Farm Cats in Need: Could Your Outdoor Space Be Their New Home?

Do you have the space for a farm cat?

The RSPCA has issued a desperate plea to find homes for farm cats who prefer exploring the great outdoors rather than curling up on a lap.

Farm cats, or outdoorsy cats, don’t necessarily have to live on a farm but are looking for a home with some outdoor space for them to explore, such as a smallholding or riding stables. Some have even found alternative homes such as at a model village, an orchard or with a gazebo company!

The RSPCA is now creating a list of potential farm cat adopters so that when these cats come into the charity’s care they can be rehomed quickly and avoid the stress of being in a cattery.

“We love cats and their independent nature but unfortunately it can take longer to rehome a farm cat compared to a placid lap cat. However, we know there are lots of people out there who have plenty of space and room in their heart for a shy, or outdoorsy feline. 

“We want to educate the public that not every feline will be an easy-going lap cat. Just like us humans, there are a range of personalities and preferences across each individual cat which comes into our care. Farm cats will need less human interaction than a typical domestic cat but they still need someone to look out for them and over time they may want to spend more time with you and allow you to give them a little fuss!”

Dominika Jagoda, pet welfare expert at the RSPCA

Farm cats are often nervous around people but still need someone to provide food, water, shelter and veterinary care when needed. Potential owners don’t necessarily need to have a farm or riding stable to rehome a cat who enjoys the great outdoors, the charity is looking for homes of all different types to match the variety of different cats we have. 

“All animals deserve our kindness and respect and the first step to changing the way we treat animals is changing how we see and feel about them. Respecting that some cats need space and no matter how cute they look do not want to be stroked, is a first step in recognising that these sentient animals have internal lives rich with emotions and may never want to become a lap cat but they still deserve a fulfilled life of their own.

“In our 200th year as a charity, we have launched our For Every Kind campaign which encourages people to rethink their relationship with animals.

“Being For Every Kind also means being every kind of cat – like amazing farm cats!”


Archie (pictured above) was rehomed by Karen Owens in Gateshead from the RSPCA Felledge Animal Centre in Chester-le-Street. The ginger tabby cat lives in a large shed and gets to explore the surrounding area at his leisure.

“It’s been a very long road for this timid little fellow. We adopted him in December and just this last week his confidence has grown amazingly and we are now starting to see his personality. 

“Once he’d spent his first couple of weeks in the shed to get him used to where he was, he then found a vacant shed elsewhere and although we didn’t see him, we would find empty bowls so I knew he was still relying on us for food. Now he’s moved back into the shed we’ve set up for him and it’s looking like it’s a permanent move! He seems to want to be our friend as he will now come to greet me with a little meow and will even take food from my hand. I still haven’t stroked him as he’s still very nervous but that’s what we expected with Archie.”


Snowy (pictured below) was also adopted from RSPCA Felledge Animal Centre in Chester-le-Street earlier this year after she came into the charity’s care as an injured stray cat. It soon became clear that Snowy needed a special kind of home and Lorna Adamson of Woodlands Park Farm in Consett was able to give her the perfect home.


“Snowy has settled in amazingly well. She is super intelligent and has guided us to what she enjoys and what she needs.”


Snowy lives in an outbuilding on the farm with four cosy crates inside with comfy beds and toys and a litter tray. She gets to roam around the farm at her leisure and then return to her outbuilding at night. Over time, she has even started to give Lorna fuss at breakfast times.

“It was obvious early on she liked a “safe place” as we would often find her in empty boxes. She enjoys hiding in the bushes, likes a stroke in the morning and has started reminding me if I forget and lets me know how much she enjoys it with some throaty purring!

“She often follows me about the farm buildings and has taken the lambing season in her stride which has meant quite a lot more visitors to the farm as friends want to bring their grandchildren to meet our animals. She is very patient with the grandchildren and other visitors but seems to stick close to me for reassurance.

“I think she loves her life on the farm as she can come and go at will, she is starting to explore further afield but doesn’t venture too far away. We love having her as part of our farm menagerie!”


Angel came into the care of RSPCA Radcliffe Animal Centre in Radcliffe on Trent in January last year as his owner was struggling financially amidst the cost of living crisis. Angel’s playful and affectionate personality soon shone through and he loved nothing more than curling up on someone’s knee and so the centre found him a loving home very quickly. 


“Sadly, Angel was returned six months later as he had started to get into a lot of fights with the neighbourhood cats in his area and had caused some nasty injuries which his new owners felt obliged to pay for. They tried to keep him inside to try and calm his behaviour towards other cats but this left him stressed and miserable so they felt they had no choice but to return him to the centre in the hope we could find him a rural home, away from other cats. 

“Angel was not your typical farm cat – he likes being around humans – so we needed to find quite a unique home for him where other cats were much less likely to stress him out.

“It took us a couple of months of appealing for an alternative home but finally he was adopted by lovely owners with a converted farm building surrounded by fields. Angel is loving his new life, seeking out people for company or burning off his energy through play and exploration, the choice is his.

“Cats can often be misunderstood. Often they do not need to be around other cats, in fact, being around other cats can cause a lot of stress and upset for some, as they feel they need to defend their own territory in order to feel safe. For cats like Angel, an indoor lifestyle is not always suitable and an alternative lifestyle is needed, which we’re very happy we found!”

Lyn Jarrett from Radcliffe Animal Centre

For more information on adopting farm cats visit:

To see the farm cats available for adoptions visit: (refine your search by ticking farm/feral cat).

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