Some of the cats that come in our door at the shelter are not suitable for adoption as house pets. This may include cats whose litter box habits make them unsuitable as house pets, feral cats; who are shy/fearful of people, who cannot tolerate being in a cage or being confined to a room w/ multiple cats or are just too independent. To prevent euthanizing these cats, we have developed a barn cat program.
Cats eligible for the barn cat program:
- Must not be kittens.
- Must not be declawed.
Your "new" Farm Cat is fully-vetted! Spayed/neutered, vaccinated for rabies, distemper, and other diseases, treated for parasites (internal & external), and tested Negative for Feline Leukemia and FIV; everything an indoor cat gets.
The farm family will complete an application. As cats become available meeting the above criteria, shelter personnel/volunteers will contact the interested farm family.
It is preferable for the cat(s) to be kept in a secure place, such as an extra-large dog crate within a tack room, with food, water and a litter box (cleaned daily) to acclimate the cat(s) to the barn for at least two weeks (4 weeks is preferable). If a crate is not available, the cat needs to be in a contained area such as a tack room.
Establish a routine for feeding twice per day. Shake the food bag or call kitty, kitty. Continue routine once released so they will know it's time to eat. Cats cannot live on what they catch; they need food & fresh water daily. Cats are by nature clean animals & like a clean litter box. Clean daily or twice a day while caged.
Feral cats will generally stay in the back of the cage avoiding contact. They are afraid of you. They are not aggressive but will try to protect themselves if they feel threatened. Do not try to touch.
When you feed, water and/or scoop litter, center yourself in front of the open door. Your presence should prevent attempts to exit the cage.
Do not reach in and try to pet or pick up a cat. If a cat tries to exit cage prematurely you can shift your position but do not do not reach out with your hands to stop the cat.
If they do get out prematurely, continue to feed outside the cage. You may not see them for a while but they will likely stay around if they are fed. We have had cats return after a several week's absence.
The Farm Family will:
Sign our adoption agreement which includes statements that they will provide shelter, food, water and long-term veterinary care.
- Just prior to release day, we recommend spreading cat feces from litterbox outside of the barn. This will make his/her environment smell like his/her territory.
- Shelter must be available 24 hours a day with a "High Spot (shelf)" to be able to get away from predators.
- Fresh food and water must be provided daily, year round. We recommend that you feed the cat a quality dry and canned food for extra water consumption and balanced nutrition). A healthy cat is a happy cat.
- If possible to capture the cat, please get annual check-ups, worming and vaccinations.
- We recommend having a Havaheart type trap (and/or hard-sided pet carrier) on hand for trapping/transporting a sick or injured cat to a vet for care.
- Are other cats on the property spayed or neutered and are they generally healthy?
- We ask for a donation to help cover the medical expenses getting your cat ready for adoption (Altering/vaccinations/worming/testing).