Are Cats Effective for Rodent Control?

While the debate between the perfect house pet will rage on forever, there is no denying that cats are well known for their ability to sniff out and remove pesky rodents. However, recent research funded by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) may surprise those who believe this. In this article, we will take a look at some new research to determine if cats really are effective for rodent control or if it’s a job best left to pest control professionals.

Throughout this study, scientists utilized RFID-technology as well as scent detection to study the behavior to study rat populations when feral cats were present. Unfortunately, this study ultimately proves that some of the myths surrounding the affinity cats have for rodents are slightly unfounded. Throughout the study, several key points were made about the habits of both the rodents and the cats that provide our feline friends aren’t a valuable pest control partner.

While the study showed that when cats engaged in stalking activity rodents would remain out of sight, their patience was generally more prolonged than the cats that were stalking them. Once the cats had lost interest and left the area, rodents would continue their activities as normal. While this may be a learned behavior to remove the threat posed by cats, the patience of rodents extends the chances of them avoid an untimely death at the hands of cats.

Although the study showed that less than 1% of cat vs rat encounters resulted in the death of a rodent, there are some promising results that were achieved. For instance, if cats were present, rodents were unlikely to be seen during the same day or the day after. Furthermore, each time rodents observed cat activity, they were 20 times more likely to move toward a shelter to avoid interaction. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean rodent activity was slowed or populations were weakened.

In most cases, encounters with cats had no long-term effects on rodent populations that were present. During the times the two species interacted, cats would begin stalking but quickly become bored; allowing rodent populations to wait them out until they moved on. Unfortunately, this study proves that our feline friends are no match for modern rodent control measures to keep your home or business free from mice or rats.


At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information. We are on Facebook.-