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Barn cat questions -- photos of the little one added

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  • Barn cat questions -- photos of the little one added

    welllllll.....ok, so it begins. While down at widdle ghetto barn update work, an EVER so faint mew came from one of our perimeter/in the woods/stack piles....cry was so very weak. I tried and tried to coax out the little one, and finally a single, WAY too tiny to be on its own grey kitten inched out. Took DAYS to get her to get close enough to begin trying to set out feed/water. Each day we thought we'd lose her, she was so very small and weak. Finally, got her close enough to get in the trap. Geeze guys, I kid you not. she could have run back and forth across it forever and would never have tripped it. She was UNDER a pound. So, again, finally got up close enough to hand trip it.
    Off too humane society for help evaluating, worming, vaccines, etc. Its been about 2 weeks now VERY touch and go in fostering her....just so very little and so much round the clock work....but finally we think she will ? make it barring any unforeseen diseases too little for testing yet....
    So. Goal is: outdoor barn kitty. (my momma already has her one 'indoor heart kitty' (also a 'rescue' and found via this board!) Can you guys share with me: CAN it be done to keep a 'single' barn kitty? (yes, I think we can set her up quite nicely with safe area, warm area in winter, etc...but of course ALL 'barn kitty' maintenance and suggestions VERY welcome!) however my one glaring thought is: will she 'stay' on property without another outdoor cat? or will she roam because of that? We REALLY don't need an additional one...but I just didn't know what the consensus is..... Fire away! 'Vixen' will appreciate all suggestions!~
    Last edited by ayrabz; Jun. 5, 2013, 09:48 AM.
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    First a warning, as our old vet used to say, nature made cats have so many kittens because they are disposable, not many make it to adults, so cats make that up by the numbers born.
    Another way to put it, kittens are fragile and so much can do them in.
    Having worked with many cats and kittens, that reality comes with the territory.

    Since Vixen has made it this long, every day her chances become better and better.
    All you can do with such kittens is to keep trying and handle any bumps in the road.

    As for wandering, if she is alone or has other cats, young cats just do that, wander around and that is what causes attrition later, until they are old enough to know better.

    You can try to keep her safe if you confine her until she is older, but that is hard to do as a barn cat.

    I have seen kittens do well alone or with one or more kittens or cats for company.

    We quit having barn cats because, living in the middle of a wildlife preserve and having resident very territorial bobcats, opportunistic coyotes and others with a taste for cats, we finally decided to quit feeding the wildlife around us cats for breakfast.

    Is there some way you can confine your kitten to the tack room, feed room, a screened stall or such for a few more weeks, unless you are right there to supervise, until she is older?


    • Original Poster

      Bluey...thanks so much. Sorry I wasn't as clear as I could have been....but of course, as of now, she is in the basement family room.....MUCH too little to be outside alone for her fostering time (nor would the HS allow her fostering that way). She'll remain inside during this fragile time, until gaining enough to be spayed, and then fully recovering from that, and even then? if she's just too young, until she is more able. Here is a link to sweet Vixen: http://s594.photobucket.com/user/ayr...scued%20kitten
      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
      --Jimmy Buffett


      • #4
        OMG if you don't keep her, I'll take her off your hands!

        I've found if you feed the cats, they'll stick around. They'll wander a bit to hunt, and may become a "community cat", but generally stick around if they have a good home and if they become accustomed to humans, which clearly this little one will be.

        My neighbor and I share a "community cat". She's a beautiful (potentially purebred) Siamese and a great hunter. Always bringing home rats & mice. She showed up last year in my neighbor's shed with a litter of kittens before I moved in next door. She split with the kittens as soon as they were old enough. Then a couple months later, she came back with another litter. At that point I had moved in and was able to take her and her kittens to be fixed and found everyone homes. "Flo" disappeared (back to her original home?) and then showed up again in January. She hasn't left since.

        She splits her time pretty evenly between my house and my neighbor's house (we both feed her), sometimes she prefers sleeping in my barn loft, sometimes she prefers sleeping in my neighbor's garage on his tractor or 4-wheeler seats. I don't know if she wanders farther than that, I've never seen her across the road or far out in my back fields. I'm pretty sure she just hangs around both of our houses and various outbuildings (about 1/2 mile distance). She does give me the cold shoulder for the first week of the month after I stuff Heartgard down her throat, and stays exclusively at my neighbor's.


        • Original Poster

          MorganPony...thanks so much! Ok...I will prepare for : "I may grant you my presence or I may visit elsewhere today" kinda aloofness! Yes, the 'yearly' collection of and vetting of the outdoor kitties must be daunting as well !.....And of course I'll want to treat her for her continual needs.....
          "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
          --Jimmy Buffett


          • #6
            Adorable ~ your new house cat ~~~ perhaps another for the barn !

            Your new house cat is ADORABLE !

            She looks like a "keeper" as in she has your heart and she will soon ( like already ) has your home ~

            Perhaps another cat for the barn ~

            Then cothers can 'help'

            you 'transition' the new cats into barn life ~

            Enjoy !

            * her name please ?
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • Original Poster

              HAHAHA...ZuZU..you BAD enabler! No....she'll be an outdoor kitty but with 'benefits'....IF its miserable out she can come in basement shop area to sleep IF she wants to. But I intend barn to be feeding and bed location most of the time but as mentioned ONLY when she's big enough. Mom's first rescue kitty is declawed, and very very skittish and timid and we don't want to rock her world. The new little one is 'Vixen' and as mentioned, will be fostered indoors separated from 'upstairs' indoor kitty for now, but will be moving to barn aisle/tack room area for living/sleeping and feeding (where I can close her in at night? away from predators) once big enough.
              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
              --Jimmy Buffett


              • #8
                Yes a baseboard heater in the tack room and a couch will make her happy !

                Yes ```I lock up my cats at night in the tack room

                baseboard heater .. couch ......

                summer screen door but a wrought iron panel infront .. raccons love cat food ~ and will blow through a basic screen door

                ceiling fan ... windows

                more later running

                i have some spoiled barn cats ``` glad to help ~
                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                • #9
                  If, as soon as she is old enough and healthy enough, you can shut her in an area of the barn, feed her there, play with her there, she should hang around. Over the years we have had many"drop ins" and only one became "unaccounted for". the rest are still here or forever chasing mice.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                  • #10
                    She is adorable!!

                    I've always had a single barn cat. It seems mine claim the barn and surrounding area as their territory and don't let other cats in!

                    Feed them well and provide fresh water. Having cat food outside may attract other unwanted critters, so you may not want to leave it out all the time. That being said, I have dry cat food left out all the time for my barn princess. She even insists on getting cat treats multiple times daily!

                    I have a cat bed with a sheepskin pad on top of a tack trunk and that is Elle's primary bed. I also have a large cat carrier in the tack room that has a down throw inside and a Rambo pad on top of it to keep it warm in the winter. Elle does sleep there in the winter or in the garage.

                    My barn kitties have all been wonderful additions to the farm!


                    • #11
                      OMG where do you live so I can come steal her???

                      No advice, just hoping she gets healthy fast!
                      Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                      Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                      VW sucks.


                      • #12
                        Our barn cat has access to dry food 24/7 in the tack room with a kitty door, but, also gets 1/2 a can of wet cat food every morning. He will scream at you until you feed him! This has always been our trick to make sure he is alive and well every morning. Normally, you can't miss him, though. He screams for attention 99% of the time you are at the barn.

                        Very cute kitten. I'm sure she will make a great barn cat!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                          Bluey...thanks so much. Sorry I wasn't as clear as I could have been....but of course, as of now, she is in the basement family room.....MUCH too little to be outside alone for her fostering time (nor would the HS allow her fostering that way). She'll remain inside during this fragile time, until gaining enough to be spayed, and then fully recovering from that, and even then? if she's just too young, until she is more able. Here is a link to sweet Vixen: http://s594.photobucket.com/user/ayr...scued%20kitten
                          Like our shelter lady would say, "ADORABLE!"

                          She looks very good, past really worrying about her making it, not sickly at all, but bright and alert.

                          I agree, there will be plenty of offers to take her off your hands, she is sure pretty.

                          Good luck with your transition to the barn.
                          I expect it will go seamlessly.


                          • #14
                            Our barn cats were feral kittens we caught and raised. I put them in a stall until they were old enough to climb out. I feed dry food in the a.m. and a can of wet food at night check when I lock them in for the night. Too many coyotes and other night dangers so I keep them in at night.
                            Your kitten is adorable! Good luck!


                            • Original Poster

                              thanks guys! good to know that one can be happy and stay around by herself if she's got the happy place and the fooooooood !
                              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                              --Jimmy Buffett


                              • #16
                                Good luck! All my "barn kittens" that I fostered inside never, ever made it to the barn. LOL! They seem to like my bed and pillows. Kittens have a built in self defense mode - it's called CUTE!
                                "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com


                                • #17
                                  Dying from the cuteness!!! She is making a lot of faces in those pix


                                  • #18
                                    Oh, she is SHWEET!

                                    I have a solo barncat - now 8yo.
                                    She & her brother came to me as around 6-8wk old kittens - just wandered up my driveway one night the first Summer I was here.
                                    I kept them in my basement until I got them to their first vet check, then relocated to my then untenanted chicken coop & after that the barn.

                                    Sadly her bro - an orange tiger - became roadkill at 6mos - he's buried under my wild rose bush.
                                    But sis (named Independence because they showed up on 4th of July) is still here happily Queen of the Barn.
                                    She's a little gray & white "pinafore" cat & weighs all of 8# in her Winter fatness - probably less in Summer.

                                    Over the years she's chased out most passersby, but has allowed 2 part-timers to stay.
                                    One little black male that hung around for almost a year before he sadly had to be put down after an accident that broke his back, and currently a pretty fancy (probable snowshoe siamese mix) who also demands food when he sees me, can be petted and will soon be "tutored" when I can cage him.

                                    Indy lives in the barn year-round - she has a little fleece house for Winter that I cover with a blanket and in the coldest weather add one of those handwarmer packs for overnight.
                                    She will also burrow into the stacked bales of hay.

                                    I DONOTEVER leave out food overnight as that is an invitation for varmints - raccoon, opossum, skunk - to visit.
                                    She & newguy know mealtime is when I'm there and both hunt for food as well.
                                    In fact, Ms Indy will only eat poultry-flavor canned food.
                                    I tell her "You eat mouse sushi!" but she turns up her nose at any other flavor.

                                    Good Luck with your little kitteh - hope she installs herself in the Widdle Barn : )
                                    Last edited by 2DogsFarm; Jun. 6, 2013, 01:08 PM.
                                    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                                    • #19
                                      Me thinks it is too late to be a barn kitty! She is too cute and (from the photos) is already a part of your household!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        really & truly guys....she IS going to be a barn kitty....my mom's indoor girl just wouldn't work out with another, and that's set in stone.........
                                        "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                        --Jimmy Buffett