Effectiveness of the Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus) Urine Extracts Odour against Commensal Rodents
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an extract of cat urine odour as a repellant of commensal rodents in houses. Cat urine was drawn and stored frozen in universal bottles at -200C until use. The stored cat urine was then thawed and mixed with maize starch to form a thick dough and then granulated and dried at room temperature before being packed in a hermetically closed jar. Initially, rodent foot marks on tracking soot coat tiles were used to estimate the rat population before the cat urine extracts application. Twenty households with high and low rodent activities were selected purposively in the study area. Ten houses were treated with the urine extracts and ten others were kept untreated (control). Both treated and untreated houses were categorized at two levels (i.e. low and high rodent activities) as determined by the tracking tile foot prints. One tracking tile was placed in each of the selected houses and rodent foot marks were counted. Collected data were subjected to analysis of variance and the results showed a significant difference in rodent activities which however, depended on the sex of the cat that donated the urine base. Female cat urine extract repelled significantly more commensal rodents as compared to male cat urine extract. The repellent effect was observed from day 1 to 4; but not beyond. Our findings suggest that cat urine odour has the potential to repel commensal rodent pest species; with female cat urine being more effective than male cat urine.