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Thread: Tips to stop cats straying?

  1. #1
    Susan
    Guest

    Tips to stop cats straying?

    We have recently collected (1 week ago) two 6 month old cats from a dairy farm.

    They were collected last Thursday and released into our attached garage as we hoped they would settle in and then when we released them outside to do their work as farm cats they would not run away.

    The problem is they are VERY nervous and do not seem to be getting any better.

    They hide themselves in the tiniest places in the garage together, they are siblings, and stay hidden for long periods of time. We are feeding them cat crunchy biscuits which they are eating when we are not at home but seem to stay hidden the rest of the time.

    On the odd occasion they are lying out in the open, you can walk up to them slowly and give them a scratch behind the ear, but the slightest sudden move and they dart off to hide.

    Anyone got any tips to make them a litle needier and friendlier so they won't leave when released? There are other people on the farm with cats and dogs so I don't want them to be scared off as soon as we release them outisde for vermin control.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Susan

  2. #2
    applesquasher
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan View Post
    Anyone got any tips to make them a litle needier and friendlier
    You mean make a cat not a cat?

    Butter on their paws is what they always say. Doubt it works but thought I may as well say it as someone else.

  3. #3
    Cowabunga
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Make them house-cats for a while. Play with them and spoil them whenever you or yours can. If you have a canteen, then have them in there at lunch time and play/feed/water them at that time.
    They are just very shy. 6 months old is a bit old though if they have been without human contact and interaction up till now. They need to bond with their environment and, ideally, humans to become dependable rodent control officers.

  4. #4
    ladycrofter
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    cowa is right - we got a cat from Cats Protection - I'm sure he had been mistreated before they got him - and were instructed to keep him in the house for 6 weeks to help him settle in. At first he stayed under a chair a lot, we put his food, box etc in a quiet little area with the chair so he could stay hidden and come out as he felt more confident.

    It was maybe 3-4 months before he really decided everything was okay. There were a few times I had to go get him when he was outside - lure him with food and then keep him in for a week or two. It was a year before he would let me walk over to him outside and pick him up.

    I think we humans are really quite huge and loud and scary compared to a cat - just pet on them and they will eventually settle.

  5. #5
    Badshot
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    It would be easier if there was only one, if you are the only company they will very soon come round if a lone cat, however two will stick together and keep each other company so won't feel the need to risk the big scary human.

  6. #6
    EWE2
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    my sister's husband shoots the farm kittens, so my sister tries to rehome them instead! i went over when the last litter were about 8 weeks old and we trapped 2, then had them in a dog cage in the house over night. i spent an hour in the evening hand feeding them and stroking them at the same time, and then again in the morning, by which time they were purring when i stroked them and i was able to pick them up no probs, no scratching. I even let them out for a little wander and picked them up and put them back in again no probs. the new owner then collected them and was really happy with them. We did it again for the other 2 and the same again. if they are hungry enough, it doesn't take long for them to realise it's a good thing to be friendly.

    so, i'd keep them in a dog crate in the house if you can, hand feed them something tasty like chicken for a few days and i reckon you will have them tame enough to let them out without them freaking out. then i'd keep them in the house for as long as you can bear to get them really trusting.

  7. #7
    evans66
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    We've rehomed a few ferrels over the years from CATS, with mixed results. My experience is that if you want to tame them for the house one is probably best, but if you want them as "farm cats" two siblings are easier.

    What our local group did was lend us a large dog cage for a couple of weeks. Keep the cats in that for up to 10 days in a quiet shed, we use the straw shed for quite obvious reasons, and let them get used to their environment. Regular feeding helps them (like kids, will always return home for a regular meal) and we put a little cat meat on top the biscuits, which is important whilst gaining their trust IMHO. When they're used to you and their new home, leave the door open and leave alone so they come out in their own time.

    We've had good results using this method. The one cat regularly catches vermin (I think just having cats around helps with that anyway) but even more often rabbits and even come home with a polecat once

    Great to have around the yard as long as they've been neutered. Good luck

  8. #8
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    butter on the paws is ment to make them stay around guess they hang about cleaning it off

    had a few wild cat's on other places most hang around depends if you want a shed cat or a house cat

  9. #9
    GenuineRisk
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    The posts about using a dog crate are spot on imo. That's the method we've used, too and it works very well.

    Good luck with them - love my four farm cats ! I feed them in the feed shed with dry cat food and they are a 'family' - mum, her daughter from her first litter and two sons from her second - I took the whole family in when their first owners lost their rented house. Both females spayed and males neutered now. The younger female and one of her brothers are always here but mum and the other male will disppear for weeks / months on end, usually in the summer but so far, they always come back and what is unusual, there's no fighting between them and the 'resident' two at all when the do come back - they all eat at the same time out of the same one large bowl! Good vermin controllers, although they do catch small birds too - bit of a downside...

  10. #10
    Sleepy
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Has anyone got any tips to make the bugger off and not come back?

    We seem to have the opposite problem,

  11. #11
    J_B
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Maybe if you only fed them when you were there, they would get used to coming to you for food, rather than sneakily eating it when you aren't there?

  12. #12
    ladycrofter
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepygit View Post
    Has anyone got any tips to make the bugger off and not come back?

    We seem to have the opposite problem,
    sleepy, Cats Protection have a new scheme for farm cats - they will trap them, neuter them and return them to you. The point is that they no longer breed, still keep vermin down, and also keep other cats from coming into their patch.

  13. #13
    Joyce
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Quote Originally Posted by EWE2 View Post
    my sister's husband shoots the farm kittens,
    Why not get the parents neutered?
    Cats Protection will often trap and neuter free if you can't afford to.

  14. #14
    Sleepy
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladycrofter View Post
    sleepy, Cats Protection have a new scheme for farm cats - they will trap them, neuter them and return them to you. The point is that they no longer breed, still keep vermin down, and also keep other cats from coming into their patch.
    we seem to attract all the neighbours cats as well

  15. #15
    robw54
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    We got 5 'ratters' just before Christmas after the demise of the last old cat.

    2 kittens ended up in house and now v loyal - not affraid of dogs and dogs don't chase them. One of the house cats let out a night, I think the other would run a mile if it saw a rat. The most ferral of the older cats ran off as soon as let out after 2 1/2 weeks. The other two have remained. The dogs chase these more so I would say give them a home where they can get away from dogs and have somewhere as a basem we use an old office. Dogs tend to be inside at night so I seem them roaming. I think only 1 is really ratting as I see it hunting regularly in the barns. I haven't seen any bodies however - maybe eating them? Other cat used to leave the dead ones lying about.

  16. #16
    Susan
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your comments, very helpful. They are in the garage attached to the house, we are feeding them a little less regularly and trying to lure them out with chicken/ham etc before we give them their full meal, so that they can see we are not ogres!

    Seems to be working, slowly. We will persist and then one day will just have to leave the door open and hope for the best - if I can get hold of them i'll try the butter on their paws just in case.

    Do you think we should try to get them neutered/spayed now before we release them? They are 6 months old - ish.

    Many thanks again,

    Susan

  17. #17
    Susan
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Just a quick update and thanks for the advice.

    The cats are still inside, the garage stinks but hopefully it will be worth it in the long run - one of them is definately a boy, and as one is a tortoiseshell so I think I know which is the boy!!

    They only hiss at us once when they feed now, they will both come on to the floor to eat while you are still there and they know the sound of a rattling bag which can only be a good thing....

    Thisnk i'll give them a few more days then open the door and see if they will venture out.

    Thanks again.

    Susan

  18. #18
    llamedos
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Glad the cats doing ok


    Do you think we should try to get them neutered/spayed now before we release them? They are 6 months old - ish.
    Yes, get them done.

  19. #19
    socksitis
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Get them done whilst you have a fair chance of catching them!

  20. #20
    daven
    Guest

    Re: Tips to stop cats straying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan View Post
    There are other people on the farm with cats and dogs so I don't want them to be scared off as soon as we release them outisde for vermin control.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Susan
    My experience with cats in close proximity to other people (other than your family) is, the friendlier they are, the more they get babied and adopted/fed by neighbors and are just worthless to you. I'd leave em scared and feed them a little in the place you want them to control.
    I quit getting cats because the neighbors keep ruining them. I now have live traps (buckets) for mice and rats and anything I catch gets split evenly between the neighbors on each side of me. One has a house basement vent that is next to our barn and the other has an open window into his workshop which is attached to his house that is on the other side of our barn.......
    Niether one is real bright, they always ask me if I have mouse/rat problems and complain about how many they have......

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