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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just discovered a cat living under the porch at my business. Poor thing, looks a bit skinny and eyes a bit runny.

So, I went and bought some cat food, wet and dry, and the little darling let me get just close enough to put the dishes close to him (?). I'm assuming it's a him, but I don't know yet.

Tomorrow I am going to attempt to get him to come to me so I can put him into the carrier I have and take him home.

Hubby has said point blank, no more house cats, so I'm thinking he could make a very nice barn cat. . . for now. :wink:

The last time I rescued a cat is cost me over $200 and he left when he was just getting strong. I guess his journey wasn't over. I'm hoping this one, if I can get to him, will want to stay.

Of course, I think hubby knows that it won't stay a barn cat for too long. I have a very soft heart for little creatures.

Those of you that do own barn cats, what do you do for them for shelter? Is the barn and hay enough, or do you have a special bed for them? I've never had a barn cat. Any info or suggestions would be very welcomed.
 

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Well, if it's in a barn then that can be shelter itself. Normally ours sleep in the hay. I do have a bit of advice on this particular cat. If his eyes are runny there are some very serious, very contagious diseases that the runny eyes could be a syptom of. In many cats runny eyes mean respiratory issues. Someone else may remember the other one, but one is called feline leukemia which is fatal to the cat and any others who catch it. It is caught through sexual contact and fighting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks SmoothTrails. Yes, I realize that I will have to bring it to a vet to have it examined. It's eyes do not look as bad as that other cat I rescued (or attempted to) years ago, and that had a respiratory infection.

It's demeanor appeared to be cautious but not frightened, if that makes any sense. So, if I am able to get to it, I will be very cautious so as not to be scratched while putting it into the carrier.

Back to the barn issue, are they warm enough in the hay in the winter? That's my biggest concern. I'm used to my pets being in the house with me, snug and warm. But, like I mentioned, Don is very much against this (for now).

Can't believe at my age I've never had a barn cat. Just astounds me.
 

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I don't know about barn cats but my family used to have an outdoor cat (my mom is seriously allergic and the cat came with our house and the previous owners asked us to keep her) and she did just fine for 13 years with just a refrigerator box, and a few blankets on our covered deck. She was already very old when we moved in and then she lived for 13 more years. o_O She never tried to sneak into the house when it was cold or anything so we were always pretty sure she was happy out there. When it would get super snowy and icy, we'd move her to our garage with the door open a smidge (she hated being unable to leave) so she had more shelter.

She was a good cat. Haha I love cats, I wish I could have another one.

He should be fine. Especially since he's already acclimatized to the outdoors. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's very encouraging Wallaby.

Keeping my fingers crossed that I can "capture" him tomorrow. :wink:
 

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Yep, hay will keep them plenty warm. :) The cat can burrow down in there to add warmth, and they will normally build themselves a little nest. My outside cat at my father's just has the ability to get in on the back porch out of the wind.

You may want to wear leather gloves when you get him. Feluk is not a worry for humans, but of course there are others that could be an issue. Good luck with the kitty. :)
 

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Being that the cat is already outside he/she should be fine in a barn full of cozy hay. I love cats and like to spoil them. At the barn I board at there are 5 cats. The love to curl up in the hay and also we have a box with a blanket that they lay in. I also bring out warm water for them and they love that.

The runny eyes I would have that looked at for sure. Strays have a tendency to have feline lukemia and distemper.

Good luck catching the cat!!!
 

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I volunteer at a cat rescue. We had an outbreak of ring worm and a few colds this year but nothing to bad. I would try to get a humane trap for him. Its harder than you think to catch a wild cat yourself. We use those leather large bird gloves, they are huge though.
 

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Hay is good enough. However, if your a big softy like me and my family.... We have a couple of boxes stuffed with hay positioned into an L shape. I have some shingles laid down as a floor and some 2x4s that are being stored used as a "roof". Then we have a heat lamp targeted into the corner of the L. :) Pathetic I know.

This is in our loft so the floor has spaces, but the barn is still very weatherproof so they don't really "need" all this extra stuff. We even have 6 of them so they're perfectly capable of keeping warm together. They take turns cuddling under the lamp.
 

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I have yet to take a barn cat to the vet but if you feel the need go ahead :lol: Mine are true "farm cats" They live here sometimes and at my neighbors sometimes. There is one momma cat who is wild but comes in to eat and have her baby's :lol: The first few litters she had didn't make it long but I do have one who survived. Her last litter was 6 kittens who I made a point to "humanize" I started picking them up as much as I could. Momma would move and hide them if I messed too much but now I can at least get hold of them long enough to put some flea/tick stuff on them in the summer. I use a feed on wormer so catching isn't a problem with that.
I have a large box lined with straw plus a broken straw bale with a horse blanket on it for them to sleep in. I don't have a cat door for them but there's a place where the barn siding got bent up that they come and go through. They drink water either out of the horses water tank (they just hang on the side) or they go into the chicken coop.
As far as food, I feed whatever dry is on sale. I don't have a litter box set up, they go outside although when they were little they did their thing inside YUCK! Tidy Cat makes a powder litter box deodorizer that helped with the smell. I scooped it out when I could find it. Note: my barn has a dirt floor.
Now they all go outdoors so no big deal. I suggest letting the cat figure out that it is to go outside so you don't have to deal with a box.
We live on a fairly busy road and there are many many natural predators in our area. My barn kitty population will rise and fall with the seasons. Its really high right now with the cold weather, but mid summer I may be down to one or two or even none.
I keep them strickly for mousers. They do a much better job than trap or poison. They are in the barn where I keep all my feed and I have only rarely seen a mouse there.
 

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I just got a heated mattress pad for christmas. I was trying to keep it a secret, but the cats discovered it last night when I forgot to turn it off. They have the whole house to find a place to lay, I swear they have heat vision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sillybunny that's a riot!

Went to the business today and all the food was eaten. Now it looks like the tenants up over the business are feeding it. Saw it by one of the cars in the parking lot, and he actually looks better in the daylight. Eyes do look a little runny, but not as bad as I've seen in others.

Sadly, I think he may have been left by a renter on the street behind the business. So he is a bit wary right now. Trying to get him used to my voice, and have it associate it with food and water.

This will take a bit longer than I originally thought. I'm going to inquire with a few of the neighbors about him, and may get a humane trap and capture him that way.

We have a hugh storm coming, 3 days of snow predicted, so I'm going to see if I can get him soon. He does seem fine under the porch, there's shelter and he made a nest out of the thick mulch under there.

My daughter and I have named him "Jack Frost", so I'm thinking of him as mine already! I'm picturing him all cosy in the barn and being the king of his domain! Boy , am I a softie! :lol:
 

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I have a barn cat that a friend of my husband's caught the summer before last. She had 3 kittens and he was looking for homes for them. I said I'd take two as I needed barn cats to help with a mouse problem and I didn't want just one 'cos I thought it might be lonely. LOL. So we ended up with the mom (Lickety) and one of the kittens (Split). Lickety was caught using a humane trap and then taken in to be spayed so we picked her up from the vets. I've never actually touched her because she is quite feral but my hubby fell in love with her little black kitten. So Split is now part of the house cat herd (we have 3 black indoor cats).

Lickety comes to the barn every morning for a meal...and hangs out there for part of the day nesting in the hay. But she does come and go around the neighbourhood so I think simply having the barn for shelter, fresh water and hay would be fine for your guy. And even though I do feed Lickety dry cat food every morning, I've not seen a mouse in the barn since she arrived. I still cannot touch her but she will come down to eat her breakfast whilst I'm standing 6" away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jake and Dai that's interesting. It also brought to mind another question I have.

I'm afraid the cat might run away before he knows that the barn will be his home. How can I get him acclimated to the barn before he might just take off. I live pretty far out, and am surrounded with woods (not to mention animals that go growl in the night).

Should I use a very large cage I have (was once used as a kennel for a St. Bernard, fully grown), or just cross my fingers and hope for the best?
 

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^^I've heard that the best way to accustom a cat to his new home is keep him inside during few first days. Now you could perhaps keep him inside the barn during few first days?
 

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That was my big fear too Walkamile, that Lickety would just pick Split up and take off because she was afraid of the new place. So we actually got a bit creative in trying to keep both of them around the barn.

At first we also wanted Split (her kitten) as a barn cat as well...but because he was a baby and hadn't had his shots yet, I was afraid to leave him out loose. When Lickety went to the vets to be spayed and get her shots, Split was still just too young.

So we kept Split in a rabbit cage in the barn and fed both of them day and night to keep them around. Because he worked from home, my husband would take Split out of the cage during the day and let him run around and play while also keeping his eye on him so he didn't take off. Hence they bonded and now DH considers Splitty his indoor cat!

But, by keeping him in a cage at night in the barn back when we first got them, Lickety stuck around and learned she would be fed regularly. So while she does roam during the day, I typically see her every morning when I feed the horses, waiting for her breakfast of kittie crunchies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
~Update on the Cat~

I was able to get the cat last night (Dec 31) and bring her into the business until it was time to go

Poor little darlin, had frost bitten pads an all four feet. Definitely respiratory infection going on and most likely ear mites. With all that , she couldn't get enough loving. She has one blue eye and one green eye. All white with a smug of grey on the top of her head. Very thin, but not extreme.

Upon discussion with my hubby (who was adamantly opposed to me bringing this little creature home) I knew I could not put her in the barn, ever. She needs to be a house cat. Those pads really disturbed me, and she had difficulty with them in cleaning and how she moved on them.

Decided that I would call my nephew who is a police officer, and he called the animal control officer (also a good friend of his) and the ACO came and got the kitty. They can't put her up for adoption for 7 days, but will give her medical attention immediately.

I am going to go to the shelter when the 7 days is up, and see how she is doing and discuss any special issues that she may have with those frost bitten pads. I don't think, could be wrong, that she will be able to handle the cold with them.

I will leave my info if she is not adopted , so that she will come home with me and not euthanized. Hoping to work on hubby in the meantime.

HIs concern, besides not wanting anymore house pets, is the medical cost. I'm pretty maxed out with T and her special needs right now, so I do understand his concern. But, if she is a house cat, that will be minimal after the initial expenses.

Sometimes it's so difficult to try and reason with my head and not be ruled by my heart. But, she truly deserves a good life, a life of comfort and pamper after what she has been through. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that for her...fingers crossed.​
 

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I wish her the best of luck, I think the pads would cause issues outside at least until they healed up. At least you caught her and gave her a chance at a better life and the care she desperately needed. :) Keep us updated on whether she gets adopted or not.
 
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