Why Do Cats Eat The Heads Off Mice?

The short answer to this question is: Cats eat the heads off mice because it’s the best part of the body to devour. Like any predator animals out there, they will dive in on eyes and face as part to attack and eat.

It’s not unusual to see a cat eating off the heads of mice.

Most of the time, cats will eat mice wholly. However, there will be instances when they would only go for the head, discarding the lower part.

But why is the head the best part?

Let’s find out more!

Why do cats rip heads off?

For cats, the tail, together with the rear part of a mouse can be trash, while the head is the treat.

The head is the best because it contains the eyes, and the eyes are the ones that attract the best.

Even if your cat, or any other cat for that matter, isn’t hungry, they won’t be able to resist those tiny, dead, black eyes.

Your cat may pass if you offer a meat cube, but it won’t say no to a mouse head, as it is genuinely desirable to chew.

Further, as predators, their instinct is to kill. Thus, cats tend to hunt and kill mice even if they are still full.

The head of a mouse, for this matter, represents their prey. They may eat it wholly if they’re hungry. But if they aren’t, they will just go for the head.

What does it have to do with the cats bringing the remains of their hunting game to their owners?

Cats are social creatures, and they look at humans as someone with poor hunting instincts.

By bringing the remains, they may be trying to show us how to hunt.

For other reasons, cats probably present their owner a gift, proclaiming they did it for him.

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Why do cats bring gifts to their owners?

In bringing gifts to owners, spayed female cats can be the prominent one.

Cats bringing gifts to their owners have their reasons for doing so.

In the wild, mother cats teach their young how to eat food by bringing in dead or weakened prey.

In the eyes of cats, we humans have a weak hunting instinct. They think that we can’t hunt the same as they do.

Through a gift, that is, the remains of their hunt, they act as mothers and teachers to us.

Now, you may wonder why cats eat mice.

Why do cats eat mice?

Cats eat mice because it is in their nature as predator animals.

Cats are felines, and for them, hunting is an innate behavior.

Thus, it is vital that your cat, or any other cat for that matter, exercise this ability.

It doesn’t matter if they are only hunting cat toys or even feathered fishing poles.

Domestic cats live mostly indoors. Thus, their hunting activities are lesser, since they don’t have access to a lot of mice.

In the wild, mother cats teach their feral kittens how to kill and hunt their prey.

For this reason, domestic cats often don’t know how to hunt. Thus, you will see them playing with anything they catch.

They may even bring you a live one to kill because they don’t know how to do so. This act is what other cat owners call “offering.”

Cat with dead mouse

Can cats eat the whole mouse?

Cats can eat the whole mouse. But it depends on the circumstances.

For example, if someone or something threatens to take their mouse, they might eat it whole.

This instance happens most when a cat is living with a bunch of other cats.

If your cat is alone, it may take its time nibbling on its game’s guts for a while.

Another factor that can make a difference would be the size of the mouse that it caught.

Depending on the size of the mouse, your cat may eat the entire thing.

If it’s bigger, then your cat would need to chew it in a few bites.

Have you ever wondered why cats eat their babies? Read here.

Should I let my cat kill a rat?

If you own a cat, you have probably wondered if it’s safe for them to eat a rat.

It is reasonable since, in the first place, rats are famous for carrying loads of bacteria.

For this reason, the short answer is No. You should not let your cat chase a mouse for your pet’s safety.

Most people think that house cats play an important role in eating and hunting mice.

But, it’s not entirely true. You don’t need to worry much about your cat devouring a mouse at any time.

Most domesticated cats don’t even want to deal with mice and rats.

They might chase and toy with one until it gets away or dies.

Even so, it’s not likely that they’ll eat it if they kill it successfully.

Your cat may just leave it lying around dead after playing with it.

It is a normal thing for cats to hunt a mouse and eat it sometimes.

Even though it looks gross, it’s completely healthy and even fun for your feline pet.

If you still worry about your cat in any case, the best thing to do would be to offer them cat toys to play.

That way, you can take their attention away from loitering mice by making them focus on the toy.

Even though eating a mouse can be dangerous, it’s okay to let your cat be if it keeps on chasing a mouse.

Mice as prey: Are mice attractive to cats?

Mice are prey animals, and they make an easy target for predators.

Mice have the perfect size for little paws, and they don’t put up much of a fight.

Cats are famous pouncers, and they are predators who love to stalk their target and wear them down.

The mouse’s flittering, skittering, and unpredictable movements are enticing to cats.

Thus, a treat satiates a cat’s craving for meat protein and their hunting desire.

Now the question is how do they do it?

How does a cat kill a mouse?

Cats may kill a mouse by merely chasing and pouncing on them.

However, on the side of the mice, a lot of things can be happening.

With their tiny bodies, mice’s cause of death tends to be invisible in our naked eyes.

There are a few causes that primarily lead to their death. And most of these happen because of our cats.

First, they have rapid heart rates, and the smaller ones have a vulnerability to their prey.

With a “cat play,” an internal injury to these little creatures can be an invitation to death.

Aside from that, cats are excellent at shaking their prey and breaking their necks.

With mice ending up immediately in a cat’s mouth, we often overlook this fact.

Being in the jaws of a cat can be quite shocking to these rodents.

Thus, even before they get chewed up. It’s most likely that the mouse already passed out due to extreme shock.

Even so, the leading cause of death would be pretty much another internal injury or a broken body.

Can you tell if your cat ate a mouse? Let’s find out!

What are the signs your cat ate a mouse?

It’s hard to tell if your cat has eaten a mouse, as they usually eat clean.

Mice are so tiny for cats to munch it in pieces. Thus, eating mice isn’t as messy as other predators digging on their prey.

The scene would usually end up clean and with the absence of any blood spills.

Even so, cats tend to leave remains of the mouse they caught, especially when they only eat the heads.

In this case, they would leave the remains out in the open for you to see.

If you frequently see mice remain in your area, it might be because your cat has been eating them.

What can happen to your cat if it eats a mouse?

What happens if your cat eats a mouse? Can your cat get rabies from rats?

Cats eating a mouse is a regular thing. Still, it can be dangerous for your cat.

Mice can carry roundworms, aside from other bacteria it brings. These roundworms can take a toll on your cat.

If you worry about your cat getting infected by rabies for eating a rat, it will be highly unlikely to happen.

Small rodents like rats and mice seldom carry rabies in them. Further, they have transmitted it to humans, much less to cats that eat them.

Further, with cats eating only the head and discarding the body, there will be a lesser possibility for it.


  • Cats eat the heads off mice because it’s the best part of the body to devour.
  • It’s the best part because it contains the eyes, and it’s what attracts cat the most.
  • While they can eat the entire mouse, they may discard the lower part. This diet includes the body, intestines, and tail parts.
  • Cats bring the remains of their game to owners. They do this as a form of teaching us how to hunt. Further, it is also a form of sharing their food.
  • Cats eat mice because they are natural predators, and they are inclined to hunt mice when they see one.
  • If you are worried about your cat getting sick, you shouldn’t let it kill a rat. Still, it’s part of a cat’s nature, and it’s perfectly normal to see them hunt a rat.
  • Mice are prey animals, and they become an easy target for predators, including rats.
  • Cats can kill mice by merely pouncing on them. However, other factors can kill mice, such as shock and other internal injuries.
  • It’s hard to tell if your cat ate a mouse, as they eat clean. You can see if your cat discards the body and leaves it for you to see.
  • Cats can get sick from eating a mouse, but not with rabies.

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