Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at life with outdoor and indoor feline friends as part of cat month at Coastal. This week, we’re talking about one of the hardest-working, yet lowest maintenance members of any farm family: the barn cat.
Why Barn Cats are Cool
When you have a farm, ranch, or other property, you’re bound to have issues with insects and rodents. Especially if you’re storing feed for your animals. Sure, you can use poisons, but that can get other animals sick if done improperly. Plus, kids and pets can get into traps and toxins accidentally. One of the best alternatives to ridding your place of rodents is the barn cat. Here are a few reasons why having a barn cat is a good idea:
Cats have a natural tendency toward hunting. They will hunt rodents, some reptiles, and even insects. They are one of nature’s most versatile creatures. While it’s true that if you feed a barn cat, they might not hunt as often, they might also pack up and leave. Simply dumping a scoop of food into a bowl every day makes them more devoted to you and your farm.
Cats are friendly (mostly). Even if your barn cat isn’t terribly social, they will likely warm up to you and the family over time. Especially if you supplement their hunting with daily bowls of cat food and clean water.
Cats are easy to maintain. Unlike other animals on your farm, the barn cat really doesn’t need you for a whole lot (outside of immunizations). But if you want your barn cat to stick around and continue to hunt rats and mice, it’s important that you pamper them a little, including giving them a warm place to sleep.
Caring for a Cat
As mentioned, food, water, and shelter are a must to keep your cat from moving to a new, nearby farm or ranch. But, in addition to those basics, there are a few other things you’ll want to do to keep your cat happy and healthy.
Get your cat fixed. If it’s not spayed or neutered already, get it done. This will help keep your cat home, plus it will keep you from housing a litter of kittens every few years.
Keep up on their vaccinations. Many veterinarians that make house calls are familiar with barn cats and can help with immunizations and other treatments. Vaccinations can include rabies, distemper, feline viral rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia, and calicivirus. You’ll also want to get them treated for tapeworms.
Keep fleas and heartworm at bay. Talk to your vet about preventative measures to help keep fleas, ticks and heartworm from attacking your barn crusader.
Coastal tip: Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth around your barn cat’s bedding area to help reduce flea and tick populations. Check out our article Products We Love: Diatomaceous Earth for more details.
Coastal Likes Cats
Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal employs plenty of folks who know how to care for indoor and outdoor cats. Stop by with your questions. We’ll give you a whole lot to meow about, including aisles of cat supplies, food, toys, and beds.