Those with horse farms are likely equipped with a few barn cats. You can see them running down the aisle, sleeping in the hay and stalking in the grass! In order to keep rodent populations down, most barn owners welcome a feline or two. Cats easily earn their keep by acting as excellent hunters of mice, rats, birds, and other pests.
If you want to keep your mouser happy and healthy, then try some of these tips!
1. Get your barn cats spayed and neutered. This way your female cat isn’t attracting males, and thus fighting will be greatly reduced. Furthermore, who needs dozens of kittens every year. Females can have up to two litters annually. Save yourself the headache!
2. Be selective! It’s important you get either a barn kitten or outdoor cat. They’ll be accustomed to the lifestyle. An indoor cat may struggle outside and beg to come inside. Most shelters won’t even allow their cats to be adopted into outdoor situations. If you prefer an older feline, there are programs that rehome feral cats to barn owners.
3. Vaccinate your cat. Not only for their health, but for yours! A scratch or bite can be dangerous from a rabid animal.
4. Offer warmth in the winter! It could be a hay loft or tack room, but in frigid temperatures they’ll need a place to stay warm.
5. Give them quality food. It doesn’t has to be the most expensive, but please offer something. If you assume that mice are enough, then your cat may venture to other houses in search of their next meal.
For the most part, barn cats are simple and easy! If you can meet their few requirements, then you’ll likely have an excellent mouse hunter on your hands.