In what could possibly be the sweetest news of the century, The Ottawa Humane Society has announced an innovative new program that aims to find ‘jobs’ and therefore homes for feral kitties that are unable to be rehomed in traditional circumstances. That's right, Ottawa companies are hiring cats for odd jobs around the city.

The charity has already begun the process of placing certain cats in what they call more suitable environments. In an official Facebook post, the OHS said that many cats in their care are unable to be rehomed as house cats, for behavioral or temperament reasons. Instead, they are searching for safe, alternative accommodations for these animals in a program that they are calling ‘Working Whiskers’.

The hope is that these strong, independent kitties will thrive in alternative locations that are more suited to their personalities. This could be in locations such as barns, stables, wood workshops, breweries, warehouses and anywhere else that could have a mouse or rat population to keep them entertained!

While the OHS makes it clear that their primary goal is to rehome cats in indoor ‘home’ environments, they also recognize that for many this is simply not an option. Working Whiskers intends to save the lives of cats that simply have so other option, by giving them a renewed purpose.

These cats won’t have owners in the traditional sense, but any person or business who ‘hires’ a Working Whiskers animal will have certain responsibilities to them. While the cats will control rodent populations, adopters will be expected to provide care to keep them content and comfortable. This includes such supplying fresh food and water daily, providing a warm space to hide from the Canadian winter, and veterinary care as required.

As well as having a new, furry employee, adopters can rest assured that all the cats in the program have been examined by a vet and will be tested for feline diseases. They will also be spayed/neutered so won’t need any time off for maternity leave!

One company in Ottawa has already taken advantage of having cat employees. Beyond the Pale Brewery piloted the program earlier this year and are thrilled with their Working Whiskers cat, Cici. While they rarely see Cici, she has made a considerable difference to their mouse population. Co-owner Al Clark said “small mouse nibbles on large bags of grain were costing us thousands of dollars. Since having Cici, we have not lost a bag of grain”.

If you have a barn, stable, auto shop, winery, storage facility, garden centre or greenhouse, and are looking for an adorable employee, a Working Whisker cat could be exactly what you are looking for.

The OHS says “it’s a win-win situation because not only will cats find a safe place to live a happy life, but they will also help those who could benefit from having a working cat.”

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