Barn Cat Program: Free feral- and semi-feral cats will work for mice

February 05, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

There are plenty of properties through the Santa Clara River Valley and in Santa Paula that could use a hired hand.

And you can help maintain the balance of nature and help a feral cat find a home where they will work for mice through the Ventura County Animal Services/Paw Works Barn Cat Program.

The free program is a unique way to provide a second chance for feral and semi-feral cats in the VCAS shelter system.

Many of the county’s feral and semi-feral cats live difficult lives trying to survive in harsh climates, although they tend to avoid close human contact and prefer to live outside. 

The Barn Cat program is designed to help place such cats in “homes” such as barns, stables, sheds and other outdoor buildings where they’ll earn their keep with owners providing a warm bed, fresh water and regular meals.

To repay this kindness the cats may supply regular rodent control without the use of harsh chemicals and poisons that in turn can kill other animals that consume the remains such as mountain lions, hawks, owls and coyotes. In addition, poisons set out for mice can also attract domesticated pets.

Ventura County Animal Services will provide free of charge to approved adopters cats that have been tested for feline diseases, are vaccinated, spayed or neutered that shelter personnel feel would thrive in such an environment. 

It’s easy to adopt a mouser, er cat, through the Barn Cat Program: there is a short application to fill out and owners must be able to provide a safe environment including shelter, fresh water and food daily. In addition, the new owner must provide a safe, fully enclosed location for three weeks to allow the cats to adapt to their new home.

A VCAS Barn Cat coordinator will then match the right cats for your property where the feral and semi-feral felines will live in comfort...and maybe even warm up to their hosts!

For more information about the Barn Cat Program email, visit the website or call 805-388-4341.

Or you can contact Paw Works’ Christina Morgan, 805-890-1857 or Chat Atkins, 805-616-4101 or email

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