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San Diego Humane Society

Wild at Heart Cat Adoptions


Our Wild at Heart adoption program is designed for cats who need to be outside to live happy, healthy lives, because not every cat thrives indoors.

Cats in the program are mostly feral (wild), but on occasion, we have social cats who just don’t want to or are not suitable to live indoors.  For example, they may not like using a litter box.

Wild at Heart matches special outdoor cats with adopters who have a barn, shed, warehouse or other secure structure to offer as a safe home. The cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and available for adoption at no charge!

You'll Need to Provide

  1. A secure, dry barn or building with easy access to the outdoors.
  2. The commitment to keep the cats confined to an enclosed room or x-pen with a wire top for 2-3 weeks so they can acclimate to their new environment before being released.
    • The acclimation period is a very important step in helping cats learn that this is their new home. This is when they learn their new home is safe, and there is food and water. This method is very successful and cannot be skipped – if it is, cats tend to run away before they learn about the great home you’re offering.
    • Sometimes new cats choose not to stay no matter how wonderful you make their new home. Don’t worry: the cat will likely find an alternative barn next door or down the street to call their own. We hope this doesn’t happen, but if it does, we will do everything we can to help you and your new cats.
  3. A clean litter box that is scooped and/or cleaned daily while confined.
  4. A daily supply of cat food and fresh water.
    • While confined and for a short while after release, we recommended a small amount of canned cat food be provided daily. Canned food is very pleasurable to cats and will help them associate good things with their new environment.
    • Following release, the cat(s) will need dry cat food and fresh water daily.
  5. Monitoring and providing for the safety and well-being of the cats.
  6. Willingness to trap the cats and seek veterinary care in the event of a severe injury or illness.

How may should you adopt at a time?

San Diego Humane Society and other professionals recommend the adoption of two to five Wild at Heart cats at one time. Cats are more likely to stay at their new home if they have the company and companionship of other cats. Being housed together or near one another during the acclimation period allows them to get used to the other cats. Once released, the cats will likely look out for each other and alert one another when any danger is present.

Contact San Diego Humane Society about our Wild at Heart program

San Diego Region
619-299-7012 ext. 2388
Escondido Region
619-299-7012 ext. 2744
Oceanside Region
619-299-7012 ext. 2000


For more information about community cats, visit Alley Cat Allies.


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