As a cat lover, I keep my cats in the house, every pet I've ever owned has been spayed/neutered, and I've never declawed a cat. When we do go outside, they're on a leash and never allowed to roam. All you need to do is drive down a road to see dead cats, hit by cars...and the animal shelters full of kittens because someone couldn't bear to neuter his free to roam tomcat.
But as a field biologist, I have to agree: cats take a dreadful toll on wildlife.
Folks in my neighborhood allow their cats to roam because "it's in their nature," or as clover says, they just don't care. The cats come to my place because it's fenced, so they're safe from coyotes, and my property is in 'conservation easement'-meaning it's fairly wild. I have all sorts of birds and animals living here...last summer we had a long tailed weasel raise her litter behind the pump house.
Cats kill birds..and lizards, snakes, shrews, you name it. It's what cats do.
Please keep your cats indoors.
As for the mice, PLEASE DO NOT POISON THEM. PLEASE. No matter what the blurb on the box says, poison doesn't always work immediately on rodents.
First off, it won't kill rats.
Rats are extremely intelligent. They are highly suspicious of new things or novel changes in their environment. In a colony of rats...because if you see one, there are about a dozen you haven't...there is one dominant male. He's the one to check new things out. If he eats something, then the others will, too. If you try to habituate them to bait, you have to use untainted bait for weeks before they'll take it. If they see one die after eating the bait, that's it,they won't touch it. They won't touch the bait ever again. Honestly the best thing to kill rats is...a good rat terrier, or a Jack Russell.
Mice are stupid, but please, don't use poison.
We found a dead saw whet owl behind the property, as my next door neighbor WAS poisoning the mice. One managed to live long enough to escape her house, long enough for the owl to pounce. THEN the poison worked, IMMEDIATELY. We found the owl, still warm, but dead as a hammer, the mouse's head still in her jaws.
Or, if you don't really care about owls, consider what happens to the dog or a cat, when she finds a poisoned mouse wobbling around. Don't think it doesn't happen, I was at the vet's when a woman brought in a dying Chihuahau..the dog had caught and eaten a poisoned mouse. No, the dog didn't make it, and even worse, the woman was sobbing because she'd put the poison out, herself.
For mice, we use a Victor Tin Cat in and around the buildings. It's a live trap, a small metal box, about the size of a rectanglur cigar box (do they still make cigar boxes?? I don't know, I've never smoked.). The mouse can get in, especially if you put something like bird feed or peanut butter in the trap. But it can't get out. You can either dunk the trap in a bucket of water once the mouse is in it to drown it, or they'll die in it after a day or two. . Don't clean the trap out after you empty the dead mouse...they poop and pee in the trap and that attracts other mice.
For the rest of my property...I have three species of owls (great horned, barn owls, and barred owls) living here, and the weasels are pure murder on rodents. Between the nocturnal owls and the diurnal weasels, we don't get many rodents here.
Edited by Meadowlark, 26 January 2020 - 06:14 PM.