Barn Cat Program

Do you have a barn, stables, grain silo, or other rural property that needs some chemical-free pest control? The Vanderburgh Humane Society has implemented a new barn cat program beginning in 2019!

What kind of cats are considered "barn cats?"
Barn cats are less-friendly (feral or semiferal) cats who may not be ideal candidates for a normal home adoption. They have had a history of successfully living outdoors prior to coming to the VHS. While these cats might not make ideal house pets, they can still live comfortably in a barn or stables while providing companionship, and potentially expert, free rodent control.

You can browse all our available barn cats here anytime! 

What are the requirements if I adopt barn cats?
We do require that all adopters take at least 2 barn cats unless they already have an established group of barn cats on the property. But there is no limit to how many you can adopt!

Our barn cat adoption contract only asks that you provide the following for the cats' whole lives:

  • daily food
  • fresh water (including in winter)
  • shelter from the elements (inside the barn, warehouse, etc.) in a rural setting (we will not adopt cats to simply be outdoors in busy or high-traffic neighborhoods)
  • veterinary care for them if they are ever injured

To help your cat get used to their new environment, you will need an area where the cats can be safely contained with food and a litterbox for at least 14 days. Make sure they have warm blankets and a place to hide. This can be a horse stable office or closet, shed with no holes to escape through, or the VHS can temporarily loan you a large crate if needed. Covering the crate may make the cats feel more comfortable.

After the 14 days, they can be released. Cats who are confined for an initial 14-day acclimation period are 75% more likely to stay nearby long-term.

Are the cats fixed?
Of course! No one leaves our facility to go home without being fixed! All barn cats are spayed or neutered, ear-tipped (for identification) and receive a rabies and an FVRCP vaccination.

What is the adoption fee?
Barn cats are FREE to adopt! Since we fix and vet the cats prior to adoption, any donation you can make is much appreciated.

Do I get to choose which cats I take?
Generally, no. Since most barn cats are not friendly, we are focused only on their safe placement rather than making personality matches. Let our Adoptions team know how many barn cats you can take, and we will get a group together for you. We can sometimes accommodate choice of male vs. female, but not always. Remember, all barn cats are fixed regardless.

Will the cats become socialized over time?
It is possible, but unlikely. Barn cat adopters should be prepared for cats who don't want to be picked up or petted a lot.

Won't cats eat birds and other important wildlife nearby?
Cats are opportunistic feeders. Providing them with a steady food source will reduce the effect they have on traditional prey, like birds.

How do I apply for barn cats?
Fill out our adoption application here! Simply specific that you are interested in barn cats, and how many. Our Adoptions team will be in touch Tuesday thru Saturday!

Want to help us promote our barn cat program? Print and hang the color flyers below at your local farm supply store, stables, or other locations!

Barn Cat Flyer