Saving Unsocialized Cats Through Working Cats Programs

Lots of communities have problems with feral and semi-feral cats. A solution that’s mutually beneficial to humans and cats is to turn these unfriendly felines into working cats who control vermin in exchange for a few necessities. 

Cats make excellent companions when they grow up around humans. But what happens when a cat isn’t socialized from an early age? Feral and semi-feral cats aren’t used to people, so they don’t usually make for cuddly companions. However, they still require shelter, food, water, and medical care. While these cats aren’t ready to move in and snuggle up with a person, they can lead happy, healthy, productive lives as working cats.

What Are Working Cats?

Working cats are cats that are placed in a specific environment and given a job controlling rodent populations in the space. These cats are often feral or semi-feral, meaning they aren’t socialized and aren’t accustomed to human interaction, so they can be fearful and aggressive. Even though they don’t make great companions for humans, they are excellent at hunting mice and other rodents. They’re perfectly suited to work in places that require natural, environmentally friendly pest control, such as:

  • Barns
  • Automotive repair shops
  • Storage and self-storage facilities
  • Warehouses
  • Breweries and wineries
  • Farms
  • Stables
  • Factories
  • Greenhouses
  • Garden centers

From Feral Felines to Working Cats

Some animal welfare and rescue organizations around North America have programs that trap, sterilize, and release feral cats. But if they also have working cat programs, then they might vaccinate, microchip, and adopt the cats out to a non-conventional home. There, they can start their new lives in the pest control business.

Caring for a Working Cat

Working cats don’t need the same kind of love and attention that regular cats do. In fact, most of them will probably shy away from human interactions. But they still need a permanent shelter to call home, such as a warm barn or warehouse. The cats typically need several weeks to acclimate to their new home, so they should stay in a secure location where they can’t escape. They also need food and water every day, and veterinary care as necessary. Because they might be working in commercial, agricultural, or industrial settings, it’s important that the person responsible for them keep them safe from hazards like chemicals, vehicles, and equipment.


Animal Wellness

Animal Wellness is North America\’s top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.

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