View Full Version : WWYD Help! Cat has adopted me-sorry-long-

Nov. 20, 2009, 10:03 AM
In the middle of the summer, I saw a big black cat-followed closely by 3 small babies come out of the remnants of the old barn that is being dismantled. I deliberately did NOT feed them, because my farm is closed up from Dec. - May.

Periodically I would see them hunting in the hedge row, and then not see them for a week. I'm sure they were in the area, but I wasn't seeing them when they were out. Since September I have not seen the babies, which doesn't mean anything, just that they might have gone on to another farm.

Last week the mother was sauntering through the hedgerow in Harry's pasture, and he was trotting around behind her. Then I've seen her in the barn twice. She is not as scared as she once was, probably because she knows I won't hurt her.

Here is my problem....I'll be leaving with my horse and dog soon, and she will be here. The water is going to be off and all pipes drained. I really don't want her to be without water. She can get into the barn before too much snow has accumulated, and definitely get into old the annex barn that is housing loads of lumber stored by the person taking down the other part of the barn. I know she must be staying in there, but I'm worried about water.

I do have someone that keeps a visual on the property. I'm right on the highway and generally have at a minimum of 12' of snow banked up on the road, across the driveway from the snow plows who run non stop up and down this road. When they can get in, they will check through the house, but certainly check outside.

Is there a safe way I can leave some water for the cat in one of the barns? I don't want to leave a huge muck tub because that is too deep and still could freeze as probably would a low shallow tub. I also hate to plug in anything that would involve electricity and water.

At least it's not herds of cats, but it is a very nice large healthy looking one, and because we've been lucky so far with mild weather, I'm sure she has plenty of things to forage for.

I just don't know what to do. I have not attempted to catch her and if I did, then what would I do.

Zu Zu
Nov. 20, 2009, 10:26 AM
Catch her ~ most likely trap her for saftey reasons * straight to the vet and get her vaccinated and take her home and enjoy your new cat ~ you will be glad you did!

Nov. 20, 2009, 11:13 AM
Hi ZuZu,
Thank you for responding. I live here, where I am, but I go away each Winter to work elsewhere. I can't take a cat with me, which is why, when the last of my ancient 20 yr. old cats died of old age, I did not replace them. I've been catless, with the exception of this cat for 5 years.

This is the problem. I won't be here. Hopefully she will go across the field to my neighbors barn where he has many cats and raises goats. It's about a mile away. She very well could have come FROM this barn to mine.

This is why I have resisted feeding and watering her and trying to make friends with her, because I am NOT here. I had a neighbor who sold their farm and moved away leaving over 48 feral cats in the barn. I know, I had to feed them twice a day and they were really wild. It distressed me beyond belief that they were abandoned. They were neutered so that was a plus.

If I didn't leave my farm for 6/7 months every year I would LOVE a house/barn cat, but right now that's not in the plan. Living here in the Winter is just not an option.

Zu Zu
Nov. 20, 2009, 11:46 AM
Totally understand - you are probably correct that she will find her way to the neighbor's barn if she needs to - farm cats are survivors - she will be tough - glad you did not feed and water and be-friend her and her kittens ~ making them dependent upon you. She ( they) have been on their own and will continue in that mode - have a nice winter and maybe they will "welcome you home" when your return in the spring. And maybe some winter you will decide to stay and then adopt them with feeding ... Good Luck to all the cats and to you & your horse and dog.

Nov. 20, 2009, 02:12 PM
If she's feral, she probably has no issues finding resources. They are tough little creatures. You could give her a hand in survival by trapping her, taking her to a vet or other low-cost clinic, and getting her vaccinated, dewormed and spayed. Then you can release her back out into the wild ... she won't have any more babies, and she'll be a bit healthier for the winter. Our local cat shelter/clinic does rabies and spay for $75. A bit more for vaccines, dewormer and flea/tick.

Thank you for caring about her ... :)

Nov. 20, 2009, 02:33 PM
A mile is nothing to a cat, she will go there when she needs something.
Now, the cats there may not like it and she will just have to make peace with that, but they won't run her off their feed or water directly, at least most cats, while being territorial, are not possessive of resources.

Ideally, trapping and tending to spay, testing for cat leukemina and vaccines is best, but if not, I still would close your barn and let her find a place where there will be resources in the winter.

Nov. 20, 2009, 02:46 PM
Yes, what Onelanerode said! "You could give her a hand in survival by trapping her, taking her to a vet or other low-cost clinic, and getting her vaccinated, dewormed and spayed. Then you can release her back out into the wild ... she won't have any more babies, and she'll be a bit healthier for the winter."

Nov. 20, 2009, 04:19 PM
Thanks all! If I can trap her I will, but I'm not going to worry if I can't contain her before I leave, my neighbor will be on the lookout for her and she'll be at the very least warm and fed in that barn.

As far as the barn where Harry is, once it's closed up for the Winter, only mice could fit in there. I don't leave hay or bedding and strip the stall before I leave. The larger barn that has collapsed cannot be closed up, there is no roof or siding, just the frame, and some floor boards here and there. The annex barn is where the people removing the barn are storing their lumber, and there are larger places where she has been staying, I'm sure. That area is too large to close and is on the second floor.

Thanks for all the great suggestions.

Nov. 21, 2009, 06:42 PM
Besides water, finding enough food would be a concern of mine. I read that it takes something like 20 mice a day to sustain a cat for a day.

If the barn is empty, I don't know if there would be that many mice around.

Could you catch her and ask your neighbor if you could bring her over?

Thank you for trying to help the girl out..