Chicago unleashes huge army of feral cats to take on the rats

Originally published at: Chicago unleashes huge army of feral cats to take on the rats | Boing Boing


And I’m sure this will have no effect on the bird population once they get bored with chasing rats… /s


sooo… at long last Chicago’s long assembled cunningly devised carefully hidden “huge army of feral cats” can be ‘unleashed’? (perhaps literally?) One can only hope there was a “Fly my pretties!” in there somewhere. (“And what’s the official municipal job title for the General in command of such an army?”)

Have they checked they they aren’t Mexican rats?
Mexican rats outsmart USA cats, normally.

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Precisely my concern too: has anyone gathered statistics of how many non-rat critters these cats kill…?

*to clarify: plenty of stats for urban housecats, but I wonder if there’s any difference in murder behavior for ferals who receive “snacks”.


As depicted here, this seems to be a “here’s a vaccinated and neutered outdoor cat for you. Feed it and house it” program, rather than a feral cat program. The person interviewed seems to have a favourable outcome. I don’t see any reason to question his statements. The Wikipedia article article on cat predation seems to address this type of program and dismiss it however. The town I grew up in , Nelson B.C., has developed a rat problem since enacting leash laws (as well as a cougar problem, bear problem…) and people are saying composting is a big attractant. Never even occurred to me . In concert with secure waste bins (which everyone there should have, 'coz bears ) people seem to report success. There are no rats where I live now, though, thanks to the rat patrol (really, there are people doing this full time):


And “they get the cat skins for nothin!


Fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats
And ten thousand peoploids split into small tribes
Coveting the highest of the sterile skyscrapers


Bought me a cat and the cat pleased me,
My cat ate the rats under yonder tree.
Cat goes fiddle-eye-fee


Yeah, as they mention, cats are (notoriously) bad at killing rats, and their presence doesn’t provide much of a deterrent effect. On the other hand, they’ll totally wipe out any birds, reptiles, etc. that are in the area.


Slightly updated:

I know an old city
Who swallowed a rhinosaurus
Isn’t that preposterous!
To swallow a rhinosaurus
It swallowed a rhinosaurus
To catch the minister
It swallowed the minister
To catch the goat
It swallowed the goat
To catch the dog
It swallowed the dog
To catch the cat
It swallowed the cat
To catch the rat
And it swallowed a rat
To catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled
And tickled inside it
And it swallowed the spider
To catch the fly
But I don’t know why
It swallowed the fly


Unless these are “small” rats, the ones I have seen in NYC could challenge a racoon or cat. For these jumbo rats, I would think a band of trained rat dogs and mink would be a better fit.


I love our alley cats and I’ve seen way fewer rats since they moved onto the block. The rats all moved into residential alleys when restaurants shut down last year.

If the cats overpopulate, we can replicate the process with pitbulls.


In the way back in San Francisco, we used coyote urine, our maintenance dude knew where to get it in quantity, rats will not habitat in an area with a predator about. Now up in the high desert, we leave the dog poop about for the same effect.


YMMV but I’ve seen a massive drop off in rat activity when a cat is introduced to the house. The little fuckers were even coming into our kitchen until we got a cat. She’s not a killer either, it’s just the smell of a cat that puts them off.


Nature will just bring coyotes to feast on the overpopulated kitties. No pitbulls needed.

A couple weeks ago on Nextdoor, this lady posted about feeding coyotes. Apparently she’s been feeding feral kitties, but now they’re disappearing and coyotes have shown up in their place. People tried to tell her in the comments that the coyotes are eating the kitties and to not feed the wildlife. She didn’t get it.


“They are actually deterring them with their pheromones. That’s enough to keep the rats away,”

This. My old condo building I just moved out of had a rodent problem once upon a time, until the old lady downstairs started feeding outdoor strays. Soon we went from occasionally seeing a couple of cats to 4-6 cats being around all the time.

Real quick, no more mice or rats. She mentioned, they really didn’t kill all that many (that she saw).

This /\


feeding predators just makes more predators. I once found waste from butchering a deer in the park system here. I told a ranger about it and he said hunters do that all time , to “feed the coyotes” . Why? Animals like that will occupy a niche, natural cycles will control the population. If your pour food into one end of the process you’ll get more out of the other. People seem to have an unarticulated belief that if you feed the starving coyote you will alleviate their suffering by allowing them to lead more comfortable lives…the reality is more coyotes.


There is another way