An animal shelter in Chicago has released over 1,000 feral cats onto Chicago streets since 2012 to help fight the city’s rat infestation.
The Tree House Humane Society spays or neuters the cats after capturing them and then releases the cats into residential and commercial areas, according to the shelter’s website.
1,000 feral cats released onto Chicago streets to tackle rat explosion https://t.co/u5Qq4zazLG pic.twitter.com/rcmLw6lH2z
— The Hill (@thehill) May 12, 2021
Chicago has been ranked number one on the “rattiest cities” list published by the pest control company Orkin for six years straight, according to WGN News.
The cats released back to the streets are part of the Tree House Human Society’s Community Cats program. Cook County passed an ordinance in 2007 that allows the shelter to create managed feral cat colonies. The cats released to kill the rats come from these Community Cat colonies.
The cats usually kill some rats once they arrive at a new location, but they usually don’t eat many rats, according to Liss. “They are actually deterring them with their pheromones. That’s enough to keep the rats away,” Liss said, WGN News reports. (RELATED: Two Cats Live Alone In $1,500 Silicon Valley Apartment)
“Property and business owners provide food water, shelter, and wellness to the cats who work for them,” according to the shelter’s website.
“In most cases, our Cats at Work become beloved members of the family or team and some even have their own Instagram pages!”