These Hard-working, Unique Cats Are “Barn to Be Wild!”

May 3, 2023


Not sure what a “barn cat” is? Read on to find out about these savvy cats and how you can help them in the Los Angeles area! 

What is a barn cat?

Living indoors with humans isn’t an option for every cat. Barn cats, sometimes called working cats, are not candidates for adoption as a typical house cat. When they were young kittens, these cats didn’t have enough exposure to humans, causing them to become undersocialized and fearful of people. Some barn cats may eventually learn to enjoy some human interaction while others prefer to have no human contact at all.

Barn cats are used to living outdoors. A barn cat may be an undersocialized mama cat who is brought to an animal shelter and at risk of euthanasia, or a community cat who can no longer remain in their outdoor location due to medical or safety concerns.

The Barn to Be Wild Program in Los Angeles provides a lifesaving pathway for cats who are not able to live indoors as typical house cats. These cats are relocated to the properties of community businesses or individual backyards where they can live comfortably in an indoor/outdoor setting or a completely outdoor-only environment. 


Why should I adopt a barn cat?

Adopting a barn cat helps to saves lives in your community and helps provide a mutually beneficial partnership for you and your barn cat.

Some potential benefits include companionship, a non-toxic rodent deterrent and a low-maintenance opportunity to save a life.

All barn cats from our program are vetted to be healthy, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, ear tipped and microchipped before being placed in a safe, independent, outdoor living setting such as a barn, stable, warehouse or garage. 


What does a barn cat need? 

We are looking for adopters interested in giving barn cats independent and safe outdoor lives.

We can help you determine if a barn cat is right for your property. Some questions to consider beforehand (none of which should be considered a dealbreaker):

  • Do you have a permanent building or structure where your barn cat can find safety from predators, vehicles and inclement weather?
    • This could be something like a barn, stable, shed, garage, warehouse, outbuilding, factory, plant nursery or brewery.
  • Is your property near a busy road?
  • Does the property have a history of known predators, such as coyotes?
  • Is there enough space for your barn cat to separate themselves from people and activities on your property? 

Once approved as a barn cat adopter, you will then agree to:

  • Confine your new barn cat in an ASPCA-provided cat condo/large dog kennel for the recommended three to four week acclimation period.
  • Provide ongoing shelter in an accessible and permanent building after the acclimation period.
  • Provide food and fresh water close to the same time every day to teach your barn cat that you are a regular food source for them on a predictable schedule.
  • Provide routine and emergency medical care as needed throughout the barn cat’s life.


What does the ASPCA provide for barn cat adopters?

There is no fee to become a barn cat adopter. We provide set-up/acclimation supplies, adopter resources and one-on-one support to help your cat view your property as their new home.

Our staff will set up your new feline friend on your property and provide support throughout the acclimation period and subsequent release from their initial confinement. 

Here’s how to get started!

Do you know someone in the Los Angeles area who would benefit from becoming a barn cat adopter? Or are you considering adopting yourself?

If so, visit the barn cats adoption profile to submit an application and add yourself to the interest list! If any new cats enter our program who meet the barn cat qualifications, we will reach out and have a follow-up conversation with you to ensure it’s a good match!