snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Critters Archive » Catnip repels rats?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Catnip repels rats?
DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 15 posted      Profile for DawnStorm   E-mail DawnStorm   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I read this somewhere, but it sounds way too cutesy to me.

--------------------
Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

Posts: 4771 | From: The Berkeley of the East Coast: Montgomery County MD | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jay Tea   E-mail Jay Tea   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Miss Bardswell, in The Herb Garden, writes of Catmint:
'Before the use of tea from China, our English peasantry were in the habit of brewing Catmint Tea, which they said was quite as pleasant and a good deal more wholesome. Ellen Montgomery in The Wide, Wide World made Catmint Tea for Miss Fortune when she was ill. It is stimulating. The root when chewed is said to make the most gentle person fierce and quarrelsome, and there is a legend of a certain hangman who could never screw up his courage to the point of hanging anybody till he had partaken of it. Rats dislike the plant particularly, and will not approach it even when driven by hunger.'

Apparently is was planted extensively by early Britons as a screen around crops to protect from rat damage.

Also makes nice tea...

--------------------
This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

Posts: 6552 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Moosedog
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
If it doesn't repel the rats, it will attract cats, who will take care of the rats, so the results would be the same.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Candy Q. Is Already From A Book
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I was going to say essentially what Moosedog did: "I suppose in a kind of roundabout way it might... it'd attract cats, whose smell might repel the rats."

-Candy "Or the cats could eat 'em" Q.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
CatoSH
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
But could your average domestic moggie take a rat? They're pretty vicious (rats that is).

Hub said on his farm the dogs were all ratters, but the cats stayed well clear, prefering to make do with mice and small birds. One of the cats went for a seagull and had its eye put out. He maintains that the average cat can't actually catch/kill a rat -- although I sometimes wonder if our cat tries, as she frequently comes back with injuries like chipped fangs and notches out of her ears and fang-like bite marks (with the puncture holes too close together to be from another cat)...

ETA: I found this on the internet (Canadian government site giving advice on pest control)
quote:
Some cats do catch rats, but a cornered adult rat can seriously injure a cat.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jay Tea   E-mail Jay Tea   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My University town supported a population of very hard sewer rats Catosh, and the local domestic cats were also nails and frequently they'd kick off.

I saw single rats defending themselves viciously against two or more cats who were 'playing' with them before they got bored and slayed the individual. A common sight in the morning would be a dead cat, clearly killed by rats who successfully cornered their victim and overpowered it.

As for catnip - cats aren't in the least bit interested in the plant if it has grown from seed - it was planted around crops because the rats do not like the scent, not because it attracts cats...

--------------------
This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

Posts: 6552 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dark Jaguar
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dark Jaguar   E-mail Dark Jaguar   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Interesting... I was thinking something along the lines of "That cat is always covered in catnip, that rat always runs from the cat, ergo, the rat must hate catnip!".
Posts: 958 | From: United States | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jason Threadslayer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I've heard that it is mint will repel rats:

quote:
You can also use mint plants (Mentha cordiphobia) to scare the rats away. Rats hate the smell of mint. If you cut up the mint leaves and stems, crush them and boil them in water, you can use the mixture to spray or simply apply in places where the rats go. Make the mixture as concentrated as possible.


--------------------
All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jay Tea   E-mail Jay Tea   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Catnip is is a type of mint Jason' [Wink]

--------------------
This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

Posts: 6552 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Joseph Z   E-mail Joseph Z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Well there are some things that do repel pests or even kill them. But I doubt Catnip is a repellant to rats. I understanded from 'Home Improvement' comedy show that fish are repelled from odd odors like sawdust cologne.

--------------------
Joseph Z

Posts: 1356 | From: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Moosedog
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CatoSH:
But could your average domestic moggie take a rat? They're pretty vicious (rats that is).

[QUOTE]

My neighbor's demented Siamese (redundant, I know) certainly does. My aunt has a Maine Coon lookalike who certainly does.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dark Jaguar
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dark Jaguar   E-mail Dark Jaguar   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My mom has a siamese who, quite obviously by her behavior, never learned how to surive in the wild (she yowled like she was getting murdered when she first saw grass).

However, being a siamese, her instincts pushed her to train herself how to hunt. Now she's constantly bringing back all sorts of dead things. Honestly though, the only thing that really disturbs me is that one time she apparently brought back a dead kitten.

Posts: 958 | From: United States | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
CatoSH
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
One of my cats is Siamese, but I don't think she could take a rat. She's a good hunter though, and is always bringing back mice and small birds (bless! not.) Once she brought back what appeared to be a pigeon, and I was well impressed (or would have been, had it not been decaying behind by bathroom sink unit for some weeks before I discovered the source of the odour).
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
The Joy of Booking
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Wikipedia says that a chemical in Catnip repels cockroaches and mosquitos.

Not that relates to rats at all, but at least it does repel *some* 'pests'.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Llewtrah   Author's Homepage   E-mail Llewtrah   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
As for catnip - cats aren't in the least bit interested in the plant if it has grown from seed - it was planted around crops because the rats do not like the scent, not because it attracts cats...
I grow catnip from seed (to make catnip mice for shelter kitties) and I have to protect it from the cats ergo cats ARE interested in catnip if it has grown from seed. Catnip is a plant; plants grow from seeds so the quoted statement actually makes no sense. Only about 50% of cats react to catnip and sexually immature cats generally don't react to it.

As for rats, take it from me that they don't take a blind bit of notice of catnip! B/f has had a rat problem and the rats take no notice of the (growing and dried) catnip he has around the place for his cat. His cat doesn't take rats, but did bring back next door's cat's kittens which she regarded as prey; luckily he rescued them from her.

Regarding whether cats will kill rats, some cats specialise in rats. Nipper, a "trusty" at the local shelter, used to bring back several rats each night from a nearby farm. My friend's Siamese (now gone to the great cat basket in the sky) used to take rats and squirrels. It's a specialist skill and not all cats will tackle rats, particularly because rat bites can set up deadly infections.

--------------------
Messybeast Cat Resource Archive
Llewtrah's Soapbox

Posts: 2040 | From: Chelmsford, Essex, England | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jay Tea   E-mail Jay Tea   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
You are being very subjective Llewtrah – I’m not trying to say that catnip repels all rats, even to this day – there wouldn’t be any problems now would that this were true – I was primarily referring to catnip as an historical agricultural solution, and there is no shortage of information on the web to back this up, and local populations have been kept out of local gardens by sowing catnip for generations, but it’s unlikely to deter urban sewer rats for example. Oh and to make myself clear – apparently cats don’t go for ‘sown’ catnip, as opposed to ‘planted’ – you have your experience that contradicts this but it doesn’t mean there’s no truth in it.
quote:
'If you set it, the cats will eat it,
If you sow it, the cats don't know it.'

And it seems to be a fact that plants transplanted are always destroyed by cats unless protected, but they never meddle with the plants raised from seed, being only attracted to it when it is in a withering state, or when the peculiar scent of the plant is excited by being bruised in gathering or transplanting.

‘Rats dislike the plant particularly, and will not approach it even when driven by hunger.'

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/catmin36.html

quote:
Catnip is also said to repel rats and mice. A strong infusion can be sprayed on crops to keep vermin and insects off of them. Freshly picked catnip leaves can be rubbed onto your pet's coat to drive fleas away. This must be repeated often.
http://felidaeworld.com/grassnip.html

Interestingly, a google search on ‘catnip RATS’ has this very page as it’s first hit [Wink]

--------------------
This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

Posts: 6552 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Faith
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Faith     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Can I go off topic a minute to ask what is happening in the mind of a cat that when it eats Catnip? I've seen a couple of cats start behaving really oddly - jumping at what seem to be invisible creatures, rolling around etc etc. Is this normal or were the cats I saw (not my own, round at a friend's house when I was much younger) atypical in their reactions? I mean, he active ingredient is Valerian, isn't it? Wouldn't it sedate them?

--------------------
"You watched it. You can't UNWATCH it."

Posts: 1646 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Llewtrah   Author's Homepage   E-mail Llewtrah   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
'If you set it, the cats will eat it,
If you sow it, the cats don't know it.'

This is still incorrect and, I believe, a myth. I've sown catnip (later on I had to grow the seeds in pots under protective chicken wire). Cats are still attracted to it. Possibly the saying refers to the very young plants that aren't yet producing nepetalactone (the psychoactive compound) or to hybridised plants that lack the active ingredient, but any gardener/cat-lover who grows catnip from seed will find themselves the centre of feline attention. Since all catnip must be sown (even if it is later transplanted), the couplet is incorrect in its assumption. I believe it relates to the age of the plant (or size when transplanted from the nursery bed into the pots or final location) and its ability to produce sufficient of the active ingredient. If you leave the seedlings to reach the same size and age, they get rolled flat by stoned cats!

quote:
Can I go off topic a minute to ask what is happening in the mind of a cat that when it eats Catnip? I've seen a couple of cats start behaving really oddly - jumping at what seem to be invisible creatures, rolling around etc etc. Is this normal or were the cats I saw (not my own, round at a friend's house when I was much younger) atypical in their reactions? I mean, he active ingredient is Valerian, isn't it? Wouldn't it sedate them?
The compound doesn't need to be eaten, though cats in the throes of ecstasy will eat it. The active ingredient is nepetalactone; the vapour stimulates the same pathways that process sexual excitement hence immature cats rarely show any effect, but adults roll about in ecstasy and may show general exuberant behaviour. In addition, there is a rough 50/50 split between cats that react to nepetalactone and cats that don't, which indicate a genetic component to catnip sensititivity.

www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/ethylacetate/catnip.htm
among other places.

ETA: if it doesn't deter sewer rats, what species of rat exactly does it deter? Only Black Rats? Only Brown Rats? Why would "sewer rats" be immune to it if rats of the same species living in a different location are allegedly repelled by it?

--------------------
Messybeast Cat Resource Archive
Llewtrah's Soapbox

Posts: 2040 | From: Chelmsford, Essex, England | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jay Tea   E-mail Jay Tea   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
In the same way that a sewer rat will not be detered by a 15 stone human bearing down on it with a broom, whereas a barn rat will turn tail at the scent of a man - you environment is very important in terms of what you will put up with, i'm not suggesting a species-wide immunity or otherwise, just one based on enivoronment, and I believe catnip must have had some effect on rats for ancient farmers to plant it to protect their crops regardless of your personal experience with urban vermin.

As for the sowing and planting thing, well your evidence is enough for me to concede that might be wives tale stuff.

A cursory glance at the web suggests an 80/20 split in favour of feline succeptibility to catnip. I'd be a mighty pissed off mog if I fell into the 20% without the gene - those cats sound like they really love the stuff! [Smile]

--------------------
This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

Posts: 6552 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Troodon     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Tea:
...a sewer rat will not be detered by a 15 stone human bearing down on it with a broom...

You mean it is not normal to deter sewer rats with one's mere presence? I must be ugly...

--------------------
Fools! You've over-estimated me!

Posts: 3745 | From: New York City | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Moosedog
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Faith:
Can I go off topic a minute to ask what is happening in the mind of a cat that when it eats Catnip? I've seen a couple of cats start behaving really oddly - jumping at what seem to be invisible creatures, rolling around etc etc. Is this normal or were the cats I saw (not my own, round at a friend's house when I was much younger) atypical in their reactions? I mean, he active ingredient is Valerian, isn't it? Wouldn't it sedate them?

The feline nervous system is a strange thing; I have read in veterenary texts that opium derivitaves (morphia, etc.) act as stimulants to felines, while they are sedatives/soporifics to most other mammals. I have read that catnip acts on the same part of the feline brain that marijuana acts on in the human brain; catnip, of course, has no effect on humans.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Danger Echidna
Petty Experimentalist


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Danger Echidna   Author's Homepage   E-mail Danger Echidna   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Moosedog:
catnip, of course, has no effect on humans.

I doubt it's true, but I seem to remember reading in a couple spots that smoking catnip can give people a mild high. I wasn't able to find much about it on the Internet except for this.
Posts: 63 | From: Michigan | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
kjbrasda
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for kjbrasda   Author's Homepage   E-mail kjbrasda   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CatoSH:
But could your average domestic moggie take a rat? They're pretty vicious (rats that is).

Hub said on his farm the dogs were all ratters, but the cats stayed well clear, prefering to make do with mice and small birds. One of the cats went for a seagull and had its eye put out. He maintains that the average cat can't actually catch/kill a rat -- although I sometimes wonder if our cat tries, as she frequently comes back with injuries like chipped fangs and notches out of her ears and fang-like bite marks (with the puncture holes too close together to be from another cat)...

ETA: I found this on the internet (Canadian government site giving advice on pest control)
quote:
Some cats do catch rats, but a cornered adult rat can seriously injure a cat.

My husband had a (normal sized) cat that would regularly bring home rabbits (not very viscious but they can hurt a cat pretty bad with their hind legs/claws)
It once brought home a raccoon as big as itself. A rat would probably have been no problem. ^_^

--------------------
"Long ago, when we all lived in the forest..."
Who are you? Who? Who?

Posts: 1587 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ranran yousei
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Moosedog:
I have read that catnip acts on the same part of the feline brain that marijuana acts on in the human brain; catnip, of course, has no effect on humans.

Actually, it does.

Catnip is considered a sedative for humans, and often used for colds and congestion.

Link 1

Link 2

Source page for previous links.

About Medpix.


Take what you want from it (Links 1 & 2 aren't the greatest), I know not everyone believes herbs do anything but make you high (if anything), but it's used around the world for numerous things (it's also a traditional women's herb for "that time of the month" in some cultures. I know I need a sedative then. [Big Grin] )


Catnip doesn't make us slobbering mounds of useless flesh (like it does my cat), but it has some effect on people, enough so that it's been used for centuries.


ranran "meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow!" yousei

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Moosedog
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ranran yousei:

Catnip doesn't make us slobbering mounds of useless flesh (like it does my cat), [/QB]

And this is different from what a cat is like WITHOUT catnip because. . . . ?
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ranran yousei
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Moosedog:
quote:
Originally posted by ranran yousei:

Catnip doesn't make us slobbering mounds of useless flesh (like it does my cat),

And this is different from what a cat is like WITHOUT catnip because. . . . ?
"slobbering"
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
RubyMoon
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for RubyMoon   E-mail RubyMoon   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I've got a pair of elderly kitties who are slbbering moungs of useless flesh most of the time -- except when they are high on catnip -- then they act like kittens, and jump on everything -- for about 15 minutes -- until they pass out.
Posts: 280 | From: Maryland | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Four Kitties   E-mail Four Kitties   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I'd just like to say that Clio, my 17-year-old toothless arthritic formerly-illegal-dorm cat caught a mouse in the back yard yesterday evening. Her first one! This must have been one really stupid mouse.

She brought it right to Mommy, of course, and I made her let it go. Not a mark on it -- toothless, remember? I told her she was a brave and mighty huntress, but she's still PO'd that I wouldn't let her gum it to death.

Four Five Kitties

--------------------
If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

Posts: 13275 | From: Kindergarten World, Massachusetts | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Xia   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Well, it doesn't repel MY rats! [Wink] They actually seem to like the catnip I gave them...
I have TONS of catnip in the garden so I figured maybe the rats would like it, since my cat doesn't go through it very fast. Boy does that stuff GROW! At least it does when you have dogs and so the stray cats never go in your yard!

Think I should test mint next? I have plenty of that growing in the garden as well...

--------------------
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

Posts: 2110 | From: Chicago, IL | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
utaeladil
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dobermans Know They Are CooL:
I read this somewhere, but it sounds way too cutesy to me.

Sorry for the delay - I had to wait on registration to come thru and by now this thread is probably out of date. I found this thread on snopes.com because I was searching for information on catnip. Below is a URL which says that one of the key ingredients in catnip is nepatalactone which resembles a chemical found in female cat urine...so I would imagine that a large quantity of catnip which cats and possibly rats think smell like cat urine, there is a good chance the rat may not get too close...

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&cat=1406&articleid=1131

PS probably only would repel wild rats...my pet rat here is used to cats and she does not seem to be bothered by it...so environment is probably a factor too. I'd say any rat which would normally turn and run away from a cat would be repelled by catnip.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Joseph Z   E-mail Joseph Z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I remembered Catz/Dogz PC simulator game. I fed my dog catnip and strangely he was drunk as a skunk and didn't die from it. [Big Grin]

--------------------
Joseph Z

Posts: 1356 | From: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Xia   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
I remembered Catz/Dogz PC simulator game. I fed my dog catnip and strangely he was drunk as a skunk and didn't die from it. [Big Grin]

Ahhh yes... I have several Petz computer game versions. It's a lot of fun to leave a bunch of catnip around the room and watch the Petz act drunk hehe [lol]


Ok I take back what I said about cats staying out of my yard because of the dogs... I was cleaning up some debris today including a bag which was covering the remains of the catnip plant in my garden (a small amount of wet, gross-looking leaves) and afterwards a black cat came over the fence and went directly to the catnip. I've never seen a cat in the catnip before now, and found it surprising that the catnip would still smell 'good' in the middle of the winter!

--------------------
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

Posts: 2110 | From: Chicago, IL | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2