Outdoor Cat Safety

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Ridin' The Range
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I know that night is prime hunting. I had a pair of natural born killers, a pair of sisters, that eliminated my above ground rodent problem. I'd find presents on the porch every morning! They even got a groundhog that was over twice their combined size last summer. One of them, Righty, disappeared last fall. She was on the porch for dinner, but not around the next morning, or ever again. I don't know if it was coyote, snake, owl, or whatever, but something got her. Ever since then I have been bringing her sister Lefty in at night. She didn't like it at first, but she has gotten used to it. As far as the hunting goes? I may not find presents on the porch in the morning, and their not as big as they used to be now that she is hunting alone, but I still find them almost every afternoon when I get home from work. Night might be the best hunting time for cats, but it is for the predators too. Lefty still does her job during the day so my recommendation is to bring them in at night.

Disclaimer: They were named for their political views, not because I needed names quickly at the vet's office when I brought them in to get fixed ;)
 

wolf

Loving the herd life
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There's access to many trees and my house and shed roof - all need claws to climb up. There's also predator-resistant fence and the end-posts have 6x6" wood platforms on top. All these things give my hunting cats escape routes. My elder one often goes to my neighbor's to hunt, which allergic neighbor is very happy with - he gets rodent control without having to get near a cat - but Abe is known to just sit on top the end-post and watch the neighbor's pasture for movement. I see his silhouette up there every afternoon. Best protection I ca suggest from this is - make sure your cats have a place that's UP - to escape outta reach of canids.
 

Silly_me

Exploring the pasture
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I lost a very talented mouser this winter. She went missing one night, it’s sad but not much can be done. Found just a tiny bit of blood but nothing else. Figured a coyote got her even though she had survived a few bad scrapes in the past.
Now, as best I can, I try to make sure to lock them in at night but of course that’s not easy.
 

WildersMilkMaid

Overrun with beasties
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I think you are doing an awesome job of keeping your kitties as safe as possible, you just can’t protect them from everything.

Agree with this. I had an indoor/outdoor huntress/lapcat who would mostly go from the porch to the chicken coop when outside at night. She did not stray, had full access to safety, lots of love and plenty of food etc. But on that short journey from coop to porch/house, I am certain she was taken by an owl. Sometimes things just happen, and it’s a reality of life on a farm/homestead. You’re doing great. Don’t beat yourself up over it by any means. You give those kitties a good happy life.
 

HomesteaderWife

True BYH Addict
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Depending on how close you are to others, be careful of others trapping your cats. I rehabbed a feral years ago and he was the biggest lovebug and a great pest controller (he had his ear tipped to mark he was a controlled colony cat once, most shelters know what the tip means by now I believe). We already had problems with someone nearby but he disappeared, then a short spell later our other cat was stuck wrapped around the porch dragging sawwed off trap around her leg with her foot almost snapped off. Be careful of human intervention on their work.
 

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