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Casey09
Oct. 29, 2009, 07:29 PM
Not for me, but how do you all with outdoor cats have their "food station" set up. Someone I know recently required an older outdoor cat with a new living situation, and leaving the food in the barn or garage tends to attract raccoons. Is there a way to feed the cat and avoid this problem?

MediaMD
Oct. 29, 2009, 07:37 PM
We have several bowls of food set up both in the barn and in a cozy area of the front porch. They come and go as they wish and we just keep it filled. I've never seen a raccoon but have no doubt my cats would attack it and drive it away. They are merciless with voles, squirrels and snakes.

greysandbays
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:07 PM
If a cat picks a fight with a 'coon, the cat WILL lose. Mostly cats and 'coons agree to stay out of each other's way.

There's no telling what left-out cat food will draw in: 'coons, skunks, bluejays, squirrels, chipmunks, stray dogs, stray cats, etc.

I feed my barn cats twice a day, wet food in am (just about what the bunch will eat in 20 minutes or so), dry food in pm (again, just about what they'll eat while I'm doing chores. That way, any stragglers who don't make one meal only have to fend for themselves for half a day. I have a "Kitty, Kitty, Kitty" call that they've got no excuse to miss if they are within 300 yards of the barn.

Green Acres
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:14 PM
I have an outdoor cat who we put out just enough food for him to eat at one time. Sometimes he will have a little extra but I don't like alot sitting there as it can draw others animals, etc in.

In the last month we have been feeding a stray (who we have now named) and we are trying to 'make friends' with her with hopes she will stick around and we can eventually catch her to take to the vet for a check-up, etc.

I would advise your friend to only feed enough 2 times a day without any left over then there shouldn't be a problem with other animals coming to eat.

KristiKGC
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:27 PM
The barn I'm leasing has a cat door in the bathroom/utility room door so I put her food/water/bed in there. Luckily it's a decent size. So far the only food thief is my dog if someone leaves the door open during the day.

Yip
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:37 PM
We have a kitty door installed in our garage door. It's up high enough that the cats have to *stand up* to get in. I feed just enough for the 3 of them and they are all almost always there to eat immediately.

I've never had any evidence of wild critters coming in - but we have had a couple stray cats who watched my cats and learned how to use the cat door.

Dance_To_Oblivion
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:39 PM
I feed the barn kitty when I feed to horses. Just enough for her to eat! If she gets hungry in between she can snack on mice...which I watched her do today! I don't want to leave anything out for other animals to find if they visit.

2DogsFarm
Oct. 30, 2009, 06:59 AM
My little barncat's food is set on a table near the service door.
That way I can switch on a light at night and not get surprised by any "guests" who have invited themselves to check out what may be left in her bowl.
I leave out minimal dry food only - feed her canned stuff 2-3X day when I feed horses.

I had to put her waterdish on the ground as birds were using it as a birdbath and soaking the table plus pooping all over it : P
I still have to rinse that dish daily.

I can always tell if hunting has been good - she shows zero interest in the canned food.
And sometimes leaves me "parts" to find - mostly gall bladders - too bitter.

tBHj
Oct. 30, 2009, 07:06 AM
Barn cats get fed small meals a few times a day when we are around to make sure wild animals don't eat the food. They hunt mice, rabbits & birds anyways.

Ozone
Oct. 30, 2009, 09:20 AM
I designated out outdoor cats a STALL! Yep - sorry that stall is full horse people! :) I feed them 1 can wet in the AM and PM and free dry food & water all day. I have a few older full size horse coolers and cat beds in there. We do not have rodent problem though

goeslikestink
Oct. 30, 2009, 09:27 AM
Not for me, but how do you all with outdoor cats have their "food station" set up. Someone I know recently required an older outdoor cat with a new living situation, and leaving the food in the barn or garage tends to attract raccoons. Is there a way to feed the cat and avoid this problem?

mine come in at a certain time- so i always feed at that time- there no left overs that way
and cats can and do often come to a certian spot - for food all you have to do is it make it a rountine as a set time - ussually when they hungry - lol

minnie
Oct. 30, 2009, 09:45 AM
Cats get wet food and dry food in the morning. Dry food is out all day and picked up at night feeding. They learn pretty quick it's only available in the daytime.

N&B&T
Oct. 30, 2009, 09:46 AM
I sit down with my 5 outdoor/barn cats three times a day. I measure out 5 dishes of food and they all come and chow down. Bowls are brought in aft er each feeding.

I used to leave out food on the front or back porch but we got raiding oppossums, raccoons, and foxes. Cat door will not deter these, except foxes.

BTW, whoever said cat will lose to a raccoon "always" needs to meet one of my three INDOOR cats. She was indoor in urban Wellington and now makes occasional forays outside here in SC.

I have stood and watched her beat up and chase off an oppossum, a VERY large raccoon and a fox, all of which were WAY bigger than she is. Her language was terrible during the process, I certainly wouldn't repeat it in public :lol: I must say the wildlife looked a bit taken aback that they were bested by a domestic cat whose appearances is quite demure.

wendy
Oct. 30, 2009, 10:17 AM
there's no reason to leave food out unattended. Just feed the cats their properly proportioned meals twice a day and remove anything they don't eat. Cats DO NOT benefit or need to have dry food left out all the time.

Chall
Oct. 30, 2009, 11:07 PM
My little 7 pound 15 yr old cat, who has a limp from knee surgery 3 months ago, scared a raccoon away recently. She is the master of the stare down and yes, she can swear up a storm.
I have a catdoor in my house, it uses electricity and completely solved stray cats and raccoons learning how to get into the house. Expensive but guaranteed raccoon proof.
Solo Pet Doors is the company. http://www.solopetdoors.com/

deltawave
Oct. 31, 2009, 10:07 AM
My barn cats have a bowl up on a small table by the tack room door, out of reach of the dog. No raccoons have ever come into the barn that I'm aware of--the dog sleeps in there and I don't leave that much food out. I try to leave just enough for MY cats to have an evening meal--if I leave more the nasty feral tom that wanders around eats most of it and tends to set up house in my hayloft. I hate that critter. :mad:

During the day I leave more food, because we get fewer unwelcome visitors when the sun is up.

birdsong
Oct. 31, 2009, 10:16 AM
My outdoor cat food station is on the pass through counter to my kitchen window at the sink....inside the screened pool area with a cat door....I regularly feed my cats, a feral Tom, and a raccoon who will touch my hand with hers at the window..totally unafraid!
I really despise raccoons!! Where there is one is sure to be dozens...I have personally trapped over 35. :eek:

Seven-up
Nov. 1, 2009, 09:28 PM
Leaving cat food out is just asking for your cat to get in a fight or get sick. It might be raccoons or possums, or it might be another cat. Wild critters carry all sorts of diseases, and other cats may not be up on vaccinations and can spread diseases. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they're not there.

I currently have a cat that could take on a buffalo and win, but I also used to have a cat who would pick fights and lose every time. Even something as simple as a scratch or bite can turn nasty really quick. And the outside cat won't sit in front of his bowl 24/7 to chase anything away. There will be times when he's off exploring and there's time for some creature to come up and leave cooties all over the food.

Put out enough food for kitty to eat in 20 min., and then take it away. I'm not paranoid, I've just lost a few cats to disease and injury. It's not worth it.

Alagirl
Nov. 1, 2009, 09:48 PM
Cooties is one thing, attracting the whole neighborhood to dinner is another.

I had a neighbor who would feed the strays, then oh wonder he had over 15 black, wormy feral cats that beat down the door for food. a 'friendly' soul took them for a ride in the country.... (blech, insert vomit icon)

I (biggest sucker on the block) stated to feed this skinny Tom here a couple of weeks back, now I have yet another cat laying claim to the food, and I only feed when the cat is in the carport, but I suppose I feed too much...

And I do have 2 indoor kitties who do NOT like the new guy...sigh...why didn't that guy show up 2 years ago?! he could be sitting pretty right now....

Seven-up
Nov. 1, 2009, 11:22 PM
Yeah, that's what happened to us. Tons of nasty neighborhood strays. And the "cooties" they brought with them was actually feline leukemia. If you're even a few weeks late on updating the vaccinations, your poor cat exits this world in a most horrible manner. Lesson 1 learned was to always always keep vaccinations current. Lesson 2 was learning to not leave food outside. I wish I hadn't learned the way I did.

Jane Liess
Nov. 2, 2009, 12:11 AM
If you have problems with feral cats, why not follow the TNR routine (visit http://www.alleycat.org/) and help to curb their population. Contact your vet to see if they will cooperate and neuter/spay your feral cats for free (or at least a reduced rate) if you trap them and bring them in. Many vet clinics will loan you the traps. You may end up feeding a few more cats, but it is really effective in stabilizing the population. And, although you may never be able to touch the ferals, it is fun watching them and getting to know them...

Marcella
Nov. 2, 2009, 12:28 AM
I love the barn I am at. It is close to my home, and my horse is taken care of wonderfully as a senior. BUT....
The boarders there feed all of the barn cats because these cats learned to cry and cry for 'treats.' I have house cats that do this same display, and only get fed AM and PM to control weight (I wish I had somone to feed me to control my weight, lol).

Therefore, these cats know they get fed and don't care about killing the rodents. There was a HUGE rat problem. I got bit by a rat because it was in my old man's feed bucket because he doesn't eat all of his pellets at one time and the rats figured this one out. Thank goodness the barn is next to a state park, and a weasel moved in, and wiped out all of the rats. The weasel lives under the tack room and takes care of everything...unfortanately all of the chickens, too.

So, I think if you feed the cats, make sure you are the only one doing it. Otherwise the cats get overfed, and then don't care.

*No matter what the BM does, the other boarders don't listen, so I am not sure how to respond to that, other than my telling them that the cats get fed plenty and should not be fed outside of their diet (which is really good Science Diet food anyways).

Coyoteco
Nov. 3, 2009, 02:08 PM
Always remember, too, that the outdoor cats have it tougher than the indoor cats. They need good quality food - and for cats that does mean canned food every day.

Especially with an older outside cat, you'll see a much healthier, longer-lived cat if you feed canned food along with any dry food.

For ours, we have a dogloo with a heating pad and covered doorway.

mjrtango93
Nov. 3, 2009, 02:20 PM
Our barn cats have dry food on top of a filing cabinet all day in the grain room, and then are locked in at night with a full bowl and they share a can of wet food. The only varment that eats the cat food is the BO's naughty dogs that jump up there. The cats control the mice in the feed room so no issues, and no critter is brave enough in a busy barn to enter there during daylight.

trubandloki
Nov. 3, 2009, 02:25 PM
Wet food in the morning that they gobble right up (2 cats, one can) and dry food always on a shelf.

Trevelyan96
Nov. 3, 2009, 02:33 PM
I keep a full bowl of dry food in the tack room. My indoor/outdoor cat, who decided to become a full time barn cat when the dog moved in, has no problem juming up the stall walls, into the hayloft, then down the stairs into the feed/tackroom to get her food. And she's getting FAT! :confused: Guess I should switch her to controlled feedings. :(

I really wish she'd come back in the house. She sits out there and howls at me for attention when I go out to the barn, but won't come near the house since we got the dog. :( DH says she'd come in if I didn't leave food out for her, but one of my cat bolts his food if there isn't something outside for him and then yaks is up, so having food in the barn is a necessity.

Casey09
Nov. 3, 2009, 05:06 PM
Marcella wrote
Therefore, these cats know they get fed and don't care about killing the rodents. There was a HUGE rat problem. I got bit by a rat because it was in my old man's feed bucket because he doesn't eat all of his pellets at one time and the rats figured this one out. Thank goodness the barn is next to a state park, and a weasel moved in, and wiped out all of the rats. The weasel lives under the tack room and takes care of everything...unfortanately all of the chickens, too.\

This cat seems to be a pretty good hunter - she leaves quite a few dead rodents (uneaten), so she seems to do it for the love of catching the critters.
I think that what he has been doing as far as not leaving the food out must be workable. I am going to try to talk him into offering some canned - he hates the smell!

Seven-up
Nov. 3, 2009, 07:33 PM
Barn cats don't catch mice because they're hungry. They catch them because they're hunters. Some barn cats don't even eat what they catch. Barn cats need to be fed. Not stuffed, like Marcella noted. Barn cats who are starved will often move on to somewhere else with food.

The best barn cats are the ones with a strong hunting instinct. Some just don't have it. One of my cats sees a bug, jumps up on a chair, and goes, "Eww, get it away!" The other cat's mom was a barn cat extraordinaire--she'd gobble mice whole, 2 at a time. So even though my cat has been an inside cat since she was 5 weeks old, she hunts everything. Strings, dustbunnies, spiders, toy mice. She even caught a real mouse once, and she was baffled as to what to do with it, but she knew she was supposed to catch it. They either have it or they don't.

gettingbettereveryday
Nov. 6, 2009, 05:44 PM
I'm glad I'm not the only person to feed my barn cats soft food twice a day! I put their hard/soft food combo down in the morning and take it up after I'm done with morning chores in part because I have chickens, and the chickens will do anything to get to the open dish of cat food. At night I put the hard food down and add soft food. I leave it on a shelf in the tack room all night. At our old farm, we couldn't free feed at night because we had a problem with opossums. They also love cat food.

Our cats are incredible hunters. They usually play with their prey until it dies and then leave all or part of the carcass for the dogs and chickens to consumer. (Chickens, as it turns out, adore snake flesh.) I also know that the cats will do OK in winter, no matter how cold it gets because they are in good flesh and healthy. I do my own vaccinations once a year, with the exception of rabies, which I do at the low-cost rabies clinic.

I agree with Seven-up. A good barn cat with a strong hunting instinct is worth its weight in gold. I specifically looked for cats that came from a feral situation since I knew they would be good hunters. I let one of the females have one litter of kittens, and I kept the resulting offspring. Result: no rodents and a lot fewer snakes! These guys earn every bite of soft food. :)

Mary in Area 1
Nov. 6, 2009, 11:46 PM
My barn cats have a kitty door into the feed room. I want them in there to protect the grain from any rodents. I have a big continuous feeder in there for dry cat food and water. We fill it once a week. The barn cats catch mice constantly and are the picture of health.
My indoor cats have the same set-up and are completely healthy, ancient and happy. I've never been told by anyone that cats 1.) need wet food or 2.) won't catch mice if you feed them. Hogwash.

mothermucker12
Nov. 7, 2009, 05:51 AM
I feed the barn kitty when I feed to horses. Just enough for her to eat! If she gets hungry in between she can snack on mice...which I watched her do today! I don't want to leave anything out for other animals to find if they visit.

ditto

Alagirl
Nov. 7, 2009, 08:01 AM
My barn cats have a kitty door into the feed room. I want them in there to protect the grain from any rodents. I have a big continuous feeder in there for dry cat food and water. We fill it once a week. The barn cats catch mice constantly and are the picture of health.
My indoor cats have the same set-up and are completely healthy, ancient and happy. I've never been told by anyone that cats 1.) need wet food or 2.) won't catch mice if you feed them. Hogwash.

cats ea5t what they eat anyhow, I have 2, brother and sister, same age, one eats no wet, the other prefers it over dry.

camohn
Nov. 8, 2009, 07:48 AM
Not for me, but how do you all with outdoor cats have their "food station" set up. Someone I know recently required an older outdoor cat with a new living situation, and leaving the food in the barn or garage tends to attract raccoons. Is there a way to feed the cat and avoid this problem?

We have a feed dispenser in the barn..........platic thing with a hole and a pan at the bottom the food trickles out of.........for the barn cats. I refill it about once a week/they eat as needed. The only coon we have seen was out during the day so probably rabid and was shot. Back when we had free range chickens they DID love the cat food though.They would shove the cats out of the way.Those chickens lived forever too.........apparently cannibalism (chicken and rice flavored cat food) agreed with them.........

weproceededon
Nov. 8, 2009, 08:23 AM
Cat food will attract opossums which carry EPM. I would certainly not leave cat food out at night in the barn area. I suggest you feed them a couple times a day and take up the food when they are done. They will learn to eat when it is offered.