a maine coon looks at a mouse

Will An Indoor Maine Coon Still Kill Mice?

If you want an indoor Maine Coon it’s perfectly normal to do so.

Depending upon where you live, the outside might not be too safe.

The Maine Coon is one of the most well-regarded mousers from the available cat breeds.

Apartments and suburban houses aren’t impregnable to rodents, so does an indoor Maine Coon lose its ability to hunt if they’re kept indoors?

Will an indoor Maine Coon kill mice and rodents?

A Maine Coon does not lose it’s hunting ability due to being an indoor cat. They are excellent mousers and being indoors does not diminish their instincts. Mice and rodents can sense the presence of a cat in the house and this may be an effective deterrent.

National Geographic estimates cats may have been domesticated for over 4,000 years.

The Egyptians certainly seem to have revered them even before that.

Cats were probably kept around by the early farmers to keep rodents and small animals from decimating the crop.

Once cats became domesticated, they became pest controllers par excellence.

a maine coon prowling

They started out in farmers’ barns probably, and once ships were all the rage, kept aboard to keep pests from stealing the valuable food.

The Mains Coons very heritage is said to have been don’t the trade routes from England to Maine.

Now that they’re more domesticated, they’ve evolved to having human butlers bring their food and entertainment.

Still, outdoor Maine Coons are kept by people on farms to keep the grain stores free from rodents.

They’re more domesticated now but still retain those base instincts.

Why An Indoor Maine Coon May Still Hunt

Cats have strong hunting instincts.

They’re smart and they can be pretty darn brazen when it comes to stalking down prey.

Many cat breeds still retain their natural hunting skills, including Maine Coons that were bred for this purpose over the last few thousand years.

It goes without saying that cats are simply instinctually driven to pursue things that give a good chase, and rodents make perfect prey for them.

An indoor cat might not always eat their prey.

They get fed better food for sure.

Domesticated cats usually chase rodents for a variety of reasons.

Cats are hunters by nature and need to hunt regularly.

It’s a skill they are naturally inclined to keep up as a method of survival.

Cat’s are well known for catching things to bring to their owners.

A kind of gift to say thank you, or they are eager to give you hunting lessons.

a ginger maine coon on a couch

Will My Maine Coon Act As A Deterrent To Indoor Rodents

An indoor Maine Coon doesn’t necessarily have to locate and kill mice in order to keep them at bay

The Maine Coon is a natural hunter and will always investigate a rodent it sees.

There’s an added plus though.

And truth be told, this applies regardless of your cat’s exceptional hunting prowess.

Studies have shown that the scent of cats can deter rodents without the animals ever coming too close.

That’s right, mice investigating an area will smell the presence of a cat, and come nowhere near.

Your Maine Coon can keep mice at bay while sleeping.

Leaving a cat’s scent around your home can be an excellent deterrent to rodents.

Try feeding your cat in areas of the house where you hear mice or rodents and the scent of the cat might frighten them away.

Does A Spayed Or Neutered Maine Coon Lack A Killer Instinct

The idea that neutering or spaying your cat will diminish its natural urge to hunt is false; in fact, research suggests there’s no diminishment

Alta, my Maine Coon is spayed, and she chases things all over the place.

We have Tokay Gecko lizards here – and Alita always goes over to have a look.

Take a look.

Alita the Maine Coon chases A Tokay Gecko lizard

A neutered cat will have no impact on its hunting desires.

My Maine Coon Isn’t Used To Eating Mice  – Are There Health Concerns

If your Maine Coon does catch a mouse and devours it, the meal won’t be normal on its stomach.

The cat’s gastrointestinal system will not be used to the meal.

Some cats can cope with this, while others may get the meal rejected as it comes back up again.

There is a chance that your cat may get sick if they eat mice.

According to the Animal Medical Center, roundworms can be passed from mice to cats when a mouse is eaten.

There’s also the risk of toxoplasmosis.

It’s a parasite in mice that can be given to cats.

An antibiotic called clindamycin can treat toxoplasmosis.

It can be passed onto humans but it’s identifiable and treatable.

a smoke maine coon with large mane


Maine Coons can still kill mice, and even an indoor Maine Coon will hunt mice if they are present.

There are some health concerns that come with allowing Maine Coons to eat mice, so carefully check if it’s going to be a regular occurrence.

Maine Coons are excellent hunters of rodents in general and being indoors does not take this instinct away.

Even if your Maine Coon doesn’t show any hunting interest its natural presence may be enough to keep rodents from straying too far.

The scent a cat leaves can be a mouse deterrent so try feeding your Maine Coon where mice aren’t wanted to see if that helps.

Can mice sense a cat in the house?

Yes, scientists have discovered that mice can detect the presence of a local cat. When mice sniff the air they can detect cat scents. Cats sweet through their paws which leave aromas for a mouse to detect. Cat litter and urine are also detectable clues.

Is it bad for cats to kill mice?

The moral argument is one of personal judgment. Cat’s are natural hunters and they are obligate carnivores. They need hunting skills to survive. A cat may just play with its prey, but it is fulfilling a natural instinct. Humane mice traps can be purchased if you’re worried about it.

Why won’t my cat kill a mouse?

With domesticated cats. some just don’t particularly hunt. They feel well fed, are sure they will have a future meal, and thus possess no desire to hunt. They might be curious but there is no instinctive desire to kill in some domesticated cats.

About the Author


My name is Ann and I have been looking after and breeding cats since 2013. I am currently the proud ownder of Alita, a female Maine Coon to whom I've dedicated this site. She has had 2 litters and is around 3 years old. We share adventures and stories together.

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Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One