More than 40 stray cats rescued from Routt County property up for adoption at Humane Society |

More than 40 stray cats rescued from Routt County property up for adoption at Humane Society

Ute, a short-hair barn cat found last year near McCoy, stares out from his cage at the Routt County Humane Society. Forty barn cats recently entered the shelter after animal control officers rescued them from a rural property west of Steamboat Springs.
File photo/Derek Maiolo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — More than 40 stray barn cats have been rescued from a rural property west of Steamboat Springs, many of which are up for adoption at the Routt County Humane Society.

Rescuers expect to bring in another 40 to 50 cats from the property in what Elaine Hicks, executive director for the Humane Society, called one of the largest caseloads for the local shelter. 

To encourage people to adopt these cats, the shelter is offering a “name your price” special.

Routt County animal control officers used live traps to capture the animals and brought them to the shelter for vaccinations and to be spayed or neutered. It seemed people had been feeding the cats, Hicks said, as many of them line up in preparation for mealtime. 

It is not uncommon for the Humane Society to get reports of feral cats that have been dropped off or abandoned in rural parts of the county, Hicks said. Last January, rescuers found 32 cats on a property near McCoy at the southern end of the county.

“When they don’t get spayed or neutered, they can multiply at exponential amounts,” Hicks explained.

Of the cats that have been rescued, 21 are semi-feral adults, Hicks said, and the other 19 are kittens. The older animals would be ideal for residents who want a mouse-hunting outdoor cat.

“Some could be tamed for more human contact,” Hicks said.

The kittens have been put into foster care, she added, and the socialization should make them more suitable as social, indoor pets. They will not be available for adoption until they are at least eight weeks old.

We are still at maximum capacity with 21 barn cats available for adoption. We are expecting more barn cats to arrive in…

Posted by Routt County Humane Society on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Some of the cats already have gone to new homes. On Thursday, seven of the animals were adopted from the shelter, according to Hicks. 

To keep a barn cat, she recommends that people keep them in a barn or garage with food for several days to get the animals used to their new homes.

“Once they know where the food source is, they tend to stay on the property,” Hicks explained.

Social isolation under the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to spur more adoptions at the shelter. As of the weekend, only one dog, an 11-year-old Pyrenees mix named Zena, was available for adoption. 

“People really took this opportunity to get a pet and be able to spend time training it,” Hicks said.

Due to precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, all patrons must wear a face mask when visiting the shelter and maintain social distance between other people. Only two patrons are allowed in the shelter at a time, according to Hicks. 

To adopt an animal from the shelter, call 970-879-7247 to set up an appointment.

For dog and cat owners, the Humane Society is offering free pet food to the community. For more information, call the shelter or stop by at 760 Critter Court. 

To see a list of available animals, visit

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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