Los Angeles Considers Felines to Solve Rat Problem

City Hall in Los Angeles has a problem with rats. This problem received more attention after the number of typhus cases in Los Angeles increased. One employee told a local television station they developed typhus after being bitten by an infected flea. That flea rode in on a rat, they said.

Working Cats Help Stop Rat Infestations

Some animal welfare activists have proposed a four legged solution — working cats. A human with Voice for the Animals Foundation said “I’ve never seen a place it didn’t work.” And they have experience placing working cats in City facilities, with three police stations patrolled not only by humans, but by felines.

An epidemiologist wasn’t sure about the effectiveness of felines in addressing the typhus problem. They said they worried the fleas might simply move from the rats to the felines. But the human with Voice for the Animals Foundation said the solution to that was simply treating the felines.

One of the City’s council members is discussing how a working cat program would work. Hopefully, they will bring the idea to the full council and it gets approved. Then, some feral felines who would likely lose their lives will get the chance to thrive. And they will keep the rats away from City Hall.

Humans Turn to Felines for Rodent Control

One of the Felines in the Blue Collar Cats Program

Furiends, some of you may know that the human and I used to live in the Washington DC area before we moved to San Diego. That is why I can tell Jacey and Koji, who are Southern California cats, about what it is like for things to get very cold and about white watery things falling from the sky.

And it is why I am glad that some businesses where I used to live are turning to felines for pest control.

A new organization formed after the Washington Humane Society and the Washington Animal Rescue League merged heard about the working cats program in Chicago. That inspired the Humane Rescue Alliance to create the Blue Collar Cats program.

One of the Felines in the Blue Collar Cats Program
One of the Felines in the Blue Collar Cats Program (Humane Rescue Alliance)

Humane Rescue Alliance had to modify Chicago’s working cats program slightly to comply with local laws. No felines are allowed inside the restaurants. That means these community cats live outside in homes provided by either the business or Humane Rescue Alliance.

So far, nine businesses expressed interest in the Blue Collar Cats program. Six of these businesses will not have any problems with allowing the felines inside, because they do not serve food. The others will have to build homes for the felines outside.

A brewery participating in the program said that they brought the felines on site for “another layer of protection.” They hope these felines will help reduce the cost of their “expensive contract” with a pest control company. In addition, the human in charge of the brewery loved the idea of felines guarding grain.

There are high hopes for this program. The human at Humane Rescue Alliance in charge of this program said “I do expect we will have plenty of cats to meet the needs of potential business partners.”

And that is good, furiends. Businesses benefit from reduced pests. And felines who cannot live inside find homes! That makes me happy.

Cats Protect Grain at Brewery

Venkman is One of Four Working Cats at Empirical Brewery

The human tells me that many of you like to drink this thing called beer. I do not know why you do this, because I have seen the human get even more clumsy and move even more slowly when he drinks it. And I have stuck my nose into a glass of it and drank some, but I did not like it.

But apparently, it is something many humans like. And some of the things that are used to create it are things that rodents like to eat. We felines first came to you humans when we realized that there were rodents around things you humans use as noms, and you liked having us around to protect your food.

So it is not surprising that a brewery in Chicago decided to bring felines in to help it deal with a problem with rodents nomming on its grain. Empirical Brewery brought in four felines to deal with the rodents after its head brewer said they were tired of dealing with the problem of holes in the bags of grain. The cats were brought in by Tree House Humane Society, which has a working cats program.

Venkman is One of Four Working Cats at Empirical Brewery
Venkman is One of Four Working Cats at Empirical Brewery

These working cats are named after characters from the movie Ghostbusters. There is Venkman, Raymond, Egon, and Gozer. And these felines are helping the brewery save money. You see, despite bringing a human exterminator to the brewery on a regular basis, the brewery still had to throw away bags of grain with holes in them.

But now that these working cats are on the prowl at the brewery, the rodent problem has gone away. Rodents can detect the scent of a cat, and the smart ones move away. If they do not, well, millions of years of evolution have made us felines perfect killing machines for the prey we consume, and rodents are part of that.

Three of the Working Cats at Empirical Brewery
Three of the Working Cats at Empirical Brewery

I am glad these four felines are part of the working cats program, which has found places for nearly 400 cats to help humans deal with problems like this!