Will the Smell of My Cat Keep Mice Away? The Surprising Answer

cat staring at a mouse coming out from a hole

My childhood is stuffed with recollections of watching poor Tom’s endless pursuit of intelligent Jerry and Speedy Gonzales outsmarting Sylvester’s each new searching trick. These iconic cat-and-mouse duos have contributed to the enduring concept that cats will do something to catch their treasured prey. However as a fervent cat lover, I do know that in actual life, cats might be fairly lazy and even detached to the presence of rodents.

However what about mice? Are they actually resourceful, persistent creatures that may invade your private home at will, or is the scent of cats sufficient to maintain them at bay? Sadly, the mere scent of your cat might not be sufficient to discourage mice from getting into your private home. Certainly, these tiny rodents can nonetheless infest your own home even when they sense the presence of your feline companion.

Learn on for an evidence of those animals’ intriguing behaviors.


How Can Mice Detect Your Cat’s Scent?

Mice, even people who have spent their whole life in a analysis lab, act fearfully when uncovered to the scent of sure predators, reminiscent of cats (and rats, foxes, and weasels). These predators produce a chemical sign that generates a worry response in mice.

This fascinating habits has been defined by scientists at Scripps Analysis and printed within the prestigious journal Cell.1 Mice can detect a selected protein present in cat saliva, which acts on the neurons of a sensory organ situated of their nasal cavity, the vomeronasal organ. These chemical alerts brought on the mice to indicate apparent indicators of worry, reminiscent of freezing in place.

mouse coming out from its hiding place
Picture Credit score: Ralphs_Fotos, Pixabay

So, Is Your Cat’s Scent Sufficient to Preserve Mice Away?

Regardless of the outstanding impact that the scent of cats has on mice, it’s unlikely to be sufficient to maintain all of them at bay. For one factor, mice have an enormous benefit over cats: Their measurement permits them to suit into the tiniest of areas. So, whereas they will scent your cat, it might not be sufficient to scare them away if they will discover small holes to cover in and observe the hazard from afar.

Mice are additionally terrific breeding machines: A feminine can have as much as 15 litters a yr, and the typical litter measurement is 10 to 12 pups. This implies one tiny mouse can produce as much as 150 infants per yr! That’s why you may’t anticipate your kitties to catch all of them, even when they’re exceptionally expert mouse hunters.

There’s additionally been a mind-boggling discovery about why mice can proceed to infest houses regardless of the presence of a number of felines: Some rodents can completely lose their innate worry of cats. This distinctive “capability” is because of a microscopic parasite referred to as Toxoplasma gondii that infects the brains of mice. Analysis groups consider that the an infection causes everlasting modifications within the rodents’ brains so the scent of cat urine can now not be detected. The parasite might also straight alter neurons concerned in reminiscence and studying, which might clarify why the affected mice lose their worry of cats completely.

Tips on how to Get Rid of Mice

As you may see, your cat can’t do the job on their very own. So, listed below are a couple of suggestions to assist drive mice out of your private home and keep away from infestation within the first place:

  • Preserve your kitchen counters clear. Decide up crumbs and put meals in hermetic jars.
  • Shut trash cans tightly. Sturdy meals odors are actual mouse magnets.
  • Seal cracks, pipes, and holes so rodents can’t sneak into your private home. Use supplies that mice can’t gnaw on (steel, cement, aluminum foil, metal wool, rooster wire, and so on.). Additionally, examine that they can not match underneath your doorways.
  • For those who suspect that there’s a giant infestation, your only option is to name an exterminator.
dry-cat-food-in-plastic-container
Picture credit score: SURKED, Shutterstock

Remaining Ideas

Whereas the scent of your fiery feline could assist to a sure extent, it’s not a foolproof technique of conserving mice away. For those who’re coping with a mouse drawback, you’ll must take proactive steps to remove people who have already taken up residence and to stop new ones from invading. This will likely embrace sealing entry factors, storing meals in hermetic containers, and utilizing traps or different rodent-control strategies.

That mentioned, you don’t have anything to lose by letting your cat do their half and push back all of the mice which have the misfortune of crossing their path!


Featured Picture Credit score: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

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