For any farm, barn cats are a necessity. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…surrounded by grain fields, we have rodents all over the place. So, we have a healthy population of barn cats. We’ve also had a lot of birds of prey around this year too. You’ve seen the pictures of Not-Bob, and of course, there are the eagles.
Believe it or not, the cats still have great hunting, even in the cold we’ve had. But, I don’t leave them without food, water or shelter. Ever.
Spring, summer, winter and fall.
To be fair, the rodents are easier to find in summer, so I don’t have to feed as much. I just keep an eye on the dishes. If they’re running out faster, I fill them more often. Like horses, they start to grow a thicker coat mid to end of summer.
This time of year, they get a lot of dry kibble. I change out their water pan 3 times a day, plus they have a heated dish in the garage and they drink from the horse’s auto waterer. Every morning they get a warm meal too…usually meat scraps I’ve saved in the freezer over summer (this is where I’m looking forward to our own meat animals…innards and what we won’t eat will get turned into cat food) and whatever left overs we might have.
I save bones from bbq meals and make stock with them, so that the morning meal is a scoop of kibble, meat scraps, perhaps some dried out bread if I have any, a 1/4 cup of ground flax seed, and then it’s covered in warm broth.
This gets set out on the deck, in a sheltered spot, in a pan big enough for 11 heads to get into all at once.
Often a second smaller pan goes in the garage for the 3 who tend not to come up to the house to eat. I find though, that those 3 eat more kibble than the warm stuff. I still offer it on the super cold days.
He’s sitting on the bale shelter we put together for the horses…
That’s actually one of the cat’s favorite places to go too. Into the horse shelter. As long as they are mindful of big bodies and big feet, it is delightfully warm in there on a cold night. 4 horses, and a herd of cats makes for a lot of warmth given off.
Really, for shelter, the cats have 3 places…
The horse shelter.
The cat house on the deck (stuffed weekly with fresh fluffy straw)
Even with the brutal cold we’ve had, everyone is in great shape. No frostbitten any things, and the head count is staying the same. 🙂
It wasn’t just Grey who followed me…I have a feline Entourage that follows me where ever I go on the farm.
One of the things I love about my cats is that everyone is so friendly. It goes with handling them from day one. And yeah, The Kid and I handled the Marauding Hoarde the day they were born.
He is a beautiful little guy…he’s from the Meatloaf litter. He and Erik the Viking are Nancy’s brothers.
Speaking of Erik the Viking…
He comes running when the back door opens, and stands at my feet singing until I pick him up. lol! From pooping himself the first 10 or so times I picked him up, to “Foooood Lady!!! Pick me up!!”
He’s just way too much cute stuff, I tell ya!
My sweet little hunter girl. Her favorite place with humans in on their shoulder. She purrs and dances and coos. She’s been a lover cat since she was a wee kitten, that one.
Yes, horses like to sniff cat bums. lol!
Well, to be fair, Cookie is just plain curious about cats…
And finally, one of my Boy…