What is a working cat? Working cats are un-socialized cats who would not acclimate to a home environment. They are not socialized with humans and are often stray cats who prefer the company of other cats to people. Working cats can thrive in a number of outdoor settings, such as a barn or business type setting. Spaying and neutering these cats and placing them back outdoors where they are most comfortable is a practical alternative to euthanasia, as these cats are often not adopted from shelters due to their lack of socialization with humans.
Benefits of a working cat: Working cats help with pest and rodent control, and can also provide companionship for other animals (such as a barn cat in a farm setting to keep the other animals company). They are ideal for warehouses, barns, farms, backyards, and businesses. Hiring a barn cat is saving a life!
What do working cats need? They just need a caretaker, shelter, food and water, an area to get acclimated to their new environment at first, and basic veterinary care (such as flea control and staying up to date on vaccines). Other than the basic necessities, they are relatively low maintenance and do not require extensive care.
How do I acclimate a working cat to a new environment? Cats do require a transition period as they are acclimating to their new environment. They cannot just be released freely into the new space without a proper transition. To help your new working cat adjust to its new environment, you will need a few basic supplies such as: A large crate or kennel, food, water and litter.
You can start by housing the cat in the crate or kennel in its new environment (such as a barn, yard, warehouse, etc). Keep a smaller cat carrier in the larger crate/kennel to give the cat a hiding space. Make sure to keep the necessities (food, litter, and water) in the larger crate, and refresh them daily. Continue to do so for 2-3 weeks while the cat adjusts to the new area, while remaining in the enclosure. After 2-3 weeks, you can open the door and let the cat out of the larger crate. Continue to keep food and water in the crate (with the crate open), as well as in the cat’s new environment. Keep the crate available to the cat during this time. After about 2 weeks, the cat should be fully adjusted to the new environment and the crate can be removed. Continue to provide the cat with fresh food and water daily.
What do I do if I’m interested in adopting a working cat? Email AnimalServices@ocfl.net. We can provide you with more information about cats who would be candidates for adoption as a working cat. We will spay/neuter, vaccinate and ear notch the cats, you would just need to come and pick them up when they are ready! If you have a large yard or a lot of land, warehouse, brewery or business, adopting a working cat could be beneficial to you.