Support Just the News

Help Fund Honest Journalism


Chicago humane society touts program that deploys feral cats for ‘rat combat’

City reportedly has a persistent rat problem.

Updated: May 15, 2021 - 4:51pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


An animal humane society in Chicago this week touted its anti-rat program that has deployed hundreds and hundreds of feral cats over the years to combat the city’s allegedly out-of-control vermin problem.&

Multiple media outlets this week reported that the Tree House Humane Society in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood had released 1,000 feral cats into the city “to combat a rat crisis,” as the Guardian put it.

On its website, the humane society clarified that its “Cats at Work” program was not releasing 1,000 cats “all at once.” 

“We place approximately 10 – 15 feral cats each month, depending on safety and demand,” the organization said, stating that the 1,000 figure represents the total number of cats released since 2012. 

The cats are “vaccinated against diseases like rabies,” the humane society noted, protecting them from such illnesses in the event that they do attack rats.

“While feral cats do kill rats, often their pheromones are enough to scare rats away,” the group continued.

Just the News Spotlight