The city of Chicago may be on the path to earning a new nickname. Where it was once known as the Windy City, maybe we should name it the Rat Capital.
For the past six years, the city of Chicago has been named the rattiest city in America, as reported by a local TV station.
“In an unprecedented year, the visibility of rodents has increased, creating concern for homeowners and business owners alike. As reported in the Spring, the pandemic-driven closure of restaurants forced rodents to find new food sources,” the Orkin pest control company stated, which is the group that manages the annual ranking. “Without food waste to consume, these pests were seen scavenging new areas and exhibiting unusual or aggressive behavior. The presence of rodents became so relevant that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Rodent Control guidance on ways to keep rats and mice out of homes and businesses.”
In spite of all of this, a city animal shelter has stated that it has the answer: FERAL CATS!
The Tree House Humane Society has taken to releasing groups of its feral cats into the areas with higher than normal rat problems. “Feral cats, and especially feral cats without safe habitats, have frequently been overlooked in the past, often resulting in long stays at animal control or even euthanasia. Our Community Cats and Cats at Work programs help us save cats in every environment,” The shelter touts on its website.
“After humanely capturing the feral cats, the humane society spays or neuters the animals and places them into residential and commercial settings with rodent infestations to act as an environmentally friendly rodent control,” reported WGN News.
The Tree House Humane Society states that it uses exclusively rescued cats that it deems would not do well in a home after it had been adopted or, for whatever reason, cannot rejoin their former colonies.
“After trapping and neutering a Community Cat, there are times when those cats cannot be reintegrated into their former colonies. This can be for a variety of reasons, including their former location being demolished (as in the case of cats living in abandoned buildings,) dangerous locations, etc. It is for these special cases that Tree House created the Cats at Work program,” the Society states.
“Cats are placed two or three at a time into residential or commercial settings in order to provide environmentally friendly rodent control. Property and business owners provide food, water, shelter, and wellness to the cats who work for them. In most cases, our Cats at Work become beloved members of the family or team and some even have their own Instagram pages!” the shelter states on its web page.
As reported by the WGN News, the shelter has released more than 1,000 feral cats into the streets of Chicago since 2012. “We’ve had a lot of our clients tell us that before they had cats, they would step outside their house and rats would actually run across their feet,” Sarah Liss of Tree House Humane Society told WGN.