First time cat advice.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by BeardedLadyFarm, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    I've been allergic to cats since childhood, so I've never really gotten to know their behaviors and needs.

    Now that I have chickens, I've noticed more mice coming in the house. I would like to control them, and the sparrows that are always raiding the chicken feed.

    I have friends with a pretty little Calico that they brought in off the street a few weeks ago. She spent about 2 months as a feral, and is now quite tame. I have several questions

    1) Will she retain her mousing instincts now that she's been brought inside? Will she help deter sparrows?
    2) Can I safely maintain her outside year round, and if so, what kind of shelter does she need?
    3) Do cats generally live well with chickens? I've seen lots of pics on BYC of cats and chickens, but I don't know if it's the exception or the rule.
    4) Do I need to keep her inside or confine her initially so she learns where her new home is, or is food and shelter enough to keep her from running away?
    5) Will an outdoor litter box discourage her from using my garden as a litter box, or is cat poop as much fact of life as chicken poop?

    The cat will certainly get attention a few times a day, and may even get to come inside a bit depending on my allergies. I will certainly fix her and give her veterinary care. I assume since there is a large feral population in Philadelphia, they can survive just fine, but I want to make things easy for her.

    Thanks for your advice!
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Imp-Good luck. Good of you and your friends to help her.
  3. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    Imp, thanks for your help.

    She was born to a feral mother. My friends captured two of her kittens early on, and this one a few weeks later. She had a couple of months of "street" experience before she came inside. It would be fine if she moved in with the chickens! That would be kind of cool actually. She's semi-social now, and friendly to her foster dads, but evidently is showing a good dose of hunting instinct.

    I have 15 bales of straw laying around actually. Maybe I can make her a cozy shelter for winter.

    I will look into some rescue groups. I hadn't thought of that.

    Thanks again. Looks like I'll soon have another project! Like a shelter dog and 12 aren't enough in the city!
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Now you know the rule is you have to post pix.

    I too have taken ferals from mom and raised them. Mom is still in the backyard. And one of the babies is my fat, lazy, smelly cat. And I have a few other ferals that I rescued.

    I'm assuming that she's like 2-3 months old??? Be careful cause kittens are also prey to raccoons, rapters, coyotes etc.

    Imp- has more cats than sense
  5. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    my de-clawed 15 year old indoor cat catches mice on occasion and usually leaves the bodies for us to find the next day. she doesn't seem interested in birds other than occasional window watching while waiting for squirrels and chipmunks. i've even let her near the chickens when they were younger to see her reaction-nothing.

    good luck with your little kitty!
  6. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    Since I'm right downtown, I don't have troubles with the "traditional" predators of chickens or kittens.

    I guess I'll get to building her a shelter, and prepare for a new member of the urban farm.

    Here's the only picture I've seen. I think it was a taken a couple of weeks ago. I believe she's a dilute Calico? Like I said, I'm new with this cat thing.

  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I find the best mousers are the feral mom cats. I have a drop off colony from a feral cat program in the area and the ones who were feral moms kill the most and often bring back kills to the "lazy" ones including us humans. [​IMG]

    Good luck with the kitty.

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