Feral cats on the farm

In the old days, when every farm family had livestock, they had to have barn cats around to keep the rodents at bay. Dairy farmers used to be able, they say, to hit the open mouth of a barn cat with warm milk straight from the udder. These days we still have lots of cats in the country, but they are mostly feral cats and most farms don’t have any livestock. The cats are sometimes ex-pets or maybe 2nd or 3rd generation feral and are a problem because they breed freely so that we have an overpopulation.

Last night I set a Havahart trap for raccoons and got a gray feral cat. We tried to transfer it to a larger enclosure with the idea that we might be able to train it to stay around. The cat got away as we were moving to the larger cage, so it’s back in the wild catching birds and rodents and breeding freely to keep the problem growing.

Friday I had gone to a local shelter to get a replacement cat for the one that got hit in the road last week. The original cat was also a shelter cat that had been a stray picked up by a local animal control officer.

Our feral cat problem in rural Iowa is serious.


One Response

  1. Sorry to hear about the cat that was hit by a car.

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