How Our Barn Cat Program Works
We are so excited that you are thinking about having a barn cat! They are extemely important for rodent and snake control in rural areas or working farms. All we ask is that you agree to take a minimum of two cats (sometimes waived with certain cats or depending on your needs), and fill out an information survey to best match you with the right cats for your situation. After we have received your information, a kitty playpen (if needed), bedding, litter-box and food dishes, provided by us, will be set up in your barn. (Unless you have a tack room or other suitable enclosed area). The cats are kept in the playpen or other enclosure for two to four weeks. A minimum of 2 weeks, 4 is ideal. This allows the cats to bond with their new caretaker and become familiar with their new surroundings. If possible, after the confinement period, the cats should have a room or a stall that is completely enclosed for them to be released into and that you can keep them in at night, especially if you live in an area with coyotes, etc.
Cats in the barn cat program fall into these categories:
You can let us know if you prefer a friendly cat, that can be petted and loved on, or if you prefer semi-feral to feral cats. Just let us know and we can accomodate these requests usually.
All of our cats in this program are fully vetted. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Usually at least two cats from one colony should go together. They have bonded with one another and the move will be less traumatic. Adjusting to their new home will be easier if they have the security of a familiar companion.
Do you have a working barn or a safe, heated/cooled outbuilding? If so, these cats need you as much as you need them!
Establishment of barn cats or feral colonies in rural areas benefit farms and ranches with rodent control, but the cats must still be regularly fed to keep them healthy. Healthy cats engage in rodent control, whereas starving or unhealthy cats do not.
Barn cats need safe, permanent outdoor homes with one or more areas of weather-proof shelter and a continual source of food and clean water. They thrive on rural or semi-rural properties where they can put their natural hunting abilities to good use. Owners of dairy farms, stables and other properties where grain is stored will confirm that cats are a must to avoid rodent infestations! Those that tolerate human companionship also do well in homes where they can spend most of the time outside but can come indoors for food and warmth in severe weather.
Note that removing feral cats and relocating them is a labor-intensive process on the receiving end. The cats must be fed daily and safely contained for two to four weeks before their release in that area. This helps them learn to recognize their new home and know where to return for food and shelter. Most barn cats are extremely timid and fearful of people. Unless you have experience handling wild cats, do not attempt to touch them. Call a veterinarian or agency volunteer for advice if a barn cat becomes sick or injured.
Our barn cats will be delivered to their new homes by a volunteer. Agencies provide barn cats with a large crate or cozy "cat playpen" to live in for the first few weeks of life in their new location. The crate allows the cats to acclimate to their new home without the danger of having them run away in search of their old home. They also provide a litter box, bowls and startup food to assist in the relocation process.
When adopting one of our cats in our Barn Cat Program, we ask that you agree to provide the following:
The new caretaker must be interested in providing a good home. A country home only occupied on weekends is not acceptable. The cats need daily food and water. Caretakers must agree to provide basic needs, including veterinary care if necessary.