Illinois community goes feral in battle against rats

By WEEK Producer

April 17, 2014 Updated Apr 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM CDT

LAKEVIEW, Ill -- Goodbye mouse traps, hello feral cats. One Illinois neighborhood is taking a unique approach to a growing rodent problem.

Lakeview, Illinois residents say they used to have rats running everywhere.

A new program with the Tree House Humane Society is changing that. Residents can adopt outdoor cats to roam their yard and keep the rats away.

"The cats come in, they start to hunt, the rats get wind that they're there, and they leave," said Jenny Schlueter, Tree House Humane Society.

"We have a hundred percent positive feedback so far. It's
been amazing. People are surprised, some people say within days, other people say maybe about a week."

The cats do require some sort of shelter, daily food and water. Owners must register with Tree House as official caretakers.