Mice exposed to cat urine are easy prey

London, July 6 (IANS) Mice that are exposed to the smell of cat urine early in life do not escape from cats later and become an easy prey, says a new study.

Researchers at Russia’s A.N.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution have discovered that mice which smell cat urine early in life do not avoid the odour and, therefore, do not escape from their feline predators later in life.

“Because the young mice (less than 2-weeks-old) are being fed milk while being exposed to the odour, they experience positive reinforcement. So, they don’t escape the cats when exposed to cat odour later on,” said lead researcher Vera Voznesenskaya.

The researchers have identified the molecule in the urine responsible for these effects as L-Felinine.

“We already knew that odour affects reproduction in mice, in fact, this molecule (L-Felinine) is capable of blocking pregnancy in females and reducing the size of the litter,” Voznesenskaya added.

Interestingly, while the mice don’t escape from the odour later in life, they still experience hormonal changes throughout their life.

“Early exposure to cat odour changes behavioural reactions to, but not physiological (hormonal) responses in the mice, which remain elevated. In fact, mice that had experienced the odour showed stress response to cat odours in the same way as controls,” the researcher said.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here