Barn (or business) Cats
Panhandle Animal Shelter will place healthy cats that aren’t suitable as pets in environments where they can flourish, working alongside humans to control rodent populations. These cats can be placed successfully in barns or any business looking for inexpensive and effective rodent control. Our experience has shown that cats are more successful and effective when placed in pairs or groups, so multiple-cat adoptions are encouraged, but not required.
Adopting cats for this purpose offers a safe home and better life to cats that wouldn’t otherwise be candidates for adoption. They are typically cats that react negatively to routine handling by people and would not do well as a house cat.
Fortunately, feral and outdoor cats can be acclimated to a new territory fairly easy and in a short amount of time.
- Place the cat in a large cage or kennel within the building they will be calling home. Give the cat a small towel lined carrier preferably with the door secured open using a bungee cord. Providing a small carrier within the larger crate gives your cats a secure place to hide allowing it to feel safe as it adjusts to its new environment. The external crate allows your cat to come out from hiding and survey its new home gaining insight that will help it navigate more confidently once released. Provide food and water, and a litter box. Clay litter is better than clumping in this environment, as clumping litter can get wet or in the water bowl, making a sticky mess that is more difficult to clean up.
- Clean the litter box and give fresh food and water daily. This can easily be done by closing the cat inside the carrier (the one you have bungeed open) to keep the cat safe while you are tending to its needs.
- After 2-3 weeks, you can open the cage door. Food and water should be kept both inside and outside of the cage. Once the cat leaves, it may never want to go back into the cage.
- After two more weeks, the cat should be comfortable in their new home and the cage and supplies can be taken away.
Caring for your barn cat is as easy as providing fresh food and water daily. Some barn cat caregivers keep litter pans inside their barns but often they are rarely used. Never rely on outdoor cats to sustain themselves on rodents alone, they need a nutrient-rich diet to sustain a healthy life.