Oh Rats for Rodents: Cats Are the New Sheriff in Town

Tree House Humane Society offers a solution to deal with the exploding rat problem in Chicago.....it's feral cats! Chicago has dramatically cut down on their rat abatement program, which combined with other factors, has encouraged the city surge in rat numbers. Rats aren't easy to eradicate, they can slip into crevices as wide as their heads, climb vertically, and use our sewers as highways. Poisons typically do work if you hire a private exterminator, but then there's the cost involved and a concern about both the environment and pets (or even children) getting into that poison.

Tree House is a leader among trap, neuter, return programs to control populations of feral (or unsocialized community cats) - overseeing dozens of cat colonies in Chicago. Jenny Schlueter of Tree House realized that if you re-locate a few of the cats to where rats are - the vermin soon disappear, it's putting cats to work.

While it's true some city rats grow to be quite large - about as large as a Volkswagon - and might give a cat a pretty good fight, they'd rather just move on. As smart as rats are, so are cats; they have their ways of catching the big guys, and particularly young rats (helping to control numbers), but most of all their mere presences dissuades rats.  As a bonus, they catch mice too.

Aside from being grossed out at the rats, this is a potential serious public health issue. Rats do carry diseases, and when the populations explode a whole host of problems can be created for people as well as our pets, including leptospirosis which may be on the rise in big cities where rats are abundant.

Here's Larry Yellen's report on Fox News Chicago,

Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

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  • Ooops, one slight problem. If you think that cats make good rodent control, think again.

    Your myth about cats being good rodent control has been disproved on every island where cats were imported to take care of the imported rodents. Hundreds of years later and there's nothing but a thriving population of cats and rodents -- all the native wildlife on those islands now either extinct or on the brink of extinction -- even those native species which are better rodent predators than cats (such as many reptiles and shrews which destroy rodents right in their nests), the cats having destroyed them directly or indirectly. And I bet you think of yourself as educated.

    The rodents reproduce in burrows and holes out of the reach of cats, where they are happy to reproduce forever to entertain cats the rest of their lives, and make your own lives miserable, on into infinity. On top of that, when cats infect rodents with cat's Toxoplasma gondii parasite, this hijacks the minds of rodents to make the rodents attracted to where cats urinate. (Google for: Parasite Hijacks The Mind Of Its Host)

    Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are. The cats then contract these diseases on contact with, or being in proximity to, these rodents. Like "The Black Death", the plague, that is now being transmitted to humans in N. America directly from cats that have contracted it from rodents. Yes, the plague is alive and well and being transmitted by cats today. Cats attracting these rodents right to them further increasing the cat/rodent/disease density of this happy predator/prey balance. It has been documented many many times. The more cats you have, the more rodents and diseases you get.

    Cats DO NOT get rid of rodents. I don't care how many centuries that fools will claim that cats keep rodents in-check, they'll still be wrong all these centuries. Civilizations of humans have come and gone in great cities like Egypt, yet their cats and rodents remain in even greater pestilent numbers.

    No cat population anywhere has ever been able to control rodents effectively. But native predators can -- easily.

    Keep deceiving your astoundingly ignorant selves.

  • These are just the diseases these invasive species vermin cats have been spreading to humans (many contracted from rodents that cats attracted to them with cats' Toxoplasma gondii parasite), not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Afipia felis, Anthrax, Bartonella (Rochalimaea) henselae, Bergeyella (Weeksella) zoohelcum, Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Chlamydia psittaci (feline strain), Cowpox, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Cutaneous larva migrans, Dermatophytosis, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Neisseria canis, Pasteurella multocida, Plague, Poxvirus, Rabies, Rickettsia felis, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Scabies, Sporothrix schenckii, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasmosis, Trichinosis, Visceral larva migrans, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Bird-flu, Bovine Tuberculosis, Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, Tularemia, and Rat-Bite Fever can now also be added to that list.

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