barn cat cowgirl magazine

Many horse owners rely on barn cats to keep the rodent population in check. All year long they’re busy hunting mice. In return, you should offer them a cozy, warm spot to rest in the winter months. They don’t require much, but it’s better to get a space set up for them before it gets too cold.

Winter Tips for Barn Cats

  • Allow them access to the inside of your barn or garage. They will need some sort of entrance and exit that remains open.
  • Set up a cat carrier or cardboard box with bedding and straw. The container should be on the smaller side. This allows the cat’s heat to warm the space.
  • For feral cats, cut a hole in a Styrofoam cooler. Put it outside in areas they’re frequently seen. They will climb inside when no one is around.
  • A dog igloo can also be left near the barn for feral cats. It’s helpful to stuff them with straw.
  • Make sure your barn cat has access to unfrozen water. You can surround the bowl in Styrofoam or straw. A heated water bowl is another idea, if you have access to electricity.
  • You should also give them extra dry food in the winter months. It can be harder for them to find a meal when the weather is cold.
  • Always check your tires and under your car. A cold cat may be hiding in there to stay warm.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals designed to melt ice, as they can damage their paws.

They keep your horse barn free of rodents, so the least you can do is keep them warm!