Homeless Cats Hired to Guard Chicago Brewery

Empirical Brewery employee Venkman is on the lookout for rodents. (Photo from DNAinfo/Patty Wetli)

As further proof that the job market is improving, a beer brewery in Chicago has hired a bevy of stray cats as security guards in an effort to keep rats away from the company’s grain supply.

The kitties employed by Empirical Brewery were hired as part of a program overseen by the Tree House Humane Society’s Cats at Work program.

According to a statement issued by the organization: “This is a green humane program that removes sterilized and vaccinated feral cats from life-threatening situations and relocates them to new territories where their presence will help control the rodent population.”

The cats are humanely managed by volunteer caretakers for the entirety of their lives with ongoing support from Tree House as mandated by Cook County’s Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance.

Rodents are repelled by the cats’ presence and leave the cats’ new territory. Many cats will also hunt and catch rodents on occasion, but if they are fed regularly, they usually won’t eat them.

Compared to the methods that are most commonly used to control rats, which are short-term solutions and therefore ineffective, and also dangerous to kids, pets and the environment, this method proves to be effective, humane, and environmentally friendly. It is a win-win situation for the cats and their human neighbors!”

Rats have long plagued beer makers, because they love the high-quality grains used to make the brews. Empirical previously used the services of exterminators on a regular basis. But this did little to deter the rodents.

Thus far, Tree House has found jobs for about 400 stray kitties. No word on whether they plan to unionize.

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