Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thoughts on some cat topics.

So when I began this series, I asked for your questions, opinions and thoughts. I'm going to include some in this post. Please do share more in comments!

Outdoor cats?
Grey Horse Matters said...

We always had cats when we were children, but haven't since my son was diagnosed with being very allergic to them. Cats are not a part of our 'inside' lives but I was thinking of getting a barn cat to live outside. I've never done this because I've always thought it was mean to make an animal live outside. We do have a heated tack room where the cat could live in the winter months but I'm still undecided. Any thoughts on outside cats.

This is such a thought provoking topic. When I was a child (20 years ago) my family was frankly "eccentric" because we had "indoor only" cats. Times have changed. Now keeping cats indoors is more popular with the folks I know. There are a lot of good reasons to keep your cats indoors. So we always keep our inside. We do take them outside on a leash.

That said, there are far too many cats who are stray. Is it better for a cat to be a "barn cat" than a stray? I think so. A barn cat will be neutered, go to a vet, get regular meals and a warm place to sleep.

My shelter is reluctant to adopt a surrendered house cat out as a barn cat. However, they do have a "Barn Buddies" program. They are former strays who won't adapt well to indoor life. They are adopted out at a reduced fee. You might find a shelter in your area with such a program. Good luck!

By the way, has your son tried the shots? I know next to nothing about them but they helped my uncle live with a house cat.

Kids and cats
Netherfieldmom said...

We also teach our kids that when the cat wants to get down (signaled by squirming, etc.), it is very important to put the cat down gently, not let it spring out of your arms to the ground. This teaches the cat to trust you. The more you try to restrain them when they want to get away, the less they will trust you in the future.

That's really good advice. We don't have kids yet ourselves. We had a dinner party at our house a month ago. A little boy came with his parents. Scout and Sprite had never seen a child before and ran away from him like he was a tornado. But Toodles seems accustomed to children. His mother showed him how to nicely pat the kitty. He picked her up, even though she is almost as big as him, and brought her into the middle of the party. He ended up sharing most of his dinner with her! Toodles says he is welcome back any time.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Thanks for the input. Maybe we will check out the shelters or ask the vets if they know of any cats that would be up for adoption as strictly barn cats.

p.s. my son won't take shots every week for any allergies, stubborn kid!

Anonymous said...

We have three only indoor cats at home - we used to let our cats in and out but lost many over the years. Our barn has two barn cats - one we adopted and a feral cat that has adopted us. We don't let them in the heated office in winter - that would disrupt their cold adaptation unless they mostly stayed in, which would defeat the point of having barn cats - but have two heated cat pads on a high table in the barn aisle for them to sit/sleep on and a heated water dish. They also spend a lot of time in the barn loft sleeping in the hay.

Paint Girl said...

I have 2 indoor only cats and 3 indoor/outdoor cats. The 2 indoor cats are indoors because 1 just won't go outside and the other one was attacked by a dog and had to have skin stretching surgery to save his life, he is now my million dollar cat and will never go outside again. My other cats come and go, they are usually in more than out or in and out every 5 minutes! Silly cats! 2 of them are also our mousers.