or new house. Even if the mouse does escape, there's a chance the cat would catch it eventually, but you'd be taking that risk.
post #9 of 29
Alley didn't figure out how to catch a mouse until she was 5 years old! Before then, they always got away. Once she did start catching them, she didn't eat them, only brought them to the rug by my bed (eww) to show off. We lived in the country and had a terrible mouse problem that was very hard to eliminate. I don't understand why you would deliberately bring one into your house, that could very easily get away. They make a terrible mess and chew up everything!
post #10 of 29
i suggest buying Da Bird instead. or you could get the peek a prize toybox. both give your kitty something to hunt and "kill" without torturing some poor feeder mouse.

feeder mice do get loose. i don't think you want a rodent running loose in the house if your cat isn't a mouser after all. i had a pet feeder mouse who came from a shelter. she was found loose in someone's yard. same with my gerbil. (the animal control officer thought my gerbil was a mouse when he was caught)
post #11 of 29
I'm sorry, but... it is "weird and cruel." I don't understand how you can love one creature enough to keep it as a pet, but care so little for another creature that you would deliberately subject it to a painful and terrifying death.

The whole idea reminds me of something that happened here in Dallas a few weeks ago: some sick monster who was breeding pitbulls used a tiny puppy with a birth defect as "bait" to teach his other dogs to fight.

I don't see much difference between the two.
post #12 of 29
Radar tortures the mice he catches and they don't always die plus the chance of one of them getting free and breeding throughout our estate wouldn't be good. There is also the thought of the vets bill should a mouse scratch him
Personally I find the idea repulsive and much prefer the idea of the 'thinbg in a bag' http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...id=11641&rel=1
post #13 of 29
[quote=littleraven7726;1618489]i suggest buying Da Bird instead. or you could get the peek a prize toybox. both give your kitty something to hunt and "kill" without torturing some poor feeder mouse.

that toybox looks like FUN!!! do you have one?
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycee View Post
that toybox looks like FUN!!! do you have one?
we have both Da Bird and the smaller toybox. of course the toybox is more fun with treats than toys. goofballs. all 3 go crazy for Da Bird.
post #15 of 29
Pinky mice are often carriers of really nasty stuff .... some say evan worse than the wild variety... I feed raw in the mix but live will not be served here unless a feild mouse is stupid enough to come in
post #16 of 29
Yeah, I don't think I would just set one free in here on purpose.

I've got some real killers that don't leave much behind. What I mean is that they don't just do it for sport. There's probably some hunting going on that I don't even know about. That would be a dumb field mouse to come out from under the stove or fridge with 16 eyes staring it down...but it happens. That's enough for me, and my cats.
post #17 of 29
Snakes shouldn't be given live mice to eat, anyway.

I've jokingly said to Mi-ke that I could go get her some nice rodents to play with, but I'd never do it. In some areas, feeding live is actually illegal, and either way, it's an expensive "toy."

Mi-ke couldn't successfully catch a fish in a barrel, I'm afraid, so any mouse introduced to my apartment would just take up residence.

She's welcome to go after the spiders and whatnot, although I don't believe she's ever caught one.
post #18 of 29
lol.. :0 at the barrel
post #19 of 29
Mice from the store are not necessarily disease free. Many of these stores buy mice from people who bring them in. And as someone else said... if they got loose and started repopulating (which they can do fast), your neighbors aren't going to be happy with you.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
I'm sorry, but... it is "weird and cruel." I don't understand how you can love one creature enough to keep it as a pet, but care so little for another creature that you would deliberately subject it to a painful and terrifying death.

The whole idea reminds me of something that happened here in Dallas a few weeks ago: some sick monster who was breeding pitbulls used a tiny puppy with a birth defect as "bait" to teach his other dogs to fight.

I don't see much difference between the two.
The cat and mouse have a natural predator/prey relationship. Its entirely different than the fighting pitbull thing you mentioned, though I agree that is a terribly wretched thing to do. I have to say though that I see giving my cat a mouse to eat is totally on a different level than using a disabled puppy to bring out the most violent part of a pitbulls personality for the purpose of illegal dog fights. Its not that I care so little for the mouse in a malicious way, its serving a purpose. Call me sick if you will, but getting a storebought mouse for my cat to eat really isnt any different than the reasons I have for going hunting and fishing. Sure you can get all the pre processed food you need, but its just more fun to do it yourself.

Im pretty sure that hunting is an instinctual thing. When I lived out of town with this cat, he could go outside sometimes and would kill and eat a mouse or bird every now and then. My cat gets along fine with my girlfriends guinea pig, who also lives here though. He watches the cage incessantly, but when you let them out together he never makes any sort of aggressive moves at all, just watches. Maybe it has something to do with their prey being in their natural environment, and the cat stalking it.

The mouse wouldnt get loose, cause if I were to do it (im just tossing ideas around here, people) It'd take place in my unattached garage. I am aware that there'd be some (minor) health risk, but Im honestly dont believe that this would pose a risk to my cat. One of my childhood cats was outside constantly and caught and ate every sort of critter: mice, voles, rabbits, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and she lived to be 17.

Good to get all of your input though, and believe me im only going to do whats right for my cat.
post #21 of 29
I'm not sure that much else can be said, but things like this make me emotional, so I have to be honest and say that the idea disgusts me. I understand that cats who are allowed outdoors (or indoor cats who happen to find a mouse) would have a natural instinct to mice, but that is one of the many reasons that I have decided to keep my cats indoors only. I think it would be cruel to allow your cat to purposely do that, and I could not stand to watch it. Then again, I am a vegetarian, and I would never personally hunt or fish (not my idea of "fun"). There are plenty of interactive toys that can stimulate your cat and help satisfy the hunting instinct; they just require a little involvement on your part. I'm not meaning to personally attack you in any way, so I hope it doesn't come across like that. It does look like that you care about a lot your cat, and would consider extreme ideas to keep him happy, which is not such a bad thing. I just had to voice my opinion because I'm very sensitive to issues like this.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws808 View Post
...getting a storebought mouse for my cat to eat really isnt any different than the reasons I have for going hunting and fishing. Sure you can get all the pre processed food you need, but its just more fun to do it yourself.



Well... yes, I see the parallel, but I think hunting is cruel, too. How can it be "fun" to stalk a beautiful living creature and rob it of the life that animates its beauty?

The world is full of hunters, I know. And there was a time when (and there are still places where) hunting was/is necessary for survival. But in the "first world," I feel it is an endeavor that has outlived its justification. I believe it's time for the human race to stop exploiting other species and focus instead on preserving their habitats and promoting their wellbeing.

So we disagree. But I do appreciate your civil and intelligent response...
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post


Well... yes, I see the parallel, but I think hunting is cruel, too. How can it be "fun" to stalk a beautiful living creature and rob it of the life that animates its beauty?

The world is full of hunters, I know. And there was a time when (and there are still places where) hunting was/is necessary for survival. But in the "first world," I feel it is an endeavor that has outlived its justification. I believe it's time for the human race to stop exploiting other species and focus instead on preserving their habitats and promoting their wellbeing.

So we disagree. But I do appreciate your civil and intelligent response...
i do think that if someone wants to hunt for fresh meat thats a good thing. especially since all the meat you can buy has so many added hormones and other nasties. and a lot of the time they are raised in misery before they are killed. so either way whenever you eat meat, it used to be alive. but freshly killed food is a lot better for you.
the thing i disagree with is killing for sport or furs or something pointless like that.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws808 View Post
Call me sick if you will, but getting a storebought mouse for my cat to eat really isnt any different than the reasons I have for going hunting and fishing. Sure you can get all the pre processed food you need, but its just more fun to do it yourself.
If you feel you must give your cat mice please consider prekilled frozen. 3 months of freezing kills most parasites. You would thaw this and warm it up before serving, bagged and placed in hot water, I've read some microwave horror stories. At the very least you'll find out if your cat will even eat it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws808 View Post
My cat gets along fine with my girlfriends guinea pig, who also lives here though. He watches the cage incessantly, but when you let them out together he never makes any sort of aggressive moves at all, just watches.
Feeding live moving rodents may very well encourage your cat to hunt more. Just because they "get along fine" when you're watching does not mean the cat will not try to break into the cage when left alone, please make sure the cage is very secure or out of the cat's reach. My cats make no moves toward my geckos but I'm not willing to tempt fate.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well I'm sure youll all be happy to know I ended up deciding against feeding him live mice. If I lived in a rural area where I'd feel safe letting him out, I'd have no problem with him hunting whatever he could catch. My old cat brought home all sorts of "game" and it never bothered me one bit. Thats one of the reasons I like cats, they hunt well. But...I think i would actually feel bad about buying a mouse just to feed him. I went to the pet store to check prices, and realised that they were actually kinda cute, and that Id have a problem actually going through with it. Philosophically speaking, I came to the conclusion that me putting him and a mouse in a closed room would be similar to me shooting a caged animal instead of actually going out in the country to find one.
post #26 of 29
i'm glad to hear that. the last time one of my cats caught and killed a mouse, we had mice in our apartment. not for long though. that was a looooong time ago.

that was pre-stimpy and pre-pet rodents. :P when i had pet rodents, i had to keep them in a fortress on a bookshelf to keep them safe.
post #27 of 29
Glad you changed your mind !

Like I said in my post - we had barn cats - it was natural for them to kill and hunt. But I didn't really stand there and watch. Before we left the biggest creature was a half grown rabbit that Shadow caught and killed and had for dinner. The rabbit was about as big as the cat.

I saw he had it, but didn't stand there to watch the final kill.

Mitten (our first cat) was a hunter too - he liked catching squirrels among the mice, rabbits, birds. But again, I couldn't stand and watch him entirely. IMO that's just a little sick
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws808 View Post
If I lived in a rural area where I'd feel safe letting him out, I'd have no problem with him hunting whatever he could catch. My old cat brought home all sorts of "game" and it never bothered me one bit.
yep thats another thing altogether
post #29 of 29
In my house this would just be a disaster ... Oz would hunt and kill the mouse, then hide behind something, in some place we can't reach, and eat half the mouse and leave the rest behind to stink up the place. Or Spike would try to "play" with the mouse and end up killing it (think Lenny from Of Mice and Men: "I want to pet the rabbit, George!"). Or Spike and Oz would fight over who got to kill/play with the mouse ... It'd just end badly. And messily. Oh, and stinkily.

Finally, speaking from personal experience, although cats and small animals can and sometimes do peacefully cohabit, if your cat is suitably determined, few cages are actually cat-proof. (Incidentally, Habitrail + gerbils + cats = horrible messy disaster. Habitrail is not intended for gerbils, who can chew their way through plastic.) Spike, my brain-damaged, freakishly strong furbaby, can bust through a good quality cage in about a week. He just keeps doing the same thing over and over again (flinging himself at the cage -- Spike is very good at repetitive actions) and eventually something breaks, the rodents escape, and random acts of violence ensue. It's never pretty.
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