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Cats play a vital role on a homestead, helping to keep the rodent populations under control. My weekly newsletter includes recipes and articles on homesteading, raising livestock, health, and gardening. Deborah, you wrote an excellent article! I am also a professional writer and I really enjoyed your informative article. We are newbies at homesteading and have been learning along the way. Thank you for sharing this information with the audience!

Our oldest barn cat will be twenty this year. We have a spayme. I give all my own shots. They are all welcome members of the house too. What shots do you give?


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Where do you purchase? I Want to do all our cats at home too except rabies. Thank you for replying. You can buy vaccines at your local farm supply store or online through many sources that sell pet meds. They were having trouble socializing them and thought it best they be barn cats. I had them in a stall in a fenced in area, for a week, when I was changing the litter one jumped out strait up stall wall and disappeared into the barn. She knows where she can get free food and where her brother is, so hopefully she will come back.

Cats are incredibly good at hiding! One time I got two siblings and put them in our barn office as usual.


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It was so funny — two or three weeks after I brought them home, my husband asked when I got the second cat. He was shocked when I told him I had brought home both at the same time. Now that shy cat is the most amazing cuddle bug. Hi, enjoyed reading this about barn cats, pretty cats. I did one time get a barn cat, she took off wouldnt stay here, I found her took her back where I got her.

We have something like barn cats here. Our barn cat gave birth to her kittens in the house, she insisted that my FIL needed to be there during the birth. She jumped up on his lap and her water broke. The kittens, all 7 first litter , were raised in the house with our dogs. At about 6 months they started going outside, at night they go down to the basement for bedtime. This has been their routine for a couple of years now, occasionally one of them goes off for a day or two but all 5 of them 2 we found homes for are most of the time.

Our solution was to put up a chain link dog kennel with a chain link top to keep them safe from coyote, mountain lion and whatever else likes to dine on cats. I feed them in the kennel before dusk and close the gate. When the sun comes up I let them out. Excellent balance — kindness and respect of the animals while recognizing practical issues! Our cats live inside with us being house cats first really, but with a daily outing to do their hunting and they are quite successful! If we switch to a more barn cat focused situation I will keep these in mind.

My oldest barn cat was Learned a lot from him. I realized He was teaching the younger cats to hunt larger prey, jack rabbits, sidewinders, and other snakes sound here. Could you please explain how it works for a kitten to be a barn cat.

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I just gave my kitten away and they are using it as barn cat, it is only 8 weeks old. At what age do you start putting a kitten in the barn? Are they safe in a barn. One lady told me the kitten would die because it was bottled fed. It really works best if your cat was born in a barn to a mama that was a barn cat, so she could teach him how everything works.


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They do have a lot of instincts though, so the kitten will probably figure it out. It would have been better for them to take two kittens. That would eliminate the desire to go looking for a feline friend. Thank you for an informative article. However, I do use homeopathy for immunization and treatment, and find this just as effective if not more as conventional treatments of any kind. We took in four kittens. They were about six or seven months old. We had them spayed and neutered and now reside in our living room. We put several places for them to sleep and look out the windows.

We have been doing this for two and half months now. We are able to pick up two out of the four. One just is quick and cute the other hisses and swipes. How do we go about training them to be nicer and friendlier? Any help would be great full. Letting them outside is out of the question. We only have indoor cats. Cats can be completely feral if not handled from birth. If they were not handled by people from birth, then only time will tell if they ever warm up to you or not.

How do I keep my 2 cats from coming to my house when they leave, and how do I keep them in the barn????? We just got 3 kittens one it is a few weeks older then the other 2 and plan to use them for barn cats, will they be ok to use with my chickens? Or do you think I can put them out there now! I plan to keep them confined for a month or longer to hope they stay around!! Going to make them a little loft area to be able to sleep! Please any advice would be helpful there are 2 boys and 1 girl is the older one!

I make many trips back to them and they love to cuddle and come running right up to me when I come in! The girl has already been out and around the chickens for a little bit at a time never left unattended!! They have a good fur coat. If temps fall below zero F at night, we let our barn cats into the barn office. Hello, and thank you for a great, informational site. We live in a rural area, and a few times per year it never fails that people drop cats off in the area near our home.

I am fearful that if he is neutered, he will be more vulnerable to attacks from all the male cats roaming around. I put a feed bowl out for approximately six outdoor cats, but the population changes because of the unwanted cats being dropped off. The question remains, is my cat any more vulnerable if he is neutered? He loves the outdoors, and taking this pleasure away from him seems very cruel…Thank you. In other words, neutering him is the best thing for him. It is the testosterone that causes male cats to fight with each other. When we first moved here, there were many unfixed male cats, and they fought a lot.

Barn cats: Tips for Success

Another thing that happens to wandering cats is that they get eaten by coyotes and other predators. When we first moved here we found remains of dead cats in the woods. I think I had the problem of cats using the bathroom in my hay. I did have 2 goats that had miscarriages this year and never had that problem before.

I am going to have to tarp the hay this winter to keep it away from the cats. Thank you for such an informative article. We are a few weeks away from bringing kittens home to be barn cats. I have a few probably silly questions since this will be new to us. When we keep them locked up for a few months to acclimate to the new barn, do we place a litter box in the enclosed area they will be staying in? Since they are kittens should they stay in for an extra amount of time? And would it be appropriate to habitually close them back up every night after they get a little older?

Thanks so much for your information. I would not get kittens less than 8 weeks old, so assuming they are at least that old when you get them, there is no reason to keep them locked up any longer than an older cat. They are all equally vulnerable to being hit by a car or eaten by a predator. We got two feral kittens from our shelter — 8 mo old brother and sister. They have been in our barn stall which is set up with litter box, sleeping shelters, etc. They became very friendly and we can pet them and pick them up. Cat food is higher in protein and fat, than dog food.

Feed your cat a good quality cat food and your cat will perform better and remain healthier, with less allergies and less skin problems. They still need proper nutrition provided for them. Our barn cats have to eat on a shelf, overlooking the goats pen, because the goats will eat the cat food if given a chance. Also, raccoon and other wildlife will be attracted to cat food so you may get some unwanted dinner guest.

And most important- plenty of fresh clean water! Breakaway collar or no collar. Outdoor animals run into the risk of catching their collar on branches or other objects. Breakaway collars are designed to break under pressure, so the animal is not injured. Other, more costly alternatives would be micro chip or tattoo ID marking. If your cat likes to crawl into hiding places, it may get locked in a shed or worse, driven away by an unsuspecting visitor.

The story had a happy ending but if I had not called, we may not have gotten Tigger back. You see, I recalled that he liked to get into cars when people left the windows open. All of our barn cats have been treated as hard working members of the barn family. They have a job and do it well. They greet us first thing in the morning to let us know that every thing is ok. At least we know that they are earning their keep! Does anyone have suggestions on how I can get my adult female to return to her barn after I introduced two kittens to the barn?

HI Betty That is a concern. Or any type of cat rescue group. I guess my biggest concern is that they would use the garden for a litter box. If you have a barn and are willing to commit, they will bring you a pair of cats, already vet checked, neutered and shots. Mostly they just like to hang out in there with us and I sometimes find the cat lying under a leafy squash plant in the shade. We have had to train him to wait to be invited into the garden area. This being said, cats are , well cats, and they have their own preferences. Most of ours have been very good, clean, and helpful to our farm.

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Spay and neuter, best advis! I finally caught them all and took them to no kill shelter to find out they were full, our cats were not special enough for them to keep and I should bring them back each week till they could take them. Never caught them again. The next year I caught a few, my vets office told me about a low priced clinic, got a few adopted, but 2 years later I had 23 cats.

I got all but 5 of the most reclusive fixed, a few died or disappeared but next year there were 20 more kittens. I cannot tell you how much this costs me, I feel responsible for these lovely beings, many of. I could strangle my neighbouring community for being so thoughtless and uncaring.

Please neuter your pets! Roberta, you experience is a perfect example of why we need to be responsible about spaying and neutering. So many people think that because you have property, they can drop off and abandon their unwanted cats and kittens for you. I have a friend that is going through exactly what you described.

It is costing her a fortune. Wish I had a solution for you. I grew up on a farm and we had animals dropped off all the time. Come visit my barn buddies when you have a chance: I enjoyed reading your story and helpful information. Love your photos and your cats! I love your post, and the pictures are beautiful! She had a litter and 2 more showed up, so now we have 8 in our happy feline family!

CATS! How Adopting Barn Cats Is Working for Us

Gaining their trust was the hardest, and took the longest. I hope you are enjoying living the homestead life! I hope you will check back soon! My wife and I just purchased some property with a barn on it Machine shop. We found a group here that places ferral cats with people looking for barn cats.

The have them spayed or neutered, checked for diseased, give them the necessary shots and notch their ear. All of this is done by volunteer vets and the cats come to you at no cost.

The Hardworking Barn Cats – Part of Your Barn Crew

After doing some more checking it looks like there are simular groups in other states. The group providing the cats for us is: Missouri Barn Cats http: Many states are beginning programs like this to give the homeless and feral cats a home. What a great post! We work to reduce the pet overpopulation problem in southern Wisconsin by offering a monthly low-cost spayathon for outdoor cats. Many decide to become pampered housecats but we also seek out safe rural or barn homes for the dedicated mousers. We recommend keeping the cats contained in the barn or other shelter for the first weeks with regular feedings so they are less likely to leave when released.

I loved reading your comment and all that you have done to work with the feral cat population. Keep up the great work.

We have three beautiful barn cats abandoned by Mama cat who came to our secluded 45 acres. Mama was a very friendly female who was lactating that came to visit us. We had her spayed, but her little ones were always hiding. Then mama disappeared, and I am pretty sure she now lives down the road. So Dexter, Lucifer and Princess of Darkness have remained in our barn, with daily feeding and cat boxes for shelter filled with an old sheepskin parts.

They have become friendly and loving members of our family, but they guard and defend our barn from roaming cats that drift in. Pat, it sounds like the kitties have a fabulous new home at your place! I was wondering if others have had this problem and if you had any suggestions, I love all the cats they are happy and otherwise healthy. I live in the New England area. Three kittens were born on our pool shed. The kittens are about 4 months old and love playing and running outside.

We bring them inside here and there for a couple minutes to have them get used to people and being indoors. Two of the three do like to be pet. We feel these kittens would be best in a farm because they love roaming and running outside and playing. These cats love one another and ways stick together. If you know a good and friendly home for these kittens to live on a farm please email me.