"Barn" cats

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"Barn" cats

Postby WeatherWoman » Jun 25th, 2016, 1:44 pm

Because we have chickens we attract the rodents. So we are thinking about adopting a couple of fixed cats that can't be indoor cats.

Tell me more about setting up shelter etc for outdoor cats.
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby hobbyguy » Jun 29th, 2016, 9:19 pm

Barn cats are probably not the best idea. "Inherited" one once. Constant issues with worms picked up from the rodents, and she died young. Probably from eating a rodent that had ingested some poison on a neighboring property (seen that a couple of times).

You don't say how many chickens. I always had less than a dozen layers - just for personal eggs. By using feeders and not scattering feed, and boxed in traps was successful in keeping the rodent population under control. By boxed traps, I mean the standard Victor traps, with small plywood boxes over them, rodent size "doorways" in each end, and a rough handle on top. Set the trap, place the box on top, check daily, dispose of catches. 1/2 dozen traps will usually be more effective than a cat anyway.

I always lined my feed storage boxes with sheet metal so those were not an issue. (They WILL chew through wood or plastic).
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby Barney Google » Sep 16th, 2016, 7:45 am

We've always had barn cats with little to no trouble.

Like any pet you undertake the responsibility for they do have requirements to stay healthy.

We like to pick up two or three 'teenager' cats (around 8 to 10 months old) who, in the best

case scenario come from the same home so they know each other. We also like to have them

human handled a bit. Make sure they have a dry, warm place to sleep and hang out. Good quality

Food and always access to fresh water. Providing food helps to deter the parasite problem because

they will hunt for sport and not injest that many. Our barn cats are great and always a source of entertainment.
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby TylerM4 » Sep 16th, 2016, 10:52 am

Barn cat/outdoor cats same thing.

Go for it. Biggest problem is keeping them from multiplying, but you're getting cats that are fixed.

I've had outdoor cats my whole life, most of the time on a farm. Yes, they'll get worms from the rodents- that's why they invented deworming pills. Give them a little pill 2x a year and they'll be fine, it's not a big deal at all. Many people say that worms in cats is a normal thing and deworming is mostly to make us humans happy.

I would not grab a cat from the SPCA and put it in the barn. Cats need to develope "Street Smarts" if you will. You can't put an adult housecat into a barn and expect things to go well. Make sure you get a cat(s) that are used to being outdoors.

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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby Barney Google » Sep 16th, 2016, 11:40 am

Best EVER barn cats we have had have been ones that are full or part manx...even the smallest of full/part Manx cats would

take on any Doberman or Wolfhound, etc. dog or rodent that got in their way or challenged them even a little.

I fostered one 'cat killing' Doberman rescue dog here once that, despite every precaution we could muster, he got into a mix

up with our little manx she-cat. I am telling you what...she messed up that Doberman BIG TIME.

SHE walked away unscathed...the 'cat killing' Doberman high tailed it out of the barn, claws scraping marks on the cement

barn floor with a VERY bloodied up nose and face. Never went near the barn again...cat sat at the open barn doorway

licking her mussed fur coat back into proper place.

Weeks later I could hear the dog whining and crying - I looked out the kitchen window to see what was bothering him.

The cat had jumped into his kennel and he stood frozen in one spot while she twirled

herself rubbing her face and body around his legs. He, needless to say, was scared he was going to get another

arse kicking. [icon_lol2.gif]
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby oldtrucker » Jan 27th, 2018, 11:25 pm

Please, please give them insulated shelter with a 100 watt bulb for heat. Just in case it gets too cold. You probably already thought of that though.
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby GordonH » Jan 28th, 2018, 12:05 am

On the farm we had 3 to 4 barn cats at any given time, my parents years before I came along were given a couple starter cats they were barn cats themselves (every year the area tom came visiting). When we seen the female was thin, we all would go looking (important for baby kittens to have human contact before there eye open, if not you we never be able to get close to them ever).
As for keeping warm in cold winter nights, we had a huge hay barn. We would find tunnels within & around the hay bails with large nesting area at end of the tunnel. Hay makes excellent insulation from the cold.
I never seen any of them sick or in need of medical help.
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby dirtybiker » Jan 29th, 2018, 11:58 am

Not entirely sure but, have heard that you can 'borrow' feral fixed
cats from the SPCA.

Have heard of this as a rodent control measure.
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby Bsuds » Jan 29th, 2018, 12:08 pm

dirtybiker wrote:Not entirely sure but, have heard that you can 'borrow' feral fixed
cats from the SPCA.

Have heard of this as a rodent control measure.


I doubt that because as soon as you let them out they would be gone so what would be the point.
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby Bleach » Jan 29th, 2018, 7:46 pm

oldtrucker wrote:Please, please give them insulated shelter with a 100 watt bulb for heat. Just in case it gets too cold. You probably already thought of that though.


That sounds like a bad idea. I used a heating mat with a temp reg, worked great and at least there is no light. The old cat loved that, he hated to be in the house.
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby Fancy » Jan 29th, 2018, 8:00 pm

oldtrucker wrote:Please, please give them insulated shelter with a 100 watt bulb for heat. Just in case it gets too cold. You probably already thought of that though.

Any barn cats I looked after didn't have a light bulb.
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby WeatherWoman » Feb 25th, 2018, 12:09 am

Thanks everyone...being in Victoria we don't get too cold in the winter but would build an insulated shelter and would care for them.
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Re: "Barn" cats

Postby gardenlvr » Mar 10th, 2018, 8:51 am

My grandfather (99 years old!) has always had barn cats. He puts out a bit of food once a day and ensures they can get in and out of the cellar. He's never provided a heat source, but there are plenty of nooks the cats find where they can escape the weather and wind. If a new cat appears, we trap it and take it to a vet to be spayed or neutered. When the barn was full of hay and animals there would be multiple cats, but today he has two cats (male and female) who make use of the barn. It's a good symbiotic relationship :)

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