What Is a Working Cat?

a calico working cat with a tipped ear sitting on a beam in a warehouse with boxes behind her

When community cats — i.e., cats who live outdoors and are sometimes cared for by community members — are unable to be returned to their previous outdoor home and aren't good candidates for traditional adoption programs, they might become what we lovingly call "working cats." They're part of a group of community cats who don't live in homes as pet cats.

Working cats are healthy, independent cats who act as natural pest deterrents in businesses and other properties. They go by many names, including:

  • Barn cats
  • Farm cats
  • Bodega cats
  • Ship cats
  • Warehouse cats
  • Brewery cats

Here's an example of working cats in an auto shop:

While some working cats are friendly with people, many are not entirely comfortable with human interaction, though they can be happy living in close proximity to people.

Caring for working cats is easy. After a proper acclimation period, you simply let them roam in their space and give them food and water.

Adopt a working cat near you »