How do you make a cat a barn cat?

Doc

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I've tried twice. Wife ends up babying it and takes it in house. Then all they do is want back in house. So, I presume you put em in the barn and never ever let them in the house. Is it simple as that? Do you give them much attention, petting them and such or do you avoid them as much as possible? I need a barn cat. But mine is currently sitting on the back of my wife's recliner rocker looking out the window. LOL A major FAIL.
 

bczoom

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Don't baby it! Put it in the barn and only feed it in there.
This time of year, I'd give it ample food so it can maintain its strength. Once it warms up a little, farmers I know will give it less food and kind of force it to hunt for mice.
Also make sure it has a couple "safe spaces". Something small enough it can get into but any raccoons will have a harder time getting into.
 

RickW

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You can love on the cat all you want. My uncle always had a cat or two in the barn. They would run up to him when he walked in the barn and he would always pet, scratch and love on them. He would give them fresh milk when he had a milk cow. But they always lived in the barn. He would feed them just like any other pet/barn animal. He would always feel the loss when he would lose one. They always kept the barn rodent free.

My father always kept female cats around until recently. Said they are better mousers. I believe him. Currently I have both a male & female cat. The female has a simple rule, it moves, it dies. Maybe she eats it, maybe she does not but it will die. She is a house cat but anything that moves has just signed its death notice. The male on the other hand will only chase and kill something if it is entertaining for him at the moment. If what ever he is chasing can last longer than then the male cats attention span, it will live another day, unless the female is aware. My father currently has 3 male cats and can confirm the same thing. The only thing he currently has going for him is 2 of 3 are young and have lots of energy.
 

D&D Farm

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Yes, for sure have 2 females. A mom and her baby are really good. Go to the "pound" and get them if you can.....Usually the make you neuter them. Which is really good.
Feed them where they are going to stay, like in the barn with some hay bales or put like and old dresser with drawers and the back off. Anyway, something with a lot of hidey holes and put some old t shirts or whatever in a few spaces.........NEVER....never take them in the house and it's perfectly fine to love on them but only do it where you feed them. Try to keep them in the barn for as long as you can.....They will start bringing you "treats". Left over or whole pieces of what they catch. They will put it in a walkway or someplace they see you coming and going and hanging out. ......Let's see what other folks have to say about this; but really proud of you for helping out with the stray cat problem and then this time next year will be good to hear about how you have zero mice, chipmonks, even some squirrels............God bless........Dennis
 

Doc

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Thanks everyone. Great insights. thanks for sharing your experience.
So to start with i suppose I'd need to put litter in the pole barn also. I do have a little doggie door for them but was thinking of keeping that closed to start with. Good idea or not?
 

RandyB509

New member
Well, let me share this experience. We've had a variety of feral cats that hung around the hay shed for a few years after we bought the place, which we put all through the local spay-neuter-release program for feral cats. We had 2 that stayed around permanently and ended up about 20% tame/80% feral, but lived in the shed and moused for their board. Sadly they both reached the end of their lifespans last summer, so my wife insisted that we needed another mouser before we were overrun with rodents.

So off to the humane society we went. They had a cat they said was a "working cat", and got surrendered because the previous owners couldn't keep her in the house. She had been there for a long time, and they told us they would waive the adoption fee for a donation, so my wife said "$200".

O.O

And home we went with the "working cat" to find out that she doesn't really want to leave the garage, so I guess we broke her. She hates dogs, and hates other cats, and will bite you if you try to pet her for longer that 2 seconds, so what to do. Once in a while lately she ventures out, and before the snow the last couple weeks, I actually saw her laying on top of the hay stack in the shed, so maybe there is hope. I hate to just lock her outside as the coyotes and other feral cats are prolific around here.

In short, I guess the pound might solve your problem, but if they ask for a donation, step hard on your wife's foot.
 

bordercollie

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Our barn cats have all been fixed - after we took the stray mama cat and her 2 young ones to the vet because we didn't want 1,000 cats. The mama cat will follow us around the barn and want attention.. When the cows are being brought to the barn , She will come down and watch and then walk along side. I think she must have some border collie in her. They are all fat and stay around the barn because they know thats where the food is and their home is. We scratch their heads but don't pick them up.
When they first appeared , the mama cat started wanting to come to the house but I sad "no" loudly and threw some pebbles at it. The the collies chased it back to the barn driveway. There I told the pups to stop. They are fine with the cats at the barn and aren't allowed to aggravate them there , but know they can't come to the house.( The outside house cat is territorial (her name is Bratto) and she rules the roost here at the house. )
I have an old ice chest that I cut a hole in the end of . This is a good warm box when lined with cuddly stuff and also the latches and hinges are off so if there is a fight by an intruder, the lid will pop off. The barn cats like it. Just be sure to not leave the tractor door or window open on a cab tractor or the cats can mess it up.
 

D&D Farm

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Thanks everyone. Great insights. thanks for sharing your experience.
So to start with i suppose I'd need to put litter in the pole barn also. I do have a little doggie door for them but was thinking of keeping that closed to start with. Good idea or not?
Actually, they will go out to do their business if you teach them about the door. But, if you are going to keep the door closed for a week or so to train the where home is, locking it is a good idea.
CAN YOU PLEASE DESCRIBE THE BARN AND ITS CONTENTS. If it is double car size and holds machinery or 30 X 45' and bales of hay are stored, those are two different situations for their "home".

Worst part of the durn things is when you have a nice clean car, they somehow know it, and just have to get up on the roof, walk over to the windshield, and OHHHH SUCH FUN, SIiiiiiiiDE DOWN, leaving their trail behind them.......
Yes, they are worth the aggravation, even if it is a brand new vehicle...........
 
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bczoom

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Another thought. If you pull vehicles into that barn in the winter, cats like to climb under or in the engine compartment for warmth.
I know most vehicles these days don't have fans that start when you turn over the engine but cats make an awful sound when inside the fan shroud when the fan starts turning.
 

bordercollie

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So true Zoom !!!!! I make a habit of blowing the horn before I try to start any thing . I had one of the barn cat get under the hood of the Roxor when I parked by the barn door for about 30 minutes. I heard the belt squealing so turned of the key immediately. I feared what I would see but as I opened the hood a cat ran out. It was a real miracle and I know that cat has one less life left . The belt was tight and a little hair was on the tip of a few blades. - how that cat made it I can only say that it was... a true miracle. You can see just a spot or 2 of blood on the water hose. The cat thought I did it and wouldn't come to me for a couple of days. I didn't see any major cat injuries.
 

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Doc

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Actually, they will go out to do their business if you teach them about the door. But, if you are going to keep the door closed for a week or so to train the where home is, locking it is a good idea.
CAN YOU PLEASE DESCRIBE THE BARN AND ITS CONTENTS. If it is double car size and holds machinery or 30 X 45' and bales of hay are stored, those are two different situations for their "home".

Worst part of the durn things is when you have a nice clean car, they somehow know it, and just have to get up on the roof, walk over to the windshield, and OHHHH SUCH FUN, SIiiiiiiiDE DOWN, leaving their trail behind them.......
Yes, they are worth the aggravation, even if it is a brand new vehicle...........
I'm considering a barn cat for my pole barn. It's 28 x 70. I keep boats, tractor (no cab), side by side (open cab), scag mower and a utility trailer in there. I have found mice nests on my boat as well as a snake skin under the hatch but that was 5+ years ago. No hay, no livestock.

I have experience with the fan and what it can do. Long long ago I came home for lunch. It was cold outside. Wife's 6 month old kitten was outside. It found the warm motor on my car. When I went out to head back to work, clunk. :(. I learned to check by banging on hood before starting.
 

avantiguy

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I suspect that some are just born with the instinct. My daughter got a cat from a local farmer when she was young and it settled into the house. It was a neutered female that kept her claws as she would only sharpen them on my basement shop door post and never touched the furniture. As she aged, she would leave the yard for a number of hours, go down to the river and drag back a rat on numerous occasions. There was never a rodent or rabbit that lasted long on the property either.

She liked the family and most people but some she just didn't like. I had my BIL drop over one day to look at my A/C, he had a key as no one was home. He found the cat laying feet up in the middle of the floor and thought she wanted to be petted. He reached down and got 20 claws in his wrist. Seems she was baiting him.

I found her crouched in the hedge one day and wondered why, Looked around and a small dog was wandering down the street. He made the yard and left rapidly when she went after him.

You could also leave an open 50# bag of food in the house and as long as she had water and a litter box, she would only eat what she needed. Stayed fit and trim all her years.

She made 14 years and I still miss her on occasion. Good memories.
 

aurthuritis

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I've tried twice. Wife ends up babying it and takes it in house. Then all they do is want back in house. So, I presume you put em in the barn and never ever let them in the house. Is it simple as that? Do you give them much attention, petting them and such or do you avoid them as much as possible? I need a barn cat. But mine is currently sitting on the back of my wife's recliner rocker looking out the window. LOL A major FAIL.

i have a sure fire idea that i guaranty to work. since the cat and the recliner and the wife all are bonded all you need to do is move the wife and the recliner to the barn,the cat will follow. whala!!! Barn Cat
 
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