A Cat and 4 Chicks -- Question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by affacat, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. affacat

    affacat Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2011
    We are in the midst of building our coop and run. The run will be a 12x40 foot area on an unused side of our house.

    Now, we happen to care for a handful of strays in addition to two house cats. When we can afford it, we take the strays to the vet for their turn to get fixed/vaccinated/etc.

    Here's my question. One of our strays is an obvious ex-house cat. He's super friendly, non-aggro... he'll walk by a raccoon without so much as a look. Unfortunately, he's got FIV so even though he's graduated to living in our house, we keep him sequestered in a guest room so he doesn't come in contact with our house cats.

    Our guest room happens to be on the side of the house with the run... so it would actually be very simple to put a cat door into the window and allow him access to the run (it's got a roof) at his leisure.

    Is there any issue with this? We don't think he'd bother the chickens, and we'd obviously monitor it at first. FIV isn't transferable to chickens as far as we know, so that shouldn't be an issue. Anything we haven't thought of? The roof of the run will be primarily a heavy bird netting (we have hawks and eagles in the area).
     
  2. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    Some cats might do fine, others not. Chicks might be too much of a temptation for any cat, though. I've seen narrow catwalks built around or along one side of pens so house cats can go outdoors through a window and remain safe outside in their run and still kept seperate from the birds.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  3. affacat

    affacat Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2011
    Oh, I should have been more clear -- we aren't planning to let them together till the chicks are full grown chickens. The issue was more: is there anything we aren't thinking of? For example, is the fact that the cat is FIV a problem? Or that the cat might poop in the run? That sort of thing. I'm pretty confident he'll get along with the chickens... he's the most gentle cat I've ever met, and I've met tons upon tons of cats. That he was originally stray is mind boggling... whatever home kicked him out (/moved) should be ashamed of themselves.
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    It might work well. The only problems I can see are that the hens may pick on the cat, making the cat unwilling to go out into the run. Or the chickens might come into the house and poop everywhere.

    There have been many posts over the years about cats using runs and coops, especially in the winter.


    Imp
     
  5. affacat

    affacat Out Of The Brooder

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    okay, great! yea... this is pretty much trying to
    a) let him get some outdoor time
    b) give him a pretty big area (12x40, shared with the chickens)
    without
    c) keeping an FIV+ cat out of gen pop. We have around 5 strays in the neighborhood, and not all of them are +... and we'd like to do our part to keep it that way.
     

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