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8 Jobs That Cats Can Do (With Pictures)

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

cat working on the computer

When you think of working animals, dogs and horses often come to mind, but there are plenty of jobs a cat can do! Below, we’ve highlighted eight outstanding cat jobs ranging from essential to quirky.

So, if you’re looking to put your cat to work, or if you just want to learn a bit more about how cats improve our lives, just keep reading!

The 8 Jobs That Cats Can Do

1. Therapy Cat

cat owner looking at her pet
Image Credit: U__Photo, Shutterstock
Number in the World: 200+
Difficulty: Challenging

While it’s more common to think of therapy dogs, there are some cats that work with professional therapists to help people! For this job we’re not talking about emotional support animals (more on that later), instead, we’re talking about cats working in a professional therapy setting.

We’re not quite sure how many therapy cats there are in the world now, but according to a New York Times article 1, there are at least 200 registered therapy cats in the United States alone. But it wouldn’t surprise us if the actual number is quite a bit higher than 200.

2. Barn Cat

cat guiding a small calf in the barn
Image Credit: Mysti J. Photography, Shutterstock
Number in the World: Millions
Difficulty: Challenging

It’s one of the oldest professions for cats, and while it’s not quite as prevalent as it was a few hundred years ago, there are still tons of cats patrolling farms, barns, and other similar settings. These cats regularly catch rodents, and their simple presence often keeps rodents and other pests away.

While a feral cat might think this is a pretty easy and enjoyable job, we still categorize it as challenging simply because it seems like a lot of work to constantly chase mice and rats! We don’t have an exact number of working barn cats in the world today, but with millions of feral cats out there, we’re sure there are at least millions of working barn cats.

3. Ship Cat

cat on a sailing ship
Image Credit: Nikiforov Alexander, Shutterstock
Number in the World: Unknown
Difficulty: Easy

This is another ancient profession for cats, but today, there are far fewer ship cats than there once were. Ship cats serve the same function as barn cats, but they do it at sea! And while you might not think about rodents hanging out on ships, it was once a common problem.

But today, humans utilize other ways to keep rodents in check on ships, and because of this, most modern ship cats are simply there for companionship. They get to laze around on the deck and enjoy the warm rays while nuzzling up with whoever is on the ship when they want a little extra attention. That seems like a pretty chill job to us!

4. Store Cats

gray tabby cat guarding the store
Image Credit: YuryKara, Shutterstock
Number in the World: Unknown
Difficulty: Easy

Have you ever looked into the window of a store to see a cat taking a nap? If so, you’re not alone. Years ago, store owners used cats to keep rodents out of their stores, but with more effective methods available today, modern store cats are there to draw in customers and provide a little companionship.

You won’t find store cats in most types of stores, but they’re still relatively common in smaller bookstores and similar family-owned businesses. We don’t know exactly how many store cats are in the world today, but we imagine there are quite a few!

5. Emotional Support Animal

cat hugging a woman
Image Credit: Studio Pizza, Unsplash
Number in the World: 50,000+
Difficulty: Easy

While many people think of emotional support animals as dogs, there are plenty of emotional support cats out there. Moreover, the number of registered support animals is expanding exponentially. If we would’ve put this list together 20 years ago there would likely only be a handful of emotional support cats in the world, but today, putting the number at 50,000 is a pretty conservative estimate.

It wouldn’t surprise us to see this number continue to rapidly increase as more people register their animals.

6. Actor

Cat actor in front of camera
Image Credit: Al Asfoor.113, Shutterstock
Number in the World: 100–1,000
Difficulty: Challenging

Few industries are harder to break into than the cat-acting business. Not only does your cat need to have the right look, but they also need the right connections and the right temperament.

It’s challenging to figure out just how many cats have made it in the acting industry, especially considering some cats play multiple roles in different shows. If you’re interested in getting your cat on the big screen, you’ll need to do a ton of leg work finding the right connections for them.

7. Internet Sensation

Number in the World: Unknown
Difficulty: Moderate

It doesn’t take long for you to find a picture or video of a cat while you’re scrolling on Facebook, Instagram, or another social media platform. Cats are all over these platforms, and if they build up a big enough following, it can translate to big money!

The cat might be the center of attention here, but usually, it’s the owner putting in the necessary creative effort for success. It’s not an easy job for anyone, but your cat doesn’t usually even realize they’re such a big deal.

8. Mayor

Number in the World: 1
Difficulty: Easy

If you want your cat to be mayor, you probably need to find a new career path. But if you live in Talkeetna, Alaska, you might be in luck! Stubbs was the mayor there for 20 years, and who knows, they might be looking to adopt another feline mayor in the future!

The cool thing for a cat mayor is that they’re not doing all the hard work, so all they need to do is lay back and purr their way into everyone’s hearts, and that’s about as easy as it gets for a cat.


While your cat might enjoy lounging on the couch and coming up to you for chin scratches, there are other cats out there that are working for a living. You might not need to put your cat to work, and they might not be suited to the working life, but it’s just another reason your feline companion has it good with you!

Featured Image Credit: Chris Barbalis, Unsplash

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