Your new Farm/Barn Cat is fully-vetted! Spayed/neutered, vaccinated for rabies, distemper, and other diseases, treated for parasites (internal & external), and combo tested Negative for Feline Leukemia and FeLV; everything an indoor pet cat gets.
The farm family will complete an application. As cats become available meeting the above criteria, shelter personnel/volunteers will contact the interested farm family.
It is preferable for the cat(s) to be kept in a secure place, such as an extra-large dog crate within a tack room, with food, water and a litter box (cleaned daily) to acclimate the cat(s) to the barn for at least two weeks (4 weeks is preferable). If a crate is not available, the cat needs to be in a contained area such as a tack room. Needs to be a temperature-controlled area if very hot or very cold weather.
Establish a routine for feeding twice per day. Shake the food bag or call kitty, kitty. Continue routine once released so they will know it's time to eat. Cats cannot live on what they catch; they need food & fresh water daily. Cats are by nature clean animals & like a clean litter box, water bowl and food bowl. Clean daily or twice per day while caged/contained.
Feral cats will generally stay in the back of the cage avoiding contact. They are afraid of you. They are not aggressive but will try to protect themselves if they feel threatened. Do not try to touch. Allow the cat to sniff your hand if he/she is interested. Hand should be facing down, finger's curved downward-relaxed, not quite a fist.
When you feed, water and/or scoop litter, center yourself in front of the open door. Your presence should prevent attempts to exit the cage.
Do not reach in and try to pet or pick up a cat. If a cat tries to exit cage prematurely you can shift your position but do not do not reach out with your hands to stop the cat.
If they do get out prematurely, continue to feed outside the cage. You may not see them for a while but they will likely stay around if they are fed. (scoop out some of the solid matter from their litter box and put outside for them to catch the scent of themselves-won't work if raining, though) We have had cats return after a several week's absence.
o Just prior to release day, we recommend spreading the solid matter (feces and urine clumps) from litterbox outside of the barn. This will make his/her environment smell like his/her territory. (Will not work if it's raining-wait for another dry day)
o Shelter must be available 24 hours a day with a "High Spot (shelf)" to be able to get away from predators.
o Fresh food and water must be provided daily, year round. We recommend that you feed the cat a quality dry and canned food (for extra water consumption and balanced nutrition). A healthy cat is a happy cat.
o If possible to capture the cat, please get annual check-ups, worming and vaccinations.
o We recommend having a Havaheart type trap (and/or hard-sided pet carrier) on hand for trapping/transporting a sick or injured cat to a vet for care.
o All other cats on the property should be spayed or neutered and should healthy
o We ask for a donation to help cover the medical expenses getting your cat ready for adoption (Altering/vaccinations/worming/testing).
The Farm Family will:
Sign our standard adoption agreement, which includes statements that they will provide shelter, food, water and long term veterinary care.
It is an unknown with Barn or Farm cats, once released, if they will chase or harm small farm animals.