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Finding barn homes for cats

Finding barn homes for cats

Humane Societies from across Ontario spay, neuter and vaccinate cats who then need a rural space to call home 

By Jackie Clark
Staff Writer 

Kingston Humane Society (KHS) recently put out an urgent call for barn homes for some of the furry residents in their Barn Buddies program. 

KHS staff have been working to remove more than 10 semi-feral cats for unfit housing conditions. For certain cats, their regular adoption stream isn’t the best option. 

“Our Barn Buddies program is for cats that either have behaviour challenges -- not good with humans --  or have poor litterbox habits,” Shevaun Hoyle, a staff member at KHS, told “This is what makes them good candidates for barn homes.”

Their personalities and bathroom manners mean they’re not a good fit for housecats but do well living in a semi-outdoor environment with some independence. 

Most Barn Buddies participants “are pleased, because the animals are all spayed/neutered, meaning they do not reproduce,” Hoyle explained. “People are usually looking for cats that are good for mousing and so they are typically quite pleased that the cats they take home tend to help them out with their vermin problems.”

So, if you’re looking for a feline pest-control strategy for your barn or shop, but not looking to end up with a litter of kittens, the Humane Society may have your solution. 

Before Barn Buddies cats are adopted out to rural residents, they are vetted, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and have any necessary dental work completed.

After adoption, the owner is responsible for providing shelter – particularly in the winter – as well as food, water and any medical care the cat may need. 

Other Humane Society branches also have run Barn Buddies programs “with good success!” said Hoyle. 

Farmers and other rural homeowners looking for more information or to participate should contact their local organization.  

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