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Yard cats

This is a discussion on Yard cats within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        09-30-2013, 12:02 PM
      #11
    Showing
    If you have barn cats you must feed them or they'll be too weak to hunt.

    My two girls are also spayed, because feral toms will hang around and impregnate your female barn cats if you don't take care of that little problem. They'll spray, eat the food you put out for your own cats, and fight with other toms, neutered males and females not in heat. Just complete ugliness all around.

    Mine get dry food in the morning and canned at night. They are both superb huntresses, and between them and the black rat snakes have kept the rodent population under control.
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        09-30-2013, 12:10 PM
      #12
    Trained
    I second getting the cat... But he/she also may not work out... So be prepared! Like the big black cat I got a few months ago. Apparently he would rather lounge around by my front door and wait for dinner than do something like *gasp* hunt! I second a female over a male, hands down!
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        09-30-2013, 12:28 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    Morganna, my cat, hunts because it's what cats do. She gets fed regularly, yet still goes out and hunts. Because she's also a house cat, she is easy to take to the vet for innoculations and worming. Tell your vet that your cat hunts because it's not the wormer you buy in stores, it's a veterinary wormer that works better.
         
        10-01-2013, 02:20 AM
      #14
    Yearling
    Mine are also free fed, I think they're either hunters or they are not, so don't limit their feed thinking it will make a difference.
         
        10-01-2013, 08:52 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    Cats hunt fine, usually.

    I advice you getting some semi-feral cats, not too young (4-6 months or so). I've seen too many small kittens die because they were brought from warm homes to the country and were expected to hunt at too young an age. You should feed them normally, just don't overfeed.

    All cats do hunt but semi-feral usually were taught by their mothers, and they tend to be shy and more alert than house-cats, essential thing if they are to survive outside.
         
        10-01-2013, 01:47 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    Our barn snake does a much better job. The cat will randomly kill here and there but the snake keeps everything out. Only time we worry is when they've obliterated the population. They head for the coop and have to be relocated to further fields. My Aussie also is a superb hunter. The boy takes her out everyday and "goes on mouse patrol". In the past I had a Jack Russel/Springer mix that couldn't be beat.
         
        10-01-2013, 04:12 PM
      #17
    Trained
    Cats do work great in the barn. As someone else mentioned they are at risk for getting diseases and parasites from what they kill, so don't get overly fond of them.
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        10-01-2013, 06:25 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    I am going to feed the cat(s) just to clear that up lol.

    Thanks for the advice guys, I'm not really a cat person so I needed it!

    So semi-feral female cat not too young sounds like the best way to go?

    No snakes here, I live in Ireland :P Also no dogs unfortunately due to housing arrangements :(
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        10-01-2013, 07:57 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    A shelter near me adopts out untame cats to farmers after spaying/neutering and shots. You could always call a local shelter and ask if they have any semi-feral cats up for adoption (or to let you know when they get some!)
         
        10-02-2013, 03:54 AM
      #20
    Weanling
    Actually some of our local shelters do the same. Not so much semi-feral cats, but the ones that are a bit anti social.
         

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