What is a Barn Cat?


We use the term "barn cat" to refer to any cat that is not adoptable as an indoor pet. We classify these cats into the following categories:

  • Feral:  they were born and raised outside with little or no human contact. You will not get to touch these cats, and you may not even see them. 
  • Semi-Feral:  they may have been domestic pets at one point but have survived on their own for long periods of time.  Sometimes these cats will let you touch them, usually at feeding time, but they rarely will let you pick them up and may avoid you at non-feeding times. 
  • Friendlier Indoor-Outdoor:  they may be friendly enough to pet and pick up and play with. Usually they have issues that prevent them from being an indoor pet, such as: failure to use the litter box, spraying, too high-energy, or other behavioral issues.


One very valuable contribution all barn cats provide is “green” rodent control. - It's an environmentally friendly way to will keep a barn free of rodents, snakes, and other unwanted critters. Note that barn cats cannot survive on the rodents they catch – they must have a balanced cat food diet and fresh water to remain healthy and strong.  If a cat is starving it will not have the energy to hunt for rodents.

Barn Cat Program


Please Note:  Because we are a very small group of volunteers, we must limit our barn program scope.  As a result we do not have the resources to relocate your cats.  Our website has been set up to find homes for the cats that our organization already has in foster homes and cats that we have agreed to move from dangerous locations as part of our Trap, Neuter, Return program. We hope to expand our program in the future.   

If you are looking to relocate cats to another outdoor environment, please use the information in this website and search the internet to learn how to relocate cats successfully. Moving cats to a new place takes careful planning and must involve confinement at the new location.  Please inform yourself before attempting to relocate cats.  Failure to properly relocate cats will most likely mean death for the cats.

Because of the volume of outdoor, community cats, the best option is to spay / neuter, vaccinate and then return them to their original location where they will be fed and monitored under the watchful eye of a caregiver. Sometimes we cannot return the cats to their environment for the following reasons:  no caretaker / feeder, dangerous environment, threat of harm by neighbors, or outdoor cat is friendly but has a behavioral problem that prevents them from being an indoor pet.   We work diligently to find new, outdoor, safe homes for these cats that are safe.  In most cases these cats go to barn homes, but given the right circumstances and dwelling, cats may be located to sheds, outbuildings, and other dwellings.

Barn cat program forms


Download our barn cat placement form, fill it out completely, and e-mail it back to us at sunshinescatrescue@gmail.com so we can schedule an appointment.


What We Ask of You


When adopting barn cats from us, we ask you to agree to the following:

  • A secure place to keep the cats confined for 2-4 weeks while they adjust to their new environment and to you.
  • A commitment to providing your new cats a forever home.
  • Daily food and water. Cats generally do not eat the rodents they kill.  Without getting proper nutrition, the cats will not have the energy to catch rodents – a well-fed cat will catch more rodents than a hungry cat.  Most cats love wet food and will wait for it at feeding time.  Please consider giving your cats some wet food as it acts as a deterrent to them running away looking for it elsewhere.
  • Adequate safe and warm shelter in barns buildings or stables, to keep cats safe from predators and warm in cold weather.
  • Long-term veterinary care as applicable.  Annual vaccines are critical to keeping the cats in good health, and all out door cats should be dewormed annually.  Vet care may also be needed if the cat becomes injured or sick.