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Barn Cats

May 15, 2023

Do you have a farm, barn, or homestead? Sooner or later, you’re likely to find rodents. Mice, rats, and other vermin are attracted to grain and food stores, and think of barns and stables as all-you-can-eat buffets. As it turns out, there is a purring, adorable solution to this issue: the barn cat. A local Roswell, NM vet discusses hiring Fluffy in this article.

A Purrfect Match

Our feline pals aren’t new to working as farmhands. In fact, their hunting prowess is likely what led us to domesticate them in the first place. (It’s also entirely possible that Fluffy at one point dropped a dead mouse at someone’s door, then just strolled in and made herself at home on a pile of furs, but that’s beside the point.) Many barn cats are more than happy to help with pest control in exchange for room, board, and meals.

Basic Care

Fluffy may not mind lounging around on sacks of grain or bedding, but she should have a kitty shelter to go to on cold nights. There’s an easy solution for this: take two storage totes, one slightly larger than the other. Put one inside the other, with some cardboard or newspaper stuffed into the gap for insulation. Then, just cut a kitty door in one side. If you have a tack room, you can also install a kitty door there. Microchips can come in handy here, as there are pet doors that work with specific microchips. That would let your furry friend come and go without offering free access to the mice and rats she’s there to get rid of.

Veterinary Care

Barn cats are quite independent, but they do need proper care. Keep up with Fluffy’s veterinary care needs! Your kitty should be fixed, microchipped, and kept current on exams, vaccinations, and parasite control. Ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule.

Finding Fluffy

Life on the farm isn’t right for every cat. Some of our feline buddies are pampered princesses that literally wouldn’t know what to do if a mouse walked right past them. We also recommend keeping pet cats indoors. However, the barn life can be a great option for stray or feral cats. Many shelters have programs for rehoming feral cats. It won’t hurt to look around!

Our Advice on Barn Cats in 2024

Why are barn cats considered an effective solution for pest control on farms?

Barn cats are considered an effective solution for pest control on farms due to their natural hunting instincts. These feline friends excel at reducing populations of mice, rats, and other vermin that are attracted to grain and food stores in barns and stables. By providing a biological pest management option, barn cats help maintain a healthier and cleaner environment with less reliance on chemical rodenticides, which can harm wildlife and the ecosystem. Their presence offers a symbiotic relationship, where they receive shelter and care in exchange for their pest control services.

What type of veterinary care do barn cats require?

Like all pets, Barn cats require comprehensive veterinary care to ensure their health and well-being. This care includes routine examinations, vaccinations to prevent common diseases, and parasite control to protect against fleas, ticks, and worms. Additionally, barn cats must be spayed or neutered to avoid overpopulation. Microchipping is also recommended for easy identification and increasing the chances of being reunited if they wander from the barn. Regular veterinary care helps maintain barn cats as healthy, influential members of the farm ecosystem.

How can microchips and pet doors benefit barn cats and farm owners?

Microchips and pet doors benefit barn cats and farm owners by enhancing safety and convenience. Microchipping barn cats ensures they can be easily identified and returned if lost, providing peace of mind to owners. Pet doors that read these microchips allow selective entry, enabling barn cats to move freely in and out of their shelters or feeding areas while keeping out unwanted wildlife or rodents. This system maintains the cats’ access to safety and comfort while managing pest control and minimizing the risk of external intruders.

What should you consider when looking for a barn cat?

When searching for a barn cat, consider the cat’s temperament, hunting abilities, and adaptability to outdoor life. Look for cats with a strong hunting instinct, as their primary role is pest control. Temperament is essential, as you want a cat that can coexist with other animals on the farm. Consider adopting shelters or rescue programs that rehome stray or feral cats, as they often make excellent barn cats. Ensure they receive proper veterinary care, including spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping. Lastly, provide shelter, food, and a safe environment to keep them comfortable and motivated as effective pest controllers.

What are the recommendations for pet cats in contrast to barn cats?

Pet cats should primarily live indoors for their safety and health. They benefit from a controlled environment, regular veterinary care, and protection from outdoor dangers. Please provide them with a comfortable and stimulating indoor space, appropriate nutrition, and plenty of mental and physical stimulation through play and interaction. In contrast, barn cats are suited for outdoor life and serve as farm pest controllers. They require shelter, access to food and water, and veterinary care. Barn cats are often more independent but need vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and microchipping. The key difference is their outdoor lifestyle and role in pest management compared to the indoor comfort of pet cats.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Roswell, NM pet hospital, anytime!