MEDIA CONTACT: Alana Grelyak: 773-262-4000 ext. 118 or

October 18, 2019

Tree House Cats at Work Program In High Demand As Chicago Is Ranked Rattiest City For Fifth Consecutive Year

Orkin released its Top 50 Rattiest Cities list this week, and for the fifth year in a row Chicago is at the very top. To combat this issue, Tree House Humane Society’s Cats at Work program continues to provide environmentally friendly rodent control to the Chicago area.

cat hiding by trash can

Each year, Orkin releases its ratings of U.S. metro regions with the most rodent activity, and once again, Chicago sits at the very top of the list (with Los Angeles coming in second and New York in third). Orkin based its rankings on the number of residential and commercial treatments performed between September 15, 2018 and September 15, 2019.


In response to this city-wide problem, Tree House Humane Society created its Cats at Work program in 2015. The program provides an environmentally friendly solution to Chicago residents facing rodent issues – the solution being cats! Through their Community Cats program, Tree House traps, neuters, and returns feral cats to the community, but sometimes return isn’t possible due to unsafe living conditions or lack of an available caretaker. These displaced cats become working cats, placed in both residential and commercial sites where their presence will deter rodents. Tree House working cats can be found in factories, restaurants, bars, apartment buildings, and alleyways throughout the Chicago area. Adopters of working cats provide food, water, shelter, and medical care when needed, and in return their properties are kept rodent-free. This month, Tree House celebrates the completion of its very own onsite Cats at Work colony shelter and plans to place approximately three cats there in the coming months.


Since the Tree House Cats at Work program began, approximately 2,000 working cats have received placement, and the demand is as high as ever. Currently, Tree House clients wait an average of 30-60 days to receive their cats. During that time, Tree House team members will complete a site visit and counsel the adopter on how to best acclimate their new arrival. Tree House’s Executive Director Raissa Allaire shared, “We’re happy to offer this service to our community members. Not only does this program offer an eco-friendly solution to individuals dealing with rodent problems, but it gives our displaced outdoor cats the chance to thrive again.”


In 2018, Tree House found employment for 251 cats. They maintain contact with each placement to ensure the working environment remains safe and sustainable. For more information on how you can adopt a working cat from Tree House Humane Society, please contact our Community Cats team at




Since its founding in 1971, Tree House Humane Society has created innovative and progressive approaches to animal welfare that not only enhance the lives of companion animals in the community but also bring a greater awareness of animal welfare issues to the general public. Tree House’s vision is to see every cat thrive. 


For more information about Tree House Humane Society, visit