What parts of a mouse does a cat not eat? Cats are natural predators, and mice are one of their primary sources of wild prey. When a cat catches a mouse, it typically consumes most of it, but there are parts of a mouse that a cat may not eat.

This article will explore what parts of a mouse a cat might avoid and why.


  • Why Cats May Avoid It: While cats have specialized papillae on their tongues that help them clean themselves, ingesting large amounts of fur can lead to digestive issues. Cats often avoid eating the fur of their prey to prevent furballs or indigestion.
  • What Cats Do: Cats usually lick and groom the fur off the mouse’s body before consuming the rest of the prey.


  • Why Cats May Avoid It: The tail of a mouse contains less meat and more bone and cartilage. It may be less appealing to a cat regarding taste and nutrition.
  • What Cats Do: Cats may leave their tail behind after consuming the more substantial parts of the mouse.

Feet and Claws

  • Why Cats May Avoid It: The tiny bones and hard claws of a mouse’s feet may not be as palatable to a cat. Additionally, the feet and claws provide minimal nutritional value.
  • What Cats Do: Cats often leave the feet and claws of the mouse uneaten.


  • Why Cats May Avoid It: The head of a mouse contains the skull and brain, which are relatively complex and bony. Cats may prefer the softer and meatier body of the mouse.
  • What Cats Do: Cats might leave the head of the mouse behind, especially if they’ve consumed the body.

Internal Organs

  • Why Cats May Avoid It: While cats will eat some internal organs, such as the liver and heart, they may avoid others, like the intestines and stomach, which can be more challenging to digest.
  • What Cats Do: Cats may partially consume the internal organs, but they might not eat them entirely.

Digestive Tract

  • Why Cats May Avoid It: A mouse’s digestive tract, including the stomach and intestines, can contain partially digested plant material. Cats are obligate carnivores and typically don’t consume plant matter willingly.
  • What Cats Do: Cats may leave the mouse’s digestive tract uneaten.


  • Why Cats May Avoid It: The gallbladder of a mouse contains bile, which has a bitter taste. Cats may avoid eating the gallbladder due to its unpleasant flavor.
  • What Cats Do: Cats might leave the gallbladder behind after consuming the rest of the mouse.

Skin and Eyes

  • Why Cats May Avoid It: The skin and eyes of a mouse are not as meaty as the rest of the body, and they may not be as appealing to a cat.
  • What Cats Do: Cats may choose to leave the skin and eyes uneaten.

It’s essential to understand that cats are individuals, and their preferences can vary. While some cats may leave specific parts of a mouse uneaten, others might consume the entire prey. Additionally, domesticated cats often have dietary preferences influenced by the food they are accustomed to eating.

Conclusion: What parts of a mouse does a cat not eat

Cats’ hunting behavior is deeply ingrained; they rely on instinct when catching and consuming prey. In the wild, they might eat specific parts of prey based on nutritional needs and preferences.

Cats fed commercial cat food receive balanced nutrition, so they may not need to consume every part of a mouse. If you have an outdoor cat that hunts, it’s not uncommon to find prey remains, including uneaten parts, near your home.

This behavior is a natural expression of their hunting instincts. While it’s interesting to learn what parts of a mouse a cat might not eat, ensuring that your cat receives a complete and balanced diet from commercial cat food is crucial.