The cats odor benefits a mouse when the mouse is a male mouse and the odor is that of cat’s urine and the animal that likes the effects of it is a female mouse. In other words the odor of a predator (the cat) benefits the male mouse in this instance and I cannot for the life of me figure out why or what the use of this research is. If you would like you can read a summary of the findings by clicking this link.
What is unusual is that “predator odor” (the cat’s urine) is usually frightening to prey. In this instance the mouse that had inhaled the cat’s urine produced urine himself that proved attractive to the opposite sex. It would seem that exposure by the prey (the male mouse) to the odor of a predator led to the prey becoming more macho and the females like macho mice!
If I am correct in the reading of this badly written summary (sorry) then it would seem that prey exposed to a predator increases the “macho” characteristics of the prey (in this instance the mouse), which is attractive to the opposite sex (the female mouse), which in turn is a beneficial effect. The exposure to cat’s urine also enhanced the aggression and the sex pheromones of the mice. The research was carried out to understand depression. I cannot see a connection! But there is a kind of connection in a round about way to the cat cartoons when a cat chases or becomes friendly with a mouse. Maybe the cat’s presence is making the prey (the mouse) more attractive to the cat.
Photo of cat and mouse is by Tamie Snow *Roxycraft* and published under a creative commons license published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License