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Outside mouser cat?

(16 Posts)
Welliesandpyjamas Sun 21-Apr-19 14:37:26

We are considering rehoming a cat. No experience of cats whatsoever so would appreciate some kind advice if possible 🙂

We live by fields and there are dykes and drains all around. Added to that we keep chickens. So rats are commonplace around here, and we understand that this winter has also been particularly favourable for rat breeding, with far more about! It doesn’t bother us too much but it would be nice to be able to stay on top of their presence in the garden, not have to use poison or traps, etc, so we have been considering an outdoor mouser (ratter?) cat that would be happy to live in the shed.

Are there particulr breeds that are happier with this ‘lifestyle’?

Do rescue centres ever have cats to rehome that are outdoor/barn cats? If so, what would they like to see in new owners?

Or is it better to get a kitten that learns this way of life from the begining?

OP’s posts: |
Fluffycloudland77 Sun 21-Apr-19 15:31:45

You’d need a feral. It would still require some food.

It might also decide it’s not feral and it wants to sleep on your bed.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Sun 21-Apr-19 15:35:32

Our local rescue regularly has barn/feral cats, but they are quite rural. Also, I think they tend to be rehomed in pairs rather than lone cats - but this may be because they're litter mates from feral groups. Worth a call to your local rescues to check what their rules are.

Vinorosso74 Sun 21-Apr-19 15:53:10

Yes rescue centres (especially in or closer to more rural locations) often have suitable cats for this. I think they do require you to keep the cat(s) in a secure outbuilding before giving them free roam.

Humpy84 Sun 21-Apr-19 15:59:06

Oh I have the perfect cat for you that is big, fluffy, black and domestic but an amazing hunter. We constantly have his killing sprees in our garden and I can’t cope. Sadly I’m in Australia but I’m almost tempted to pay for his one way international airfares. I think you need a cat that loves the outdoors and a shelter should be able to advise of cats personality and propensity for hunting.

bonzo77 Sun 21-Apr-19 15:59:13

Yes. Round here the rescues offer “working cats”. They’re pretty feral, they come chipped and neutered. They supply a cage to keep it in (in somewhere sheltered like a barn). You keep cat in the cage with litter tray and food, feeding it daily at the same time. Then after two weeks you let it out, and continue to feed at the same time and place. The stables I’m at has 2 cats like this. One has become a bit tamer and lets the person who feeds them stroke him. It’s very unusual to see them without some item of vermin in their mouths. They seem not to bother with birds as the rats and mice are easier.

Welliesandpyjamas Sun 21-Apr-19 16:00:52

Thanks, everyone.
We live in a village but it is a rural area. So hopefully thr local rescue centres will be able to help then.
A pair would be fine if that is what makes them happier. Other than feeding them, what other duties are there associated with keeping them? Do cats need annual vaccinations, for example?
Vinorosso74, do you mean that they have to be kept in the outbuilding for a while first?

OP’s posts: |
whyonearthnot Sun 21-Apr-19 16:00:56

Your setup sounds ideal for a feral or semi feral rescue cat. If you are in the South East Celia Hammond have lots of rescue cats like this looking for homes in stables, farms or smallholdings.

PinguDance Sun 21-Apr-19 16:04:24

I think cats adapt to a mousing lifestyle - we took a indoor, city cat of several years to the countryside and he brought in mice all the time after not very long. My cat now manages to find rats/frogs/mice in a suburban part of a city.
We did have a basically feral cat once when we adopted a family of cats, one of them was kitten who had evidently been neglected and was very wary of people - she lived in our house and we fed her but spent most of the time outdoors. She was a phenomenal hunter - caught mice, squirrels, a MOLE, a bloody BAT (managed to free the mole and I think the bat) but she still slept on the sofa. Anyway I think most young, lively outdoor cats will probably hunt mice and rats given the opportunity.

Welliesandpyjamas Sun 21-Apr-19 16:04:32

Ah, bit far, eh 😄

Thanks for the explanation, bonzo. Makes sense. The idea being that they come to accept this as their new home before exploring further?

How about likelihood of hunting rats? Are bigger cats keener or is it personality dependant?

OP’s posts: |
Welliesandpyjamas Sun 21-Apr-19 16:04:46

I.e. as opposed to mice

OP’s posts: |
PinguDance Sun 21-Apr-19 16:07:53

Ah missed the bit when you said you wanted a cat who’d sleep in the shed - you mean you don’t want to wake up with a decapitated rat on your pillow? It’s a present after all...

Welliesandpyjamas Sun 21-Apr-19 16:09:47

Pingudance, I know it sounds weird but, no, don’t have a strong fancy to that 😂

OP’s posts: |
bonzo77 Sun 21-Apr-19 16:32:40

They hunt what they can find. Size makes no difference.

Yes, You need to feed them to give them an incentive to hang about. Cats are famously disloyal so if you don’t feed them they’ll find someone who will. They hunt for sport more than food, and if they’re any good your vermin populations will dwindle quite rapidly. . If you can’t handle them due to being feral, unless you trap them there’s no way you can get them annual jabs. Any rescued cat though will have been neutered.

viccat Sun 21-Apr-19 16:38:18

Yes sounds good for a pair of ferals! Some become quite domesticated over time and you can pet them and they will hang around closer to you more. You'll need somewhere for them to sleep (outbuilding etc.), give them ideally two meals a day and generally keep an eye on them and obviously get vet care if they are injured or ill. Rescues who home feral/barn cats are usually good at advising on what to do during the settling in period.

Whereabouts are you? I know a brilliant charity in Preston/Southport area who always have ferals in need of outdoor homes and are great with support and advice.

Vinorosso74 Sun 21-Apr-19 22:12:46

Yes you would need to keep them in the outbuilding first and feed them/provide litter tray there etc. The rescue would provide all the advise on this.
Cats generally get flead and wormed regularly with annual vaccinations but I honestly have no idea how this would work with these sort of cats. Again the rescue could advise.

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