Working Cats

Thank you for choosing Animal Welfare Society as a place to adopt a pet!

Home | Adopt a Pet | Working Cats

Through this specialized adoption program, we pair cats not well-suited as indoor pets with families looking for natural rodent and pest control on their property. Working cats, also known as barn cats, feel their best when they have a job to do! If you have a shed, stable, garage or outbuilding, maybe this program is for you!

What is a working cat?

Working cats have temperaments, histories and behaviors that would not make them happy as house cats. They do best as indoor/outdoor cats, where they can use their natural instincts in a natural environment. Cats adopted from this program enjoy free access to the outdoors, where they can come and go at will. However, they understand the care you give them. They appreciate the safety of shelter and predicability of a food source, in the shed, barn or garage where they are housed. They rely on their family to provide for them, just like you rely on them provide their rodent control services. And like all cats, they will spend time running, jumping, chasing, climbing and of course, basking in the sun.

They require:
– Shelter from predators and the elements
– Clean, fresh water
– Healthy, regular diet
– Veterinary care when needed

Like all cats adopted from AWS, working cats are spayed/neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, and microchipped.

What do adopters need to know?

As an adopter, you should understand that these types of cats often never become become social, affectionate lap cats. They had lack of socialization with humans in their formative months of their kittenhood. Working cats most often remain shy and skittish around people, but may warm up to those who take care of them and they see regularly. That being said, every cat has a unique personality. We have heard from a few working cat adopters who tell us that their (former) working cat has decided life snuggling inside is more suitable!

For more information, please read our Adopting a Working Cat guide.

Questions about this program?

For more information, please contact our Adoption Center via email or telephone at (207) 985-3244.

Follow Us!


We're in a heat wave! ☀ With temperatures reaching the mid 90s with high humidity and haze, it's important to know how to keep pets safe and cool in extreme weather. Learn the signs and symptoms and heatstroke in your pet! 

❃ Heavy Panting
❃ Rapid Breathing
❃ Excessive Drooling
❃ Excessive Thirst
❃ Incoordination
❃ Glassy Eyes
❃ Bright Red Gums & Tongue
❃ Vomiting
❃ Seizures or Fainting

If you suspect heatstroke in your pet, immediately get them out of the sun and heat and into a cooler area. You can splash them with cool water or apply cold compresses to their face, belly, armpits, and feet. Then, call your veterinarian or local emergency veterinary hospital immediately.

Learn more safety tips on our newest blog post online. We hope you have a safe, fun, and cool summer!
We have the most heartwarming Happy Homes story to share! Lana, who was adopted back in January of 2023, has been living with her perfect family and truly being a loyal and loving companion. It just goes to show you that you never know how an animal may change your life. Here's what her mom has to say about her now! 

"Lana is an amazing dog and has been the light of me and my daughter’s life. She helped us through some tough times. She has a natural gift as she could always sense when my daughter was about to have her Vertigo moments. And she also was a protective girl around her after my daughter and I were in a car accident when we got hit by a drunk driver. This dog was a true friend and hero and I couldn’t imagine life without her!"
Yesterday was the last day of school for 7th graders at the Middle School of the Kennebunks, and per their annual tradition they visited AWS! Art students at the school make dog and cat toys for us every year and then celebrate by hand delivering the donations right to our door. They then take a tour of our facility and visit with the pets they helped. We love community traditions like this! Happy summer!