Are you struggling to find a new home for your unwanted cat? Many people think that a farm home would be an ideal home for a cat, but this ideal may be far from the truth with most farm cats having very short, and difficult, lives.
Risks to Cats on Farms
- Some farmers do not feed the cats, thinking that they will kill more mice this way. This is erroneous thinking, and there are no guarantees the cat will catch any mice, especially if it does not have any energy to do so and is competing with other farm cats.
- Many farmers do not vaccinate, or worm their cats. Since they are eating mice they are usually full of worms. In addition diseases are often common on farm cats, with less care over all, and no vaccinations, their immune system is vulnerable.
- Farm cats often suffer from fleas and ear mites.
- Farm cats may be at greater risk from wild animals such as coyotes.
- Farm cats are sometimes killed by the farmer's dog, or feral dogs.
- Farm cats are not always provided with adequate shelter in the winter.
- Farm cats face the risk of being kicked by livestock, or run over by farm equipment.
- Farms are often overrun with too many cats, when this happens farmers often shoot, or drown, excess cats.
- Without proper shelter farm cats often suffer from frostbite.
About Giving an Unwanted Cat to a Farm Home
It is one thing to give your own cat to a farm home – we will get to that below, but you do need to be aware that in most places it is not allowed for you to give a stray cat to a farm home as you are not the legal owner of the cat. When you find a stray you need to call the local animal shelter to report finding it and should ask your neighbors if they own it or are caring for it.
Only after you have had the cat in your care for the required amount of time for your area (often 2 weeks) without an owner looking for it, can you give it to a farm home – however you could optionally take it to the animal shelter.
How to Pick a Good Farm Home for a Cat
Do not dump your unwanted cat in the country – this is illegal in most areas as it is considered animal abandonment. Farmers who find pets dumped this way seldom keep them; if their current cats and dogs do not kill the newcomer, the farmer often will.
Be aware that declawed cats rarely survive on a big farm, unless they are kept indoors most of the time.
Be sure to ask the farmer if the cats are fed, if they have shelter to go into, and so forth.
Be very suspicious if a farmer says they use to have dozens of cats but “something” killed them all. This could mean they have an issue with predators, or disease.
An ideal farm home would be a new farm where the cats are allowed into the house at night, or in the winter, or have a warm barn to go to, are kept fed and are generally cared for.
Your cat should be spayed or neutered, wormed, and vaccinated, before going to a farm home.
Authors Note: I live on a hobby farm where several cats and kittens have been dumped in the past few years. I have kept some, but took others to the animal shelter. Many other farmers have said to me “Why didn't you just kill them, that's what I would have done?” For this reason I urge you to never abandon your unwanted cat, or dog, on a farm, please take it to a shelter or find it a home that wants it. Most farmers do not need more cats.