menu close open event RSVP required ticketed event
Toggle Search

Working/barn cat program

What is a working cat?

Any time a social cat comes to us, they go right into our adoption program to find a home. There are some cats who are simply fearful of new situations, and they too go into our adoption program as "Hidden Treasures." Then there are the cats who are deeply under-socialized, truly want nothing to do with people, and they get extremely stressed when confined; those are our working cats (also known as "barn cats"). These cats cannot be house cats but thrive in a "working" environment where they can patrol a barn, stable, outbuilding, shed, or even a warehouse. They get to live a fulfilling life with a family who cares for them, and you get a rodent-free property!

Working cat types

Generally speaking, working cats are independent cats who prefer to limit their interactions with humans. However, the degree to which they keep their distance varies from cat to cat and may change over time. Even those who prefer to keep their distance may develop bonds with their caregiver after positive encounters with people. The cats often develop strong bonds with other cats, which is why the Wisconsin Humane Society recommends that at least two cats be placed together.

What we provide

You get to name your own adoption fee for working cats, and they've all been spayed/neutered, ear-tipped, tested for FeLV, microchipped, and vaccinated. We also provide consultation on how to successfully acclimate them to their new home.  

What you need

  • Shelter in a barn, outbuilding, stable, warehouse, business, or other structure
  • Daily food and water
  • Ability to provide veterinary care, as needed
  • A secure place to keep them for the first 4-6 weeks while they acclimate to your barn (this can be a tack room, large crate, or any secure indoor enclosure)

How to adopt

If you are looking for a pair of working cats, please email us at barncats@wihumane.org. Please also fill out our Adopter Profile

Please Help! Close

Donations Matched!

In honor of animals like T-Rex, donations are being matched on Giving Tuesday until 11:59p on Dec 1! Double your impact for animals in need.