Best Barn Cats-Mousers

Rosto

Songster
9 Years
Dec 15, 2010
143
5
134
Alabama
Can you judge a cat's personality by color? Do certain colors or sexes make better mousers? It's been a long time since we got a kitten. All our cats were strays who just showed up. They are primarily outside but well cared for. They have warm heated places to sleep in cold weather. The youngest cat at my house right now is 12 the oldest is 17. Our record for oldest cat was 23! So I want to get another. This time I want to choose a kitten. I want to make a good choice since I know it will be a lifetime commitment. So tell me about your cats. Did you have a particular color that made a better mouser or was friendlier, or CRAZY! etc. Do you prefer males or females if so why.
 

wyoDreamer

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 10, 2010
5,530
10,087
551
NE Wisconsin
Here is my barn cat story:
My sister had a stray show up at her house that she brought to our place. Winter was coming and the cat was sleeping in a cardboard box wrapped in a plastic garbage bag and set in a window well - so my sister wanted a warmer place for the cat and we were talking about getting a barn cat. So Ms. Kitty became our barn cat. Ms Kitty loved her barn. She caught lots of mice and birds and toads, plus a couple of shrews. She had fresh water in a heated bowl and food in her dish every day - she prefers the Cat chow over the Alley Cat. On cold snowy days, she would sit in the window - soaking up the sun. Spring came and Ms. Kitty had 5 kittens. Her loving owners got her fixed so there would be no more litters of kittens - 6 is enough barn cats. The kittens were 3 tuxedos and 2 orange tabbies and all males! Kittens grew up and were weaned. Ms Kitty decided that she hated the kittens and hissed every time they came near her. She moved across the street and lives with the neighbors and his 6 cats.

I don't think you can determine hunting ability by color. All our barn cats are good hunters.
Nor can you judge by coat - 1 of the orange tabbies and 2 of the black and white tuxedos are long haired, the other 2 kittens are short haired. All 5 of them are great hunters.

Look for a kitten that wants to play and will chase a string, or a feather tied on a string.
 

RiverOtter

Crowing
11 Years
Nov 4, 2009
1,199
2,000
361
NY
Any older, fixed, well fed but lean cat with an active, curious disposition makes a good hunter.

Color or gender don't factor in at all. I've had between 9 and 18 cats at a time (once you have over 6 get ready to hear "Why do you have so many cats - wait, do you want One More??" and no matter how emphatically you say no, One More will generally show up not-so-mysteriously within a week, and then have kittens a week later...) So trust me when I say you can't tell by looking. But if you are getting a kitten, get an older kitten. Cats need their mothers lot. Way more than dogs do, and yet people comprehend that it's bad to bring a pup home before 9 weeks, but think a 6 week old kitty will be fine. Kittens should be 12 weeks, and if you want a barn kitty, 16 is the minimum so they can learn to hunt. Unless the mother is feral and the kittens unhandled kittens who've had their mothers for at least 12 weeks grow into noticably friendlier, more confident cats.
 

PatriciafromCO

Songster
Aug 17, 2016
152
213
156
Is an individual cat thing. I do try to get strays or from other barn cat litters. I did try to adopt from the feral cat program but I had too many dogs on property and wasn't accepted. Wasn't accepted from rescues or pounds because I would let them be indoor , out door cats
 

Trisseh

Duck-duck-chicken!
Jun 21, 2019
1,387
4,280
326
NW Ontario, Canada
Barn kittens from dairy farms with children. Haha. They have all the good self preservation instincts, usually good hunting instinct, and they’re usually friendly and easy to handle. xD best barn cat we’ve ever had came from a dairy family with 9 children. :p even then not every kitten from the litter will be useful as a mouser, but usually as previously noted, the more playful ones generally should be better hunters. And don’t fall for the “females are the best hunters, toms are just lazy” spiel. The aforementioned barn cat is a long haired orange male and he catches anything that moves. Haha! And yes he’s neutered. No it didn’t affect his hunting ability or interest. :)
 

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