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Faribault cat shelter helps prepare hundreds of feral cats for adoption

Faribault cat shelter helps prepare hundreds of feral cats for adoption
Faribault cat shelter helps prepare hundreds of feral cats for adoption 02:03

FARIBAULT, Minn. -- At first, Julie Marvets was on a mission to provide shelter to feral cats, but in six years she's turned hundreds of feral cats, into friendly cats.

She turned her large, separate garage in Faribault into Furball Farm Pet Sanctuary. It was the ideal space because there was plenty of windows, elevated ceilings, and heated floors.

Her twin sister Janis Goehner helped her care for the cats, along with dozens of volunteers. Their goal was to help get these feral cats healthy and acclimated to humans.

"What do people do with a cat that is not socialized, skittish or feral? There's really nothing for those cats," Goehner said. 

Most of the cats in at Furball Farms were once unapproachable and definitely untouchable, but now majority love human visitors. 

"I just love their nature and the way they act. They act similar to me. They're very chill," said Mia Parrish, a regular visitor at Furball Farms. 

Visiting hours are every single day from 1 p.m. to  5 p.m. That consistent interaction with humans helps these cats. 

The volunteers at Furball Farms keep this place running. One of the longtime volunteers, Kristine Novotny, started with Furball Farms five years ago and kept coming so often, she quit her job of 20 plus years, to make these cats her full time job.

"I have lots of favorites," Novotny said. "I've had cats all my life. They're just perfect. They love you...well...they sometimes love you."


The volunteers deep clean the space daily and clean the litter boxes every two hours. 

"Our mission truly is to educate the public: please neuter the stray cats," Goehner said. 

Thanks to donations, Furball Farm is able to offer assistance with low-cost neutering, along with flea and tick treatments for any cats in the community.

Eventually many of these cats make enough progress to be ready for new, "fur"ever homes.

"They were deemed feral, they were deemed unadoptable, and we've adopted out over 300," Goehner said. 

Not all of their cats are adoptable yet, but many are.

They also accept donations in cat litter and food. For more details into making a neuter appointment or to donate, click here.

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