Barn Cats

PAWS of Grays Harbor recommends cats to live indoors for their safety, health, and to not impact wildlife, but some cats cannot acclimate to life indoors and are not socialized. If you are interested in adopting one of these cats to live in your barn, shop, or on your property, these cats MUST be confined to an enclosed space for a period of 34 weeks to teach them that it is a safe place to stay and call home. These cats will need access to warm and safe shelter, a dependable source of food, and fresh water.

The following is a description of this process, how to set up your new cat for success and create positive associations between you and your new cat. Because feral cats are more likely to stick around if they have feline friends, we generally adopt barn cats in pairs, unless there is already a resident barn cat. Adoption fees for a single barn cat are $50, and pairs are for 2 for $75. We are happy to make a recommendation for a pair based on which cats we see associating with each other in the shelter. 

The cats adopted out through this program are almost always unfriendly and may not ever be able to safely be touched or petted, but they need safety and shelter as much as any other cat in our shelter. Kittens are not eligible for the barn cat program. All barn cats will be spayed/neutered and microchipped prior to adoption.

Preparation & Supplies


After 3-4 Weeks

While 3-4 weeks of an introductory period is recommended, you can always extend this period.


Generally, re-vaccinating barn cats every 3 years is recommended but a veterinarian can provide you with detailed recommendations. You may need to trap them in order to take them to a vet.

If you are able to touch them, you may be able to use a topical flea treatment such as Advantage II. Otherwise, you may need to use a flea treatment that can be added to their food.

No. Kittens are not eligible for this program for safety reasons. If we believe the cat may suitable as a household companion, they may not be eligible for this program. Cats eligible for this program may:

  1. Be social but too feisty with people 
  2. Be shy or fearful of people
  3. Have litterbox habits that make them unsuitable for a home

No. Working cats may be suitable in a variety of non-home environments such as warehouses, farms, businesses, etc.

You can trap them to move them to their new environment using a similar introduction process at the new location. You can also contact the new property owners to see if they would be willing and able to care for the cats.

Often, yes. We only have cats ear-tipped when they get spayed or neutered by a veterinarian if they have already been identified as a barn cat. If a qualifying cat comes in already spayed or neutered, we do not.