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.
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.
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).