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Added Dec 18 2017

Hello neighbors! We have a crazy cat lady on our street. She has at least 10 cats that roam freely. They are a problem. They spray, they get in my garage, they poop in everyone's lawn. I can't open my front door without one trying to run in. I know there are leash laws for dogs but what about cats. I am not the only neighbor upset by all the cats. I've tried talking to the cat lady but she does not care. Will the city come out if I call with a complaint?

  • So we should just except that there will be stray cats? I'm sorry but a cat is not a wild animal so yes while we have to except, possums, raccoons, skunks and so on we don't have to except our neighbors inability to be a good neighbor. Cats carry a lot of disease especially in their poop so I should just except that my dog who is in his own back yard might get sick because my neighbor chooses to let her cats run the streets. I'm glad you posted this topic Alan because we are having the same issues. I'm going to take some of the advice myself and see if I can get the neighbors onboard with our cat problem.

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  • DJ6

    Interesting how quick some people are to jump to conclusions. And what the heck is the "tnr agenda?" That was lost on me. Yes, leaving food outside for cats or other animals will attract rats. It wasn't mentioned that the " crazy cat" person was doing that. And of course that is problematic. And, while cats in and of themselves, are not effective rat control they do help in the effort. Feral cats are wild cats actually. I did not mean to suggest that people should simply accept it. Rather, I'm trying to present a view that some cats roaming around are not the big enemy that some people seem to be indicating they are and right now , with all of that construction, they may even be useful. I've taken in my fair share of stray cats to the anti cruelty society, but the insinuation a poster had about poisoning cats and doing what it takes is definitely concerning and what caused me to post in the first place.

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  • Phill Unfair suspension without reason. No rules broken

    I can't believe that "Sue" got so angry at opinions different than hers, that she deleted her account.
    Some people can't argue in a civil way and exchange ideas.

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  • What streets? I am a registered caretaker in that area. We can relocate and adopt out if possible.

  • First let me say, that the insinuations that killing any animal, just because it doesn't conform to your standards of how they should be acting or behaving is very disturbing. There are many organizations/individuals that will help feral cat communities, besides Tree House (which is useless by the way) and PAWS. I happen to know an individual who may be able to help. If someone would like to send me a private message as to where this home is, perhaps I can get someone involved in helping the situation and speaking to this woman.

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  • Furthermore, most of you seem to have a lot of misinformation about rats and the way they live. 1. Cats keep rats at bay, and even kill them sometimes. 2. Dog poop DOES NOT attract rats, ( not the kind of rats we have here in the city anyway) Rats are very smart creatures who will not eat poop unless it's the very last thing on the menu. When they have garbage cans, gutters and dumpsters full of food, poop is the last thing they will eat. The city has sent out lots of propaganda about dog poop and rats. It seems they want to blame everyone other than themselves for the rat problem. In fact, the city doesn't have money to fight the rats. The reason we are seeing such an abundance of them in the past few years is that the city tore up many streets, sewer systems etc in most of the neighborhoods, which disturbed the nests underground. This coupled with no budget to fight them, has left us with a real problem. http://stevedalepetworld.com/rats-dog-feces-no-connection/

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  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    @Peacefully Dreaming
    You need to read more carefully.

    First, the headline: "Rats and Dog Feces: There is No Connection"

    Awful! Nowhere in that article is that statement verified.
    And you say: "Dog poop DOES NOT attract rats, ( not the kind of rats we have here in the city anyway...."

    Most folks (even without scientific training) would agree that if you offered a Norway rat a beef patty or a hamburger bun next to a pile of dog feces, it should choose the dog feces last. That does NOT mean that rats do not consume animal feces. Do you understand?

  • Exactly!! Dog poop isn't attracting rats, and CAT POOP and pee will actually keep them away.

  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    Let me keep it simple. Can anyone link to a statement by a known expert saying that (city) rats do not eat animal feces?

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  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    "Dog poop isn't attracting rats, and CAT POOP and pee will actually keep them away."

    Again, it is clear you don't understand. Animal feces do not have to be the very FIRST choice of food for rats, but they will still be ATTRACTED to feces to eat if that is what is available in their microhabitat.

    Please link to scientific evidence that cat feces keep rats away. And how far away? Good grief! With all the free-roaming cats, by your logic we shouldn't have any rats at all on some blocks.

  • Bernard Bromberg Albany Park resident since 1960

    Please call Treehouse Humane Society at (773) 262-4000 and request advice and assistance regarding a community cats issue. They have a community cats program and coordinator. If this lady is hoarding cats they can coordinate rescue and relocation of the cats as well as neutering and vaccinations. The cats may be placed thru a managed colony monitored and cared for as outdoor cats under a colony manager. Those cats that are more docile may even be placed with a foster or no kill shelter if space is available. If this is a hoarding situation if should be addressed promptly. I would ask that you do not contact Chicago Animal Control as a viable option as they have been overwhelmed is the past month by a man who has been trapping a large number of ferals and strays and dumping them at Animal Control. I believe who will have a better response from Treehouse.

  • Liz Houtz Tree House Community Cats Program Manager

    Hi Neighbors, I'm no longer with Tree House, but am still involved with animal welfare and I know people near you who may be able to help get the situations under control. Please email me both addresses and any contact phone number, names, etc. you have. My email is catwomanilz@yahoo.com. Thanks! Liz

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  • Mute, it seems to me that you are just here to argue, I have offered help, as have others here. Yet, I have not heard from you, and I doubt the others have either. If you want solutions great, we have offered some. If you just want to b*tch and argue, carry on, as that seems to be what EB is for, but you are not accomplishing anything.

  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    Sorry to have followed others over the cliff about dog droppings and rats. Of course, this is a thread about a particular cat problem in a particular neighborhood. Didn't mean to participate in a derail.

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  • Bernard commented about animal hoarding, what does the city classify as animal hoarding? Is there are law on that. We have crazy cat people next door to us as well. They have 9 cats. It wouldn't be so bad if they had one or two but 9 is a little excessive especially since they run wild. When I tell people where I live they're like oh you live next to the cat house lol. I was mostly just curious if there was a number of animals one is legally aloud to keep since Bernard mentioned it so now I'm curious about that.

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  • Mute, I think it is terrible and most reprehensible that you have put out information about this John Norton and advised people to "do what you want with it." The needless suffering and death of these animals will be on you. Not all information is to be shared so freely, especially not on a public forum...if ever.

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  • Bernard Bromberg Albany Park resident since 1960

    I’m not aware of limitations in Chicago on the number of cats or dogs that may be owned or kept. Some municipalities do have such restrictions that I’ve heard of. However hoarding is more than a problem of having a large number of animals. To me an excessive number is a number exceeding that which can be properly cared for and sheltered by a household. Do the cats (or dogs) seem reasonably healthy and well fed? Are there any signs of injuries, illnesses or malnutrition? Is the residence in good condition and if anyone has been inside is it reasonably sanitary and most importantly habitatable by humans and animals? If a this is done regardless of the number of animals then I certainly would not consider it hoarding. I know compassionate people that work very hard to accomplish this to the benefit of humane care of their animals.
    However hoarders are individuals who may have been well intentioned but who have so many animals that they have essentially lost control of the situation. They essentially are unable to provide proper care to the detriment of their animals and their own detriment. Issues of physical and mental disabilities may be involved. If this is the case compassionate action is needed for both humans and animals. Condemnation and talk of killing animals really don’t help. Animal rescue organizations are more than willing to help animals in these situations and there are humane resources for both humans and animals.

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  • Phill Unfair suspension without reason. No rules broken

    Wow! Animal-sensitive people want to protect rats too. Amazing!

  • Bernard- the cats seem to be healthy and fed. As far as living conditions the house is the dirtiest on the street. I haven't been inside their home but judging on the outside it's probably nasty in there. I've been told by other neighbors that they have been fined numerous times by the city for grass not being mowed and for having too much debris. I do know they have more cats inside because I see them peering at me when I take out the trash.

  • Thank you everyone for the response. I will take some of your advice and see what some of the organizations say. I have talked to a few neighbors and we are going to go to the Alderman's office and see what can be done.

  • I don't believe Tree House has a community cats program anymore. There is an organization that deals specifically with outdoor colonies and I believe would talk/work with the woman to at least get them all spayed & neutered. Try contacting:
    https://www.catsinmyyard.com/

  • Liz Houtz Tree House Community Cats Program Manager

    Yes, Tree House DOES still have a Community Cats program. I am one of many, many volunteers who are a part of the program. Vanessa from Cats In My Yard is an independent trapping volunteer. I can help. Please email addresses and contact info if you have it to me at catwomanliz@yahoo.com.

    Alan, I've worked hundreds of these situations, have worked with Aldermen, the City, Animal Control, etc. My phone is 773 898 9899 if you want to talk.

  • Liz - my apologies. I was misinformed about Tree House. Glad you guys are still have that program.

  • Phill Unfair suspension without reason. No rules broken

    Peacefully Dreaming, Jefferson Park Resident, rats aren't cute little critters, rats are pests. Pests that need to be eradicated for the common good.
    If a rat was to get inside your home, would you let it stay? Would you say, "What a beautiful creature, it's OK that it lives in my pantry and eats whatever it likes" ???

  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    Come on, Phill, knock it off. No one in this thread is advocating for the protection of vermin like city rats. Maybe you just misunderstood? It sure looks like you're trolling, though.

  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    I haven't seen a link to this article, so I thought I'd mention it:
    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20131003/lakeview/meet-trapper-john-kitty-catching-expert-some-say-has-gone-rogue

    It's obviously biased against the trapper. It also repeatedly implies that he's trapping animals with tipped ears out of colonies without any proof that I can see. Certainly, CACC or other shelters wouldn't accept such cats, would they?

    He clearly represents one choice for attacking the stray cat problem.

  • Phill Unfair suspension without reason. No rules broken

    OK. OK.

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  • Liz Houtz Tree House Community Cats Program Manager

    Hey Spam Alert & Mute,

    So a couple things. . . . First of all, feral cats who live outside aren't "suffering." I used to think that also before I got into TNR. In fact, many of them are thriving. Studies which you can find at alleycat.org show that the average feral cat is as healthy as the average pet cat. Cats in managed colonies who are sterilized and vaccinated have decent lives. I just fed my feral tonight that I TNR'd nearly 5 years ago. She likes to sit on the heating pad I have for her on the front porch. I have never seen a rat on my block.

    Secondly, yes, Trapper John has broken the law many times. Registered colony caretakers have reported him trespassing on private property to intentionally trap cats he knows are part of a managed colony. The problem is that we need video tape of him in the act. When ear tipped and microchipped cats come into CACC or any shelter, they are scanned and returned back to their colonies. That's the law. He was also FIRED from Animal Control for the same antics. And it's very hard to fire city employees. We also have accounts from several people that he lied to, little old ladies who he mislead to think he'd find homes for their cats or get them into a shelter. Coincidentally, I personally know him from a company we both worked at in the early 90s. He is not a good person.

  • Liz Houtz Tree House Community Cats Program Manager

    I'd also like to point out that "trap and kill" is actually not at all effective in reducing the free-roaming cat population. It actually has the opposite effect, due to a phenomenon that biologists refer to as the "vacuum effect." The first scientist to discover the phenomenon was Roger Tibor with London street cats, but it has been replicated many times since then and I've also experienced it. Basically, if you remove all of a species from a given area, even more move in to fill the vacuum. And the new ones may not be sterilized. Cats are territorial, so the spayed/neutered cats in a managed colony generally keep out newcomers.

    Again, I've worked many, many out-of-control cat situations, hoarding projects (indoor and outdoor) and I am offering my help. All I need is an address and contact info if you have it. I'm at catwomanliz@yahoo.com, 773 898 9899

  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    " First of all, feral cats who live outside aren't "suffering."

    I'm so gobsmacked by that statement that I hardly know whether there's any point in responding. Do I really need to point out that *your* feral having a heating pad (!!!) is not the typical situation for homeless animals in this bitter weather. That's just delusional.

  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    "trap and kill"? Who's doing that?

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  • Liz Houtz Tree House Community Cats Program Manager

    I think we humans assume just because WE hate the cold that animals must be "suffering," but there really isn't any evidence to back that up. In Cook County there are nearly 3000 managed colonies. Most managed colonies do provide shelter, some heated. But feral cats in un-managed colonies also survive the winters well. They find places to seek shelter. They are very resilient creatures, which is one of the reasons why they proliferate outside if un-altered.

    We actually have accounts, photos, etc. from people who have chased TJ from their colonies on private property. Not hearsay. But not enough for anyone to do anything about it. The police are too busy with other issues.

  • Spam Alert Don't be selling your used junk up in here, okay?

    "We actually have accounts, photos, etc. from people who have chased TJ from their colonies on private property. Not hearsay. But not enough for anyone to do anything about it. The police are too busy with other issues."

    Puh-leeze. Put up or...well, stop it. You know what? Two people with clipboards came up on my property today for who knows what reason and I sent them on their way with, "No, thank you." I guess I could say I "chased them off my property." I could have called the police, even. Yeah.

    So you mean to say that someone came up on private property setting traps time and time again and no one can be bothered to do anything about it? Hahaha. But you have PROOF!! Sure. Okay, thanks.

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  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • Alley Cat Allies is a reputable organization that has been around for quite some time. Perhaps they are referring to the TNR cats as having a lifespan of 7 years. Surely they know that a strictly indoor pet cat receiving proper nutrition, veterinary care, etc., can and often does live almost 3 times that long. One of my cats was 19 years and 9 months old with medical issues that were well maintained over a long period of time. A friend had a kitty that was 26 years old. So, yes, cats can live very nicely well into a ripe old age!

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