I am pretty sure it isn't my barn cat -- He has been immaculately clean for 8 years. But I have seen a new cat hanging around and today they hay men found a pile of hay that was beyond gross. Soaking wet and pounds of feces.
The head man told me I needed to solve the problem before the cat starts to pee on every bale of my beautiful 4 tons of new hay. He suggested putting a litter box up there.
I am not about to provide and empty a litter box in my loft for a feral cat.
I can't keep cats out of the loft. They can jump up on the stall walls between the stalls and get in that way.
Suggestions? (If I put out a trap, I know I will just trap my barn cat over and over. - He lets me pat him but not pick him up, so moving him or containing him at night is not an option.
My barn cat pees in my hay in the winter only. As your stray feral, she only goes in one spot. I just make sure that there is hay in her favorite spot and clean it daily. I have tried to put a litter box for her but she won't use it.
RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
RIP San Lena Peppy
May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010
If it were me, I'd put that nasty chunk of hay back up there in the corner post haste while you figure the rest of this out. Give it back the litter box so it won't make a new one while you're thinking.
Or provide a litter box. tempt it away from the nice fluffy fresh hay. Or Else. It's not what you want to do but if you want to save the rest of your hay you will provide an alternate.
or shoot it. It has to poo or pee every so hours, you don't have time to stand on a hill here.
Lock up your cats and trap, shoot or elsewise get rid of it. It wants to crap and pee on your hay every few hours, you better meet it where it's at or you're going to lose more! At least it was centrally located before, you've upset the balance now! It's not like you're accomodating the cat, you're providing an alternative to save your hay. last time I checked cat litter was cheaper than good hay.
If you decide to do the litter box, put a bit of poop in it to encourage it to
use the box. It's what we do with new foster kittens...in your case, it's unlikely the stray ever saw a litter box before either.
I guess the best thing to do is keep a pile of loose hay in the back corner and let it use that as a litter box. At least then it can be swept out the loft door, directly into the manure spreader once a week.
Trapping it is a possible option; I have a Have A Heart trap. But then? Take it to the pound to have it put to sleep? That goes against my grain.
I guess there are worse things than giving it a place to live for the winter....
I would get a big litter pan, like those mixing trays you can get at Menards. They are about 2' x 3', black, I don't know what they are called but they make great litter boxes and are big enough that you don't have to clean them every day.
Good luck. I had one ruin 100 bales of hay last summer. I started feeding him canned food for a couple of weeks until I could grab him...took him in, had him neutered and his shots. Kept him in a crate for 1 week (vet's instructions). When I let him go, the ungrateful wretch left. Which was just fine for me...no more ruined hay.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant