Working Cats – Because some felines just need a job
by Allison Spontarelli
Those who have lived with or around cats can understand and appreciate the variety of personalities our feline friends may be inclined to display. Cats can be silly and playful or quiet and peaceful or anything in between, and just like humans, can display different behavior based on their moods.
These are all considerations that Larimer Humane Society’s team of experts takes into consideration through the process of placing felines with loving, forever homes. From history gathering and evaluation, to enrichment and behavioral support here in the shelter, to ensuring the best possible match with a new family, each cat’s needs – along with each adopter’s – are always top of mind.
In some cases, the best possible match is placing the feline as a “Working Cat,” and we are regularly looking for adopters who are interested in hiring! Working cats are felines who have personalities that are better suited to a more long-distance relationship with their human. These cats thrive in a barn, shop, or warehouse-type setting, and have a penchant for catching pests. They may be a bit mouthier than typical housecats and have a combination of other traits, like overstimulation or fearfulness, which make them more independent animals. Many of the cats that are strong candidates for our Working Cat program arrive as strays who are not accustomed to being around people regularly during the day.
Every cat that comes into the Larimer Humane Society is initially evaluated with the intention of being adopted out as a companion animal. If, however, they show signs that they’d be happier in a different environment, the Working Cat program is often a perfect opportunity for them to thrive. Working cats have the freedom to be themselves in a barn or outdoor building outside of city limits, while still being able to seek comfort in the food, water, medical care, and shelter that is provided by their owners. Owners, in turn, benefit from the pest control services that these cats provide. Although some of these cats may have a checkered past, they are still able to be loved and valued for their work as well as their own unique personalities.
Working cats are only adopted out to families living in jurisdictions where leash laws for cats are not in place. Within the city limits of Loveland and Fort Collins, for example, companion animals must be confined or under the restraint of a leash or tether in accordance with city ordinances.
As a socially conscious shelter, Larimer Humane Society seeks the best possible outcome for every animal that comes through our doors, while providing safe and responsible options for the communities we serve. Through the working cat program, we have found a wonderful opportunity to provide cats with a happy and healthy second chance, simply by redefining their roles within our families.