Barn Cat Program

Green Street Rescue’s barn cat program was created to provide feral and unsocial cats with comfortable living conditions and open land to roam.

Of the street cats trapped and managed by GSR, 80% are friendly or will adapt to a domestic life. Cats unlikely to become domesticated are not adopted out by GSR, as they are not inclined to live as a house cat. Instead, these cats prefer to remain outside. The barn cat program is specific to finding these unadoptable cats a home.

Future barn cat owners will need a barn, greenhouse, or shed and open land for roaming. Barn cats will remain outside, but will need a covered, protected space for sleeping and eating. Prior to receiving barn cats, GSR will visit with the barn owner and review the set up for the cats.

Following, cats are brought to the barn location in a large, metal dog cage. All cats will be healthy, fixed, vaccinated, and have tested negative for feline AIDS/leukemia. They will also have received flea treatment. Green Street Rescue can provide a litter box and one weeks supply of litter, litter scoop and blankets, bed, bowls, and toys as needed. Additionally, one weeks supply of dry and wet food is provided by GSR at this time.

For the first two weeks, the cats are kept in the large cage with a bed/blanket, food and water bowls, a litter box, and additional space to move. These two weeks allow time for the cat to familiarize and acclimate to the new location. After the two weeks, the cage door is opened, and the cats can choose to leave and re-enter as they please. Food and water bowls are kept in the cage space so that the cat returns to the same, familiar location to be fed. The barn owner will need to feed once or twice daily, refresh water bowls and scoop litter boxes.

At approximately three weeks, GSR will come and take the large cage back. At this time, barn owners can decide if they want to keep a litter box. If they choose not to, the litter box will be collected by GSR at the time the cage is retrieved. From then on, the cats will hopefully return to the covered barn for shelter and food. It is important to continue feeding and providing a comfortable space for the cats and treat for fleas monthly if the cat is touchable. Green Street Rescue’s barn cat program hopes to provide every cat with a safe home. Refer to the Q & A page for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

If you are interested in adopting a barn cat please fill out an application and write “barn cat” in the line that says
“Name of cat(s) you would like to adopt (if known)”

Barn Cats FAQ

How long should I expect to keep the cats? How many are usually sent to one barn location?

Cats are kept in a closed cage for two weeks. After the two weeks, the cat can decide to come and go as it desires. The number of cats depends on the space available for them to live comfortably and how many cats you wish to have. Unlike adoption, your cat(s) will not be moved indoors unless they show interest and you choose to go in this direction.

These cats were recently street cats. Should I be worried about any diseases they may be carrying?

Feral cats found by GSR are sterilized (neutered/spayed), vaccinated for rabies, treated for any existing illness, and tested negative for feline AIDS and leukemia before being placed in any home environment.

How do these recently rescued cats behave differently than house cats? What can I do to help them adjust to domestic life?

These cats are different from house cats, as they do not need the same attention and human activity as domesticated animals. After the two week period of acclimation in a closed cage, the cat will return to the cage space as it desires. Your responsibility will be to continue to feed the cat.

How much human contact should they be getting per day?

Human contact is not needed for barn cats. Other than feeding and making sure they have a warm bed or blanket for sleeping, human activity is up to the owner. Some barn cats will be comfortable with human interaction as others will not.

What and how often do I feed them?

Cats are to be fed once or twice a day. Dry and wet food is provided by GSR and can be interchanged by preference.

How much space do they need?

Barn space depends on how many cats you have. For each cat, there must be enough space for the initial large cat. Upon cage removal, there must be enough space for comfortable living, including a blanket/bed and bowls for food and water.

What equipment do you provide? What would I have to purchase?

GSR will provide the initial large sized cage upon arrival. We can also provide a litter box and one week supply of scoop (10 lb bag), bowls, blanket/bed, one week supply of dry and wet food, and a toy. After approximately three weeks, the cage will be collected, as well as the litter box if you decide not to continue with the box and scoop. You will be responsible for any additional costs of food, litter, toys, etc.

What precautions is GSR taking to avoid the spread of COVID-19 to new cat caretakers?

We have arranged contactless drop-offs in which we notify the caretaker upon arrival, drop off the cat(s) and supplies, and return for the carrier when the caretaker is not present. Cats have not been linked in any way to transmission of COVID-19. Taking care of rescued cats will not put you at a higher risk at all.