Veterinarian shares 8 tips for looking after our most resourceful felines
Barn cats are kings and queens at horse farms and ranches, keeping away varmints like moles, mice and consequentially, even snakes. But even the most independent outdoor cats can benefit from added protection and routine care. For advice on caring for barn cats, we turned to Oklahoma State University’s Assistant Clinical Professor with the College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Sarah Peakheart.
Purrr-use these top tips for thriving barn cats:
- Construct a perch or loft area, so barn cats have a safe space from potential predators. “Offer them a few choices,” encourages Dr. Peakheart. “Cats love high perches or small holes they can dive into, if needed.”
- Have an updated identification tag on their collar, and if possible have them microchipped, which is an easy option available at veterinary clinics during their spay or neuter procedure. This way, should they be lost or picked up by the city animal welfare, there is a better chance of being reunited with them.
- Store feed in enclosed bins or feed rooms to deter food-indulging predators, such as raccoons and others that can harm even the toughest barn cats. Dr. Peakheart warns that, “Other wildlife can spread diseases, like rabies, intestinal parasites, and fleas and ticks. Opossums can carry so many fleas, they are like walking flea salt shakers.”
- Offer any outdoor cats (or dogs) a safe, warm place to sleep. A heated or insulated cat house is perfect for keeping outdoor cats in winter months cozy. Also, ensure they have plenty of food and fresh water. Consider a heated water bowlto help prevent frozen water during wintertime.
- Make plenty of noise before starting up your vehicles or farm equipment, especially during the wintertime when outdoor cats look for places to stay warm, like under the hood of your vehicle. Dr. Peakheart warns others to, “Make sure you bang on the hood before starting the car to give them a chance to get out.”
Visit veterinarian-founded ValleyVet.com to learn more and find trusted solutions to support your cat’s well-being.
About Valley Vet Supply
Valley Vet Supply was founded in 1985 by veterinarians to provide customers with the very best animal health solutions. Building on over half a century of experience in veterinary medicine, Valley Vet Supply serves equine, pet and livestock owners with more than 23,000 products and medications hand-selected by Valley Vet Supply founding veterinarians and their professional staff. With an in-house pharmacy that is licensed in all 50 states, and verified through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), Valley Vet Supply is the dedicated source for all things horse, livestock and pet. For more information, please visit ValleyVet.com.