House cats are among the oldest domestic animals on Earth. They basically followed domestication of cereals in the Middle East; mice infiltrated human habitation to eat the stored grain, and cats came in to eat the mice. To this day, house cats behave, unlike other domestic animals, as though they are guests who came in of their own volition.
I'm writing about a world that can be considered an alternate Earth, where there is a civilization rising in an area whose biome is a mixture of prehistoric Europe and America. It turns out this biome does still contain a wild cereal that seems suitable for domestication: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegilops
But it does not have house cats for when mice start eating the stored grain; it has the American bobcat, but that is not suitable for domestication.
So what to do about mice? Maybe they need to invent mousetraps early, though will mousetraps work in a grain storage building where the bait will be swamped by the local abundance of food?
Or: ferrets are native to Europe and America, and they eat mice! And they have been domesticated. But reading about ferrets, everyone talks about their use for hunting rabbits, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of discussion about their value in eating mice. Is that because ferrets have some disadvantage that I'm not aware of? Or is it just that this job in our world was already being satisfactorily done by cats, and ferrets would be valued for it in the absence of house cats?