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Working Cat Program

Barn Cat.png

Otherwise known as Barn Cats, these special kitties are good at their jobs!  Cats are uniquely adapted to hunting small mammals.  This is the original reason cats were domesticated and why they continue to thrive around human populations.  Of course we love them as pets now and most of our furry friends do not have jobs to do.  

Some cats, for various reasons, would rather not be a pampered indoor house pet.  Maybe they are fiercely independent or they have a personality conflict with people. They still want and need care, but they are willing to put up their "Will work for food" sign to get it.

We generally know very little history about the cats that enter our working cat program, so we cannot guarantee that they will hunt the vermin you want them to hunt.  The good news though is that just the mere presence of cats is a significant deterrent to small mammals such as rats and mice.

All we and they expect from you is food, water and shelter.  We encourage you to provide medical care, but do not require it.  If you see that they are suffering, we would expect you to relieve that suffering through treatment or humane euthanasia.

All of our barn cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated for FVRCP and Rabies, are tested negative for FELV/FIV and are treated for parasites.

We reserve the right to not send barn cats to areas of high coyote predation or street traffic.  Thank you for your understanding.

If you are interested, please fill out the form below and we will get back with you! 


Why you should consider a barn cat from KCHS:

  • Spayed/neutered/vaccinated

  • Assessed by a veterinarian to be healthy

  • Food, water and shelter is all you need to provide, no litter box required!

  • Organic pest control - no chance of poisoning neighborhood animals or children.

  • Give a cat a job and a second chance on life!

Working Cat Interest Form
Type of facility you have for the cats:

How many cats are you interested in adopting? 

We recommend at least two.

What will you feed the cats? (select all that apply)
Have you lost cats to coyotes, other predators or road traffic recently?

Thanks for your interest!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to adopt a barn cat?
The adoption fee is $10. You will be responsible for ongoing veterinary care (as necessary), food, water, and shelter.

How soon can I take home my barn cat(s)?

We do our best to find live outcomes for all the healthy cats in our care.  This means returning behaviorally unadoptable (feral) cats to where they came from through our Return to Field Program and encouraging TNR whenever possible. However, circumstances arise where this is not possible.  Sometimes cats in our care exhibit unadoptable habits.  All that being said, we do not always have barn cats available immediately.  However when we do have them available, we would like them to go to their new homes as soon as possible to minimize stress.  If you are interested in being an "on-call" barn home, we would greatly appreciate it!

What do I need to do when I bring the cats home?
When you bring the new cats home, they will need to be confined to an escape-proof room or enclosure like a tack room, garage, coop, or XXL dog crate for 2-4 weeks while they acclimate to their new surroundings. You will feed/water and clean the litter pan daily during the confinement period (they can be messy!).  We recommend feeding canned food daily and make a special "call" to teach the cats that the sound of your voice equals food. 
At the end of 4 weeks, leave the crate door nonchalantly open for the cats to exit at their will. After this period of confinement, the cats will usually accept their new home and may be released. You will continue to provide daily food and water and allow them access to shelter such as your barn or garage.


Are they spayed or neutered?
Yes. All barn cats come spayed or neutered, current on vaccinations, microchipped, treated for worms and fleas, and tested for feline leukemia and FIV.

Will I be responsible for future vaccinations?
Any cat you adopt from KCHS-CATS will be current on vaccinations. Following adoption, you will be responsible for keeping the animals’ vaccinations up to date if possible.

Do you have any friendly barn cats?
No; the cats in the barn cat program are not social, friendly cats or suited to be pets. They have no desire to be “lap cats” and cannot be touched, or may take a very long time to trust enough to pet. We strongly encourage adopters to offer cats in this program an independent outdoor life complemented by appropriate care and shelter like a barn or garage.

Do you have any barn kittens?
We generally do not have cats less than six months in our Working Cat program.  It is our policy not to adopt younger kittens as barn cats, as they don’t yet have the knowledge, size, or skills to remain safe outdoors. Most cats in the barn program are young adults between one and five years of age, though we do have younger and older cats available occasionally. If you have an age preference, just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you!

What do the barn cats require?
The cats require shelter in a permanent building or structure like a barn, shed, stable, or garage in a suitable rural area where they will be safe. The property should be at least .5 miles away from busy roads. Daily food and water must be provided, as well as any future medical care needed. The cats must also be kept confined for the initial 2-4 week relocation period to ensure a successful transition to their new home.

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