Rodent-free communities byproduct of NYC Feral Cat Initiative

By |  October 28, 2016

The NYC Feral Cat Initiative, which helps New York City’s stray and feral cats, has inadvertently reduced rat sightings in community-cat-hosted areas.

Part of the initiative, a program of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, is to perform Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), and its goal is to humanely reduce the population of “community cats” in New York City. As a result of the initiative, areas and communities that are hosting spayed and neutered community cat colonies are benefiting from the cats’ natural rodent deterrence.

Though the initiative makes it clear that the cats aren’t placed in areas specifically for the purpose of rodent control, as noted in the excerpt below from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals’ blog:

“The very rare person who offers to adopt a feral cat or colony in need of relocation must pass an application process showing they wish to provide compassionate daily care to the cat or colony at-risk, and are not merely looking for ‘mousers.’

It is true that neighborhoods and areas hosting spayed/neutered community cat colonies managed through TNR do enjoy the collateral benefit of a non-toxic rodent deterrent. The scent established by hosting and feeding cats regularly in one place is what keeps the rodents away. Breeding female rats will move away from an area inhabited by resident cats that would clearly be a danger to their litters. When the breeding females move out, the male rats follow. Cats will remain in place with the daily food, water and shelter provided by a colony caretaker, and will not just follow the rodents for survival.”

NYC Parks GreenThumb community gardens are one of the locations that host cat colonies, and the alliance says the gardens are rodent-free, while others without a cat-friendly policy are infested with rats. Those who host the cat communities care for them daily by hosting a feeding station and installing winter shelters.

This article is tagged with , , , and posted in Crawling the Web, Rodents

About the Author:

Joelle Harms is the digital media manager for PMP magazine and its parent company, North Coast Media. Harms can be reached at jharms@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3780.

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