Is adopting a cat to hunt rats animal abuse?

Martin Feinen has lived in an apartment in the East Village for three years and he says the rat problem in the neighborhood has gotten out of control.

"I've killed so many rats," Feinen says.

So he decided to adopt a cat to hunt the rats.  He thought his enclosed back yard could become a real-life Tom and Jerry episode.

"After everything else, we thought that was the last thing we could do," Feinen says.

He says he took all of the appropriate channels to adopt but says he was "blacklisted" from adopting when he mentioned why he was adopting.  He said he was told that was animal abuse.

Kathleen O'Malley from the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals says, "When someone from the general public says, 'I need a cat to control all of my rats' our gut reaction is one of horror.

She says animal adoptions agencies are not recommend any cat be indoor/outdoor in the city.

"Adoption events are not about adopting cats to people who want rodent control," O'Malley says.  "They're adopting out companion animals."

The alliance is a non-profit, privately-funded group that works with more than 150 rescue groups and shelters to save the lives of homeless animals in the city.

Feinen says that the Guardian Angels have agreed to put ferral cats in his backyard for a time to help take care of the problem.