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ADOPTING a barnYARD buddy

At SHAID Tree Animal Shelter, we strive to find each animal that comes into our care a safe and loving home. Some cats that enter our care have lived strictly outdoors, staying far from humans until they are trapped and brought into our care. As a part of our “no-kill” mandate, SHAID protects the lives of our feral and semi-feral feline friends by welcoming all cats into our facility, socializing the strays that show interest in human interaction, and finding “work” for feral cats that would prefer to live out their days outdoors catching rodents. A home for a barn buddy could be a barn, garage, greenhouse, storage facility, shed, nursery, warehouse – anywhere there is a rodent population and a warm shelter with food and water!


These cats are feral animals that cannot be domesticated without months or years of intense socialization and even then,

they may never be loving lap cats. Like most wild animals, feral cats avoid people and will cause no harm unless cornered and provoked. 


Although they are not interested in human affection, barnyard buddies make excellent workers keeping the rodent population down. These healthy cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and ear tipped (to show they’re fixed). The adopter must commit to keep the cat(s) confined in a crate, stall or small room in the cat long term dwelling for 2-4 weeks to acclimate them to their new environment. The shelter must be secure, dry, warm and the cat must have a constant supply of dry food, fresh water and a litter pan. Once acclimated, the cat can roam freely in the barn and on the property.


Our costs to neuter/spay and medically treat a barn buddy is approximately $200 per cat. SHAID does not charge a fee to adopt a barnyard buddy, however, as a non for profit organization, we appreciate a "pay-what-you-can" donation to help us cover their medical costs.

If you are looking for a barnyard buddy or two to keep your rodent population down, please fill out the form below and 

email it to or call SHAID at 902-543-4849 to get on our Barnyard Buddy waitlist!


To encourage the cat(s) to stay in the barn or its dedicated shelter, set up a large crate for about 14-30 days with food, water and a litter box. This gives the cat(s) a space to adjust to the sounds and smells of their new home and prevents them from running away to catch rodents somewhere else. Large wire or plastic dog crates work well for this. It can be helpful to give the cat a cardboard hutch inside the crate to hide in while you freshen up water/restock their food, to make that process easier, it’s helpful to give them enough water and food for multiple days. Hay is better than blankets as it will keep the cat warm even if it gets wet, opposed to blankets that get wet and freeze.

Although these feral felines can fend for themselves, they do require basic care. The adopter must continue to provide food and water for your barn cat(s). Heated water bows are strongly recommended in the cold winter months.

Barn cats also require access to dry cat kibble. Feeding your barn cats will not deter them from hunting, rather it encourages them to stay near the property and ensures they have the energy to work at rodent control. Automatic cat feeders can be handy for feral, skiddish barn cats that don’t want to deal with humans.

Once the cat(s) have acclimated to the space, they tend to stay near and will find many cozy spots to call home. In the winter months, they may require more hay or a dry spot with blankets to cuddle up. It is not necessary to lock barn cat(s) in at night, most people allow their barn cats to come and go as they please. There are always predators further up the food chain that can pose a threat to your barn cat(s) but providing them with a base camp they can run back to is typically enough. If you are concerned about the safety of your barn cat(s), feeding them at night before closing them into the barn/shed is an option you can work at but not all cats will be receptive to your routine or human contact. Some barn cats are semi-feral and could become friendlier with time but others are completely feral and will run away from humans when seen.

Please note, barns and sheds are typically used for storage so be sure to store pesticides, medications and any toxic or hazardous substances in a secure place where curious cats cannot get to them.

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