Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Barn cat and new house cat!

On the Farm

I love cats!  I have pretty much always had a cat.  So, it's really no surprise that we would be getting farm/barn cats!  We have been waiting because of the coyote pressure.  Now that we have the dogs, I am hoping that it will be safe to release some cats on the property (as long as they stay on the property, I think they will be okay).

There are many benefits of keeping cats on the farm but the biggest benefit is critter extermination!  We have enough voles, pocket gophers, weasels and mice to keep the barn cats fed and fat.  

I knew we wanted to get some cats this spring so I started looking around.  One of local animal shelters, the Lewis Clark Animal Shelter, has a Barn Buddy program.  Taken from their website:

Barn Buddies are cats that are independent, self-sufficient animals.  They are also known as "mousers" and "rodent managers."  They typically prefer to live outdoors, seeking accommodations in a barn or shed with a steady supply of food and water.  Some Barn Buddies, with patience and kindness, will learn to trust over time and become affectionate and loving companions.

Sometimes rescue cats, for various reasons, can not live as indoor companion pets.  These cats become part of our Barn Buddy program.  They are in desperate need of a home on a farm, horse stable, warehouse, or other suitable outdoor location.  This program offers them a chance at a safe life that is best for them.

Candidates in our Barn Buddy Program include:

Friendly cats with litter-box issues
Friendly cats that have spent their life outdoors and can not adapt to indoor life
Semi-feral adults too shy and fearful of people
We consider our Barn Buddies to be "outdoor pets."  They ARE NOT just turned loose to live off the land.  These cats will depend on you for basic care for their overall health.  Their welfare is our foremost consideration and we work hard to find qualified barn homes for Barn Buddy cats.

There is no adoption fee associated with barn buddies.  All Barn Buddies go to their homes spayed or neutered and are current on rabies and distemper vaccinations.

I called and got put on their waiting list for the month of March.  Then, our house cat, Buster passed on February 13.  We had him for about 13 years.  This left a huge hole in our family.  I started looking around for a new house cat and then I found a cat at the Humane Society of the Palouse in Moscow, ID:

Meet Cider
Are you looking for a loving barn kitty to keep a handle on rodent population? I am definitely the girl for you!  My name is Cider, and I am one sweet girl! I am roughly 3 years old, and I would make a great outdoor kitty.  I was surrendered to HSoP because I was having litter-box issues. The staff at HSoP took me to vet clinic and had a few tests ran on me to make sure I was healthy and not suffering from an underlying medical problem. I had blood work and a urine analysis done, and both came back completely normal! This is great news for me, but this also means that my litter-box issues are not due to fixable medical issues. I lived mostly outdoors in my previous home, and when I was brought inside I began to pee outside of my litter-box. The staff here thinks that I should either be a barn kitty, or maybe an indoor-outdoor kitty.
I was living with two other cats, and I liked to keep my distance from them. We never had any issues, but I was not super cuddly with my friends. We all respected each others boundaries!
Relocating feral and outdoor cats is not as easy as physically placing them in their new outdoor home. Cats are very territorial, and if you simply place them in a new location, they will try to find their way back to where they came from.  Fortunately, feral and outdoor cats can be acclimated to a new territory fairly easy and in a short amount of time.

We got a large kennel and put it in our barn.  Put the food, water and litter box near the door for easy access.
Here is our set up for Cider in our big barn
After 2-3 weeks, we will open the cage door.  We will keep food and water both inside and outside of the cage. We got Cider on February 18th.  That means that this coming Tuesday (March 3) will be 2 weeks.  She seems super happy when we visit her each day.

Here is a video of when we brought her home:

We still needed a cat for the house.  All the cats I had ever owned were strays that someone was trying to re-home and they were all great cats.  I had always wanted a calico cat and there was one available at the Lewis Clark Animal Shelter.
Her name is Beck!  She came home on February 18th too.  We were told that she goes "psychotic" when she sees other cats which is fine because she will be an only kitty in the house.  Mark picked out a toy for her and here is a video of them:
Both cats have settled in to their new homes well.  So, we went from one cat, to zero cats to two cats..that is good cat math.  I am really excited to release Cider soon!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the two new members of farm family! So cute!