Freelance Felines

MCASAC's Working Cat Program 

Montgomery County's Working Cats: Freelance Felines

Introducing: Freelance Felines! In order to save the lives of otherwise unadoptable cats that come to our shelter, we've developed a program that places these cats into indoor/outdoor living situations where they are able to "work" for you by keeping pests away from your property/business. Sometimes known as "barn cats," these Freelance Felines are free to adopt and are already fully vetted. These cats are looking for a place to live and some rodents to chase away. If you're interested in a mutually beneficial partnership with furry feline with good work ethic, look no further; Freelance Felines are here for hire!

What is a "Freelance Feline?"

Sometimes known as "barn cats," Freelance Felines are working cats that live on your property and help deter pests and rodents. The majority of cats that come through our shelter are adopted out to become loving indoor-only family cats. However, a significant number of cats in our community are unsuitable for indoor-only living. They are not "house pets" but in fact, your personal employees. In order to save lives, our Freelance Felines program places cats that are otherwise unadoptable into safe, independent living settings such as farms, warehouses, garden centers, outbuildings, and more. Anyone that can provide adequate food, some type of shelter, and veterinary care to their cat(s) will be considered. 

Your Freelance Feline will "work" for you by deterring and controlling pests on your property and surrounding area. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that saves the lives of your community's cats and protects your home or place of business from rodents. 

What we Provide

Each Freelance Feline's adoption is FREE and includes:
  • Shelter physical/wellness exam
  • Spay or neuter surgery
  • Microchip
  • Initial vaccinations (Rabies & Feline Distemper Combo, a.k.a. FVRCP)
  • Initial flea treatment
  • Deworming
  • Freelance Feline instructions to help introduce and care for your working cats

Click here to let us know you're looking for a Freelance Feline or two!

 Please complete the Freelance Feline Adoption Questionnaire online here. If you prefer a PDF version, one can be found here.

For questions/concerns regarding the Freelance Felines program, please email us at [email protected].


Are you looking for a friendly cat to be a house pet? If so, click here.



How are the cats confined?

You should be equipped with an extra large dog crate or with a large exercise pen covered with mesh wire. (MCASAC may be able to provide these supplies free of charge). These items can be returned to MCASAC at the end of the confinement period. Since your new cats will have been housed at the shelter together, you don't need to provide a crate for each cat. One crate for two cats that already are familiar with each other is just fine. The adopter must provide the cat(s) with a litter box, dry food and fresh water at all times, and a portion of canned food every day. It is recommended that a portion of the cage/crate be covered with a sheet. This will allow the cat(s) to feel more protected and hidden.

Why do they have to be confined for the first 2-3 weeks?

In most cases, if you simply release the cat(s) onto an unfamiliar property, the cats will take off, never to be seen again. They may try to find their former home, and may get hit by a car or simply lost. Some people see confinement as cruel, but a short confinement period is a very necessary part of the relocation project. Be aware that the first day or two, the cat(s) may struggle to try to find a way out of the crate. Most cats settle down in the crate after a day or two when they realize that no harm will befall them.

What happens after the confinement period?

It's best to close all doors and windows in the area where the cat is confined, open the crate door in the evening, then leave. The cat(s) will want to explore their new surroundings all night, as they are nocturnal. By morning, they will have found good hiding places, although they may still prefer the security of their crate. You can ease the transition by continuing to place their food and water in the crate for a few days with the door open. You will need to continue providing daily good and water after the crate is removed. Cats are territorial creatures. They will usually maintain a home base once their scent has been established, a continuous food source is provided, and they feel safe.

You should not release your cat(s) from their confinement period if it is raining or there is a potential for rain. Cats find their home by scent and rain will wash it away. 

What if the cat(s) don't like their new home?

They will like the regular food and water you provide. (Cats cannot live on mousing alone). They may even begin to show affection. The key to success will be your patience while they adapt to the sights, sounds, and smells of their new surroundings. Continue to speak softly to them, try hand feeding treats, and leave a radio on to help them get used to human talking.