The Barn Cat Network is a network of people just like you who can take in feral and semi-feral cats that are forced to relocate from their outdoor homes.
Every single week I get messages or emails from rescues or shelters or just a concerned citizen who needs to find a barn home (or similar) for a feral or unadoptable cat.
It doesn’t matter if you have a barn, farm or ranch. You could have a warehouse or wood shop or business where a working cat would be welcome. Or are you someone who loves these felines but don’t have a barn? You could foster one until a suitable farm or location is found simply by having a large pet cage in your garage or spare bedroom.
Feral cat groups and rescues welcome, too!
Join: The Barn Cat Network Facebook Group
OR if you’re not into the social thing, simply enter your information in the database and any feral or community cats needing a home come up in your area, you’ll receive an email!
What is the Barn Cat Network?
The Barn Cat Network is exactly what it sounds like. A network of people who care for barn cats or community cats who are willing to take in an outdoor cat or two in emergency relocation situations.
Feral cat groups and rescues often have a hard time finding barn homes (or similar) for unadoptable cats that have to be relocated fast. Usually, this is because a property owner demands the cats to be removed or destroyed and rescues, shelters, and volunteers scramble to find a suitable outdoor home for them, such as barns.
Anyone who has a special place in their hearts for unowned cats are welcome to join to help these displaced cats find new outdoor homes!
Advantages of Taking in These Cats
By offering your barn or farm to a pair of feral cats forced to move from their original home, you are ensuring that your farm or barn or warehouse always has a few cats running around reducing rodent problems.
You’re saving their lives.
You’re ensuring that kittens and adoptable cats get placed into homes and giving these unadoptable ones a place where they feel safe and are well cared for.
No one expects people to take in 30 cats to their barns or business. However, it’s a sad fact of life that a barn cat will not live as long as an indoor pet, and barns and farms always need cats.
Instead of letting your cats breed to replace lost barn cats, thus contributing to the overpopulation of cats in the United States, how about saving cats already born with no place to go?
- Commitment to caring for these cats, feral or not. (Food, water, deworming, emergency vet care).
- Following relocation protocols (may depend on the rescue, or you can follow mine)
- Have a safe outdoor home environment for the cats (i.e. barns, warehouses, sheds, ranches)
Relocation is a LAST Resort
Relocating feral and community cats should never be considered lightly. Outdoor cats are often very attached to their territory and are NOT bonded to people. Relocating them is a difficult process that must have a proper acclimation period, and even then, the more feral they are, the more relocating might fail.
When a cat is relocated without a proper acclimation period, they will usually try to find their way to their home territory. They rarely make it because they end up hurt or killed attempting it.
With an acclimation period, your success rate goes up. If you take in two cats from the same colony, your success rate goes up. But it is never 100% guaranteed.
Another consideration is that when a feral or community cat colony is relocated, the original territory is now vacant of cats. New cats will start moving into that area.
Relocation is not an approved way of dealing with feral cat overpopulation because of new cats moving in. But sometimes, it must be done.
Want to Save a Life?
Don’t have time to volunteer or TNR, but want to make a difference in a feral cat’s life?
Join the Barn Cat Network FB Group! Take in a pair of community cats who have nowhere else to go!
8 thoughts on “Barn Cat Network”
The barn cat network sounds like a very good idea, and it is definitely a welcomed one. Though I already own a cat, I do not think adding a couple more to that would hurt. But I need to know, is this a worldwide network? I would really like to be a part nonetheless. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you! Currently, this is only in the United States, but if enough interest from other countries is displayed, I will likely expand it.
This is a great initiative. Prior to reading this article, I had always imagined that relocation was the best alternative. But as you rightly point out, relocation without redeveloping the original home will only lead to a new population of cats moving in. And, the fact that the Network has a Facebook group should makes communication easier and reduce the scrambling to find new spaces when need arises. Keep going!
We are Blessed.
Thank you so much!
Thanks for sharing your post on Barn Cat Network, I had no idea there was a cat network for outdoor cats to thrive. I can see where having them around would eliminate unwanted mice, rats, and snakes along with some other critters.
What states are these cats primarily relocated to and because they are outside pets are there certain deceased or illnesses that can be passed on the cattle and other live stocks?
Hi, thanks for visiting!
Outdoor cats are not relocated to other states. They are relocated from their neighborhoods to another safe place, such as a shop or barn or farm, where they can be cared for safely.
As for illnesses or diseases, there is ALWAYS a concern if someone interacts with animals of any kind. We humans can contract things from cows and vise versa. It’s actually very rare though. We’re more likely to catch a deadly illness from a person.
However, cats can catch parasites from their environment that can be passed on to other animals as well. But livestock are regularly dewormed as they graze off the ground and thus get infected by worms and other parasites often, not necessarily from cats.
The only other real concern would be toxoplasmosis, which is a protozoan parasite that cats can get and spread. People get it too, but usually from uncooked food, rather than directly from a cat. All warm-blooded animals, such as mammals and birds, can get infected with toxoplasmosis. This is rarely a problem as most people and animals will fight the infection off and never know they were infected. This only becomes an issue if a human person contracts toxoplasmosis from undercooked food or cleaning out the litter box while they are pregnant or they have a compromised immune system. It can be passed to the fetus and cause miscarriages and birth defects or severe illness in a small number of immune-compromised people. Toxoplasmosis is spread by ingesting cat feces, or humans can get it from uncooked food, which is the usual source. About 11% of Americans have contracted toxoplasmosis.
There is also rabies, but all cats in barns and farms should have already been vaccinated for rabies.
The actual risk is very rare for anything to pass to a different species as most illnesses infect only specific species. But people can get bordetella from their canine friends, too, so it’s not unheard of.
Good Day to you,
I would love to be involved with the Barn Cat program if possible; volunteer, help in setting up the different areas that the cats will be transported to, instructing the new owners how to prepare their areas properly for the cats coming to live with them, etc.
Because I live in an apartment home community, bringing the cats into my home wouldn’t be allowed, but I would love to assist in finding them a new, safe, happy home.
I had my own feral colony many years ago when I worked at the CSU CI university, volunteered at the Wildlife Waystation for four years before they had to close down and am currently volunteering at another wildlife sanctuary, so I do have experience with this type of situation.
Thank you for any information you can provide.
Our Network is more to network between barns and rescues with cats all over the country! Barns willing to take in cats in emergency relocation situations or even just barns looking to adopt their first working cats and help them find rescues or caretakers who have cats that need new outdoor placement. We’re mostly online-only.
However, I would suggest you look for a Barn Cat Program that a rescue runs near you to volunteer with! Many rescues would love to have help with getting these feral cats barns.
Hope that helps!