Thousand feral cats released on Chicago streets to fight rat infestation

Chicago has topped Orkin’s list of the “most rat-infested cities” in the United States for six years in a row.

A Chicago animal shelter is using feral cats to solve the city’s rat problem.

After humanely capturing the feral cats, the shelter spays or neuters the animals and places them in residential and commercial areas where rodents live as an environmentally friendly rodent control measure.

Only those rescued cats that cannot live in the home environment are placed in the Cats at Work program. Once a working cat is approved for placement, property and business owners are responsible for its welfare.

“Property and business owners provide food, water, shelter and wellness for the cats that work for them. In most cases, our working cats become beloved family or team members,” the shelter’s website says.

“Many of our clients have told us that before they had cats, they would leave the house and rats would run through their legs,” Sarah Liss of Tree House Humane Society told WGN 9.

Although cats sometimes hunt and catch rodents, their presence is a deterrent in itself.

“They scare them away with their pheromones,” Liss said. “It’s enough to deter rats.”

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