How Your Cat's Used Litter Can Keep Mice Away

Cats have not been seen as an everyday mice infestation solution for some time now. But when we see a little rodent scurry across our kitchen floors, we can't help but wish we had a feline friend to jump into attack mode. Unfortunately, even if you've got a cat, these pet companions aren't the best way to control rodent populations. Especially if your house cat has crowned itself household royalty, it isn't likely to take on a part-time job as a ratter. But luckily, there's a cat accessory that puts off mice and rats: good old-fashioned kitty litter... and a dash of cat urine. 

Rodents find the smell of cat urine to be totally repulsive. And you only need to look at a Tom & Jerry cartoon to understand why. Rodents are the natural prey of cats, so the smell of their urine in the litter will usually make these pests book it in the other direction. With some careful litter placement, you can banish rats and mice from your home. 

It's all about strategy

Take a scoop of the cat urine-laced litter from the litter box and put it in a non-porous disposable container, preferably a plastic bowl or bag. Using a container will make it easy to clean up the litter traps around the house and prevent it from being spread on the floors. Then, place the dish next to where you suspect the rodents are entering the home. Some common entry points for rodents include screenless vents, holes in the walls and foundation, and plumbing systems. 

The smell of your cat's pheromone-soaked litter should prevent rodents from entering the home, so you should see less of Stuart Little and his friends with this hack. But of course, nobody wants used cat litter around their house at all times, so this shouldn't be your only solution when dealing with a rodent infestation. Once you've used the litter trick to hopefully scare the rodents away, try to seal up any holes that they could have previously been passing through. 

Considerations before trying this hack

Make sure to only do this task if you can control the environment completely such as when you're home alone. Do not attempt this if you have small children or other pets as dirty litter is toxic. For this reason, it is not advisable to leave used cat urine exposed in your home for long. Even if it's just in the litter box, it needs to be cleaned out frequently. And while this hack will help keep rodents at bay, it also smells like, well, cat urine. Not ideal. Some animal behaviorists have even noted that mice can lose their fear response to the smell of cat urine over time due to exposure, so even if you think you can stomach having the litter traps set up around the clock, it's actually counter-productive. So only give this trick a try as a short-term solution

If you're struggling with the malodor of the kitty litter, try diffusing some essential oils in the house so you don't have to smell exactly what the mice are. Bonus points if you use peppermint, cinnamon, or citronella scents, as rodents are also thoroughly repulsed by these fragrances.