ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Raising Barn Cats as House Pets

Updated on December 4, 2014

Barn Cats Can be Wild (Feral)

We lost our precious kitty (Jack) on our anniversary 2 years ago. We live on a street that's very busy at times and as much as we tried to keep him away from the road, well, you know the rest.

A friend has a few barn cats on her property and tries to trap them and adopt them out. She managed to trap 2 kittens from the same litter for us even though they were already 2 months old. She brought them over in the cage they had been trapped in and we let them loose in our laundry room. We had food, water and a litter box set up in there and fortunately all 3 were used when no one was watching. The kitties decided that the safest place to hide was behind the washing machine and dryer. We barely saw them for more than a month!

Trials and Tribulations of Raising Barn Cats

Since we could not get close enough to the kitties to see if they were male or female, we gave them names that could be for a male or female. Through a search on the internet I came up with Frankie and Johnnie.

We had no idea how long it would take to convince the cats that we were not the enemy. We found out that the best tool for luring cats out of anywhere is food, preferably tuna. I would put a little tuna on a plate and watch from a distance, waiting patiently for them to come out.. We had no idea just how wild and untouched these kitties were.

Johnnie, the gray kitty, was the first to come out for the tuna. Then I used a string with a toy on the end to try to lure her out farther. She let us touch her back after a month or so. We were not able to touch Frankie until after they both went to the vet to be spayed. We honestly weren't sure if they were male or female until they went to the vet.

Getting them to the vet to be spayed/neutered was another matter. Since they like tuna I decided to lure them into 2 cat carriers and placed some tuna in each one. I did this first thing in the morning (when they are pretty hungry). Unfortunately, they both decided to go into just one of the carriers. I was standing nearby and had no choice but to close the carrier door. Poor things went crazy and I feared they would get hurt. They settled down pretty fast though.The vet treated them like feral cats because they acted like wild cats! When we picked them up we found out that the kittens were both female.

Frankie the black kitty
Frankie the black kitty

Why Keep Barn Cats Inside?

The main reason these cats stay inside is because of the busy street we live on. After losing Jack it would be devastating to lose another cat in the road. Also, we really wanted them to have a good life. I know that many people would disagree with us and say that barn cats or feral cats should be left in their environment. I can assure you that these cats would have had a very rough life with injuries and litters of unwanted kittens.

If we ever move to a quiet neighborhood with safer streets, then of course they will become indoor/ outdoor cats. They have a good life indoors with plenty of love and affection, toys, scratching posts and viewing windows to watch birds and bugs.

Spay or Neuter?

We Didn't Know Which

Getting them to the vet to be spayed/neutered was another matter. Since they really like tuna I decided to lure them into 2 cat carriers and placed some tuna in each one. I did this first thing in the morning (when they are pretty hungry). Unfortunately, they both decided to go into just one of the carriers. I was standing nearby and had no choice but to close the carrier door. Poor things went crazy and I feared they would get hurt. They settled down pretty fast, much to my relief. The vet treated them like feral cats because they were still acting like wild, feral cats! When we picked them up we found out that the kittens were both female.

Who Runs This Place?

I have to admit that we love cats and have always had 1 or 2 from the same litter. Cats always seem to find their way to us through friends or by ending up on our door step. Our cats are usually .indoor/outdoor so having indoor cats is new.

As these cats have grown to trust us in the last 18 months they have developed distinct personalities. Johnnie the gray cat is the sociable one and is always trying to get our attention. She likes to steal things and run away and hide them. She sits on the bathroom sink and watches my husband shave, When he's not looking she'll grab things like the cap of the shaving cream or plastic top of a throw away razor.

Frankie the black cat is more reserved and likes to sleep. When scared she'll hide in dark places like under the bed or in closets. When she was about 6 months old she liked to sleep on top of a storage cabinet that was in a corner.One day we kept hearing a muted meow We finally found her wedged between the wall and the cabinet. She must have tried to jump down (or fell down) in the dark space. We had to pull the cabinet out and fortunately she was fine.

OurPets Play-N-Squeak MouseHunter Squeaking Interactive Cat Toy
OurPets Play-N-Squeak MouseHunter Squeaking Interactive Cat Toy

Mice that squeak are a big favorite. This toy has a soft squeak, but sounds very realistic.

 
SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toy Catnip Mice, 3/pkg
SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toy Catnip Mice, 3/pkg

These mice are a low tech toy, but the catnip makes my kitties bat them around feverishly.

 

Do you have experience with feral or barn cats?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Pat Broker profile imageAUTHOR

      Pat Broker 

      4 years ago from Templeton, CA

      @favored: Thank you for the comment! We love our kitties and their personalities continue to change

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      We have had great success with feral cats. They make wonderful pets and we help them adjust to inside living.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)