Recently, Chicago released 1,000 feral cats onto its streets, something that is not usually done. The feral felines were released in significant numbers to combat Chicago’s mounting rat issue. It is a fact cats drive away rats hence the reason the Midwestern city decided to use cats. For the sixth time in a row, the city has been named by Orkin, pest control experts, to be leading in rodents. The main reason for the Midwestern city releasing those many cats is to stop the many rats roaming around in the city’s sidewalks and alleyways, annoying the residents. The feral cats allowed to patrol the streets searching for rats are not just going to attack and feed on the rats but are using their pheromones to deter them. Chicago has been having rat problems since back in the 1970s where residents were awarded $1 for every rodent they killed.

The Tree House Humane Society assists in the release of the cats onto the streets after neutering them. They made sure the feral cats released were all neutered to remove all kinds of danger. Not all cats were released, as the shelter was going for cats that would not do well in a home or shelter and those that could not rejoin their former colonies. The shelter saw it was better to let these cats assist Chicago in getting rid of the rats rather than being put down. In every residential or commercial area, the shelter places two or three at a time to achieve well-coordinated rodent control. Sarah Liss, the Shelter spokesperson, stated that many residents complained of how they would get out of their house and see rats running across. The residents are also helping by providing water, food, shelter, and care to the cats patrolling. Many families and teams have come to love the Cats at Work and some even Instagram pages.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced coronavirus lock-down, which led to restaurants closing their doors, leading to rats becoming more aggressive because it was hard to find food. In Chicago, the situation became worse because residents were already experiencing a high population of rats. The case had gotten worse that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning, advising people on how aggressive the rodents were. The notice was not only to the residents but also to the Environmental Health and rodent control programs as they might experience an increase in service requests concerning rodents. Pest Control Experts checked for the cities in the United States that had severe rat problems by calculating the new number of rodent treatments that needed to be done between September 2019 and August 2020. With the rise in the number of rodents in the street, Chicago saw it best to release cats to help in keeping them away. What are your thoughts about how Chicago is handling the increase of rodents in the streets? Do you think their plan of using feral cats to keep rats away is best and will work?