The term “barn cat” can apply to any cat that helps keep a barn or other outdoor area vermin-free. That said, certain cats might be a better fit for the barn cat life. We tend not to adopt social cats out as barn cats, since they make good pets. Feral cats that would otherwise be euthanized are great working cats and can live long, full lives helping keep someone’s barn mouse-free. These are usually community/feral cats that cannot return to the area they were found due to it now being uninhabitable or a dangerous habitat or the area the cat came from is unknown.
Barn cats don’t require a ton of attention. In fact, some would prefer to be left alone and will live out their lives happily keeping your barn and homestead free of pests and rodents that will eat your grains and ruin your garden. But they do require a few basic needs to be met in order to keep them healthy and willing to stay on your property.
One of the most important things you can do to help your cat acclimate to its new home environment is to keep it crated for the first few weeks. Your new cat will be understandably frightened, and crating allows your new friend time to become acclimated to its new environment. While feral and semi-feral cats will never be “people-friendly,” the more time you can spend bonding with the cat, the more likely the cat is to remain at their new home.
The nicer the accommodation and the more the cat comes to recognize you as their ‘food person,’ the more likely they’ll want to stay around. After the initial confinement period, your cat will need a place to go in out of the wind and rain and during extreme weather. No matter what you’ve heard in the past, cats do not thrive on catching mice alone—they still need proper nutrition.
Community and barn cats still need adequate food and water. While feral and semi-feral cats don’t make ideal members of the family for indoor dwelling, they CAN go on to lead happy, productive lives in the communities in which they live. What we can do for them is ease their struggle, make them healthy through sterilization and vaccination, and provide them with suitable homes.
YOU can be the opportunity for a happy, healthy future for these often overlooked cats. All our barn cats are fixed and fully vetted. Check out all of our adoptable animals here.