WHAT IS A WORKING CAT?

Cats that come to our shelters with histories and temperaments better suited to an outdoor lifestyle can be successfully placed with caring owners as working cats. These cats may live in a barn, stable or other outdoor setting where they have a “job” and a better quality of life.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD WORKING CAT?

It depends on what you need! Each cat has a unique personality, but working cats tend to fall into one of two categories:

  • Semi-feral – A semi-feral cat has had some contact and experience with humans and has developed a comfort level with humans due to feeding, receiving medical care or similar contacts, but is unsuitable as an indoor pet. Like social cats, semi-feral working cats make good companions for other outdoor animals, but will likely spend more time hunting for rodents and less time with humans.

  • Feral – A feral cat lives outdoors and has never been socialized with humans. They are not aggressive when left alone. A feral cat may become more semi-feral in nature in a consistent environment. Feral working cats love to hunt!

All working cats receive spay/neuter surgery, a microchip ID, age-appropriate vaccinations and a rabies vaccination.

Tell us the type of working cat you’re looking for, and we’ll find the perfect match. Please submit an inquiry below if you wish to adopt a barn cat in the immediate future (within one week). Transportation may be arraigned for out of state adoptions. Please include this request in your inquiry! 

Frequently asked questions

Why are we adopting out cats that will be living outside? Have you changed your philosophy that cats should be kept indoors?


For the majority of cats, an indoor lifestyle is safer and healthier than living outdoors, and we typically advise cat owners to keep their pets inside. However, some cats that we receive at our shelters are better candidates for adoption into outdoor environments. Some have been accustomed to living outdoors at their previous home and are unable to adjust to an indoor environment. Others make better hunters than lap cats. Still others are less social with people, but thrive in outdoor environments. Adopting out these types of cats to caring owners for use as working cats can provide the cats with a “job” and a better quality of life.




Do people who adopt working cats have to take care of them, or are the cats just left to fend for themselves?


Those looking to adopt working cats must complete our standard adoption application and meet with one of our adoption coordinators, just like every potential adopter. Our coordinator determines what type of working cat best suits the adopter, and then we determine if we have a cat that would be a good match for that patron. We require adopters to ensure that all working cats have warm shelter, adequate food and water, and that they receive regular veterinary care—just as with any cat we adopt out from our shelters.




What is the cost to adopt a working cat?


Our adoption fees for working cats are waived at all times.




Do you adopt out kittens as working cats?


Yes, depending on age and level of socialization.




Do working cats get any medical care before they leave you?


Yes, all working cats receive a general health exam upon arrival, and then a spay/neuter surgery, microchip ID implant, Felv/FIV testing, age-appropriate vaccinations and rabies vaccination as part of their adoption.




Does every cat we TNR get placed into a working home?


No. This program is in place for cats who have current living conditions that make it unsafe for them to be returned to their original location. This gives our cats a safe living space when there is no where else for them to go.





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