This is another wise way to employ cats who are not domesticated enough to be human companions. These cats can still be companions to the community. Community cats are commonplace in most countries and in all developing countries.
In this instance we are discussing the community cats of Washington, DC. The colonies of these cats are assisted by Human Rescue Alliance’s Cat Neighborhood Partnership Program. A partner is Alley Cat Allies.
The Blue Collar Cats are protected by DC law and are employed by local businesses to deter rodents. Human Rescue Alliance (HRA) correctly say that these cats are a “cleaner alternative to toxic pesticides and they’re less expensive and more effective..”
Eva R of DuPont Circle said:
“Previously homeless and unemployed, Oreo was brought to me as a rescue outdoor cat. After a few weeks of acclimation in his crate, he was released and now happily patrols my back deck area for rats. I haven’t seen a sign of rats in weeks. Rats used to cross my deck at night – I’d like to see them try that now!”
The employer who signs up to the program has to provide shelter and food for the cats. As the cats live outside there is no problem regarding allergies to cats. There is the possibility that the cat becomes semi-domesticated and more. If the employer does not like this HRA can provide another cat.
There are no upfront costs to participants. HRA ensures that all the cats are spayed and neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and ear tipped. It’s all done in preparation.
The testimonials demonstrate how effective the cats are at deterring rodents. For example, the words of Adams Morgan of City Bikes:
“After trying every deterrent in the book, we went old school and hired a couple of rescue cats. I can only presume the 24-hour presence of our security guards, Tamale and Melora, have turned our shop into a forbidden zone for rats. Also, folks really dig being greeted by our cats when they enter the shop!”
The cats should not be allowed inside if the employer runs a restaurant. I guess that’s common sense. The Blue Collar Cat probably would not want to come inside anyway. There are a number of restaurants who employ Blue Collar Cats successfully and they have provided cat accommodation at the rear of the restaurant.
This is a smart program which is a win-win. The cats gain a raised profile in the eyes of the public. They are not seen as disease-spreading feral creatures but as useful servants of the community and business. And surprise-surprise, customers visiting businesses who have a cat generally like it. My research indicates it helps the business in terms of customer relations.
Source and to read more: Blue Collar Cats
My thanks to Sandy for telling about this.