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Barn Buddy & Warehouse Cats

The WHS sometimes gets cats that, for various reasons, will not thrive as household companion pets. These cats become part of our working cat program and are in need of a safe home on a farm, in a stable, warehouse, or other suitable location. Cat temperaments range from semi-feral to friendly. If you’re looking for a natural pest control solution, look no further!

While the Winnipeg Humane Society does not advocate for allowing cats outdoors, this program can save the lives of cats who have no other options. Before adoption, the WHS will spay or neuter, health check, and vaccinate all Barn Buddy or Warehouse Cats. The cats will also be given a tattoo and be deemed non-aggressive. If a medical issue develops after you take possession of the cat, you as the owner are responsible for medical care.


  • May have severe litter box/house soiling issues
  • Have a behavioural issue that prevents the cat from living indoors with a family
  • Must be social to a degree and easy to catch
  • Must be spayed/neutered (the WHS will perform the surgery)
  • De-clawed cats are not eligible for Barn Buddy or Warehouse Cats

PLEASE NOTE: The WHS selects eligible cats from the cats already in our care. If you have a cat that you want to surrender to the WHS because you believe it is a candidate for Barn Buddy or Warehouse Cats, there is no guarantee the cat will be enrolled in the program.


  • Adopters must be able to pick up their new Barn Buddy or Warehouse Cat within 48 hours of being contacted
  • Cats must have shelter available in a barn, building, or stable
  • Daily food and water must be provided
  • Owner must agree to long-term veterinary care, if needed and as required
  • The farm or shop must have a secure place to keep the cats indoors during their first 4 weeks “on the job” while they acclimate to their new surroundings
  • A $40 donation is suggested to support the costs of the program

I’ve brought my working cat home. Now what?

Please follow the recommendations below to help your new working cat feel welcome and at home.

  • Confine the cat for at least three or four weeks, providing food, water, and comfortable shelter/hiding spot. If your cat does not remain confined they are more likely to run away. Research has shown the longer confinement period leads to the best success.
  • An extra-large plastic dog crate can work for confinement. It can hold a box for hiding food/water dishes toward the back, with a litter pan at the front. The confinement must be done in consideration of the time of year and temperature. There must be adequate shade and ventilation in the summer and warmth in the winter.
  • Feed, water, and clean litter pan at least once daily.
  • When feeding canned food make a special call (“here kitty, kitty”) as their food signal. This will help you call the cat back once they are released from confinement.
  • The more time you spend bonding with your cat during confinement, the more likely they will stay in their new home. Bonding can be as easy as talking to your cat.
  • One day, at the end of the confinement period, leave the door open and allow the cat to come out at its own pace.
  • After they have been released, continue to provide cat food and water daily. Cats cannot live on mousing alone and they will leave for greener pastures if you do not feed them. They will still hunt rodents if you do feed them.

Thank you for providing a working cat with a job. Every cat you adopt from a shelter or rescue saves two lives: the life of the cat you adopt and the life of the one that takes their place at the shelter.

Please tell others about our Barn Buddy program as the WHS often has more cats than barns or shops available.

Register for Barn Buddy or Warehouse Cats

Call 204-988-8801, email us, or fill out and submit the following Barn Buddy & Warehouse Cats Application Form:

Contact Information (Required)

Cat Information

Please answer these questions to help us learn more about the type of cat you'd like.

Shelter Information