New baby kittens

mary3444May 6, 2013

This morning one of our barn cats had her kittens, 4 little babies are so cute. They are suppose to be barn cats but I am such a sucker for animals they have 2 insulated dog houses to stay in with blankets. They are always at the back door for their breakfast & dinner. Down south barn cats do not get food, they are suppose to live on what they catch outside. My guys do their job with anything that moves out there but I just have to make sure they eat. Living in such a rural area when they go out to hunt at night some times they do not come home. The coyotes, owls, foxes & even copperhead snakes makes it hard to keep cats alive. Right now I have 12 well I should say 16, but that is ok. Since moving to TN I have bottled fed quite a few little kittens. Our 2 dogs were both drop offs-very common down here.

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blfenton

AWWW. You are such a good cat-mom.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 7:24PM
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socks

That's interesting, so different from us city-slickers who have to keep our kitties in all the time. Yours have a job to do, sorry some don't come home. It's good to supplement what they catch, probably a more balanced diet.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Jodi_SoCal

I'm sorry, you may not make a post about kittens or puppies without including a photo! :-)

Congrats on being so great with your cats. Being in a barn does not make them any less special.

Jodi-

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:01PM
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marie_ndcal

That was the way it use to be where we lived in CA up in the mountains. I tried to keep them inside at night most of the time, as we did not have the barns etc. They are so cute when they are tiny.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:58PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Mary, your method of collecting barn cats and not feeding them is not a southern thing. I wouldn't want people to think that.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 5:52AM
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jel48

We always had farm cats too, when we lived on the farm. We were just like you are, Mary, and always provided food and shelter for them. And they still were good mousers! I suppose there are people, north and south, that don't take care of their animals. Like you, I never agreed with that sort of thing. They're working animals (no different than a sheep herding or cattle herding dog) and because they have a job to do doesn't mean we shouldn't take care of them. Plus, those kitties sure are lovable!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:13AM
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susanjf_gw

nothing to add but do you ever spay/neuter them? 16-18 kitties seems a lot to care for...

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:47AM
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mary3444

Rhizo-I don't collect cats & if you read my post you will read that I feed them 2 times a day. Where we live people who have barn cats do not feed them as they believe what they catch outside is enough food for them.
Susanjf- when you live on a farm you need cats to take care of the mice. There is no way we could afford to have the cats spay/neutered. If you lived on a farm you would understand this.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:18PM
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alisande

I live on an old farm surrounded by working farms. One of the farmers has a limited number of cats, all spayed and neutered and given rabies shots. They catch a lot of mice. Another farmer has a varying number of cats at any given time, breeding at will. They catch a lot of mice, too. They also catch each other's infected eyes, and who knows what else. They get killed on the road, attacked by coyotes, or simply disappear. The farmer's children give them some attention when they're cute little kittens, but after that they're on their own.

The cats are expendable. And that's something I have trouble getting my head around.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:28PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm glad that you feed them, Mary.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:30PM
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iowagirl2006

We have barn cats too - and we also feed them. They are good mousers/ratters. It's amazing to see a cat go after a rat! We make sure there are no poisons or traps around to hurt the cats.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:52PM
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sylviatexas1

what alisande said.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Marigene

I agree with Alisande 100%. Letting animals breed at will is very irresponsible...if you have an animal, whether a pet or a barn cat/dog, for heavens sake get it neutered or spayed.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:39PM
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chi83

There are programs for very low cost spay and neutering for exactly this reason. You can still help control the population without having to pay a lot. It takes a little effort but so do most worthwhile things!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:41PM
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marilyn_c

I don't live on a farm, per se....we don't raise anything for profit...whether livestock or crops, but I live on acreage out in the country. I have a lot of cats...almost every one sent to me by the shelter or as former ferals, who have been trapped and neutered. All the cats are neutered. And fed a minimum of twice a day. I get food donated by the shelters for taking the cats, and when I have time, I open cans of food for them too, so that makes a third meal, but they don't get canned food every day because it takes a long time to open enough cans for all of them, but I do it when I have a little extra time. I have always had barn cats. Always fed the cats. Cats will hunt just as well, if not better, when they are fed, so it is ignorant of your neighbors to not feed barn cats, and cruel. I have raised horses for 45 years, and been in many barns....and I don't know anyone who doesn't feed their barn cats. So, it may be common some places, but not around here....at least not in this day and age. Many vets and animal shelters will run specials on neutering cats. They have a program called "Neuter Scooter for a Nickel" (neuter male cats for a nickel) and "Fix 'Em for Five"....where you can get females spayed for five dollars. There are spay clinics who give reduced rates and programs for senior citizens and people who live on fixed incomes. I don't know anyone who doesn't neuter their cats. I realize we have a lot of programs to help out around here, but you might find some if you check with shelters. Everyone is making a conscious effort to cut down on unwanted pets. It is a sad situation that there aren't enough homes for all the puppies and kittens born every year.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:20AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm glad that Mary provides food and some shelter for these cats, but they will still be diseased, likely ridden with fleas, mites, and ticks as well as being ridden with internal parasites.

Mary, well cared for cats are good mousers and ratters, too. Please understand that your beliefs, though acceptable to some, really go against what so many people feel are wrong.

I'm sure that your cats have a better life than some feral cats, but it still doesn't seem right, for the cats. There's an enormous over population of cats and dogs, allowed to breed indiscriminately. There will never ever be a shortage of cats to rid your property of rats....even if you make an effort to neuter the ones in your care.

At the very least, rabies and other vaccinations should be mandatory.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:19AM
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mary3444

I am very sorry I wrote this post. You can't please everyone. First let me tell you the only person these cats will go near is me so they are wild. We live in a very very rural area, there is NO low cost programs any where near where we live. The next town over has a program but will only help people who live in that town & that is 1 hr from us anyway. Most people here think any animal is trash, that is their mindset, I don't judge, for them when a cat has kittens they just kill them. I do what I can & I am not ashamed of how I care for these cats.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:16PM
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