The Link between Feral Cats and Rat Control

May 10th, 2016

cats feral House rats are the leading pests in Florida, creating major problems for homeowners. These rats love to make themselves at home in ceilings, walls, appliances, and palm trees, meaning that they have the potential to cause significant damage. But there is one animal that can keep the number of rats under control: feral cats.

About Feral Cat Colonies

The word “feral” sounds off-putting, but feral cat colonies are simply feline families that live outside instead of in domestic homes. Since they are born in the wild, they form family units by sharing strong social bonds in places where food and shelter is easy to come by. Since feral cats like feeding on rats and other rodents, feral cat colonies naturally minimize rodents and serve as natural pest control.

Feral cat colonies can be maintained so they are safe and undisruptive. By gradually trapping and neutering each cat in a community and then releasing that cat back to its home, all while keeping the cats fed, feral colonies can continue to exist without the spraying, meowing, and other negative traits that people associate with feral cats.

Feral Cats in Florida

Florida has relied upon feral cat colonies for decades to ward off rats, but government regulations recently changed, ultimately interfering with maintained feral cat colonies. Many people are reporting seeing more rodents and even hearing them in the ceilings of public buildings now that the cat colonies aren’t serving their natural purpose.

Feral Cats in Chicago

Many areas of Chicago have been struggling with immense rat problems. Homeowners reported seeing hundreds of rat footprints after snowfalls, so residents started maintaining small feral cat communities as a natural pest solution. The changes reported are truly impressive, with one person reporting that she could leave a loaf of bread in her backyard without a single rat touching it.

The bottom line? Toxic chemicals aren’t the only way to deal with unwanted rodents.