Does Cat Litter ward off mice only if there is Kitty Poop in it?

Similar to the theory that fox urine and coyote urine will ward off deer, is it true that cat littler wards off mice? I would think that the place where a cat urinates and deficates would be off limits to the mouse kingdom, I know in our house we have mice in the attic and in some of the walls, but nary a mouse to be found in the basement where the litter is [cat poop included]. When we went to the west coast for a few days, and we had the cats stay with a sitter, [ so the litter was gone… and no cats in the house] we came home to a family of mice in our basement. They soon vacated when the siamese attack kittens were re-introduced to their lair.

So what do people think? Does Cat litter alone ward off mice? Or does there have to be active micturation and defication to make the spell work correctly?

I suspect your cats are killing and/or eating the mice in the basement. I seriously doubt the presence of the litter box has anything to do with it.

If the mice have experience with cats, then the scent of them attached to litter box may provide some deterrent, however, I suspect that KSO up there has it right; the presence of the actual cat is likely a far more effective mouse deterrent than any putative effects the litter box might have. Even if the cats are complete dunces when it comes to hunting technique, they can still frighten the mice out of the area.