Caturday felid trifecta: Cats as pest controllers, cats as jerks, cats as conversationalists


Cats are faulted for many things: carrying toxoplasmosis, killing wild birds, and so on, but here’s a use for cats, and perhaps their only use: rodent control.  As CNN reported yesterday, cats can be “the ultimate weapon in public health.” I’ve written previously about cats helping keep breweries (the Mecca of grain for rodents) free from mice, and this is more important than ever now that Chicago’s rat population is increasing:

For a couple of years in a row, pest control giant Orkin playfully named Chicago the “rattiest” city in the country. But it’s no joke to residents who’ve seen far too many.
So far in 2016, rat complaints are up 67% from last year.
The solution? Not Orkin, but cats. Chicago’s “War on Rats” includes the participation of Tree House Animal Shelter, which will adopt out hard-to-place cats (often rescued ferals) as “working cats” to control rodents. Click on the screenshot below to learn more about the Cats At Work program:
Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 8.10.58 AM


I may have posted this before, but shoot me if I have. We all know that cats are pretty much jerks—they’re demanding, selfish, and solipsistic—but we love them anyway. Here’s a video of some of their most nefarious behaviors, including pwning of d*gs (to be sure, some of the people are jerks too). Be sure to watch the cat/owl confrontation and the very last cat-on-cat interaction at 8:13:


Finally, two cats engage in conversational “bird chatter”, also known as “machine-gunning”:

And how could I resist putting up the latest Maru video as lagniappe? Voilà: “Of course, Maru is in the box 3”. He’s bonkers!

h/t: Simon


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 16, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Whether the working cats kill all the rats, some of the rates or cause them to move, mission is accomplished. As to what causes the rats in the first place, that would be people.

  2. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 16, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    These cats are jerks probably b/c someone snuck a cucumber behind them.

  3. Monika
    Posted July 16, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    LoveMeow has a nice story about a cat working in a firestation.
    She keeps the station rodentfree and her staff treats her appropriately.

  4. mudskipper
    Posted July 16, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been able to have “chatter” conversations with a number of cats. A friend’s cat was particularly willing to engage in chatter conversations, lasting minutes at a time. (I have no idea what we were saying–we might have been engaging in a gripe fest about her owner.)

    Most cats, however, react to my chattering by trying to figure out what’s got me excited. They usually respond by running to the window to look out, chattering while they do so. Unfortunately, they aren’t bright enough to look in the direction I am looking, so quite often they end up looking excitedly in the wrong place and miss seeing the squirrel or bird.

  5. jeffery
    Posted July 16, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink


    “I know we just came in, but I want to go back outside again- how ’bout you?”
    “I’m thinking the same way.”
    “Why don’t you go stand over by the door and meow?”
    “I did it last time; it’s YOUR turn….”

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