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barn buddies

As an open admission shelter, the Humane Society regularly takes in cats who are unadoptable into a regular home for behaviour reasons, but who are healthy, used to the outdoors, and would do well in a barn, shop, or warehouse environment. We have two types of barn buddies, our “Working Barn Buddy” cats, and our “Free Spirit Barn Buddy” cats.

Working Barn Buddies

Do you have mice or rodents that you need taken care of? Consider adopting a Working Barn Buddy! These cats are independent and self-sufficient, and not what you’d call cuddlers. Sometimes, with patience and kindness they can be won over to trust people more, but many of them will always keep a bit of wariness around anyone with two legs! Hunting and killing is like catnip for these cats, and their favourite hobby. Some Working Barn Buddies are cats who may be social, but have a high prey drive which can lead to problems in a regular home without a “job” to keep them busy. They want to work and enjoy doing so, and would be quite content if you give them the opportunity to practice their natural hunting skills.

Free Spirit Barn Buddies

Our Free Spirit Barn Buddy program is aimed at cats who are social, but may have some preferences that humans aren’t okay with in the home, such as not wanting to use a litter box. Because of litter box or other potential behaviour issues, these cats are unfortunately hard to place in indoor-only homes, though they still deserve to have a great life elsewhere. These cats may also be good if you have allergies and can’t necessarily have a cat in the house but still enjoy feeding and interacting with cats outside. If you have a shop, barn, warehouse, or garage suitable for shelter and are willing to provide food, water, and TLC, then a Free Spirit Barn Buddy could be what you’re missing!

Ready to Take the Next Step?

If you are interested in adopting a Barn Buddy, head to our adoptable Cats page – you will see that barn buddies can be easily identified as they will have the words “Barn Buddy” in their name. To express your interest in a cat online, simply click the “adopt me” button and fill out the application on their profile. An adoption counsellor will give you a call to discuss the cat in more detail.

Don’t see any barn buddies online? Feel free to reach out to our Shelter Manager at 519-966-5751, ext 113 or email You must have a protective enclosure for the cat to easily enter, be willing to feed the cat each day (these animals cannot be expected to live on what they may or may not catch), and must be willing to continue veterinary care as required. All Barn Buddies are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and vet checked. Barn buddy adoptions are by donation to help spay and neuter more barn buddies; a tax receipt is available for donations over $20 (donations under $20 are not eligible for a tax receipt).  

***Please note that we are NOT looking for cats to add to our Barn Buddy programs. This program is designed to provide homes for cats who are currently in our care.***