Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) has a volunteer-run program, Barn Cats R Us, that rehomes outdoor cats to barns and garages where they work as rodent hunters.
Many of these cats are feral or very shy, and so will be seldom seen. Others are friendly, but are too unhappy living indoors to be good housepets. Most of our barn cats have been rescued from sites threatened by development, or other outdoor homes where the previous owners have moved or can't keep caring for their outdoor cats. Regardless of the origin of these cats, our goal is to save lives and humanely prevent free-roaming cats from uncontrolled breeding, which is a major source of homeless kittens and adult cats winding up in shelters.
These mousers and ratters will provide totally organic rodent control that does not depend on the use of poisons that can sicken kids, pets, livestock, and wild animals. Best of all, RASKC places barn cats at no charge to you. Once placed, you only need to provide warm, safe shelter, a dependable source of food, and fresh water.
In order to obtain barn cats, we ask that you review our program information, fill out and return a Barn Cat Request Form, and be willing to talk with one of our barn cat volunteers to make sure that you are prepared to properly acclimate your new cats so they stay on your property.
On large rural properties with barns, we recommend that you adopt three or four cats to ensure effective rodent control. In addition, cats in groups can alert each other to dangers from approaching predators such as coyotes or free-roaming dogs. Urban and suburban garage homes are ideal for one or two cats. We routinely place garage cats with backyard chicken farmers, where chicken feed is causing a rodent problem.
To ensure they are healthy, our barn cats have had a check-up by a veterinarian, are spayed or neutered, have been ear-tipped for identification purposes, have tested negative for serious feline communicable diseases, and have received all the usual cat vaccines, including the rabies vaccine.
If fleas are an issue, depending on how tame your barn cats are, you can apply a normal feline flea treatment such as Advantage or Frontline, or add an inexpensive flea prevention drug, Leuferon, to their food once a month. Leuferon doesn’t kill fleas outright; instead it prevents them from hatching by interfering with synthesis of their exoskeleton. You can buy Leuferon online. If you need to get your cats re-vaccinated or take them to a vet, we will advise you on how to trap them and transfer them to cat carriers.
We often have barn cats available for immediate adoption. If not, we will place your name on our barn cat program waiting list, or refer you to a comparable source of barn cats. We most often place barn cats in King County, but have placed cats in homes all over western Washington. We also partner with similar barn cat programs statewide.
To start the adoption process, please fill out a Barn Cat Request Form, then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org