Why Ragdoll Cats Don’t Hunt Mice (And Aren’t Good Mousers)

If you’re looking for a cat that hunts mice, it’s fair to say ragdolls aren’t your best choice of breed.

Ragdolls are domesticated, indoor house cats with extremely mild and docile temperaments – and because of this, they lack the killer instinct that some other breeds of outdoor cats have.

While some ragdoll cats may catch the occasional mouse from time-to-time, it’s not something they do regularly. Ragdolls certainly have the reflexes required to successfully hunt mice, should they choose to, however their lazy, care-free personalities means they usually can’t be bothered.

Ragdolls are far happier lounging around on their backs at the end of your couch or bed, rather than wasting energy trying to catch mice.

That being said, if your ragdoll is in a playful and energetic mood, there’s a good chance they will have a crack at hunting a mouse should it cross their path.

Our ragdoll, Poppie, loves catching flies, for example (weird, I know – but she’s really good at it).

In this article, I’ll explain more why ragdolls aren’t great at hunting mice and list some cat breeds that are far better at doing it.

Do ragdoll cats hunt mice?

Ragdoll cats don’t typically hunt mice, but still have the sharp natural reflexes to do so. Because ragdolls are domesticated, indoor house cats, they don’t have any need to catch mice for prey as they are well-fed by their owners. Their docile nature also means they’re less likely to hunt mice compared to other cat breeds.

Outdoor cats tend to retain their natural hunting instincts far better than indoor cats, and will often catch mice to eat – or for sport.

Ragdoll cats are well looked after by their owners – getting regularly fed and groomed – and therefore have very little incentive to hunt mice.

That being said, ragdolls do love playing games (including fetch, like dogs) and they will hunt mice if they are in a particularly playful mood and happen to spot one scurrying across the floor of your home.

But generally, ragdolls are less interested in catching mice than other breeds.

Are ragdoll cats mousers?

No, ragdoll cats are not good mousers. Ragdolls are very docile, laid-back and domesticated house cats who don’t have the natural hunting instincts of other outdoor cat breeds. If you want a cat that catches mice, there are many better choices out there than ragdolls.

It’s not ragdolls’ fault that they’re not great mousers – unfortunately, it’s just not in their nature.

Ragdolls are far happier cuddling up next to you on the couch (which is why they make great lap cats) or spending their afternoon snoozing, rather than wasting energy trying to catch mice.

Even though ragdoll cats can be allowed to roam outdoors, provided the environment is enclosed and they are supervised, it’s unlikely they would pursue a mouse if they saw one in the wild.

Instead, they would likely keep their distance, due to their fear of the unknown – and because there’s a good chance they’ve never seen a real-life mouse before.

Which cats are the best for catching mice?

Outdoor cats breeds will always be better at hunting mice than indoor cat breeds, as they retain their natural instincts far better. Typically, short-haired cats are better at hunting mice than long-haired cats, however not always.

After doing some quick Googling, some of the top cat breeds for catching mice include:

  • Siamese
  • Maine Coon
  • Siberian
  • American Shorthair
  • Manx
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Chartreux
  • Persian
  • Turkish Angora
  • Bengal
  • Chausie
  • Abyssinian
  • American Curl
  • Balinese
  • Cymric
  • Burmese

You’ll notice that ragdolls don’t feature on this list, and for good reason – while they are fantastic, friendly cats, ragdolls don’t have the killer instincts needed to be a good mouser.

If you want a cat that catches mice, but is similar in appearance and personality to ragdolls, I’d recommend either a Maine Coon, Balinese or Siberian.

Ragdolls aren’t known for their mice-catching abilities.

Can ragdoll cats catch mice (if they want to)?

Yes, ragdoll cats can catch mice if they want to. Ragdolls, despite being domesticated indoor house cats, still have extremely fast reflexes and would have no problems trapping a mouse if they chose to. However, most of the time, ragdolls will keep to themselves and may even be intimidated by a mouse depending on how big it is.

Our ragdoll, Poppie, has this funny habit of catching flies – she’ll sit and watch the fly’s movements for a while, before deciding on the perfect time to swipe, with a swift jab of her paw.

If she can catch a fly, she would have no problems catching a mouse; I’m sure most other ragdolls would be the same.

Similarly, ragdolls are extremely good at climbing, again demonstrating they are more than nimble enough to trap a mouse, should they wish to.

Do ragdoll cats have hunting instincts?

Ragdoll cats have few, if any, hunting instincts. Ragdolls are domesticated house cats that spend the majority of their lives indoors, dependent on their owners for food, comfort and grooming. Because of this, their natural hunting instincts have been supressed over time to a point where they are virtually non-existent.

Unlike outdoor cats, ragdolls really would struggle to fend for themselves if you, hypothetically, were to drop them out into the wild.

There is a chance their natural survival instincts would return over time, however it’s more likely that they would be extremely scared – even petrified – at being out in the big, wide world on their own.

If you want a cat that you can let roam around outside without supervision and allow them to hunt, for days at a time, you may want to consider a different breed than ragdolls.

Can I teach my ragdoll cat to hunt mice?

Ragdoll cats are extremely intelligent, so there is a chance you could teach yours to hunt mice. However, regardless of how much training you give your ragdoll, it’s likely they’d only ever be comfortable catching mice indoors – in a controlled environment – as the outdoors can sometimes be a little intimidating for them.

Not that I have ever tried this – nor do I plan to – it’s not a stretch to think that you could train your ragdoll to catch mice by simulating it in your home.

First, you could start with some mouse-shaped soft toys, and acclimatise your ragdoll to catching them by throwing them across the floor and getting your cat to pounce on it.

Then, you could graduate to letting some real-life mice free in house and encourage your ragdoll to chase after them and catch them.

Personally, the thought of this grosses me out big-time, and if you want a cat that is a good mouser, I’d simply recommend picking one from the list I detailed earlier rather than trying to train your ragdoll to hunt.

Final message

If you want a cat that catches mice, ragdolls probably aren’t your best choice.

Ragdolls are docile and domesticated and lack the killer instincts required to be good mousers.

If you’re looking for a cat similar to a ragdoll in both appearance and temperament, yet is good at catching mice, you may be better off getting a Maine Coon, Siberian or Balinese breed.