Cats Can Be A Farmer’s Best Friend

On this farm, cats are appreciated and are an actual necessity for keeping the rat and rodent populations in check.

Cats In The Barn

Cats In The Barn

We’ve tried once or twice to do without cats on our farm.
During our “cat free” periods, it was nice to be able to put out a bird bath or low hanging bird feeders and not worry that we were luring song birds to a sure and certain death.

It was also a relief to have a break from cats using my flower and vegetable gardens like a giant cat box. Is there a nastier garden surprise than digging up fresh cat poop while working in the bean patch?
Oh. And how could I forget the bales of hay that also receive plenty of cat poop during the winter when the snow covers the ground?
Or barfed up early morning messes on the front porch just waiting for bare feet?
But the fact is, whenever we’ve tried to go without cats we end up with trophy size rats. I’m talking giant jumbo humongous whoppers.

Sadly now that Tibby is gone, any hope for home grown summer kittens is gone too. I was so looking forward to her kittens.
Fortunately a local feed mill usually has free kittens. I went over yesterday and picked up 3 new kitties for the barn.
It’s a pretty nice arrangement for the community.
Local people drop off their unwanted or extra kittens at the mill and the mill takes care of them until someone comes along who needs them.

Kittens Waiting For A New Home

Kittens Waiting For A New Home

I picked 1 male and 2 females.
Once the new kitties have settled in I’ll worm the entire group. Hopefully there will be a low cost rabies clinic within the next couple of months and we should be all set to go into the autumn and winter without the burden of rats.

Katherine Grossman

Katherine Grossman was born and raised in the greater Washington, D.C area. But for the last 30 years Mrs. Grossman has lived a life of deliberate self-reliance in rural western Pennsylvania. She loves to garden, knit mittens; makes a killer meatloaf and has been known to deliver triplet lambs with her eyes closed. 


  5 comments for “Cats Can Be A Farmer’s Best Friend

  1. Glenda
    June 29, 2013 at 7:16 am

    What cute kittens and how wonderful that the local mill takes care of them until they are adopted. The little orange one reminds me of a cat we had years ago, named Thomas. The little grey one, in front, reminds me of our grand daughter’s cat, named Izzy.
    I love animals. Once again, you have started my day with a smile and made it brighter.
    Blessings to you and thank you.

  2. Diana Staresinic-Deane
    June 29, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Our local animal shelter has a section of “barn cats…” cats who will be very happy working on and exploring a farm, but not so happy being locked up in an apartment all day. It’s great that your local mill is basically doing the same thing.

  3. ProudHillbilly
    July 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I have purely indoor cats, but I live in the woods, so mice are fairly common. All 3 cats have great mousing instincts and often dispatch a rodent intruder before I even know there is one.

  4. Rebecca
    July 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    So are your barn cats semi-wild? I have never seen this in action so what are the cats like?

    • KMG
      July 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      No. They are like house cats but just live outdoors.

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