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Outdoor cat food

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  • Outdoor cat food

    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?

  • #2
    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.


    • #3
      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.


      • #4
        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.


        • #5
          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.
          A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham


          • #6
            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.
            "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                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.
                *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


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    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


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Casey09 View Post
                      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


                      • #12
                        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.
                        In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?


                        • #13
                          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 I must say the wildlife looked a bit taken aback that they were bested by a domestic cat whose appearances is quite demure.
                          Tinwhistle Farm


                          • #14
                            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.


                            • #15
                              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/


                              • #16
                                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.

                                During the day I leave more food, because we get fewer unwelcome visitors when the sun is up.
                                Click here before you buy.


                                • #17
                                  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.
                                  "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"


                                  • #18
                                    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.


                                    • #19
                                      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....


                                      • #20
                                        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.