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Intorducing a young cat to barn life?

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  • Intorducing a young cat to barn life?

    I found two female kittens over the summer, I have fostered them with plans of bringing them to my boarding barn. They are now about 6-7 months old, utd on shots, been spayed and I think they are big enough and ready to go to the barn.

    How can I make the transisition easy for them?

    There are 3 other barn cats at the barn, all adults 2 male 1 female, how can I make the introductions a smooth as possible.

    Anything else I should be careful of?
    “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

    !! is the new .

  • #2
    I put them in a dog crate for a few days to acclimate them to the barn and so that the other cats can hiss at them but not beat them up. I also feed them canned food when I feed the horses. This seems to encourage them to come when they hear my voice so I can check on them. After a few days, I just leave the crate opened.


    • #3
      Originally posted by jherold View Post
      I put them in a dog crate for a few days to acclimate them to the barn and so that the other cats can hiss at them but not beat them up. I also feed them canned food when I feed the horses. This seems to encourage them to come when they hear my voice so I can check on them. After a few days, I just leave the crate opened.
      Second that. When we release, we try to shut them all together in the tack room, with supervision, just to make sure they don't kill each other for an hour or two. Then we try to keep them (the young ones) in the crate at night for a week or two, if they will cooperate.


      • #4
        Love having cats in the barn! We had a rodent problem a few yrs ago after we built our barn and a few cats from the local shelter totally solved that problem. We do the same - put them in a crate in the barn for a while so they can figure out what life it like down there - and they cannot leave! We have a bobcat and coyote problem here so unfortunately we have had some turnover. Hate that. But the cats we get are on their last day at the shelter and would be euthanized if we did not take them. So I hope for the best and give them a second chance. After a month or so, our cats are totally assimilated into barn life. They know when dinner time is (yes to canned cat food) and we have some cat toys that they chase around. Great stuff!


        • #5
          I close them up in the barn for about a week before keeping the doors open.

          Unfortunately, I have lost 2 cats this summer to coyotes (probably) so I'm not sure if I'll get more. I'm sad for the remaining cat, though!
          Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


          • #6
            We're done the same with our barn cats. They were both older, but still young, cats that we got from the shelter right before it was "d day" for them. We confined the first in the tack room with food, water, a litter box and some toys. After about a week or so, we started letting him out. We used to let the first cat roam outside at night, but we lost him. He used to go to the neighbors' houses, so we hope he just stayed at one - he was an awesome cat-dog. We adopted another and decided to confine cat 2 at night. We also kept him in the tack room for a week or so to acclimate. He knows the evening routine - we take care of the horses and chickens in the evening, he gets his food and clean water put in his spot on a tack trunk in the aisle, we shut the doors and he patrols the barn at night. We give him the majority of his food (dry) at night and just a handful in the a.m. That way he is more inclined to come running in the evening. In the winter, he gets a cozy bed and heat overnight the tack room. He seems to be happy with the arrangement. We had both neutered also to prevent wandering.