Barn Buddies

Barn Buddy Program

From time to time, the Oakville & Milton Humane Society rescues cats that would not be happy living inside in homes, but would make wonderful “working cats” for heated barns, or other outdoor structures, such as shops or warehouses. We refer to these cats as Barn Buddies and are looking for cat-loving property owners to adopt them. Their temperaments may range from feral or semi-feral, to friendly. 

The Barn Buddy Program is designed to find homes for cats that would traditionally not be considered adoptable through “normal” adoption procedures. Adopting a Barn Buddy is mutually beneficial. You will provide them with a safe place to live, and they will help keep the rodent population down, as well as deter other stray cats from moving in.

*Please note, we do not take in animals to be apart of our Barn Buddies program. This program is specific to cats that are already in our care. If you are looking to give up your pet, please visit our surrender page to learn more. 


We love hearing from our alumni especially when it is a Barn Buddy! Here is what a recent adopter had to say:

A quick update to let you know Peggy is happy and well and has taken over the tack room as her personal space.  She has a cat door through to the laundry room where she hides behind the washer and sleeps most of the day, but at night she comes out, plays and watches whomever is present .  She takes treats from our hands and enjoys the occasional scratch on the head and chin.  All and all I think she's a happy cat. 

Peggy was a feral cat who was pregnant. After all her babies were weaned and adopted we started our journey to find Peggy a home..  Edgewood Equine was looking for a barn cat and when they inquired about Peggy we knew it was the perfect match!


Peggy pic
What makes a cat a Barn Buddy?

Barn Buddies are “working cats” that would not be happy living inside in homes. Cats in the Barn Buddy program fall into three categories:

  • Those whose litter box habits make them unsuitable to live indoors
  • Those who are extremely shy or fearful of people but are able to co-exist with other cats and animals
  • Those who are feral and have previously lived outdoors

We do not place cats that are best suited to be house cats in barn homes, and we do not place kittens under 4 months of age in barn homes unless they are feral.

How do I adopt a Barn Buddy?

The first step is to fill out a Barn Buddy Application here. A staff member will then call you within 2-5 days to review the application and discuss the next steps. If we do not immediately have a cat that fits what you are looking for, we will add you to a waiting list and contact you when one becomes available.

Please note that a staff member or volunteer may visit the location you wish to house the cat at to ensure it is appropriate. In some cases, pictures of the barn or shop will be requested instead.

Do I get to select the cats I wish to adopt?

No. The Oakville & Milton Humane Society will do it's best to match Barn Buddies to the most appropriate home given the animal's individual needs.

What are the requirements to adopt a barn buddy?
  • A minimum of two cats must be placed at the same location at the same time. We will determine if the cats can co-exist prior to placement.
  • A secure, dry barn or building for shelter with a heat source is required
  • You must must be able and willing to keep the cats confined to a stall, small room, or crate for 2-4 weeks to help acclimate the cats to their new environment
  • The cats must be supplied with dry food and fresh water constantly
What do I do when I first get my new cat(s)?

The first thing you will do when you bring your new cat(s) home is confine them to a stall, small room, or large crate for 2-4 weeks to help acclimate them to their new environment. Ensure that they are unable to escape from their confines. Clean their litterbox regularly and provide them with food and fresh water daily.

After this initial period of confinement, the cat(s) should begin to accept their new home and may be released. Continue to provide them with access to the heated shelter, as well as dry food and fresh water.

How much does it cost to adopt a barn buddy?

The adoption fee is $75 per cat. If you would like to give an additional donation of $20 or more, you will receive a tax receipt.

Am I responsible for providing veterinary care?

Any cat that you adopt from the Oakville & Milton Humane Society will be up to date on vaccinations. After adoption, you will be responsible for keeping the cats' vaccinations current, and for seeking licensed veterinary care in the event of illness or an injury.

How long will it take to get a Barn Buddy?

Due to the nature of the program, we may not have suitable cats available immediately, but will try to fill your request as soon as possible. We do our best to ensure we match each cat to it's most appropriate home, so we are unable to provide a time frame as to when we may have a well matched cat for you.

What will the Oakville & Milton Humane Society provide?
  • All cats will be in good health and will have had a general examination by a veterinarian.
  • Cats will have been dewormed, and vaccinated for Rabies and panleukopenia.
  • Cats will be spayed or neutered.
  • Cats will be microchipped.
  • Cats will have been tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
What do I do if the cat(s) I adopt is not the right fit?

The Oakville & Milton Humane Society will do it's best to match Barn Buddies to the most appropriate home given the animal's individual needs. While we hope the adoption is successful, we won't know how well a cat will adjust to it's new home until after some time been given to allow it to settle in. If the cat you adopt does not seem to be the right fit, please contact us and we will discuss it with you further.