On 2/14/2018 4:34 AM, David Kastrup wrote:
The mice were running around openly and rather visibly before that.
Already when the cats were confined to one stable cell, the difference
was staggering. When they roamed freely, it was overwhelming. They
couldn't have caught hundreds of mice in that time frame: it's just that
the visibility of the rodents dropped by wagonloads.
Cats are a natural rodent deterrent, even if they're not actively
hunting. Mice can smell urinary proteins secreted by cats, snakes and
other predators. According to a 2010 study at the Scripps Research
Institute, mice don't recognize predators because of experiences with
them but because they have evolved to do so. The mere scent of the
urinary proteins found in cats triggers a fear response in mice.
"It's not like they're even going after the rodents," Sathe says of the
cats. "They're kind of like a sonic force."
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