Barn Cats

If you live in a rural area, allowing cats to live in your barn can be a win-win both for the cat and for you. Cats can survive on their own if there is a food supply - and in most farms, stables, or other outdoor areas, there are more than enough mice and other small pests for a number of cats to survive on through hunting. That can be a great help to the owner, as rodents and the other things cats will hunt are pests to most farmers anyway. While outdoor life isn't ideal for a pet cat, many shelters are forced to put to sleep unwanted animals that are just too wild to make good indoor pets. Many of these would be just fine if allowed to live outside.

   

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What should I do if I want to adopt?

You should be responsible about it. First, remember that you should be taking on cats from your local animal shelter. Over the years, you will be able to save the lives of a number of cats who would otherwise be put to sleep. Many shelter cats cannot be placed with families - in a lot of cases, they just can't be socialized in a house to live with people because they grew up outdoors. They aren't bad or dangerous animals, they just aren't ever going to live indoors, and they're perfectly suited to take care of your mice problem.

To get one, call your shelter and let them know how many cats you have space for. Make sure you only take on neutered cats - you don't want to add to the pet population problem. Most shelters will be glad to work with you.

You can keep a cat with pretty minimal work on your part. You will need to make sure the cat has a daily supply of water. It is also a good idea to put out extra food for it. In many places there aren't enough mice for it to survive hunting them. It is also a good idea to provide them with a way in and out of the barn or some other source of shelter. They need someplace to go if it rains, and they need a safe place to sleep, especially if you have horses, cows, or other large animals there.

Sources and Useful Links:

http://www.barncats.org/index.php

http://www.dakinshelter.org/barn_cats.html

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