Camp Purr cats have spent their entire lives outside of a home environment and will live their happiest lives as barn cats.
Feral cats are among the most at-risk groups in shelters across the country, and the solution to saving these cats requires a multifaceted approach. One part of this solution is a successful adoption program for cats who are not suitable for an in-home adoption. These cats have spent their entire lives outside of a home environment but can be successfully adopted as barn cats, shop cats, or other “mouser” jobs. We call our adoption program for these cats “Camp Purr.”
These feral and very semi-feral cats are happiest living outdoors and just need a place to call home. All have been spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated and are ready to adopt!
How to get started
You can find all our available barn cats on our Barn Pets page. Click on a cat to find out how to meet them. Please note that barn cats are available by appointment only to ensure our cat team has adequate time to assist you.
Browse Barn Cats
In 2018 we completed not one, but three new transitional housing projects called “Catty Shacks” where these cats can continue to live in an indoor/outdoor environment with regular food and care while they wait to be adopted through our Camp Purr program. Catty Shack I is located inside the Women’s Correctional Facility in Mitchellville where the offenders care for the cats, and Catty Shacks II & III are located on the ARL’s main campus.
One of the most successful ways to keep feral cats in their outdoor homes is through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs. TNR significantly reduces the number of cats who are thriving in their communities from ever entering a shelter in the first place.
The ARL's TNR program is called Operation CatSnip and is dedicating staff and financial resources to make this a successful program. The city of Des Moines approved an ordinance went into effect on March 1, 2019 and the ARL is supporting the community by altering, vaccinating, ear-tipping, and returning healthy community cats to the areas where they've already been living and thriving - and therefore preventing more generations from taking their place.