Feral cats are cats that never were nurtured by humans as a kitten. As a result, they do not like to be petted, picked up, or trapped. They usually just want to be left alone.
One doesn’t have to be an animal expert to know that there are way too many cats in the world, and many shelters, and people, often have trouble finding good homes for cats and kittens. And those are the domesticated ones. the cute ones — not the feral variety.
An animal shelter in Maine, however, seems to have come up with a great solution to get these feral cats into a desirable situation.
Feral cats are often known as “barn cats” as often they will take up habitation there. Often, the owner of the barn doesn’t mind as they tend to be very good with pest and vermin control.
So, what this shelter did was re-brand the cats as people who didn’t have a barn wouldn’t even consider adopting them. Instead of “barn cats” they renamed them “working cats.” After all, the cats can live comfortably in a warehouse, a workshop, an office, or even a home … as long as the owner doesn’t try to treat them like a regular cat or kitten.
Also, because of how they were raised in the wild, they tend to be excellent hunters.
The program, over the past year, has been a great success. Out of 45 cats, they have found homes for all except five so far.
CBS affiliate WGME explains what you need to know if you want to take one of these working cats home:
— Working cats can be kept in a basement, attic, workshop, barn, garage, office building, business or any other place where rodents pose a problem.
— The cats need to be given a warm place — like a hay-insulated cubby — during the colder months.
— When you first bring working cats home, they should be kept in a large dog crate with food that is covered for at least two weeks in order to ensure they will stay on the property.
“You need to let them know this is home. If you just let them loose they wouldn’t stick around,” Moore said.
— After the transition period, put their food and water next to a warm, cozy spot they can return to after a day on the job.
— If you’re using a working cat for rodent control, it’s imperative that you are not also using poison for rodent control. If a cat tries to eat a mouse that was killed with poison it will die or get very sick.
— While the shelter will fix, vaccinate and microchip the working cat before you take it home, it will need to be kept up to date on its shots.