Rats have a powerful sense of smell; they can detect odours over long distances and even use scents to communicate. Their keen noses also help them avoid predators and stay away from homes where cats are present. Because of this, many people have tried to use strong smells to keep rats away from their properties, with mixed results. Some people swear by the effectiveness of cotton balls soaked in peppermint and other DIY rat repellants. However, the jury is still out on whether any of these methods actually work. So, what odours do rats really hate?
If there is one smell that is absolutely guaranteed to send rodents scurrying away, it’s cat urine. Cats are among the most effective hunters of rats and other rodents; they know to stay well clear of any felines they encounter. If you own a cat, you can create your own effective rat repellent using kitty litter.
For this to work, you want to buy the cheapest kitty litter you can find. This is because the more expensive brands are often scented and designed to minimise the smell once they have been used. However, the smell is exactly what we’re looking for.
Once your cat has urinated in its litter tray, you want to collect the used litter while wearing gloves and scoop it into a Tupperware container. You don’t need much; try only to collect the litter you know the cat has urinated on.
You can then place these containers outside near doors and windows and let nature do the rest. As soon as any curious rats get a whiff of cat urine, they will know there’s a predator nearby and are less likely to enter your home. It isn’t a perfect repellant, but it is effective and cheap.