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Cats And Mice

[The Love Of Cats For Persons]  [The Devotion Of Cats]  [Why We Need Cats]  [How To Feed Cats]  [Cats And Mice]  [In Praise Of Cats]  [Famous Persons Who Have Loved Cats]  [More Cat Articles] 

( Originally Published 1928 )

MISS HELEN WINSLOW says: "Some people have a theory that cats will not catch mice if they are fed; that the only way to make a good mouser is to compel her to depend upon such game as she may catch for a living. Not only is this untrue, for a good cat will catch a mouse whenever and wherever he sees it, and whether he is hungry or not, but such treatment actually detracts from her ability to serve as a ratcatcher. It has been amply proved that a half-starved cat suffers a weakening of the sense of smell. It is that sense which tells the cat there is a mouse near by, though out of sight; and a starved cat is deficient in the first qualification for what some people consider her mission on earth. On the other hand, a well-fed cat has this sense well developed, and her natural instinct demands that no mouse shall escape uncaught.

Mrs. Mary F. Lovell says: "Many persons never caution their children to treat their cats kindly, nor explain what kind treatment is; they eat their own meals with unvarying regularity, but do not notice that the poor cat is thin; and in reply to any hint on the subject complacently answer that feeding a cat spoils it for catching mice, and that it is quite able to get its own living; that to kill mice is what it is kept for.

These persons do not trouble themselves to find out whether there are any mice to kill, or if there are, whether they are ever within reach of the hungry cat; nor do they stop to consider that a cat enfeebled by neglect and starvation is not in the proper condition to catch its prey. Above all, they forget that mice are endowed with instinct, and can detect the presence of a cat on the premises by their sense of smell and of hearing, and are, therefore, wary and less easily caught as soon as the cat becomes a settled inhabitant.

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