Now cats can easily be adopted for use by any organization or business that wants to keep their properties free of wildlife that could be harmful to their inventory or merchandise.
These could be warehouses, factories, greenhouses or enclosed farmers’ markets.
Or it could be any place where there are large gatherings of people, such as halls or arenas.
The humane society has a special name for this cat adoption - the Barn Buddy program.
It’s for “cats who are a bit too independent for a regular home,” Melanie Coulter, executive director of the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society, says.
The society refers to these cats as “mousers” or “rodent managers” because they tend to prefer to live outdoors but have a barn or shed to sleep in, along with a steady supply of food and water.
The animals can’t be expected to live on what they may or may not catch.
The cats have a “high prey drive” that could otherwise lead to problems in a domestic setting, without having “a job” to hunt down harmful critters, the society says.
In other locations such as Los Angeles, an animal rights group Voice for the Animals, finds homes for these ”working cats,” which have been a hit at a large city flower market, keeping rats at bay.
In fact, the cats don’t so much kill the varmints as scare them away since rodents can smell a predator on the prowl.
The feral and unwanted cat problem in Windsor-Essex is legion.
Adopting them not just for domestic but for “work” purposes might help put a dent in this population.
As well, employing feral cats tends to lengthen their lifespans since they are less prone to die in the elements - from storms or being run over by cars.
“There are already a lot of cats out there, and certainly we would suggest that if anyone is concerned about rodents in their area keeping those guys around and happy would help,” Coulter says.
It costs $20 to adopt a cat but those cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and vet checked.