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Kitten

budecbudec Registered User
edited November 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
In the last week, I shit you not, I've killed 5 mice and wounded 1 with traps. Also in the summer I get weird bugs in my house (spiders, centapedes, etc).

I'm looking to get a cat that'll kill these things. I think all the mice are dead, but it would be nice to have a fluffy little guard stand watch.

The thing I'm worried about though, is that my parents used to have house cats and they couldn't kill mice for nothing... they might catch them, but weren't good at going in for the kill... and they didn't eat bugs.

My friend had a "stray" cat she picked up, and it would kill anything smaller then it... I want something like that.

So if I get a kitten and raise it in the house, it'll be a wimp when it comes to killing stuff, right? If I go pick up a "hardy" stray cat from the streets it might be all feral and have rabies and stuff...right?

I'd like to get a kitten cause you know.
[img][/img]http://www.innocentenglish.com/cute-animals/cute-kitty-12.jpg


Their cute and stuff..

..but if I get a kitten and keep it inside, how do I make it into a cold blooded killer? I want it to eat bugs and stuff to. Anything smaller then it, it should consume.

ninjasig.jpg
budec on

Posts

  • Zodiac BraveZodiac Brave Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Uh.

    I don't really think there's a way for you to train a cat to kill things, and if you pick up a feral monster from the streets, it'll probably be a nightmare to live with. That said, any cat you get will probably chase and "attack" mice, which could potentially result in their deaths. It's not a sure thing, though, and I certainly wouldn't get a cat purely for that purpose.

    Zodiac Brave on
  • GodGod Registered User
    edited November 2006
    You shouldn't need to train the cat to kill things; they're pretty much natural born killers. Perhaps you could use strings and such to teach it pouncing behavior when it's a kitten and praise it when it does kill pests.

    Cats are just naturally hunters, and they have been bred since who-knows-when to guard granaries against mice and rats.

    God on
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  • edited November 2006
    If you want an exterminator, then call one. Don't expect your cat to run pest control for you. In fact, don't get a cat.

    TroubledTom on
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  • GodGod Registered User
    edited November 2006
    I think having a rodent problem is a fine reason to get a cat.

    God on
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  • HeirHeir regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    God wrote:
    You shouldn't need to train the cat to kill things; they're pretty much natural born killers. Perhaps you could use strings and such to teach it pouncing behavior when it's a kitten and praise it when it does kill pests.

    Cats are just naturally hunters, and they have been bred since who-knows-when to guard granaries against mice and rats.

    Actually house cats more often than not won't know what to do with a mouse if it catches one.

    My cat caught a little lizard once. It had no idea what to do, it just looked at me like, "now what?"

    Heir on
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  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    If you want an exterminator, then call one. Don't expect your cat to run pest control for you. In fact, don't get a cat.
    Cats are excellent hunters, having been bred for the very purpose the OP is looking for. Why shouldn't you use a cat as pest control? I think it's far more economical than hiring an exterminator, who will spray your house with potentially harmful chemicals, which will probably only work for a few months before another family of bugs or rodents moves into the vacant space. The cat doesn't even need to be a great hunter, most pests will stay away from any place where they catch scent of a cat. My GF and I have two cats, back in our student days we used to live in an apartment building known locally as Cockroach Towers, and we never saw a roach once. Other units on the same floor had huge problems, but cats are a natural enemy of roaches, so they left our apartment alone.

    To the OP, if you do decide to get a cat as pest control, make sure you're willing to take good care of the cat. Keeping it fed, scooping it's litter box regularily, giving it some affection, and most importanly keeping its shots up to date. Also, don't rely on the cat as the sole means of deterring pests. Make sure you're keeping the place clean and not giving pests easy food sources. Between a lack of food and an active predator, you can easily make your home very unattractive to vermin.

    vonPoonBurGer on
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  • FantasyrogueFantasyrogue regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I was under the impression that pest control for mice involves traps and poisoned food, not chemicals.

    If pest control is the only reason you want a cat then I wouldn't recommend it. Hiring an exterminator once may be expensive, but a (indoor) cat can live for up to 18 years.. that's not cheap either.

    I'm no expert on cats however, others are better at advising on that. Just if you do get a cat, make sure it's also because you like em and want one.. not just because you have a mice problem.

    Fantasyrogue on
  • budecbudec Registered User
    edited November 2006
    To be clear, I used to have a cat (kitten actually, it was really small and never really got big), my ex-girlfriend took it when she moved out. I like cats.

    But I want a cat that'll kill stuff for me... I don't want no lazy ass slacker hippy cat.

    vonPoonBurGer and others that said cats have been bred for pest control, is there a certain bred I should be looking for? Like calaco or black cats? I'm not sure what kind of breds their are, but what is a bred that's good for pest control? I'm fond of grey kittens or black and white ones... are they good breds? I would prefer a smaller bred, I don't like those big fat cats people have (you know the ones).

    The one my ex-girlfreind had was an un-um... un-ovaried female cat, it still had it's claws and all that stuff (my ex said it was cruel to de-claw them? and she didn't want to de-ovary it cause she wanted to get kittens out of it first). It was black and white. It was a small little cat (most people mistaken it for a kitten). What bred was that? Cause I really liked that cat cause it was really small and cute. It didn't live at this house with me, it was in the apartment, so don't know if it was good at hunting bred or not.

    If I get a cat, I'll probably keep it's claws in cause no reason to take them out and needs them for hunting... also want a female cat, cause male cats can be dicks. I'll probably keep the ovaries in (any reason to de-ovary them? I know you got to de-nut male cats or they pee all over the house. I never had a problem with the ovaried cat peeing all over everything... she just used the litter box normally). I'll just take it to a vet when I get it and ask him to do all the shots cause I'm not sure what I would suppose to be shotting them up with.

    Besides food, water and litter box changing is there anything else you need to do to keep them healthily? Are you suppose to feed them eggs? My ex said you had to feed them raw meat (like lunch meat) or their stomaches would get all weird from eating cat food all the time. Is that true? Can they stay healthily off cat food alone or do you have to feed them raw foods once in awhile?

    budec on
    ninjasig.jpg
  • TrowizillaTrowizilla regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Yes, you want to spay a female cat. Girl cats in heat are miserable to be around. Also, it prevents a lot of cancers cats are prone to and will probably save you money in vet bills.

    (Also, un-spayed cats can get pregnant, contributing to animal overpopulation.)

    Get a high-quality kibble like Blue Buffalo or Nutro and you shouldn't have to worry about adding anything to the cat's diet. Basically, you want the first few ingrediants to be named meat (like chicken, not like "animal byproduct). Steer clear of byproducts altogether.

    Honestly, I think it's a bad idea to get a cat just to kill the vermin. If you want a cat for its own sake, that's fine, but as pest-control it's iffy. Some cats will hunt all the time, some hunt when they're bored, some could care less, and there's no way of knowing how yours will turn out. Color really has nothing to do with it, and cats generally don't have identifiable breeds. Also, cats can live a long, long time, and they need health care and good food and attention, so unless you're looking for a possible 20-year-commitment, you might want to just call the exterminator.

    Trowizilla on
  • locomotivemanlocomotiveman Registered User
    edited November 2006
    My parents cat has taken to catching mice recently but not finishing them off, so my father gets them away from him and takes their stunned wounded bodies outside and lets them go across the road. I've pointed out to him that within 30 seconds of their hitting the ground the barn cats in the neighborhood will have those mice, but hey its still better then our cat eating them.

    locomotiveman on
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  • piLpiL regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    If I understand correctly, mother and sibling cats help teach the cat to hunt. If you know someone that has a badassmotherfucker cat that's having kittens, that could be a good choice. We had an outdoors cat that we got from the shelter, and then it had kittens and we kept one, and she turned out to be a badass too. Years later, she had kittens, and one destroyed bugs constantly. The other one, not so much.

    As long as you don't get a mean shelter cat, I can't see how getting a shelter cat would be a bad thing. You rescue a cat, and the thing can hunt.

    By the way, that second generation cat left us a rabbit on the porch once. Trained to kill.

    Breeding cats supersedes spaying them though :( With the cat, you're looking for a pet that might slay vermin. No guarantee, but if you want a cat then the vermin solution is an added benefit, but not the reason. ALso, I imagine raising it in a house with said vermin will help it, as it will be seasoned and not confused when it sees a rat.

    Edit: Its my theory that it has to do a lot with feeding, and so if you feed it on the light side (not starve it or anything, just make sure it isn't a fatass), then it may see mice and bugs as a way to gain additional sustenance, and since animals like to eat, it would be more likely to become accustomed to hunting. The cat would /rather/ be fat than not fat, and so will do what it can to ensure that it eats beyond its needs.

    piL on
  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited November 2006
    There's not much way to tell whether a cat will turn out to be a hunter or not. Cats raised in identical circumstances can end up either lazy slobs or champion mousers. It must be something genetic.

    Aroused Bull on
  • noobertnoobert Registered User
    edited November 2006
    I suggest you look at getting an ocicat if you want a pure killing machine. My old one managed to bring home birds often, even with a bell on his collar. So some mice shouldn't be a problem.

    (but watch out, they may try and kill you too)

    noobert on
  • budecbudec Registered User
    edited November 2006
    holy crap.

    This thing?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocelot
    http://www.exoticcatz.com/spocelotstinner.html
    Prey includes almost any small animal: monkeys, snakes, rodents, fish, amphibians and birds are common prey, as are small domestic animals such as baby pigs and poultry.
    Studies suggest that they follow and find prey via odour trails, but ocelots also have very keen vision, including night vision.

    Motherfucker. That thing can take down a monkey!

    Those are bad ass cats.

    but, um:
    is a wild cat
    They will fight fiercely, sometimes to the death, in territorial disputes
    (about 20-33 pounds).

    Can they be domesticated? Are they legal to have?

    Even if I happened to get a small one, around 20 pounds... that is still 20 pounds of a pissed off wild animal in my house that fights to the death and can see in the dark...

    Are you sure about this? I mean, yea - that's what I'm looking for, but think that is a bit much? What if that thing accidentally got out side, I bet it would rip up someones dog if it was around my yard.

    budec on
    ninjasig.jpg
  • budecbudec Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Ocelot jaws are extremely strong (compare to a pit bull dog),
    The wounding potential of these cats is great. They are extremely fast, strong, and agile. They have the remarkable ability to sense pressure points and seek them out during an attack. The ocelot tends to target the armpit, inside of elbows, groin and neck. This makes a simple bite from an ocelot a dangerous event.

    It has a the Strength of a pitbulls bite and goes for the groin and neck.

    That's what I'm looking for, but with less um... "wild cat that could eat my testicles". Is there anything a bit tamer, like a cross between one of these things and a normal house cat?

    I don't need to take down any monkeys. I just have field mice (not even rats, they are small mice, like those white lab mice, but smaller).

    I'm thinking more of a normal sized domesticated house cat - but knows how to put the kill down on mice or anything smaller then mice. I don't think letting a wild cat run around my house is a good idea...

    I got to admit though - those things are bad motherfuckers. I would get one if I lived in the jungle and had monkey problems.

    budec on
    ninjasig.jpg
  • World as MythWorld as Myth regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I think noobert was talking about an ocicat, but I don't think they're supposed to resemble ocelots in any manner except appearance. If I were you, I'd go to the humane society and look for the spunkiest homeless kitten you can find. That's where I got mine, and he is a murderer of all things rodent.

    World as Myth on
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  • TheungryTheungry Registered User
    edited November 2006
    I second the spunky homeless kitten movement. You don't want to invest in any kind of purebred cat for your purposes. The best thing you can do to train a killer cat is get them lots of mouse sized toys and play with the cat a lot. If you bring home a killer and let him sit on a plush bed all day while you play WoW he'll get pretty lazy pretty fast. If you give your predatorial pussy some serious play time he'll be eager and willing to terrorize vermin.

    In a similar vein, two kittens are better than one for their own sanity and activity level. They will wrestle and play with each other, sharpening instincts, intelligence and fitness.

    Theungry on
    Unfortunately, western cultures frown upon arranged marriages, so the vast majority of people have to take risks in order to get into relationships.
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    If pest control is the only reason you want a cat then I wouldn't recommend it. Hiring an exterminator once may be expensive, but a (indoor) cat can live for up to 18 years.. that's not cheap either.
    That's a good point about the cost of keeping a cat. I would agree that you shouldn't get a domestic cat purely for pest control, but it is a nice side-effect of cuddly pet ownership.
    budec wrote:
    Can they be domesticated? Are they legal to have?
    I don't think so, and I don't think so. Seriously, an Ocelot is a bad idea. Every few years I see something on the news about someone who imported an Ocelot and discovered that they don't make good pets. Here's just one reason why an Ocelot is a bad idea:

    vonPoonBurGer on
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  • fatmousefatmouse regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I grew up on a farm. We have provided dozens of homeless cats a warm place to call home for 30 years. All cats have the potential to be excellent hunters. We have had cats that were excellent hunters, some of them could even fish. (It's amazing to watch a cat haul up a 2 pound cat fish out of the pond!)

    Some tips/suggestions:

    The smell of a cat alone is often deterrent enough to handle your pest problem (mice specifically). The cat doesnt have to be king of the jungle to be useful to you.

    Spay/neuter your cat as soon as the vet tells you its physically developed enough. Cats have horrible mood swings when they are "frisky".

    Many animal shelters have loads of free kittens/smallish cats. You can even get some that are already spayed/neutered for free.

    Get a kitten. The bonding time between you and the kitten is important! To improve its hunting instincts, play with it a lot. The more active it is as a kitten, the better it will be at hunting. If you can trap a mouse in the bathroom or some such and put the cat in there, she'll figure out what to do with it.

    Often cats don't eat their prey, especially if they are fed regularly. Be prepared to find carcasses in the areas that you frequent. Cats "gift" you with thier catches. If this is an indoor/outdoor cat, you will find the bodies in front of the door etc.

    Be prepared to watch your cat torture its prey to death. They don't kill quick, especially when they are learning to hunt, not hungry, or just playful. If you cant stand to watch the mouse struggle for life, then maybe a cat isnt the right answer for your pest problems.

    Also, and people are gonna think i'm a huge dick for posting this but this is absolutely true: cats will not starve themselves to death. If your cat isn't controlling your pests, stop feeding it. It will eat the mouses in the houses right quick when it gets hungry.

    If it eats mice/bugs it will puke up what is "undigestible" on your most expensive rug. Also it will not start to puke until you have your girl's bra unhooked and you are well on your way to happy town. Then you will hear a horrible gacking noise and it will totally kill the mood.

    fatmouse on
  • RuckusRuckus regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Seconding FatMouses' suggestions, but instead of a shelter I recommend a Farm bred kitten. Lots of farms still have a ready supply of kittens each spring, and for some reason (probably breeding/natural selection) they tend to be the most savvy when it comes to hunting mice/birds.

    Both of my parent's cats came from farms (one for sure, the other we assume, it was a stray in a rural area) and they have a tendancy to hunt down mice and birds, kill them, and leave them on my parent's front steps (usually 5-6 times during the summer). I think their instinct tells them to hunt/play/kill them, but they eat enough catfood that they don't really feel like consuming the prey.

    Ruckus on
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  • TheungryTheungry Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Anecdotally, I also suggest picking up the runt of the litter. I went through lots of outdoor cats growing up, but the one that lived the longest (14 years and still going - which is a long time to not meet up with a coyote in our town) was the runt. That bastard can catch and kill anything short of wild turkeys that stray into our back yard. He leaves my mom an average of 5-6 "prizes"/week year round. My wife had only one cat growing up, also a runt, that lived for 19 years and killed anything that moved.

    Theungry on
    Unfortunately, western cultures frown upon arranged marriages, so the vast majority of people have to take risks in order to get into relationships.
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    just don't get a kitten taken away from it's mother too quickly. thier mothers teqach them to hunt and they train themselves by playing with siblings. When you get the kitten they'll hunt more if yu play with them alot when they're younger.

    Ig you ask me house cats lack alot of these qualtiies because pet store kittens are usually taken away too early. then thier owners tend to mostly ignore them so you end up with a cat that has no idea how to hunt

    nexuscrawler on
  • TheungryTheungry Registered User
    edited November 2006
    gads, please don't get a pet store kitten! There are a plethora of unwanted kittens trying to find good homes already without some jerk trying to breed them for profit.

    I second not getting a kitten de-mommed too early if you can avoid it.

    Theungry on
    Unfortunately, western cultures frown upon arranged marriages, so the vast majority of people have to take risks in order to get into relationships.
  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Theungry wrote:
    gads, please don't get a pet store kitten! There are a plethora of unwanted kittens trying to find good homes already without some jerk trying to breed them for profit.

    I second not getting a kitten de-mommed too early if you can avoid it.
    Yes, go to the animal shelter. Although, there you really have no choice about when it was taken from its mother (mostly due to exteraneous circumstances). But it's the right thing to do.

    Seattle Thread on
  • budecbudec Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Thanks. I'll go to either a shelter or a farmer

    budec on
    ninjasig.jpg
  • TheungryTheungry Registered User
    edited November 2006
    This should go without saying, but there's no way your cat is going to be a good hunter if you give him a crappy name like Fluffy or Mittens. Stick with Conan, Zeus, Killer, or Jet Li and he'll turn out just fine.

    Theungry on
    Unfortunately, western cultures frown upon arranged marriages, so the vast majority of people have to take risks in order to get into relationships.
  • EtchEtch regular Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Lawl @ Jet Li.

    I was at my girlfriend's house a few months back and her cat brought a little bird to the door. It was still alive though and sounded like it was screaming. Then her dad threw the bird over the fence into the the neighbor's yard.

    Etch on
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