How to adopt an animal from the Eau Claire County Humane Association

How to adopt

The adoption fee is $15 plus tax. You will be responsible for ongoing veterinary care (as necessary), food, water and shelter. The average cost for veterinary care and preparing a cat for adoption is $100. If you are able to make a donation, we would be very grateful. Donations may be made online, in person at the shelter, or by mail. Please be sure to note in the donation comment section or check memo that it is for the Barn Cat Program.

Please note we may not always have barn cats available for adoption. If that is the case, your application would be put on a wait list to be contacted as soon as there are available cats.

Fill out the adoption application.

Still have questions? Email foster@eccha.org.

Adopt a Barn Cat

healthy, sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped, and in need of a new rural outdoor home

We are looking for cat lovers who have a barn or other secure outdoor structure and are interested in adopting cats that are not suitable for life inside of a house or are unhappy living inside. This program is designed to find homes for cats that have traditionally been deemed un-adoptable through normal shelter adoption procedures. They need a warm, secure, and dry barn or building in which the cats can live out their lives. These cats are healthy, sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped, and in need of a new rural outdoor home, such as a barn, stable, garage, or warehouse.

Cat temperaments range from feral to friendly. These are working cats, former street cats that are accustomed to outdoor life, prefer minimal to no human contact, and who will happily tend to any mouse, mole, chipmunk, or vermin problems for the small cost of a bowl of cat food and water set out daily, as needed veterinary care and shelter in a garage or barn.

How many can I adopt at once?

While there is not a limit, we do have a minimum. Un-socialized cats do not take to companionship from humans so it is essential that they have a cat friend to bond with. Cats relocated in pairs are also more likely to stay after release, and they keep one another warm during winter. If you experience hissing or grumbling when putting two strange cats together, it usually quickly resolves itself. Worst case, one cat may be ousted from the hidey box, but you can always slip another box in on top of the existing hidey box, or next to it.

What do I do when I bring cats home?

When you bring the cats home, they will need to be confined to an escape-proof room or enclosure such as; a tack room, garage, coop, or XXL dog crate for 2-4 weeks while they acclimate to their new surroundings. In the winter time, we ask that this location for your barn cats be warm and cozy and a heated water bowl is a plus. You will feed/water and clean the litter pan daily during the confinement period. After this period of confinement, the cats will usually accept their new home and may be released. You will continue to provide daily food, water and allow them access to shelter such as your barn, garage, tack room, etc. You may also want to inform nearby neighbors of your newly acquired furry employees, in the event that the cats wander off.

Are they spayed or neutered?

Yes, because we spay/neuter these cats before they leave ECCHA, adopters don't have to worry about endless litters of kittens!

Will I be responsible for future vaccines?

Any cat you adopt from ECCHA will be current on vaccinations. Following the adoption, you will be responsible for keeping the animals' vaccination up to date. The best way to catch feral cats is to use a humane live trap and take to a vet, or have a vet come to you, who is experienced and comfortable with feral cats.

Do you have any friendly barn cats?

The cats in the Barn Cat program are generally not social or friendly and would make unsuitable pets. They have no desire to be lap cats and cannot be touched, or may take a very long time (if ever) to trust enough to pet. We strongly encourage adopters to offer cats in this program an independent outdoor life complemented by appropriate care and shelter.

Do you have any barn kittens?

The youngest cats in the Barn Cat program are approximately six months. ECCHA will not adopt out younger kittens as barn cats, as they don't yet have the knowledge, size, or skills to remain safe outdoors. Most cats in the barn program are young adults between one and five years of age, though we may have younger and older cats available occasionally. If you have an age preference, just let us know and we can try to accommodate you!

What do barn cats require?

The cats require shelter in a permanent structure like a barn, shed, stable, or garage in a suitable rural area. The property should be at least .5 miles away from a busy road/highway. Daily food and water must be provided, as well as any future medical care as need. The cats must also be kept confined for the initial 2-4 week relocation period to ensure a successful transition to their new home.

Can I come look at or select my barn cats?

The available barn cats are not accessible to visitors, for safety reasons. When you are scheduled to adopt, ECCHA will select barn cats for you based on which cats are the most eager to enter a cat carrier for us. If you have a color, age, or gender preference, we will do our best to accommodate you! All barn cat adoptions are scheduled by appointment since it can take some time and extra staff to round the kitties up.