Employees Of The Month: Brewing Facility Hires Feral Cats For A Special Job!

| Published on June 3, 2016

Whether you like beer or not, you are going to love this story. Empirical Brewing of Chicago, Illinois had a large problem common with most breweries and distillers – rodents. After all, they are storing large quantities of grains, something that attracts rats and mice. They tried everything, including professional exterminators, but nothing worked. After tossing out 50 pounds of grain, they decided it was time to try something else.

(All photos are screen shots via Vimeo.)


So December 2015, they adopted 4 feral cats through Tree House Humane Society’s Cats at Work program. The program takes feral cats that are too wild to adopt out to families’ homes and gives them a safe place to live where they can be used as rodent control – such as a barn, or in this case, a brewery.


The company had a poll via social media to let fans of their beer name the cats.

Three were named after Ghostbusters: Venkman, Ray, and Egon.




And the fourth, a female, was named Gozer.


The company says that after a brief acclimation period where the cats were kept in small area, they were let loose to roam the 8,000 square foot brewery. The cats do not go outside, so they stay safe and sound. Aside from all the boxes and shelves, they have their own cat house complete with litter boxes and lots of scratching posts to keep them happy.

The brewery feeds the cats twice a day, and they give them cat treats every day as well.

The below video shows Venkman, Ray, Egon and Gozer at their brewery home. It was created by a Medill School of Journalism student:

The cats are more effective at rodent control than anything else was before and they cost the company less money than an exterminator. The four cats are no longer adding to the stray cat population and they are getting the care they deserve – meals, vet visits (The Tree House Humane Society comes in and traps them, should they need vet care), shelter and love from the workers at the brewery. You can check them out on their Facebook page.