CHICAGO’S RAT CITY WAR INCLUDES 1,000 FERAL CATS TO COMBAT INFESTATION
So I don’t particularly care for rodents. But when I say that, I really mean mice and rats. Mostly rats, though. So yes, I know that some people love having pet rats. But besides looking like freakish, red-eyed toys, you can’t compare pet rats to the sort that live in our cities. They are some dangerous critters. They spread disease, cause damage, and even sometimes attack people! And a rat bite means just a few prescriptions. Well, and therapy. But when rats breed like crazy, it makes big problems. And the city of Chicago is the odd center of a rat war. It’s so bad, they released 1,000 feral cats to cull the disease spreading horde.
TREE HOUSE HUMANE SOCIETY RELEASES CATS EVERY YEAR, FOR LESS POISON IN RAT CITY WAR
And no, it’s not a joke. Chicago’s Tree House Humane Society just let 1,000 cats out of the bag because the infestation of rats has gotten so out of control. So sure, this program of releasing cats to kill rats in Rat City instead of using poison has been around about ten years. They call it the “Cats at Work” program they run once a year. They don’t like poison everywhere, as it can kill a lot of wildlife and domestic pets in a kind of friendly fire. But everywhere, it seems like the rat war will never end. Yet 1,000 feral cats? That sure seems like a lot. Especially as I’m sure Chicago’s animal control may go out later in the year to catch these same cats.
FERAL CATS IN RAT CITY WAR DON’T EVEN HAVE TO DO ALL THAT MUCH, JUST SMELL BAD TO RATS
So how does this work? Well, the cats don’t actually kill all that many rats, in terms of number. Cats don’t tend to even like eating rats all that much, though they might have a few. But they always kill a bunch of rats when they first arrive somewhere. It’s like a reflex. Hey, those are rats. Boom. But soon after, the cats don’t even have to do all that much, even in Rat City. Just being there becomes a rat deterrent. In fact, the cats killing the rats isn’t the deterrent! It’s the cat pheromones. Rats don’t like that smell.