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As a no-kill shelter, SHAID protects the lives of feral cats by sterilizing them and finding them ongoing caretakers. If you have a rodent problem, a rural property with an outbuilding, and can spare some cat food, consider saving a life and adopting a barn cat! These healthy cats have been spayed or neutered and ear-tipped (to identify they are sterilized) before rehoming. Barn buddies keep their distance from people, but there have been cats who have warmed up to people in their new environment. Kittens are typically socialized and not rehomed as barn cats.

What is a Feral Cat?

A feral cat is a domestic cat that has never been socialized to humans. Feral cats are generally wary of humans, avoid contact, and cause no harm to people unless provoked. Feral cat populations can grow rapidly if left unchecked, which is why management strategies like Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) are often implemented to control their numbers and improve their welfare.

Is There a Fee to Adopt a Barn Buddy?

SHAID does not charge a fee to adopt a Barn Buddy, however, their medical costs are approximately $200 per cat. We always appreciate a pay-what-you-can donation for barn buddies as it increases the number of ferals we can sterilize, reducing the population of feral cat colonies.

What is Ear-Tipping?

Ear tipping involves removing a small portion of a cat's ear while under anesthesia. This results in a flat or slightly angled tip of the ear. Ear tipping is typically used as a visual indicator that the feral or free-roaming cat has been spayed or neutered as part of a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. It helps quickly identify which cats have been sterilized, preventing unnecessary re-trapping and surgeries, and allowing caregivers and animal control agencies to focus on unaltered cats for population control efforts.​

Looking for Barnyard Buddy or two? Fill out a form and email it to

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

The First 2-4 Weeks

To encourage the cat(s) to stay in the barn or its dedicated shelter, set up an XL dog crate with food, water, a litter box and a hutch so the cat can hide as you freshen up water/restock their food. Use hay to keep the cat warm and dry instead of blankets that get wet and freeze. Give the cat(s) 14-30 days to adjust to the sounds and smells of their new home and prevents the from running away to catch rodents somewhere else. Once the cat(s) have acclimated to the space, they will find many cozy spots to call home. In the winter months, they may require more hay or a dry spot with blankets. Be sure to store pesticides, medications and hazardous substances in a secure place where curious cats cannot get to them.

Ongoing Care

Although Barn Buddies hunt, they do require fresh water and access to 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, skittish barn cats that don’t want to deal with humans and heated water bowls work well in the cold winter months

Caring for your Barn Buddy

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