| by Kyrsten Cregger |
If you have ever seen a cat on the streets, you would know that cats have only three instincts when it comes to human interaction. One, the cat will be welcoming and casually walk over to the human for a petting session. Two, the cat will run and hide away in fear. Or three, the cat will become aggressive and territorial, scaring the human away. That leaves us wondering, are all cats sociable or even adoptable?
Like humans, not all cats are sociable creatures. Some cats do better in solace and not in peoples’ homes. However, this does not mean these cats should be left out on the city streets to fend for themselves in a dangerous environment. For the trickier, unsociable cats, there is a wonderful alternative to adoptions: barn cat programs
What is a Barn Cat Program?
I know what you are thinking: what is a barn cat program and how does it work? Not many cat experts are even aware of what a barn cat program is! Barn cat programs are a wonderful alternative to the streets for cats that are deemed “unfit” for adoption. In fact, barn cat programs are great for cats that are “social but too feisty… shy or fearful of people… [or] whose litter box habits make them unsuitable to live indoors”. Yet, these cats are treated much like cats that are up for adoption. In fact, these cats will still be spayed or neutered and must be up to date on all their shots before they are acceptable for a barn cat program.
The barn cat program at Le Cat Cafe and other barn cat programs seek to find barns, factories, warehouses, outbuildings, and other suitable shelters that are safe for these cats to live. They are the lowest maintenance type of pet to own because they will hunt for most of their own food (required to leave food and water out as well) and will keep to themselves. Yet, even with little effort, barn cats will prove their worth by being a cheap form of pest control and decreasing the feline overpopulation problem in our towns. Some shelters call these “working” cat programs because these cats will offer pest control for only food, water, and shelter.
A Great Way to Help Those Feisty Cats
Barn cat programs help Le Cat Cafe indirectly, but more directly affect our parent organization, Green Street Rescue. While only a small percentage of the cats Green Street Rescue rescues are too unsociable for adoptions, there are a variety of reasons why we choose barn cat programs over releasing them back to where they were found. For instance, some cats are rescued from dangerous colonies or colonies that are being destroyed for development. These cats would be unhappy remaining in a foster home, so we find barn homes for them where they will be cared for and no longer need to worry about their next meal or safety. With Le Cat Cafe’s own barn program and by connecting with other barn cat programs, Green Street Rescue will be able to find safer outdoor homes for unadoptable cats and open up more space in the foster homes for newly rescued cats.
Kyrsten Cregger is a student at La Salle University studying Finance and Marketing with a concentration in Risk Management & Insurance. As Le Cat Cafe’s intern, she writes short pieces for the website’s blog about anything and everything cat-related.
Throughout her higher education and career, Kyrsten surrounds herself with professionals in the cat rescue community in order to one day open her own cat cafe and become an established contributor to the cause.