Feline Defense: Does Cat Smell Deter Rats ?

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Rats can smell predators when they are nearby or when they have established a presence. They can detect scents from predatory birds, reptiles, and even humans. I’m curious if someone has a cat as a pet, does cat smell deter rats?

Yes, if they’re smart, cat smell deters rats. Rats can smell their predators, so they know if cats are in your house. Rats are frequently scared away by the mere smell of cat urine and litter.

According to studies, when rats detect cat urine, they are trained to move away from it. Read the entire article to learn more about how rats protect themselves from predators.

Will Rats Stay Away From Cats?


Rats may be eaten by cats, but they are also kept away from homes by them because they leave no urine behind when they mark their territory. Even a cat’s scent can cause rats to flee. People reported that they haven’t seen any rats since the cats arrived.

The world over, keeping cats is one of the most natural ways to get rid of rodents. If people have a natural mouser, be aware that it will also catch voles, lizards, frogs, and birds. If peoples keep guinea pigs, rats, or hamsters as pets in the house, they might even run into issues.

There is no assurance that the cat people decide to adopt will have a preference for capturing rodents, but that is irrelevant. People will discover whether or not their cat hunt but the mere scent of pussy will drive rat and rats away.

Are Rats Scared Of Cat Smell?

Rats Stay Away From Cats

Yes, rats are scared of cats’ smells. Researchers in the US have found that rats exhibit a fear response when they encounter particular proteins present in cat and rat urine and saliva. These proteins, known as Mups, act on cells in the mouse’s vomeronasal organ, a special sensory organ.

Neurons in the olfactory system organ recognize chemical signals. The brain regions that regulate memories, mood, and hormone secretion are related to the organ.

Pheromones, which are brain chemicals used to communicate between individuals of the same species, are already known to be recognized by many mammals. The behavior of animals is immediately affected by these pheromones.

The researchers discovered that chemical signals from predators stimulated the specialized sensory organ’s neurons in rats. These proteins made the rat freeze in fear. If the cat gets too close to the cage of rats, it completely freezes. Rats remain that way even after the cat has left.

Can A Cat Smell A Rat In The House?

Rat In The House

Cats have superior senses, particularly the sense of smell, which allows them to detect rats and other rodents in their homes. A cat has 70,000 smell receptors as opposed to a human’s 20,000, making its sense of smell fourteen times stronger.

This incredible odor enables these cherished pets to detect any fuzzy invaders who may be making themselves at home in your home.

Cats can taste smells with their mouths, as well as smell them with their noses. Cats frequently use their mouths to detect a specific scent thanks to the Jacobson’s Organ, also known as the Vomeronasal Organ, which is a sensory organ in the back of their mouths.

Flehmen response: a cat opening its mouth, scrunching its nose, and raising its head in response to a particularly potent scent. This response occurs when a cat begins to smell a specific scent using its Jacobson’s Organ rather than its nose.

Can A Rat Hurt A Cat?

Rat Hurt A Cat

Rats are by far the most prevalent pest that can harm cats. Rats carry a slew of dangerous diseases that can easily be passed on to cats. Rat urine and droppings contain germs and diseases, which can pollute cat food and water supplies.

As a result, it is extremely dangerous to keep cat food in a shed or outhouse. Even the toughest plastic containers can be chewed through by rats. Rats can transmit the following diseases:

  • Toxoplasmosis – The parasite Toxoplasmosis gondii can be transmitted to cats if they consume rat meat. In cysts that develop in the rat’s muscle, the parasites grow.
  • Rat Bite Fever is caused by rat bites or scratches, or by ingesting rat droppings.
  • Cats that eat rats may become infected with tapeworms, which can have long-term health consequences for them.
  • Leptospirosis is passed on to cats from rats by sniffing, ingesting, or licking rat urine.

Are Cats Good At Killing Rats?

Yes, cats are good at killing rats. Cats are adept at capturing rats. According to one study, domestic cats are responsible for the extinction of at least 63 known species.

Despite their history of being effective killers, cats don’t appear to be very good at spotting rats, according to recent research.

For more than two months, a team of researchers observed how a pack of five feral cats affected the rat population in a waste disposal facility.

The 306 videos the researchers took revealed that every day, at least three cats were present near the rats and were engaged in the activity.

Despite spending daily time with the rats, the cats only attempted to kill them three times despite stalking them 20 times. They only succeeded in killing them twice. The researchers did note that rats were 1.19 times more likely to seek safety and concealment after spotting a cat.

Does Cat Poop Attract Rats?

Cat Poop

Rats have been known to become drawn to the smell of cat poop as a result. In other words, the parasite alters the way that mice and rats think, increasing their propensity to run out in front of cats where they will be caught, killed, and eaten.

The parasite T. gondii has the following life cycle: It reproduces in a cat’s intestine and excretes the parasite in its feces. Rats then consume the parasite when they consume cat feces-contaminated food or water.

The parasite settles in the rat’s brain, and when the rat is eaten by a cat, the cycle begins all over again.

For a few years, scientists have known that rats with toxoplasma infection lose their natural fear of the smell of cat urine. 

The question of how a parasite influences rat brain function is particularly intriguing given that Toxoplasma infections can occur in a variety of animals besides just cats and rats.

Will Rat Leave If They Smell A Cat?

Yes, rats will flee if they smell a cat. Rats are aware of the extreme forms released by predator odors, which are present in the fur, hair, spit, pee, or excrement of many predator species and induce protective responses in rats.

Rats may be eaten by cats, but they are also kept away from homes by them because they do not use urine to mark their territory, but rather by rubbing up against objects. Even the smell of a cat can cause rats to flee.

The cats will eliminate a large portion of the rat population once they are in place, and once the other rats smell the cats’ pheromones, they will flee the area.

Although cats have been used as a pest control method for thousands of years, they do have the skills needed to hunt and catch any rodents or household pests.

Do Rats Come Into Houses With Cats?

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No, rats do not come into the house with cats. Furthermore, rats can get into spaces in homes that a cat cannot. It’s tempting to hide poison in nooks and corners that cats can’t get into.

Even though they aren’t mousers, cats are a highly effective deterrent in the areas of the house that they can access. Rats will try and avoid being caught in the open if they can because cats, one of their top predators, have a foul odor.

People will only be able to prevent rats from entering their living areas because cats cannot reach rats once they are back inside the walls of the house, or in the floorboards and attics.

Which Smells Deter Rats Other Than Cat Smell?


Rats have an acute sense of smell. Rats can be repelled from gardens by using natural scents like:

  • Clover plants are extremely aromatic, which may explain why they are so effective at repelling rats.
  • Capsaicin is a compound found in spicy scents such as hot sauce and chili powder. This peppery taste and smell, on the other hand, repels rats and other mammals.
  • Onions, like garlic, have a very distinguishable and strong odor. This is because they contain sulfur-containing compounds. These sulfuric compounds, like allicin, emit a strong odor that makes rats think twice about approaching.
  • Another application for household ammonia is rat repellent. Ammonium hydroxide works best when some rags or cotton balls are soaked in it and then placed in open bags or containers.
  • In a 2014 study, three concentrations of eucalyptus oil—5%, 10%, and 20%—were added to food. The food repulsed rats at all three concentrations.


Guinea pigs are domesticated animals, and squirrels do not attack them despite their friendly relationship. Squirrels and Guinea pigs are generally friendly creatures that enjoy socializing. Guinea pigs are social animals, so keeping them with other animals is usually not an issue.

Guinea pigs are herbivores and never eat meat. They will quickly turn away while nibbling on it. As a result, guinea pigs are not at risk of cannibalism.

However, some squirrels will eat guinea pig food if they have been fed it their entire lives or if it is the only source of food available. The guinea pig can detect predators.

Guinea pig hearing is far more advanced and responsive than human hearing. Guinea pigs can detect predators in addition to having an excellent sense of smell. Because of their color vision, guinea pigs can identify predators, but they have very limited depth perception.


Temporal and Space-Use Changes by Rats in Response to Predation by Feral Cats in an Urban Ecosystem

Perrine Delime, Kadri Koppel, Pascal Pachot, Aurelie De Ratuld, How the odor of pet food influences pet owners’ emotions: A cross cultural study, Food Quality and Preference, Volume 79, 2020