I wish they could.
If every cat had a warm, loving family to snuggle up with every night, life would be grand. But the truth is, not every cat is meant to be in a house, living in close proximity with people and children.
The Humane Society estimates there are 30 to 40 million feral and stray cats. Most of these are not accustomed to human contact and usually too fearful to be handled or adopted. They are not good candidates for family living. However, many of these might make good barn cats.
Barn Cats, Inc., out of Lewisville, Texas, is one organization actively relocating feral cats as barn cats. They find suitable locations such as a farm, horse stable, warehouse, plant nursery or other outdoor location where the cats roam free, keeping the rat, mice and snake population down, in exchange for a safe home.
If you’re not near north Texas, their site has a listing of other barn cat organizations.
While different groups may have their own qualifications, Barn Cats Inc. primarily accepts feral cats, not friendly cats suitable for pets, from urban situations where they are in danger. The cats must be at least eight months old. Preference is given to cats that are threatened by poisoning or shootings, hoarders, and other similar serious situations that require immediate attention.
If the cats come in together, Barn Cats, Inc. places them together. They feel the cats have a better stay rate if they have friends or family with them.
Rehoming feral and stray cats is a mission of love. Expenses always seem to exceed resources. Especially when you start factoring in medical checks and services. Barn Cats, Inc. is always open for donations – either in monetary form, or in supplies. Some of the supplies that Barn Cats, Inc. is always open for include:
- Dry or wet cat food (Friskies, Purina One, Whiskas)
- Bags of clay litter (non-clumping or clumping)
- Cat beds and small blankets
- Automatic Feeders and Waterers
- Cat Toys
- Cleaning supplies (paper towels, Anti-bacterial cleaning spray, trash bags)
So, as much as I’d love to take in every cat or kitten I could, it’s not feasible. Other options are out there though – rehoming some feral cats as barn cats is one of the choices.
Abandoned kittens continue finding their way to Trisha’s north Texas home. After Scooter and his two sisters were saved from a feral life, she thought that was the last of the new arrivals. (They share their story in Scooter’s Tale.) But…after that came Jasper, and then Onyx. This past April little Piper joined the family after her feral Mama moved the kittens before a big storm, but didn’t come back for Piper. A month later Onyx’s sister, CeeCee, walked in the house (very pregnant) and hasn’t left, even after giving birth to six coal black kittens – who now rule the household and think they’re related to gray tabby Piper.