Voice For the Animals: Working Cats® Program

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  1.  The process begins with taking unsocialized cats that would otherwise be euthanized from shelters, and workingcats-265x170getting them neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated.
  2. The cats are then brought to the new environment, a business or residence with a rodent problem, and the owners sign adoption contracts.
  3. They are then kept in a large holding cages for one month where they become accustomed with the sights, smells, and sounds of their new location. This is called grounding, or re-colonizing, the cats (acclimating them to their new homes).
  4. Once the cats are acclimated their new environment, they are released into their territory where they will remain. The cats are given fresh food and water by their new owners, which is mandatory because they do not eat the rats. It is the odor of the cats that drives away rodent populations.

Melya Kaplan at the Flower Mart

Melya Kaplan at the Flower Mart


The program was first implemented in 1999, at the Flower Mart in downtown Los Angeles. The area was plagued by rats, and the extermination methods (spraying poison) were not only making the humans sick, but it also did not solve the rat problem. Melya Kaplan brought in sterilized unsocialized cats, and the rat situation was brought under control.

The Self-Realization Lake Shrine

The Self-Realization Lake Shrine

The program has been successfully implemented in the Flower Mart, Crossroads School Campus, the Los Angeles Police Department (Wilshire, Foothill, and Southeast Divisions), the Self Realization Lake Shrine in the Pacific Palisades, and various residences and small businesses.




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This information is also featured on our Wikipedia.

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  1. My mother just passed away and she was care-taking for 5 feral/semi-feral cats that she and my dad had trapped, spayed/neutered, and released at their home. We are looking for new circumstances for these 5 kitties to avoid taking them to a shelter and getting euthanized. They are approximately 5 years old and in good health. They even have names [Inky, Boots, Funny Face, Tiger and Squirrel.] Could your organization help us relocate these cats to a new location within your program? Thank you so much.

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