Cats are quite independent animals and feral cats even more than the regular pet ones.
Therefore, to raise any kitten to be a barn cat, your only struggle is to anchor that cat to your barn somehow.
The trick is to make them feel at home.
So in this article you’re going to discover
- How to train a kitten to be a barn cat
- Can indoor cats become barn cats
- How to turn a feral cat into a barn cat
- How to make sure your barn cat is alright
- Does a barn cat need a litter box
Lots to cover
Let’s get started!
Let’s first look at how you can actually train a kitten to be a barn cat
How Do I Train My Kitten To Be a Barn Cat?
A barn cat is technically a working cat.
It will help you get rid of vermin, rats and mice.
However, that’s not your job to teach.
All you have to do is train your cat to always come back to you.
That means, the training you will give to your cat is just to make her familiar with your barn and barn animals.
Since, young kittens are more adaptable and may even grow to be friends with other barn animals,
The younger the kitten the better it will be as a barn cat.
You can train your kitten by following these steps:
- Set up a large crate in your barn. Make sure to add a pot of cat food, freshwater, and a litter box inside that crate.
If your kitten is about one week old, it may not have fully developed eyes.
So, you need to have proper light around that crate.
Otherwise, you may accidentally turn your cat blind for the rest of her life.
- Keep your cat in that crate for at least 2 weeks. It will allow your cat to feel secure at your barn.
- Then, let your cat come outside and but don’t let her roam alone freely.
Also, don’t remove the crate just yet.
- After about 2-3 weeks, let your cat explore the barn alone. However, don’t take away the crate.
Keep giving your cat food at least twice a day, preferably with all other barn animals.
Keep fresh water for your cat all the time.
- After living like this for three more weeks, remove the crate. Your cat will not leave the barn because she now perceives it as her home.
You can make a hay-made house for your cat within the barn, to make it extra comfortable.
I recommend you occasionally play with your cat, as it will establish some bond between you and your cat.
Of course, you must keep feeding your cat food and water.
Also, keep a litter box where your cat can reach it.
You may be wondering:
Can Indoor Cats Become Barn Cats?
No, an indoor cat can usually not become a barn cat.
Though, there may be some exceptions where a feral cat turned into a pet and is now a barn cat.
But, you must understand that a barn cat is not like a regular pet.
While your indoor cat is a pampered pet, most barn cats won’t let you even touch them.
It won’t survive in the wild.
Even if you try to turn your indoor cat into a barn cat, it will most likely turn up at your doorstep seeking your attention instead of the vermin you want to get rid of.
If not that, an indoor cat will get itself entangled in some tree or door, and worst still may get injured.
How Do You Turn a Feral Cat Into a Barn Cat?
Again, the younger a cat the better it will adapt to your barn.
You can turn any feral cat into a barn cat by keeping the cat in a carton for weeks.
Though, there are a few more getting the new cat essentials.
Your barn cat will be running after mice and escaping dangerous dogs.
So, before you even bring that cat home, I suggest you get the recommended shots from your vet, at least for rabies.
2. Breakable Collar
Collars are never recommended for a barn cat.
It’s because collars may just be a nuisance to your cat and may end up getting stuck to some tree or door.
If you are set on getting your cat a collar, then buy a breakable collar.
A breakable collar will easily get removed if your cat gets stuck somewhere.
3. Microchip Insertion
I highly recommend getting a microchip inserted in your cat. You can easily get such a service from a vet.
The microchip will help you relocate your cat, even if she walks into the woods and forgets her way home.
4. Neuter and Spay
For female cats, spaying means that your cat will not show random aggressive behaviors and will keep working as a barn cat.
However, if you delay neutering your male cat, it may just leave your barn to look for a mate.
That said, if you have a choice between a female or a male cat, I recommend you get a female cat.
It’s because female cats are better at hunting compared to male cats.
However, if you wish to get an indoor pet, a male cat will be far gentler than a female one.
If you are new to a barn cat,
You may be wondering…
How Do I Keep My Barn Cat Alright?
Your barn cat is still your cat and so, you are responsible for her (of course)
Here are a few of the things you must provide for your cat on a regular basis
1. Food and water:
Now, barn cat keepers often tend to assume that if they were to give food to their cats, their cats will turn lazy and therefore, won’t go hunting.
However, a barn cat needs a balanced diet and essential nutrients to stay healthy.
I suggest you feed your barn cat at least twice a day, with all other barn animals.
The cat food you offer to your barn cat should be rich in high-quality protein.
Of course, commercial foods are likely to make your cat thirsty.
And so, you should always maintain a freshwater pot for your cat.
Your barn cat will spend most of its time outdoors and may even hunt during the night.
So, your barn should always be open to your cat.
Also, it should be warm and safe for your cat to feel comfortable.
3. Medical Needs
Most barn cats won’t even let their keepers touch them. Therefore, it’s normally hard to give them proper medical attention. I recommend you:
- Take advice from a vet and add regular food-grade dewormers to your cat’s diet.
- Keep a close eye on your cat, so that you can immediately figure out if anything is strange about your cat.
- Get your cat regular vaccine shots.
- Try to form a close bond with your cat, so that you can hold her when you need to visit the vet.
Do Barn Cats Need a Litter Box?
Yes, at least for the first two months of their stay at your barn.
However, most barn cat keepers tend to remove litter boxes when their cats start to visit some other regular place.
Probably, because It reduces the work of scooping out litter.
That said, cats may even be trained to go to the washrooms.
You can turn feral cats into barn cats by gradually familiarizing them with you and your barn.
However, it is usually easy to turn a kitten into a barn cat rather than an adult cat.
If you get a barn cat, make sure to feed it daily and spend time with your little kitty too