1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Update on our 4 piggies - Featured Thread
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

First Time Barn Kitty Questions

Discussion in 'Other Animals' started by abraeri, Aug 17, 2019.

Tags:
  1. Aug 17, 2019
    abraeri

    abraeri Exploring the pasture

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    16
    So we got two 8 week kittens from someone who trapped them in his backyard. Testimony of the trapper is they were 'real killers' so hoping for some mouse carcasses soon lol.

    He sort of tamed them to being okay with human touch sometimes. I petted them the day we got them and they were fine, not exactly happy. We moved them down to the barn in their crate and next day they wouldn't let me pet them and one hisses if I come with anything but food. But will eat from my hand haha.

    So I feed them wet food every morning and evening when I milk the goats and they have water available all the time. How long will it take for them to get used to this routine? I'm thinking of letting them loose in the barn to get a good feel for the place but am worried that they might bolt and not come back if they haven't formed a good routine. Our barn is not that big (12x14) and we have just 2 goats.

    When we do eventually let them out, how would you put an opening for them to get in and out? We got two adults from a local TNR organization and they never came back to the barn (we would leave the door cracked open). And is 2 mths too young for a kitten to be out and about?

    So many questions... looking forward to hearing your experiences!
     
    MtViking and B&B Happy goats like this.
  2. Sep 2, 2019
    drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    183
    Location:
    Saint Joe, IN
    I keep my new barn cats in crates in the barn (with dry food, water, small litter box) for 4-6 weeks. I feed wet food 2x a day (about a tablespoon each). Once I let them out, it's only during the day and put them in their crates when they come for their evening wet food. I do that fir 2-4 weeks.

    I think 2 months may be too young to let them stay out at night. I'd keep them in their crates at night (once the 4-6 week total confinement is up) until they are a bit older.

    As for a way for them to get in and out, 3 of my barn cats have insulated houses in a covered dog kennel I use for hay storage. I put a piece of hog panel across the doorway upside down. They can go in and out, but the LGDs, mini horse and goats can't.

    My other 2 barn cats have a shelf inside my mini barn with solid dog crates covered with tarps and stuffed with straw and still enough room for them to eat.
     
    B&B Happy goats likes this.
  3. Sep 5, 2019
    MtViking

    MtViking Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2019
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    295
    Trophy Points:
    120
    I just got my first barn cats as well. I’m allergic so I’ve never had a cat. We got a pair of 3 month old kittens. I’m doing the crate in our shed/barn. They’re pretty tame and like people. Is 4 weeks necessary in confinement? Can we let them out supervised? And does anyone have tips on making them good mousers or is that just going to come naturally. They seem pretty happy and the kids love em, but do we want to limit contact? Sorry totally new to having a barn cat. Or a barn for that matter haha.


     
  4. Sep 5, 2019
    MtViking

    MtViking Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2019
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    295
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Sorry I’m not trying to hijack your post, I’m just in the same boat and have so many questions too. I hope you don’t mind.
     
  5. Sep 5, 2019
    abraeri

    abraeri Exploring the pasture

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    16
    No problem!
     
  6. Sep 5, 2019
    abraeri

    abraeri Exploring the pasture

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    16
    If you have a small barn, I let ours out of the cage in like one week so they could roam the barn (its pretty small - 12x14) and get used to the smells and animals. They prefer to sit in the hay. One started out as a hissy little boy and now he is the neediest thing ever! He is a little purr machine.

    This week was their third week with us and I started letting them out supervised at the start of this week. I know people say 4 weeks but they were dying to get out and would push the door open. They have come to know the barn as a safe space - if they are out and get scared, they bolt back to the barn as fast as they can.

    Which is of course a great thing. After about two days of supervised outing, they decided they wanted out, climbed a ladder and got out about an hour before I went to milk the goats. Imagine my surprise when I see two meowing kittens outside the door!

    So now the door is open all day and they can come and go as they please, but they always stick around. I still close them in at night though, and only let them out when I go to milk the goats, since they are still small and I don't want anything getting them.

    They are naturally hunters - one more than the other. He will crouch, pounce, and chase after on a little toy I attached to a string, and in the evenings they have great fun going after moths and crickets. They still aren't sizable enough to catch mice though, but they look they will be great mousers.
     
    MtViking likes this.