What is a Barn cat?
A barn cat, or “feral” cat, is unsocialized to humans, meaning that they tend to be fearful of people and keep their distance. These cats are most often found living outdoors in tight-knit groups called colonies, sharing a common food source and territory.
“Feral” describes behavior, not a biological trait. Different cats will be feral to different degrees, and this level of socialization and trust of humans can change throughout a cat’s life. There is a chance that any barn cat adopted from the shelter may become more accepting of people as they get comfortable in their new home, but there are no guarantees.
What can you do to help barn cats?
If a cat is truly feral, the most compassionate choice is generally to let them live outdoors. Luckily, instead of immediately euthanizing “feral” cats like many shelters do, Nevada Humane Society is able to offer Barn Cat Adoptions for feral cats with no other options, respecting these cat’s inner needs without ending their lives.
Click here to read our Winter Tips for Feral cats.
Take the Next Step
For the cost of daily cat food, fresh water, and available shelter, barn cats will help keep your building rodent-free. While these cats have no interest in being a lap cat, they are hard workers intent on earning their keep, and use spare time to roll in the dirt and sun bathe. For many people, this provides all the benefits of having a charming nearby cat without the obligations and maintenance of a domestic pet.
Be prepared for a brief period of adjustment for your barn cats. Moving to a new home is stressful for anyone, cats included. After a short stay in secure confinement, the cats will accept their new home and be doing their rodent patrols with enthusiasm.
- These cats are not suitable as indoor pets. They are happy to live out their lives in large gardens, stables, barns, or small outbuildings.
- Outdoor cats are homed with the understanding that you will provide ongoing food and shelter and will make every effort to acquire medical care if the cats become visibly ill or injured. Note that our clinic will see any feral cat for free on our normal Trap, Neuter, Return clinic days, and traps may be rented out for this purpose.
- Providing food for cats to assure they are well-fed has proven to make them more efficient hunters. A hungry cat only catches enough prey to feed itself, whereas a well-fed cat will also hunt for sport.
- By providing both food and shelter for an outdoor cat, you will help build a bond between you (as the food provider), the cat, and their new home (a safe shelter).
- All of our outdoor cats have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and ear tipped (which identifies them as being altered).
To see our available barn cats, visit our cat adoption page.