The NY Times has a great story today about the owners of delis and other small shops that are using cats to keep rodents away. However, there's only one problem - they get fined by city inspectors if they keep them.
Some shop owners find exterminators fairly ineffective, creating noxious chemical smells in the establishment in the process. Ironically, the fines for finding rats or cats at an establishment are the same.
Cats have been used in homes, on farms and even in businesses to control rodents for many centuries; I imagine that may have been a factor in how the cat was domesticated.
If people can bring helper animals, like guide dogs, into a restaurant, why can't a cat earn his keep by getting rid of rodents?
Socks was once an indoor-outdoor cat and was a pretty good hunter from what I understand. If I wind up living in the country and not in my little hermetically sealed surburban apartment, Socks might wind up chasing some real mice instead of simulated rodents from the pet aisle of Walmart.
article at NY Times