Barn cat protocol? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-19-2010, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: USDF Region 1, USEA Area 2, USEF Zone 3 - Maryland
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Barn cat protocol?

When you guys have a new barn cat show up, how long do you usually wait to get it fixed and UTD on shots? You know, I don't want to spend money on it and then have it decide to make it's merry way home...

We had one drop in early this afternoon - a young looking orange tabby, male... definitely not fixed. He looks to be a year, maybe a year and a half. Bert & Squirt were NOT happy about his visit, but he's a very friendly cat and didn't show any aggression towards them.

Then, he came back this evening while we were feeding, but by the time we were done he had meandered back into the woods for the night.

Now, I'm pretty sure he'll be back because broke the cardinal rules of stray cats and:
1. Named him (Hello, Ollie!!)
2. Fed him

I'm not against taking him in - he's clean but looks "weathered" and had a hearty appetite, no collar, friendly but a bit skittish.

So, if he keeps coming back, what's a good time frame to wait to make sure he, in fact, doesn't have a home?

And a picture!
Not too great... taken with a phone as it was getting dark.

Mom to 3 bays: Beau, Daisy & Cavalina

Last edited by My Beau; 09-19-2010 at 08:15 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 12:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
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In my area, I have a Spay and Neuter clinic that will fix feral cats for free. Regardless of whether he has a "home" or not, he should still be fixed. I'm sure I may get crap for that, but oh well. The "owners" just got their cat fixed for free. =P

If you don't have a clinic like that, I would stick with it for a week or so to see if he sticks around. Or put a collar on him with a note for his possible owners.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 01:07 AM
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Get him fixed. It'll keep him from making more kitties, and he'll probably stick around after he's fixed because he won't be looking for lady cats.
Just be prepared for him to come and go a lot. I don't know if you live in the country or near neighborhoods, but at my barn (in the middle of town) there's a few of the cats that will go hang out at the old lady's house down the street because she spoils them rotten. Then they come back once or twice a month once they've escaped her clutches, and come hang out at the barn for a few days. They're always so fat when they come back!

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post #4 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 01:09 AM
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I agree. Give him a week, toss a collar around his neck and get a tag from walmart. They have a tag machine at ours. You can put: Found 9/20 and your phone number. If you dont get a response, get him fixed right away. Good luck! I love barn cats!
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 06:57 AM
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I say get him fixed now. If he has another owner they are obviously not responsible enough to neuter him.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 07:01 AM
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I say fix him regardless. There's nothing spectacular that would warrant breeding him and, coming from someone who has worked behind the scenes at an animal shelter, the less of a chance he has to breed with the multitude of female cats he comes across, the better! Say he encounters 3 females on his way to your house. That right there is a possibility of up to 25 kittens or more! And being feral, they have a very high chance of ending up in the animal shelter. Just not a risk I'm personally willing to take as I've seen the end results and it's heartbreaking.

Good luck with him! I'm so partial to orange tabbies!

*Dreams are within reach, you just have to go that extra mile to catch them*
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-20-2010, 11:04 AM
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I say just get him fixed..they do have the feral cat programs in the area..or just like Ive done, eat the cost to have one less cat that can breed in the area. The last one that got dumped has turned out to be the best cat ever...thought he was a "she" took him to the vet and got a phone call later that afternoon informing me that my "she" was instead a already nuetered did I get so lucky, who knows:) Helped make up for all the others I ended up having to fix..ours were inherited with the property when we bought it..owner actually laughed when I asked her if they were fixed..some people. That same recent dumped cat has stuck around took us a week before we realized he had been someones cat in the past...he would just eat and slink off. Then one day my daughter came down to the barn carrying him and now hes claimed us. My other barn cats roam off our property on occasion, but the new one is just happy to stay at our place.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-21-2010, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Location: USDF Region 1, USEA Area 2, USEF Zone 3 - Maryland
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Thanks everyone! I'll wait about a week and go from there. So far, he's been back twice yesterday afternoon and he was outside this morning when I was doing the morning barn chores.

He was chasing Bert & Squirt yesterday... I guess being territorial since he isn't fixed and I was tempted to run him off. But, today they were all behaving together. As long as he is semi-civil he can stay.

Mom to 3 bays: Beau, Daisy & Cavalina
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