Cats can thrive in many different environments!

Some cats are just not cut out for the traditional house cat life, for a variety of reasons. When cats come into our care who are not suitable for placement through our typical adoption process, we look for alternative placements that will better fit their needs. A cat may be placed as a working cat because:

  • they have not been socialized to people;
  • they need the stimulation of an outdoor environment
  • their litterbox habits make them a poor fit for a traditional home environment

There are lots of places that can serve as safe, comfortable homes for working cats. Barns, warehouses, workshops, and garages are just some of the environments in which working cats can thrive.

WHAT do they need?

There are a few basic things that all working cats need:

  • Shelter with protection from the elements and extreme temperatures.
  • Fresh food and water – don’t expect them to live on mousing alone!
  • Veterinary care, including routine vaccinations and treatment for any injuries or illnesses that arise

In addition, working cats need a place where they can be safely confined for the first 2-4 weeks while they acclimate to their new environment. This should be a secure, indoor enclosure from which they cannot escape. It might be a tack room, enclosed stall, or even an extra-large dog crate. The idea is to help the cat get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of their new home without immediately fleeing.

For more information on caring for working cats, please check out these resources on Welcoming and Caring for a Working Cat and Acclimating a Working Cat to their New Home


All working cats available for adoption are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, given initial deworming and flea/tick preventative, and are microchipped and ear tipped (for permanent identification purposes). When you adopt a working cat, we will go over with you how best to acclimate them to their new surroundings and make them feel at home. While there is no required adoption fee for barn cats, we kindly request a donation to help offset the cost of their medical care.

If you have any questions about our working cat program, feel free to email us

Working Cats Available for Adoption

Click on the photo for more info. No Results means we do not have any available working cats at this time.

You may fill out the Adopter Profile for a working cat in advance to save time. 

Working Cat Interest List

Because we do not always have working cats available for adoption, we maintain a list of interested adopters and notify them as we have working cats in need of homes. This also allows us to quickly identify potential homes for cats in need and reduce their length of stay in the shelter environment.




If you live in Chittenden or Grand Isle County and are caring for feral or free-roaming outdoor cats, click here for information on our Trap/Neuter/Return program.