This scientific research into the effect of a chemical in cat urine on mice has me baffled.
The researchers in Moscow (AN Severtov Institute of Ecology and Evolution) found that when very young mice were exposed to a chemical in cat urine (I don’t know what chemical) they are less likely to avoid the scent when they are adults.
If they become less fearful around cat pee it does not mean that mice are less fearful of cats does it? It just means they are less fearful of the scent of cat’s pee.
When do mice stumble upon cat’s pee? Not very often I’d have thought. When a cat marks territory a mouse might come across it but that does not mean the mouse bumps into the cat who deposited the pee on the fence. So at present I don’t see the purpose of this research.
The BBC journalist reporting on this research writes that cats employ ‘chemical warfare on mice’. I presume she is alluding to the idea that mice are less frightened of cats when habituated to cat urine and therefore are easier to catch. However, the research does not seem to be stating that.
Also, this research does not sit squarely with research in Tanzania in which cat urine was used as a rat deterrent. Female cat urine was the best deterrent.
I’ll leave it there as it is late and it is time to turn in. There does seem to be some spurious research into cats on the internet these days. Does anyone know more about this cat pee research?