Working Cat FAQs

Please see below for a list of our commonly asked and answered questions regarding our Working Cat Program.

What is ear-tipping?

Ear-tipping involves surgically removing a small portion of the tip of a cat’s ears.  This procedure is performed while the cat is under anesthesia for spay or neuter surgery and it is the universally accepted way to signify that a community cat has been spayed or neutered.  Community cats may interact with a variety of caregivers, veterinarians, and animal control personnel during their lives and so immediate visual identification is necessary to prevent unnecessary stress caused by second trapping and surgery.

How do I make sure my new working cats do not leave their new home?

Cats can be territorial, and if you simply place them in a new location, they may wander off.  Fortunately, cats can be acclimated to a new territory fairly easily in a short amount of time.  We strongly recommend that you keep your new barn cat(s) enclosed within their new home/building for the first 2-4 weeks.  Use this space to establish a routine of daily feeding and watering of your new cats – not only will this allow you to become more acquainted with the cats, but it will also help the cats become acclimated to their new environment. 

Are Working Cats at-risk for abuse since they do not have adoption fees & are free?

It is a common misconception that free animals are more at-risk for abuse.  We do our best to screen potential adopters before sending our animals out of the shelter. 

How do working cats survive in the winter?

Working cats will need your help to stay happy and healthy throughout the year, but especially during the winter months.  Be sure to provide them with adequate shelter, food, and water:  

  • Shelter – You can help your cat stay extra warm by adding an insulated space for them inside of your barn/outbuilding.  Straw is a great material for bedding.  This is a great link for creating your own cat shelter.  
  • Food – High-calorie dry food will help cats generate the body heat they need to stay warm. Remember that working cats cannot survive on mice alone and they should be fed daily.  
  • Water – Freshwater is a must for cats, who tend to be chronically dehydrated. In extreme temperatures, you should check the water at least twice a day for ice. Freeze-proof water bowls are inexpensive and metal-wrapped cords make them chew resistant as well.

How do I transport the cats to my barn?

YVAS will provide you with a large carrier/airport crate to transport your new cat(s).  These crates are large in size, so we recommend bringing a large vehicle like an SUV or a truck.  We do ask that you return the crates to the shelter so we can reuse them for future animals. 

Will you deliver a cat to my home?

No, we do not have the ability to deliver animals to adopters. 

I do not live in the Billings area, can I still adopt from YVAS?

Yes, we will adopt to approved homes outside of the Billings area.  We recommend submitting your application to YVAS and calling before traveling to Billings to ensure the availability of your desired animal(s). 

Adopting Working Cats

Working Cats