Putting Wild Cats to Work

There are millions of feral and stray cats across America. Some cities have found a humane way to coexist with them — give them work.

New York City has tens of thousands of stray and feral cats

Instead of euthanizing, New York City is putting thousands of feral cats to work to solve the city’s rampant rodent problem. Kathleen O’Malley helps run the NYCFCI-- New York City Feral Cat Initiative. She tells Brut that the Mayor's Alliance believes that a working cat program is an excellent alternative to traditional pest control. Cats offer a natural nontoxic and pretty low-cost method of deterring rodents. If a cat kills a rodent, that is nature.

In exchange for food and shelter, the cats deter rodents and other unwanted pests from businesses and homes. The cats literally have nowhere to go. The shelter doesn't want them because they may have to euthanize them if they can't find placement for them. NYC Feral Cat Initiative is happy to work with homeowners or businesses who want to actually adopt these feral cats. It's what the industry calls a working cat situation, where the cats are brought to live in a backyard, for example, and they defend that backyard just as they defended that empty lot against rodents.

New York City has tens of thousands of stray and feral cats. Left unfixed, they breed prolifically. Trap-neuter-return, which is the humane and effective method of reducing the feral cat population by trapping humanely, neutering, and then putting them back outside because that's really the only life they're suited for. Then the cats stop breeding, but they stay in place and they are deterring the rodents in the neighborhood, which people who own homes appreciate. And over time, the population of cats grows old and dwindles, and eventually there may not be too many cats around. Instead of putting them to sleep, the city employed a compassionate strategy. Thousands of cats have been rehabilitated by the NYCFCI. Local officials hope this approach spreads to other cities.


02/15/2019 12:21 PMupdated: 06/21/2019 6:30 PM
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  • Kayla D.
    02/15/2019 13:36

    Back in the day of the plague they would have called this guy a witch

  • Omar F.
    02/15/2019 13:38

    I love cat's 😻

  • Jenny M.
    02/15/2019 14:22

    I adopted 2 ferral cats from the local shelter. I have been to tame onr But they are to be used for rodent control for my farm and they do a fabulous job! All I have to do is pay them with food and dewormings

  • Kaitlynn R.
    02/15/2019 15:14

    this is cool

  • Jacob O.
    02/15/2019 15:51

    such good workers

  • Brut
    02/15/2019 22:59

    Ever wonder why cats have whiskers? Here's your answer.

  • Nicholas C.
    02/15/2019 23:25

    I understand why you have Derek and that other cat

  • Heather H.
    02/16/2019 06:46

    Been doing this in Indiana for several years now. It's a great alternative to euthanasia...

  • حسين ا.
    02/17/2019 08:28


  • Matthew P.
    02/17/2019 13:39

    I'm surprised this works. Cool! :)

  • Blessing C.
    02/17/2019 22:16 Register and start making money online no payment is required

  • Shanti M.
    02/18/2019 05:47


  • La B.
    02/18/2019 08:08

    That's a great job!!!cats are nice pets😻

  • Anakena B.
    02/18/2019 11:52

    y tenía que no es capaz con uno 😐

  • Jose P.
    02/18/2019 12:05

    But this same city can't take care of the homeless problem shame shame shame

  • Greg P.
    02/18/2019 13:19

    there ya go

  • A C.
    02/19/2019 03:44

    estos gatos si están gordos

  • Daclan G.
    02/19/2019 05:36

    Wonder how fat cats catches rodents 😂😂😂 they might just look at them

  • Билал Ш.
    02/19/2019 05:42

    You try not to breed and what happens . 😡

  • Haydee R.
    02/19/2019 07:49

    Muy bellos yo tengo gatos.muy limpios e inteligentes.