Rats are known to be afraid of cats. Even if a mouse has never seen a cat before, he’ll turn tail and hide immediately when one is nearby. Researchers have suspected that the rodents somehow sniff out their would-be assassins, but exactly what they smelled was unclear. Now, scientists and researchers have discovered that when mice detect specific proteins found in cat saliva and rat urine, they react with fear — they have isolated the compound, one of a class of urinary proteins that are secreted by cats, snakes, and a variety of other predators.
However, there’s this short clip of a giant rat attacking a group of cats that recently went viral. There was a bizarre street fight where a giant rat has suddenly attacked four cats in an alley and many netizens were shocked with the rodent’s fearlessness and unexplained behavior. The cats reacted by jumping and screaming and running away from the rodent.
The viral video starts with the rat moving slowly towards a group of cats resting in an alley. Ideally, rats would stay away as soon as they sense a cat nearby, but not this rat. Instead of hiding and running away, the rat proceeded to attack the group of cats! While watching the video, I was like, “Aren’t cats supposed to attack rats, not the other way around?” The huge rat can then be seen in the video trying to bite and jump at the faces of the much bigger cats.
What’s even more surprising was the reaction of the cats toward the crazy rat. There are four of them but instead of using their superior size and strength to overpower the rat, the cats seemed to be in shock and scared out of their wits upon witnessing the behavior of the violent rat!
Doing some research I found out that the behavior of the rat in the said video may be due to a parasite. Toxoplasma gondii is known to remove rodents’ innate fear of cats. Toxoplasma in the brain causes insanity in rats and mice, making them lose their fear of cats. These infected animals might even become attracted to cat odor. The new research shows that even months after infection, when parasites are no longer detectable, the effect remains. This increases the possibility that the microbe causes a permanent structural change in the brain.
Watch the video below:
What do you think of the animals’ behavior?