Chicago's newest defense against rats: Unleash the cats

One thousand cats are now policing the streets of Chicago, deputized by a local shelter to fight the city's rat problem.

In 2012, the Tree House Human Society started the "Cats at Work" program.

Instead of poison, home or business owners can request a feral cat colony to do the job. The cost ranges from $600 to $800 and includes two to four cats.

"We provide you with a lot of the equipment you'll need for the rest of their lives, like the heated shelters and heated water bowl," said Sarah Liss, Tree House’s program manager.


Those overseeing the colonies are also responsible for feeding the cats and taking care of their veterinary needs.

In most cases, the cats do not kill the rats.

"The rats smell their pheromones and they say there's really no reason to come here. The cats are sort of filling the void in the ecosystem there," said Liss.

For more information about the "Cats at Work" program, click here.