No farm is complete without one!
Nowadays, it’s rare to see a horse barn without a cat. Most of the time they just appear one day, making a home in the hay loft. Because pest control is always a concern on farms, these barn cats are usually welcomed and encouraged to stay!
I’m not talking about your average cat though. There’s a big difference between a fluffy, cuddly house cat and a rough and tough barn cat. Before you underestimate their importance on a farm, you should take a look at these benefits!
If your barn cat could have a job title, it would be pest exterminator. Cats have developed a few nicknames over the years- mouse hunter and mouser to name a few. They have earned these titles thanks to their incredible hunting skills. Barn cats prey on mice, rats and other critters.
With a few cats around your barn, you’ll likely notice a decline in the rodent population. This is great news for anyone with farm animals. The grain your horse eats often drives out mice and other rodents. You don’t want them infesting your grain bins, especially leaving their droppings behind! Mice can also chew wires, which creates fire hazards and destroys electricity.
Those that garden will appreciate a cat, as well. Voles and other critters can dig holes in your garden and eat your produce. It can be hard to deter them without costly and toxic products. Instead, take on a few cats and your problem should disappear or be greatly reduced.
Put an End to Barn Swallows
Barn swallows, a type of bird that nests in the rafters and roofs of your barn, can become rather frustrating. While they can help with insect control, their droppings can make a mess. No one wants bird poo all over their stalls and water buckets. Luckily, cats tend to keep them from nesting inside.
Many animals enjoy the company of cats. Some horses can actually make friends with them. They also create an uplifting environment. Both children and adults usually enjoy scratching, petting and playing with them. Many barn cats are very socialized and thrive on the attention. There are also find feral ones that will stay out the way. You can choose which type meets your needs better!
Low Maintenance and Affordable
The average barn cat requires a few shots, flea powder and a bowl of food/water. Most commercial cat foods are inexpensive! The amount of work they do easily makes up for their expenses. Hiring a pest control company or buying various products can be very costly and even toxic. Cats are a great all-natural alternative.
Save a Life
And finally, why not give an orphaned animal a home! Animals shelters are overfilled with homeless cats. There are even programs that rehome feral cats into barn life. For a reasonable fee, you can adopt a cat that has been spayed/neutered and vaccinated. It’s a win-win!
Opening your horse barn to a cat can be rewarding and beneficial. Not only will they gladly work for you, but think of the cute meows and purrs! A barn just isn’t the same without one.
Emily Fought discovered her passion for horses early on in life. When she isn’t writing about them, you can find her in the barn riding. Although Emily’s background is in dressage, she enjoys cross-training and is an avid trail rider. She resides in Northwestern Pennsylvania with her husband and small dog. Together, they own and operate Humblewood Farm.