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Grrrr. Need help keeping kitties out of the tack room

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  • Grrrr. Need help keeping kitties out of the tack room

    We board at a self care facility where each boarder gets their own individual stall with attached tack room. A couple people also have their own barn kitties, including us. Unfortunately the other barn kitties like to wander and are constantly hanging out in our tack room. They eat all of Meiko's food and fight with her. Meiko has been with us for years now and she's a little older so she doesn't wander but the other kitties have been passed around and now go wherever they can find food.

    We can't close off the tack room since then Meiko couldn't get in and out. But it's becoming a real problem. It's getting expensive feeding 4 cats and I'm tired of breaking up cat fights every few minutes. We've resorted to just scaring away any cats that get close but when we're gone its just a free for all.

    Anyone have any suggestions for keeping away all the kitties? I mean they're all getting fed and are well taken care of so it's not like they're desperate for food. I guess I could put away Meiko's food at night but I would like to find an easier option. sigh. Is there ever an easy option with cats? Any advice or suggestions would be great.

  • #2
    It sounds like a weird situation, with no answer that you would probably like. In a situation like that where you and the other boarders went into it knowing that you could each bring whatever cats you wanted and that these cats would be wandering around. I guess I don't know what changed or why it wouldn't be expected. Maybe I'm misunderstanding.

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    • #3
      Yeah, it sounds to me like you either need to lock your cat up in the tack room when you're not there (and therefore the other cats OUT) or to remove the food when you aren't around to supervise.
      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

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      • #4
        "analiseYeah, it sounds to me like you either need to lock your cat up in the tack room when you're not there (and therefore the other cats OUT) or to remove the food when you aren't around to supervise."

        Lock older kitty in room, add litter box, waterer & food dish plus a towel or old saddle pad for her to sleep on.
        "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
        Courtesy my cousin Tim

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        • #5
          can you all chip in for food and keep multiple bowls out for the kitties?
          be kind to your horses mouth!

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          • #6
            Take Meiko home for a wonderful house cat !
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

            Comment


            • #7
              How about installing one of those cat doors that will only open for the cat wearing the magnetic collar? Would the BO let you install one of those?
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Yeah wonderful house cat won't work. I just brought home a little feral kitty from college which brings our house cat total to 4 in a rental house. Now the reason it's such a weird situation is that people bring kitties in but then abandon them when they leave. Thats how we got Meiko. Her owners left and we just took her on. The barn is on an army post so people don't stay long. Anyway when they leave the kitties just migrate to whoever will feed them. Up until a year ago it was just Meiko and another ancient kitty a few stalls down. They both knew their territory and there was no problem. Then two other kitties were brought in but lived far enough away that we never saw them. Recently the other two kitties were abandoned by their original owners and the ancient kitty passed on so the ancient kitties owner started feeding these two new cats bringing them right next to our stalls. Now a stray has started hanging out and they feed that one too.

                Locking Meiko in or the other kitties out just won't work as they are getting in through the space in the rafters and we definitely need all the ventilation we can get. The way the things are built would make it really difficult to close it up completely. And she just would not be happy about being locked up. Oh well I guess we'll just have to make some changes.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks Muchkinsmom, I didn't even think about one of those. There is no BO so we can pretty much do whatever we want to our stalls. It would just take a lot of work blocking everything off but if we can, one of those doors would be perfect. And I've already found a few that are decently priced so I'll have to look into that a little more. Anyone have experience with these? How well do they work?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You might put a medium size dog crate in the tack room, lock your cat inside to eat protected. Then when cat is finished or you are ready to leave, let her out of the cage and tack room if she needs to be outside. Lock her crate when she is not inside. Maybe label the crate, Meiko ONLY.

                    She would only be contained while you are there, crate is airy, but food and old cat are protected from other cats so there are no fights over food.

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                    • #11
                      There's also a cat door that senses the cat's microchip. Once you program the door, it will only allow the door to open for a cat with the programmed microchip(s).

                      Going to try it for our garage. Like our cats to be able to wander from barn to garage to keep the mice down, but don't want the rest of the strays in the garage!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Take the magnetic/microchip collar one step further - build your cat a box\kennel where you put his food and install the door on the box. Only your kitty will have access and you don't have to do any construction to the existing building.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          The microchip door is a great idea. She's never worn a collar before and I was a little worried about her having one.

                          Donkey, what a great thought to just build a box for her. That would be nice because we could take it with us when we eventually move. That way Meiko can always have her own personal food box Thanks everyone

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Donkey View Post
                            Take the magnetic/microchip collar one step further - build your cat a box\kennel where you put his food and install the door on the box. Only your kitty will have access and you don't have to do any construction to the existing building.
                            I just wanted to say, that idea is brilliant!
                            There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A possibly unpopular solution would be to find homes for the trouble makers left abandoned or take them to the shelter leaving the cats that do get along.

                              NOTE: I hate it when people abandon animals. My personal favorite is: But we're moving where they don't allow pets????? WTF? Then why the heck are you moving there!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Yeah I can't figure out why all these people go out and adopt these cats knowing full and well that they will have to move in no more than 3 years. I mean when you're in the army you know you're going to move frequently so why go out and adopt an animal that you know you will leave behind. And it's not like they're all moving overseas, which is still not a very good excuse. One family retired and bought a bunch of land outside of the city. Now they have other cats but couldn't take their kitty. But I can't do anything about those cats since another person has taken ownership of them. Our cat doesn't wander over there so the other person doesn't have an issue and has no reason to get rid of the cats. It's just us that have the problem with the other cats hanging around our stalls.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think installing a cat door that only your cat can get through without blocking off the rafters will only make the problem worse...

                                  your cat will be able to get in and out no problem, but the other cats will probably still come in through the rafters to get food. Except then they'll be stuck in your tack room.

                                  I second the idea of putting a dog crate with food in the tack room, and just sticking the kitty in there to eat. It shouldn't be too much extra work, since you're at a self care facility and presumably there at least once a day anyway.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Sillymoose View Post
                                    Yeah I can't figure out why all these people go out and adopt these cats knowing full and well that they will have to move in no more than 3 years. I mean when you're in the army you know you're going to move frequently so why go out and adopt an animal that you know you will leave behind.
                                    I've been wondering for a while why military families choose not to be FOSTER homes rather than adoptive homes. A need and if/when deployment/transfer happens, they would have the backing of the foster/adoption/humane society they are associated with to take back the foster.
                                    "Oh, sure, you may be able to take down one smurf, but mark my words: You bonk one smurf, you better be ready for a blue wave."---Bucky Katt

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If it's a self-care barn you are presumably there enough to feed your horses. Just put your cat in a crate and feed her at the same time. Cats don't need to be free fed and she can catch mice if she's hungry in between meals. You're worried about feeding other cats, but you realize that she's probably also eating other boarder's food, right?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If it's a self-care barn you are presumably there enough to feed your horses. Just put your cat in a crate and feed her at the same time. Cats don't need to be free fed and she can catch mice if she's hungry in between meals.
                                        Yes. Feed the cat when you are there - and then put the food away in a covered container. The cat will get used to the routine and come out to be fed when you are there.

                                        I don't like leaving cat food lying around in the barn anyway as it attracts rodents.

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