July 2021 – Scaredy Cats

We added two barn cats to the farm about a month ago. Toby and Teddy spent three weeks in a double-decker cat condominium/cage in the barn so they could become acclimated to their new surroundings. Moving from the SPCA to a barn with all the noises that a horse and four goats make – could be a bit disconcerting until you get used to it. We fed them every day, gave them fresh water and clean litter and talked with them so they’d get to know us.

Teddy
Toby

We were apprehensive about the release day approaching as we’ve tried this before and the cats took off so fast they were like a blur on the way out (one eventually came back a week later and stayed with us for three years). This time, we opened the door and these two refused to leave.

We started feeding them outside of the cage to entice them to come out, we set up a cat igloo so they’d still have a place to live, and finally we took the cage out of the barn. They still refused to leave. Finally, this weekend, they started making short expeditions outside the barn – but only if they were together. They are just as happy to go back inside the barn, lay on the straw and wait for feeding time.

On the prowl.

I hope they’ll soon get the idea that they are supposed to be on mouse patrol – but so far, they won’t even venture into the pasture to meet Pono (the horse) and Peter, Heidi, Beauty and HeiHei (the goats).

The “herd” enjoying the pasture but no cats in sight.

5 thoughts on “July 2021 – Scaredy Cats

  1. I’m not liking this situation at all–for the cats. I know you’ve always seemed to do the right thing, but not this time. Let these two be inside cats somewhere, please, with you or someone else. But good luck with the someone else since there are so many cats, even more kittens than people who will give them a home. Couldn’t you source kittens from some barn cats in the county or stray kittens from the SPCA who only know outdoors?

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    • Hi – I understand your concerns, and that’s one of the reasons we went to the SPCA to get stray cats for the barn. We followed all of their recommendations for the proper cats to adopt. They actually told us these were barn cats, still had their claws (as opposed to some of the indoor cats they were trying to adopt) and that these two would probably not adjust well to being inside cats since they are both already about two years old. We figured we were doing the right thing. Over the last few days, they seem to be adjusting a bit more – gone for hours at a time, but come home to the barn at feeding time. I think they know a good thing when they find it, a nice barn to sleep in, fresh food and water every day – no wonder they aren’t venturing far yet.

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  2. This sounds like a good plan. Of course, assuming the cats don’t develop a taste for Winter Squash or some of your other garden favorites!

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