Have a rodent problem? Don’t go and spend all your money on baits and poisons – CATS could be the solution you’re looking for! Because felines are natural predators to rodents, introducing cats to enclosed properties like barns, churches, warehouses, or factories can effectively deter rats and other pests. And for kitties that would be a good fit for these “working cat” roles, it’s a win/win situation: they get to exercise their feline instincts by tracking prey in a stable living environment, while the property owners get to see their location become rodent-free!

 

One working cat adoption story takes place at Empirical Brewery in Chicago, whose management turned to cats for pest control after a few failed attempts to rid their area of rodents. “We built them a house, we feed them, we change their litter and in exchange they offer the best pest control solution around,” they say in their website statement – sounds like a happy ending for everyone involved! In addition, working cats have been adopted into the Austin Police Department, the LA Flower Market, and Lake Austin Spa Resort with great success! With working cat programs gaining notoriety,

 

For most cats that are unsocialized with humans, transitioning them into a typical adoptive home would be a difficult task that might not work well in the long run. That’s why Dallas Pets Alive implemented a Trap, Neuter, Release program in the first place: so that we could help and monitor feral cat colonies without majorly disrupting the cats’ way of life. The feral cats we work with are not suitable for adoption, but putting them to work would keep them from being euthanized – starting a working cats program at DPA would help save more cats’ lives!

 

Looking ahead, we see great potential for growth in transitioning some of the cats we interact with to future “working” roles! Leslie Sans, DPA’s Executive Director says, “While we live in Texas and barns are everywhere, Dallas is a very urban place. We want to find unique ways to save more lives and a ‘working cat’ program is an innovative approach to re-homing our feral cats here in Dallas.” We want to encourage local businesses to reach out to us if they are interested in this creative form of pest control. Please contact tnr@dallaspetsalive.org for inquiries.

 

For more information on working cat programs around the country, check out:

Tree House Cats at Work Project

LA’s Working Cats Program

Austin Pets Alive! Barn Cat Program

Arizona Humane Society Working Cats Program