Barn cat

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dixiegal62, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. dixiegal62

    dixiegal62 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In need of 1 or 2 the mice are taking over our barn. Was wondering if anyone had any luck taking a tame kitten ( when its old enough ) and turning it into a barn cat.
     
  2. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think you would be better off getting a couple of barn raised fairly tame half grown kittens, (or full grown cats) get them vetted and vaccinated, and going that way. They will be familiar with that sort of environment, and will already have started hunting.
     

  3. dixiegal62

    dixiegal62 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've tried that before without success. Made sure they had food and water and they ended up under our house and going wild. I can't seem to get them to stay in the barn. There's plenty to hunt there. I have not seen signs of large rats, just mice.
     
  4. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Had a beautiful stray calico kitten show up at the house. Took it to the goat barn, and it has been there ever since...well.... except when she got stolen and then someone stole her back for me. :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    I have a rescue that I got as a kitten. he gets put out at night and he is great as a mouser. He has also made sure we have no moles with-in 200 feet of the house.

    The key is putting them out and holding to it at about 6 months of age or so.
     
  6. julieq

    julieq Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our house cats are all declawed, but they'll still take down a mouse if they see one. But no way we could transplant one or two of them to the barn, even if they weren't declawed. They'd spend all their time crying at our back door!

    Our 'barn' cats know their place and aren't at all upset that they can't come into the house. They're hunting machines! But they were all raised in the barn.
     
  7. salmonslayer

    salmonslayer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a bunch of barn cats that drift in and out of our lives as strays or just passing through. I think there is an entire cat underworld we dont know about because we rarely see them up close and they dont bother our farm cats but we sure dont have a rodent problem.
     
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  8. dixiegal62

    dixiegal62 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pretty cat. Ever notice calicos always seem to be female. I don't think I've ever seen a male one.
     
  9. dixiegal62

    dixiegal62 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would love to have an already established barn cat. My brother in law has many but they are wild. I don't want a wild cat or one that needs to be tamed. I would prefer one I was able to pet and the grandkids could too, plus one that I was able to catch and take to the vet as needed and I could hold to check its health, treat for fleas ect. These kittens dont offically live in our house, the Mom is an inside/outside cat who has raised them on our back screened in porch.
     
  10. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cats will always find the most comfortable place on the farm and hang out there. Make sure that place is in the barn. If your barn is open and drafty then build some kind of insulated, snug, draft free, well bedded home.
     
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  11. MO_cows

    MO_cows I calls em like I sees em

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    Alice that cat is beautiful! We lucked out, both of our barn cats found us. Both just wandered in at different times. We keep food out for them and there are good nooks and crannies for them to sleep and keep warm in winter. I put a couple of old blankets out there to make them more comfortable.

    Spring is the time of the "kitten overload" at the shelters, if you could find some cats that their momma had been living feral maybe they would make good barn cats?
     
  12. GammyAnnie

    GammyAnnie Well-Known Member

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    When I had to get new barn cats, my older ones died two winter's ago, I got three seven week old kittens from a town friend who's house cat got knocked up. Put them in the barn, and kept them there for two weeks with food and water and a heat lamp and a cozy very old recliner to sleep in. I spent a LOT of time with them out there during that two weeks, socializing and making them feel safe. When they were a bit older I would let them out to wander around with me, two of them used to sit on my shoulders or back while I would weed the garden, then get them to follow be back to the barn calling to them, kitty kitty kitty, and when the followed me back in they would get a bit of canned food. Once they were old enough I let them out in the morning, put their food up for the day, and call them back in at dusk and feed them...oh my you should see them come running when I call!

    They are very friendly, love being around people and the dogs.

    Annie
     
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  13. dragonjaze

    dragonjaze hating the 'burbs! Supporter

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    Unfortunately, I doubt this can be done. Most, if not all, shelters won't adopt out if the animal will be living outside, even if it's got a palace in the yard.
     
  14. EDDIE BUCK

    EDDIE BUCK Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Year before last, my son heard about three kittens someone wanted to give away.I had mentioned I needed a cat or two around my shelter and garden.He brought them to me and I finished raising them at my shelter.They are now catching rats, mice, moles which they won't eat, and a rabbit or two now and then.

    My shelter is a hundred and fifty yards from the house.Once they were grown,I started cutting back on their feed to encourage them to hunt,it worked.Now I only feed them if the weather is bad for two or three days or they are really GLAD to see me and I know they are hungry.

    Never feed them close to your house,only at the barn and get them off welfare as quickly as possible.just my 2 cent:)
     
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  15. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

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    We found a barn cat on craigslist in Dec after several months of looking. He is the best cat ever. We were overrun with mince in the barn. Within a week, there were no mice, no birds. He was raised in a barn. We got him for free with his crate, food dishes, etc. He was also already fixed. We made it so he had to stay in the barn for a month. He is very friendly and loves to play with DS. Now he is free to go as he pleases. He patrols the garden but rarely comes up to the house. I hope he likes moles and ground squirrels. He has cat food and I can tell when his hunting hasn't been successful - he actually eats it.

    Wish we had found him years ago. He's worth his weight in gold.
     
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  16. Otter

    Otter Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, you can't really turn a housecat into a barn cat. Sometimes they'll turn themselves, but not often.

    Just put up a sign at the feed store "Barn Cat Wanted, will give good home" with directions to your barn, and set up a bed and feeding station in the feed room. You'll still have people dropping cats off years later.
    Or, sign up with one of those feral cat programs. You'll get a cat that's been spayed, has it's shots, and knows humans mean food, even if they don't want to be petted.

    If you keep getting kittens and they disappear, or just won't stay in the barn, something is wrong. For one thing, fishers, raccoons and owls are all quick death on kittens. For another, as Tinknal said, make part of your barn a nice place for them to be.
    Last, don't bring them home and put them in the barn and that's it. You need to lock them in the feed room for a couple of weeks until they realize this is where the food and shelter is and it's home.
     
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  17. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Over 99% of calicos are females. The rare exception is an XXY male which is sterile. Supposedly there was a fertile male calico somewhere in Iowa years ago.

    Martin
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  18. Joshie

    Joshie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't put an indoor cat outside. We got our first three cats from our horse trainer. The sisters were so close that they nursed each other's kittens. We get rid of our kittens through craigslist ads on the farm section. You should be able to find kitties there.

    Our cats are so friendly that they're pests. We put out cat food but they don't eat a lot of it.

    Of course, we should have kittens ready for the taking in eight weeks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  19. Chief Cook

    Chief Cook Well-Known Member

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    I told my vet. I was looking for one nasty, ill tempered, don't even think about touching me, kind of cat for the barn. I just hate to get a really nice cat hanging around, checking out what I am doing in the flower beds, and "helping" me at the wood pile. You just know they will get taken by a coyote! I haven't heard from the vet. yet, he was laughing pretty hard when I left his office. Good luck with your quest.
     
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  20. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some will though. You just have to head to the rural kill shelters and tell them what you need. They're more than happy to not have to kill halfgrown kittens.