Working Cats Program

cat playing around tree root

Rodents Running Rampant?

Our cats can help! The Arizona Humane Society’s Working Cats Program offers an environmentally-safe alternative to poisonous pest controls.

Our working cats, who aren’t suited for indoor living, would love to spend their lives helping to control your warehouse, ranch, mill or barn’s rodent and pest population. All they ask for in return is shelter, food, water and care. Best of all, when you give our cats a job, you’re saving the lives of homeless pets who otherwise would not have been suitable for adoption.

Our Working Cats Program is an outlet for hard-to-place cats already in our shelter who meet specific criteria. We are unable to accept cats from the public to be placed directly into the Working Cats program.

We currently only serve the Greater Phoenix Area for working cat placement. By submitting an application, you will be added to our wait list and a staff member will be in touch once we have cats available. Wait times for cats may vary.

What to Expect From Your Working Cats

  • Adopting Your Cats
    • Our working cats are adopted out in pairs, at minimum.
    • There is no adoption fee for working cats and all cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear tipped and microchipped.
    • All working cat clients receive a 20% off discount in our retail shop, Petique, to purchase any necessary cat supplies.
    • We cannot accommodate requests for cats based upon gender, color, breed, age, etc. We will provide the education and continued support you need to help your cats adapt to their new environment.
    • We will deliver your working cats within a 25-mile radius of AHS’ Sunnyslope Campus, or we can coordinate pick-up from our Sunnyslope Campus at 9226 N 13th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85021.
  • Acclimating Your Cats
    • Your new cats will need to spend the first four weeks of their new lives in a large wire dog crate located in a shelter that is protected from the elements and predators. This will help them acclimate to their surroundings and recognize it as “home.” Appropriate shelters include garages, workshops, warehouses, sheds, tack rooms, greenhouses, barns, etc.
    • We will happily loan acclimation crates and supplies which will be dropped off when we bring your cats.
    • You will be responsible for providing fresh food and water and cleaning their litter boxes daily. We also recommend feeding your cats a high-value treat, like wet food, at the same time each day, as this will help them get accustomed to you as their caregiver. It will also be something they look forward to long after they have left their crate.
    • Once acclimated, you can release your cats to explore their new surroundings while continuing to provide them with daily food, water, access to shelter, and any future necessary medical care, including future vaccinations.
    • Since July 2019, AHS has partnered with Arizona State University to conduct a Working Cat Study to measure the success of cats placed up to one year after finding their new homes. We ask that our working cats clients participate in this study by completing short, periodic surveys at two weeks, one month, six weeks, two months, three months, six months, nine months and one year.
  • Excessive Heat Protocols
  • During the summer months, precautions must be made in order to ensure a safe environment for the cats who are still confined in their acclimation crates.

    • From mid-May to the end of September, crates cannot be positioned in an area that is solely outdoors.
    • If the cats will be confined in an area without A/C, the structure must ensure proper airflow, and you must provide fans or evaporation coolers.
    • You must be available to check in on the cats throughout the hottest time of the day (2:00-4:00 p.m.) seven days a week.
    • If at any point the original shelter becomes too hot, you must physically move your working cats, in their acclimation crates, to an alternative area that is climate controlled.

“Hire” Your First Working Cats

a cat walks through the yard

To request working cats, please use the form below. Have a question? Contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.