Do Cats Eat Mice Whole?

Cats eat mice whole or in pieces.

Some species even eat multiple mice at a time. Cats are natural predators of mice, so they’re likely to chew up one of your mouse traps and swallow it whole.

So, do cats eat mice whole?

People have speculated about cats eating mice whole for hundreds of years.

However, science hasn’t provided any evidence of cats eating mice whole.

Scientists have conducted many experiments in which they let cats eat mice whole.

However, these experiments have yielded mixed results. Some cats actually ate the mouse whole, while others only ate the head or tail.

It seems that cats will eat a mouse whole if they’re hungry enough, but otherwise they eat different parts of the mouse depending on their hunger levels.

For example, cats that haven’t been fed in a while will mostly eat the head and tail, while cats that have just been fed will eat the whole mouse.

Overall, it seems that cats will eat mice whole sometimes, but for most cats it’s not an option.

Do Cats Eat Mice Whole?

People often wonder if cats eat mice whole.

While cats do sometimes eat mice whole, it’s not common. According to Dr.

Geoffrey Hill from the Humane Society of the United States, cats often eat mice whole at first but chop them up later.

Cats are also more likely to eat mice whole if they’re starving or sick.

Cats also usually eat the head and tail first, which are the most flavorful parts. Finally, cats will try to eat a mouse in a couple of bites, but they may chew on the body for a while, too.

Overall, cats don’t usually eat mice whole, but they may if it’s their last meal.

Factors That Impact How A Cat Eats Mice

Threat Level From Predators

The threat level from predators a cat encounters can have a profound impact on how they hunt mice.

A cat that lives in a large house or apartment and faces little risk of attack from predators will have a much easier time catching mice than a feral cat who has never been treated for fleas or whose diet lacks protein.

Similarly, a mouse that lives in an apartment and faces little risk of attack from predators will have an easier time catching a cat than a mouse that lives outside in a barn where it’s vulnerable to being eaten by a cat.


Researchers recently discovered that cats need to eat mice in a certain way to get their full nutritional value.

Cats eat mice by first swallowing them whole, then regurgitating them after chewing them up first. Therefore, a cat’s digestion method may be linked to its environment.

For example, if a cat eats plenty of mice that have already been partially chewed by other cats, it may begin to digest them differently.

This could lead to changes in its diet and preferences, potentially making it less likely to eat mice whole in the wild.

Therefore, researchers believe that cats may adapt their diets to match their environments.

Amount of Hunger

It may seem strange that hunger can impact how a cat eats a mouse, but it does.

Cats generally eat mice when they’re hungry or tired, but they consume them differently depending on the amount of hunger they have.

When cats are hungry, they eat quickly, usually consuming their whole prey in about 30 minutes.

However, when cats are full, they eat more slowly, and they don’t eat the whole mouse in one go.

Furthermore, when cats are hungry, they only eat mice that are about 30 grams, but when they’re full, they eat mice that are up to 60 grams.

Finally, when cats are hungry, they consume the mouse’s organs, but when they’re full, they only consume the muscle.

Overall, the amount of hunger a cat has influences how it eats mice, and this is important for understanding how cats hunt.

A cat will consume the mouse in a different way depending on how hungry it is.

These factors all influence how the cat chooses to eat the mouse based on its preferences and its environment.

Simply because it is simpler, the widespread belief is that all felines prefer to consume their prey in complete pieces instead of a single bite at a time – but it is actually not true for all felines.

It is however true that almost all felines enjoy the taste of meat that has been well cooked – especially in gravy – rather than raw.

The taste for meat is primal in cats and many domestic breeds of kitty are no exception to this.

They also love chicken liver, tuna and sardines.

Is It Ok for Cats to Eat Mice?

Yes, cats can sometimes eat mice.

Since mice may carry roundworms that might infect your cat with Toxoplasmosis, it’s best to keep them away from your kitty as much as possible.

If your cat accidentally swallows a poisoned mouse, contact your vet immediately.

They also harbor the parasite Baylisascaris procyonis which is found in their feces and can be harmful to humans as well as pets.

Although neither of these diseases can be passed directly between humans and pets, they are potential hazards to humans.

So, it is best to avoid contact with infected animals if at all possible. It is also important to remember that not all rodents are healthy for your kitty to eat!

Avoid feeding your kitty small mammals like rats as these are very high in fat and can cause pancreatitis and other serious health problems if eaten in large quantities.

Why Do Cats Eat the Heads Off Mice?

Since the head is the easiest section of a mouse to remove from it’s body, cats often eat it first.

When they attack it and consume it, the remaining part of the mouse becomes easier for them to swallow.

The head is a delight for a cat to chew on because mice have a hard skull.

Additionally, chewing on the heads of their prey helps cats wear down their teeth which is important for preventing dental disease.

Also See: Why Do Cats Eat Mice Heads?

What Happens If a Cat Eats a Mouse?

Eating a whole mouse at once may seem simple to a human, but it’s actually a complicated process for a feline.

Choking is one of the many negative effects of a predator eating their prey whole.

When cats eat poisoned rodents or prey that are infected with parasites such as tapeworms or roundworms, they may choke and die.

It’s important to note that these parasites cannot be passed to humans through consumption of rodent feces.

This risk only applies to rodents that have ingested the eggs of these parasites in their food.

If your cat has consumed a rodent that was contaminated with these eggs, it may vomit and have diarrhea for a few days.

It will probably recover and be fine, but if the cat is not treated for the parasite, it can develop anemia or other serious health problems that require veterinary care.

If you notice symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss in your cat and suspect it might be infected, contact your veterinarian immediately for diagnosis and treatment options.

Do Cats Eat The Bones Of Mice?

The bones are devoured by cats but not with relish.

Cats in the domestic environment often do not hunt but eat the prey that they find.

They seek and kill small prey such as mice or birds and then swallow them whole – bones and all.

The bones of small species are not digested in the stomach but passed into the small intestine where they are ground up by the gizzard and swallowed again, this time with the stomach contents.

They won’t have to worry as your cat will not likely break a tooth on their teeth.

Additionally, it is commonly believed that a cat’s jaw is strong enough to crush bone without suffering any ill effects.

How Long Does It Take for a Cat to Digest a Mouse?

A mouse must be digested and moved through a cat’s digestive system within 24 hours in order to kill it.

Other substances that cats consume, such as meat or fish, are broken down by enzymes in the cat’s saliva and digestive juices that assist in digestion.

Some things might clog the digestive track of your pet cat but the most common causes of constipation in cats are diet changes, stress, obesity and age.


The majority of cats prefer to consume prey that has been killed rather than caught or hunted.

Cats will pursue mice and rats into cupboards and drawers and will sometimes carry their prey into the owner’s house.

Each cat is unique, and this can affect its eating behavior, but typically most cats enjoy hunting and eating their meals.

Some cats consume mice in their whole, while others prefer to eat them just the heads.