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Midlands Humane Society is pleased to offer the public a 'Working Cat Program'

Midlands Humane Society is pleased to offer the public a 'Working Cat Program'

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Oftentimes, the Midlands Humane Society receives cats who are not suitable to live indoors with a family.

These sometimes feisty felines may arrive at our doors after being trapped by Animal Control officers or by concerned citizens who bring them to us. These cats are usually fearful of people and do not seek out human companionship.

They tend to be most happy living outside or exploring their indoor surroundings such as a barn, garage, storage shed or warehouse. Working cats can be very useful in helping to control the rodent population without the use and cost of chemicals.

In short, the MHS Working Cat Program provides healthy, sterilized, and vaccinated cats — who are also ear-tipped for easier identification — to those who contact us with a desire to adopt these animals and give them the best chance at a happy and fulfilled life.

The new adopter must agree to provide working cats adequate shelter from the elements as well as regular food and water. While these cats may catch mice which they often consume, they still require a regular diet of cat food from their adopters to stay healthy.

Midlands Humane Society initiated this program in 2019 with the help of Best Friends Animal Society through a generous grant they provided to give these unsocialized cats the best chance to thrive. Since 2019, about 150 cats have been afforded another chance to live happily as working cats. All cats that enter MHS are observed for their behavior.

Cats that arrive may show signs that they would be best suited as a working cat because they are quite fearful of humans and are not easily handled by our trained staff. These cats would not make good candidates to live indoors with a family. On the other hand, sometimes cats that we assumed would be adopted as working cats may calm down after a few days or a few weeks and they evolve into cats that can safely live indoors with a family.

Another indicator that we consider for a cat to be a working cat is improper urination. Cats are often surrendered or abandoned for elimination habits outside the litter box. However, if the cat is healthy and altered so it cannot reproduce, along with getting all the necessary vaccinations it would be a candidate to be adopted as a working cat.

Working cats cannot be declawed or suffer from any autoimmune disease for us to consider them as a candidate for life as a working cat.

If you are interested in adopting working cats, please contact Jenny Jarrell, the Midlands Humane Society Shelter Manager at for more information. She will be happy to send you an application or answer any questions.

We want to remind potential adopters they must provide these working cats with proper shelter — with insulation from the winter elements — food, water and vet care as needed. Typically, after a short confinement period, usually two to three weeks, the cats will usually remain in the zone in which they are released.

Keeping them confined for this initial time period will help ensure the long-term success of these cats staying on your property. Letting them loose immediately will almost guarantee that these cats will bolt in fear as they do not understand that your property is their “new” home.

Be patient — it will take some time. While we do not have a set adoption fee for working cats, we do ask for a donation to help offset their care while they are at Midlands Humane Society. Thank you for considering giving these fantastic felines a new lease on life as a working cat.

MHS Pets of the Week are brought to you by Evolve Animal Services, LLC:

Captain is a 5-year-old neutered male domestic shorthair who arrived as a stray.

He was not in the best of shape and we imagine he spent most of his time outside on his own.

Elsa simply wants what she wants. This 7-year-old sweetheart has been at MHS since October 2020. She is a little picky about who she wants to hang out with, so she will be one that probably picks her owner.

Jazzy is a 1-year-old brown and black female who arrived as a stray and Socks is an adorable 5-year-old black and white female who arrived at MHS as a surrender.

While these are not specifically working cats, we do have several working cats that we need to find homes for, so if you are interested, please contact Jenny for an application or for more information.

We are still operating on an appointment-only basis, so please call 712-396-2270 to make an appointment to meet any of the great adoptable animals.

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