"Working cats" have emerged as a solution to the city's rat problem.By Kristine Sorensen

By: Kristine Sorensen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With fewer people working in businesses and walking around city streets since the pandemic, rodents, and insects have been filling the void.

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But a program with Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh is helping solve that problem.

When Krissy Rohr bought a farm in Cranberry, she loved the horses but not the rodents that would usually come with it.

“The big thing everyone always talks about is really not wanting rats in their barn, and I have never had a rat in my barn, and I completely credit having cats with never having rats around the barn.”

Krissy has three “working cats”– two she adopted from Humane Animal Rescue a year ago from the “working cats” program. They were rescued from a hoarding situation with 100 cats.

Amanda Cavender, who runs the working cats program, says, “We can place these cats in barns, breweries, residential neighborhoods, as long as someone has something like a garage structure or some kind of shelter for these cats.”

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Amanda says cats in the program are not suited to domestic living but are “purr-fect” for getting rid of mice and other animals in warehouses, neighborhoods, and farms.

Krissy says, “So really that’s what you want as a barn cat is a hunter.” KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen asked her, “And have you found prey that they have caught and killed?” Krissy replied, “So much, so much. They’ve done a wonderful job.”

Seventy-eight working cats have already been adopted, just since the program started in November of 2019.

“These are cats that really got a second chance at life,” Krissy says.

Amanda adds, “It’s really a life-saving program, and we’re really excited that it’s kind of taken off here.”

They’re not cuddly cats, but they earn their keep by working to keep out unwanted animals and entertaining while they do it

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If you’re interested in a working cat, they’re adopted in pairs and are free: More information can be found at this link.

Kristine Sorensen