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Working Cats FAQ


What is a “working cat” anyway?

Working cats (also called barn cats) are healthy, unsocialized (feral) cats that prefer to live outdoors. These cats have come from a neighborhood where it is no longer safe to return them, so finding them a job is our way of providing them with a happy new situation. They “work” by keeping pests off your property – typically, their very presence causes rodents and birds to look elsewhere for food and lodging.


How much does it cost to adopt one?

Nada! The adoption fee is waived for these cats-for-hire. We just ask that you provide food, water, shelter, and any necessary vet care.


What do I do when I bring the cats home?

New cats will need to be confined to a secure enclosure for two weeks while they get used to their new surroundings. PVAS will provide an acclimation cage and instructions on how to care for the cat, as well as any necessary support for issues that may arise during the acclimation period. After release continue to provide daily food and water and allow them access to shelter. We have found that cats acclimate to their new homes more successfully if they are adopted out in pairs or groups. Though we will work with your needs and resources, we strongly prefer not to adopt out single working cats.


Are they spayed or neutered?

Yes. All working cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and treated for worms and fleas.


Do you have any friendly working cats?

The cats in the Working Cat program are not social, friendly cats who desire to be “lap cats” inside your home. They cannot be touched, though you will find that they gain trust in their caregivers over time and may eventually talk to you (meaning they demand their dinner) or allow a rare pat. 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.


Do you have any working kittens?

The youngest cats in the Working Cat program are approximately six months old. PVAS will not adopt younger kittens as working cats, as they don’t yet have the knowledge, size, or skills to remain savvy outdoors. Most cats in the program are young adults between one and five years of age, though we do have younger and older cats available occasionally. If you have an age preference, just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you!


What do the working cats require?

Working cats just need access to shelter, such as a barn, shed, stable or garage, and of course food and water.    


Ready to adopt a working cat? Apply below!

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