Due to three recent large-scale hoarding situations, ACCT Philly is overflowing with shy and asocial cats. Close to eighty cats have been surrendered since February, with the most recent group of six arriving on Monday, April 3rd, and another 14 expected from the same home. With warm weather bringing in many kittens and nursing mothers to the shelter, space is filling quickly.

In response, ACCT Philly has launched the “Adopt a Less-Adoptable Feline Friend” adoption event offering $10 adoption fees on selected cats until April 16, 2017. ACCT Philly is also looking for alternative placement for the most asocial of these cats through our “Working Cat Program”.

Cats that grow up in environments with little human contact are often timid and scared, but most acclimate and become perfect pets. Others may never adjust, which presents a challenge to finding suitable placement. For these cats, the Working Cat Program offers safe, alternative placement.

The Working Cat Program finds homes that fit the needs of cats who may be asocial, extremely high energy, or have non-health related litter box issues. The cats in the program are often called “barn cats” or “working cats”, as their placements vary from working farms or a barn building, to feed stores, plant nurseries, warehouses, factories, workshops, breweries, churches, artist studios, offices, and any other property suited for independent-minded cats. The sites are all individually reviewed to ensure that the environment is safe for the working cat, and then each cat is carefully matched with an appropriate adopter. While not a traditional adoption placement, the program allows cats with unique needs to live healthy lives in homes that provide food, shelter, veterinary care, and love.

This year alone, ACCT Philly has already seen multiple hoarding cases with twenty plus asocial cats per case. Without the working cat program, some of these cats would be facing euthanasia. Our wonderful barn and alternative placement adopters have saved countless lives by opening their studios and warehouses to these special cats. As a thank you for the placement, these cats are more than happy to roam the space and make sure to keep it rodent- and critter-free.

The Working Cat program follows a proven placement protocol that allows us to set up the cat for success and a happy life—they temporarily live in an extra-large dog crate or enclosed space on the property for two weeks to acclimate to the new home before being allowed to roam free on the property. All adopters are counseled on how best to help their new barn cat adjust. Adopters are encouraged to reach out to us for more help and material on working cats. All working cats are vaccinated, spayed or neutered, microchipped, and their adoption fee is waived.

If you have a barn or other safe area and are interested in saving an urgent cat at ACCT Philly, learn more here or email the Lifesaving office at lifesaving@acctphilly.org or call 267.385.3800 ext. 500. The working cat candidates are located in foster care or at the main ACCT Philly shelter located at 111 W. Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140.