Cats and mice. Cat and mouse. Games of cat and mouse. Everybody knows about cats and mice; it’s a stereotype that comes from the fact that cats chase mice, because mice are among domestic cats’ primary prey. They’re good meals, and they’re everywhere, so it’s only natural. However, it seems somewhat counterintuitive that mice would continue to inhabit the same areas of cats, after millennia of being cats’ prey. Yet, there they are. Why? It turns out that cat urine controls mice by way of a chemical found in it.
A chemical in cat urine controls mice? REALLY?
Yes, really. Cats actually might engage in a type of mind control with mice. No, they’re not telepathic, or at least, science hasn’t found them to be telepathic. According to an article on the BBC, research has found that when young mice are exposed to this chemical, they’re less likely to avoid cat scents later in life.
The BBC also says that the chemical can cause pregnant female mice to spontaneously abort. In other words, mice have an actual, physiological response to this chemical. Generally, the chemical increases all the signs of stress in mice, making them more fearful when they smell it.
The way that cat urine controls mice is bizarre, though
It seems, though, that when baby mice are exposed to this chemical during their most formative days, they produce even more stress hormone, but are less likely to react to it. Researchers believe this is because mice need to stay around humans, even though cats also live near humans.
In other words, this is proof of what we’ve always known about cats. They’re able to control minds. Right now, we just think cat urine controls mice. However, we could say that they control our minds, too, through certain behaviors (and not necessarily through their pee). How far that control goes, though, is anybody’s guess.