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Barn Cat Program

When feral or unsocialized cats wind up in a shelter, they’re often euthanized because they’ll never make good house pets. These cats prefer outdoor living—confinement to a home or shelter just will not do. APL’s barn cat program rescues these cats from animal control facilities where they would otherwise be euthanized, and places them in barns, garages, warehouses, and other settings better suited to unsocialized cats.

Barn cats have no desire to be lap cats. These cats are working cats. They’re used to living on the streets and are pleased to tend to any mouse or rodent problem you may have. They prefer little to no human contact and will work for the price of daily food and water, vet care as needed, and shelter in a barn, garage, or other structure. APL’s barn cats are healthy, sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped, and in need of a new outdoor home.


The Barn Cat Program is a win-win for both the cats and adopters! Cats enjoy safe outdoor homes with shelter and a caregiver, and adopters enjoy having healthy, sterilized cats happily tend to their rodent troubles.


Interested in adopting a barn cat?
Read the FAQ below and
apply to adopt!
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How much does it cost to adopt a barn cat?


The adoption fee is waived. You will be responsible for ongoing veterinary care (as necessary), food, water and shelter.

What do I 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 XL 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. 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. 

For more info on what to do when you get the cats home click HERE and for info on kenneling the cats for the acclimation period click HERE

Do you have any friendly barn cats?


Not often. A large majority of the cats in the program are not social with people and are not 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. When we do have socialzed cats, they are usually poorly suited to shelter life or indoor-only homes, and prefer to be outdoors. 

Will I be responsible for future vaccinations?


APL barn cats will be up-to-date on vaccines when they are adopted. If you wish to keep a cat’s vaccinations up to date, you may make arrangements with APL’s spay/neuter clinic at minimal cost, or with your regular veterinarian. The best way to have feral cats vaccinated is with the use of a live humane trap, such as a Tomahawk Feral Cat Trap. APL loans live traps and is experienced in safely vaccinating feral cats who arrive in humane traps.​​

For more information you may also contact us at

Are the cats spayed or neutered?
Yes. All barn cats come spayed or neutered, current on vaccinations, microchipped, treated for worms and fleas, and examined by a veterinarian.
Do you have any barn kittens?


Most of the cats in the program are adults between one and five years of age, though we do have younger and older cats occasionally. The youngest cats in the program will be approximately 5-6 months old. We do not often adopt younger kittens as barn cats, as they don’t yet have the knowledge, size, or skills to remain safe outdoors.

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.


Can I come look at or select my barn cats?


No, the APL barn cats are not accessible to visitors. When you are scheduled to adopt, APL will select barn cats for you based on which cats are the most eager to enter a cat carrier for us. If you have a color, age, or sex preference, we will do our best to accommodate you, though! All barn cat adoptions are scheduled by appointment since it can take some time and extra staff to round the kitties up. Just fill out the application below to get started!

Can APL take my cats into the program?


No, all of our barn cats come from facilities where they would otherwise be euthanized. This maximizes our lifesaving potential. There are always more cats waiting to come in from these shelters than there are barn homes available. 

Ready to adopt barn cats?

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