Feral cats

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by brandywine, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Well, I just found out why my barn kittens have been up on my porch every morning for the past week, instead of out in the barn where they had previously been quite content at night.

    And what the dogs have been rushing after in the overgrown pasture at night.

    Feral cats! Oh blast it!

    They were having an orgy/gang war down by by barn tonight. I heard the caterwauling in my sleep, woke up, and perceived "That is NOT our two four-month-old kittens." Nor was it our elderly troll cat's senile rantings from under the basement stairs (his choice to live there, BTW -- we did not banish our teenage cat to the basement, he just got weird).

    Opened the front door and our kittens rushed in, terrified. As well they might -- they are still snack-sized for a big tomcat.

    Moe, our canine Director of Homeland Security, ran the intruders through the pasture and apparently up the tree at the end of the lane. I could still hear feline growling and snarling, but he wasn't tangling with anything, and came back looking unfulfilled.

    We checked on the chooks, all snug in their coop. The kittens have been invaluable in showing me any security gaps in the coop construction (it's a converted stall in the barn.) I think a full-sized cat could still get into the barn proper, though -- possibly they've been going in and stealing the kittens' food at night.

    Kittens are now locked in protective custody on the mud porch with a litter box for the night.

    Time to install a dog door. Ferals won't come around for long if our Gang of Four can just let themselves out when needed.

    Anything else work to repel feral cats?

    FYI, I won't shoot at night, won't shoot at anything I cannot clearly see and identify, so that option isn't really on the table.
  2. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2008
    I would buy a live trap and bait it with kitty chow.

    Any unidentified kitty would go to the pound or be shot. It's more work for you, but it would lower the feral population around your property, as well as identify critters clearly so they could be shot. You might just catch a few coons and other chicken predators in the mean time.

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  3. chickenfanatic

    chickenfanatic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    deming new mexico
    yup i agree with wolf kim catch em good hehehe
  4. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I used to have feral cats around. I got a live trap and put a can of tuna fish with the lid partly opened (don't open it all the way or you won't be able to re-use it for the rest of the nasty creatures). Once caught, dispose of them however you want to. It's really quite easy because they just can't resist it. We caught 11 cats in two weeks. Also this way, if you happen to catch your own cats you can just release them with no harm done.
  5. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    we did the same...trapped a ton this last winter...it was so cold and tons of feral cats were snacking on our barn cats dinners.

    it works awesome, BUT, then you have to load it in your car or something. be careful!!! they can go crazy nuts and bite/scratch. PLUS there is the added bonus that they like to spray while you pick up the trap or in your vehicle.

    our animal control wont pick up cats...they must be delivered...maybe you will be more fortunate.
  6. LittleChickenRacingTeam

    LittleChickenRacingTeam On vacation

    Jan 11, 2007
    Ontario, CANADA
    I agree with the live trap method. I've probably caught 50+ in the 8 years I've lived in the country.

    Trap them at night, shoot them in the morning, & serve them for lunch to the turkey vultures. Leftovers are takeout for the coyotes that evening.
  7. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    We had 4 feral cats not to long ago invade our barn. They aren't around any more thanks to the live trap and a gun. They aren't like domestic cats thats for sure! They are MEAN!
  8. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Take your predator control to a whole new level with night vision and a silencer. [​IMG]

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  9. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Trap it will have to be. I really don't want the dogs messing with ferals if I can help it. Rabies vector, and they'll really slash up a dog, even a canny one like my Moe. His mother, who effortlessly dispatches groundhogs without incurring a scratch, refuses to approach a strange cat. Too many have jumped her while she's working at her primary job (searching for lost people). Seems like every time we have a barn in a search area, or have to search a house, Pip gets attacked by a cat. Or once, five cats -- or maybe it was fifty. Sure were a lot of cats in that attic, and they sure were ticked off.

    I forgot that a couple stray cats have tested positive for rabies down in Pittsburgh just recently. So it's around this year.

    This week I'm taking the kittens to be neutered, and they'll be restricted for about a week after that, so it's a good time to start trapping without just catching my own cats over and over. I'll just put the thing right outside the chicken pen.

    Oblio, while the silencer is a bit too black ops for me, our SAR unit is expecting a night-vision unit any time now. We will have to trial it around our place -- should be fascinating.
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We support a colony of ferals in and around our barn. As a result we have no rodents- you heard right, NONE. It's a controversial decision, we all know that disease issues are onme aspect. But ferals have been a Nova Scotian tradition wince 1632, and many landowners feed them rather than poison rodents...[​IMG]

    Of course you have to separate birds and ferals...pics in the home page below.

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