Fighting Rats with Cats

New York City has a big rat problem, which I don’t doubt although I’ve never seen a rat while walking the city or staying in a city hotel or going down into the subway. But I don’t doubt rats are there, in the millions.

New York is fighting its rat problem with cats, feral cats to be exact.

Enter the NYC Feral Cat Initiative. Volunteers trap colonies of feral cats, neuter and vaccinate them, and then transport at least some of the colonies to places where rats are an overwhelming problem. Colonies of cats are safer than putting rat poison everywhere, and the presence of cats repels rodents whether or not the cats catch and eat adult rats or their babies.

I like the idea. Seems like a win-win for everyone. Feral cats are repurposed, as it were, rather than put down, and rat life is disrupted. Like cockroaches, rats are hard to eradicate. This Initiative seems like a way of boosting the natural ecosystem in a way that favors humans, and the cats get a new lease on life as well.

4 thoughts on “Fighting Rats with Cats

  1. I rarely take the subway. But I have seen rats there. Saw one beazenlybeating a pizza slice. My daughter who lives in Manhattan sees eats when walking her dog. Cats are welcomed!

  2. for Katie: I have seen rats in Panama, big ones, but not in NY. I’m all for cat colonies too. Seems like the best way to keep rats at bay.

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