Yard Cat

Jojo_Pea4

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We have a problem with rats and mice on our yard. Dont want to put poison down as have dogs. Someone suggested we get a yard cat.
Does anyone have a yard cat? How do you keep them? Do they keep the mice and rats at bay?
Dont want to get a cat as a big responsibility of another animal.
 

Goldenstar

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I have two yard cats Bubble and Squeak .
I have just seen them , Bubble is in the drawing room on the sofa and Squeak is asleep in a laundry basket of towels on the dining room table .
That aside they do keep mice at bay but we still put down poison if we see evidence of rats getting too bold .
 

Merry Equimas

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I always have cats about. I've never seen a rodent that was not dead. I get two as kittens, usually boys, and keep them in the stables. I take them for little walks every day to get used to the area and used to coming back to the same stable. When they are big enough to jump out they are free to roam. I did recently get a foster cat which was an older female, and i kept her the same way but the stable had a mesh over the door so it could not get out and i walked her every day and then started to let her out into the block when i was mucking out, then just let her out to roam but put her in at night. One night she wouldn't come back cause she had just been fed so that was her out for life lol
 
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Try Cats Protection League who sometimes have semi feral cats in who are only suitable for re-homing to outdoor/agricultural homes. They might be better mousers than my cat who sat and watched mice running past! I must say, my dog was a far better mouser.
 

Merry Equimas

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I've never seen a rat about here which everyone's really surprised about. It's prime rat territory. River behind, chickens so easy food and warm hay in the shed to bed in. The cats must do something.
 

DJ

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The yard cats we`ve had always deal with the mice, but rarely will they sort the rats, I`ve only ever seen a yard cats kill one rat, it was quite a young rat judging by the size of it, not fully grown.

We have a terrier to deal with the rats. It wasn`t a premeditated thing, she is usually out with us whilst we`re pottering about and it just happened to run out from behind some bags near the shed while she was sniffing about, she just got hold of one and killed it out right, since then she`s taken down another 5. It saves us having to put poison down.
 

Jojo_Pea4

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Thanks everyone. Will look for a more feral cat. We have dogs and they keep them away but its at night our biggest problem in the hay barn.
 

Iwantakitten

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The only thing my current yard is missing is a cat or 2 and I love them :) Ones at my old yard used to sleep in the hay barn and kept the rats and mice at bay. Also the bunnies, the odd mole and even a pheasant. They do need to be fed though. Started out as semi feral and became lap cats.

I would def recommend semi feral as you would be giving a home to the type of cats the charities really struggle to rehome. Keep it/them locked in somewhere to start with and then after a few weeks let them out to explore a bit before enticing them back in with food. Good luck!
 

cobgoblin

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We have a number of feral ( well, now semi feral) cats that turned up of their own accord. We had quite a rat problem prior to this but they soon dispatched them all. Never see a mouse anymore either.
We do feed them and we have neutered, though catching them was quite a game.
Females are the best hunters, the boys can be a bit lazy.
 

sport horse

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I got two feral cats from the London Olympic site when it was being redeveloped. They are still with me and I have far fewer rats and mice.
 

Merrymoles

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We have two boys who live out but are fed once daily. They seem to do a pretty good job as the feed room, which is where we feed them, is mice-free. We do see them with mice so we obviously are not feeding them too much!
 

Adopter

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I had two feral cats both were about 18 months old front Cats Protection, the male is a very efficient hunter and catches rats and keeps rabbits out of the garden, female prefers mice!

They started out living in our stables, but before the first winter was over had developed a liking for more comfort, and now 5 years later are frequently to be found stretched out in front of the fire!

Terriers make excellent rat catchers, if you know someone with a JR or Manchester.
 

william95

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Try Cats Protection League who sometimes have semi feral cats in who are only suitable for re-homing to outdoor/agricultural homes. They might be better mousers than my cat who sat and watched mice running past! I must say, my dog was a far better mouser.
We've had some feral cats from the Cats Protection League that were good mousers. We also put bait around the yard in special dog/cat proof boxes and this combination of poison and feral cats has worked for us for over 20years.
 

Luci07

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I had two feral cats both were about 18 months old front Cats Protection, the male is a very efficient hunter and catches rats and keeps rabbits out of the garden, female prefers mice!

They started out living in our stables, but before the first winter was over had developed a liking for more comfort, and now 5 years later are frequently to be found stretched out in front of the fire!

Terriers make excellent rat catchers, if you know someone with a JR or Manchester.
or a Stafford surprisingly..my male Stafford is a brilliant mouser..
 

JillA

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Or put up a barn owl nest box if you have suitable site. Barn owls eat smaller rodents, and I suspect they will take juvenile rats but you do have to desist from using poison in case you poison the owls. I have a nest box but sadly in over 2 years none have seen fit to occupy it, I just hope they are in the trees around the place.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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We have a problem with rats and mice on our yard. Dont want to put poison down as have dogs. Someone suggested we get a yard cat.
Does anyone have a yard cat? How do you keep them? Do they keep the mice and rats at bay?
Dont want to get a cat as a big responsibility of another animal.
This was on facebook


https://www.facebook.com/katie.macalister.5/posts/10207375204111726

The Ferrals from cats Protection still need to be wormed and jabbed and you may need to phone around a few branches near you in case your one does not have any.
They are often looking for nice homes for the ferral ones as far lives don't come up often
 
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mandyroberts

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Feral cats - they need outdoor homes and are killers. Once you have got rid of adult rates you won't get anymore! My ferals eventually got friendly but were still good killers
 

splashgirl45

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check out S N I P.....they are always looking for stable or farm homes for feral cats and they provide a starter kit and will deliver up to 4 hours drive from London. www.snipcats.org we were overrun with rats at one of my old yards and didn't want to use poison as we had dogs, we got 4 feral cats and they used to kill the juvenile rats and it seemed to deter the big ones as we didn't see any evidence of rats after the cats had been with us for a couple of months. a couple of them got quite tame so we could stroke them but the other 2 stayed wild so its luck which you get....best idea we ever had...
 

Pedantic

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We have lots of ferall cats at our livery farm, rodents don't last very long, had a couple of large rats with heads chewed off in our barn a while ago, not seen any since.
 

MagicMelon

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The CPL often have farm cats which are basically quite feral. Getting a cat though is of course still a responsibility - you will have to keep it shut in a shed or something for a while so that when you let it out it'll hang around, you'll have to offer it a safe comfortable and warm place to sleep, feed it (NO they do not just live on ice!), worm it and vaccinate it... I've never seen a cat go for a rat personally, they're too aggressive for most intelligent cats I think. I dont know how big your rat problem is but have you tried humane traps? We use a little cage thing which only rats can get into, then they can't get back out - then I simply stop in the car somewhere in the middle of the coutryside and let it out! I only had 2 rats in my tackroom/stable block which I caught within 1 week using this trap and none where harmed (I refuse to kill things).
 

rowan666

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Totally depends on the cat, we had one that had huge rats and adult rabbits on a daily basis (best yard car ever!) after she was run over the next one was litterally neither use nor ornament so when he went missing can't say he was missed, the two we currently have only ever kill baby shrews! useless! we have 5 or 6 at work and they are all useless aswell. I think females hunt better, neutered males have no prey drive and un-neutered go missing on the look out for females (from what I've noticed) a litter from an already established farm cat would probobly be your best bet or one from rescue that is quite ferral. fleas and worming need to be kept on top of but other than just a few cat biscuits and fresh water, if you over feed them they won't want to hunt
 
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spookypony

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When I had my pony on a livery yard, we got two semi-feral kittens from the CPL to sort out the rodents and excess birds. They settled in really well, and are still there some years later, laying waste to the local rabbit population, in addition to keeping the stables and feed rooms clear. We all chipped in by bringing some dry food, and had a checklist so people could write down when they'd fed the cats. I think the CPL are glad to find yard homes for such cats! :)
 

spookypony

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I think females hunt better, neutered males have no prey drive [...]
My neutered males both took to hunting at ages 12 and 9, when they'd been indoor cats since kittenhood! The younger cat is a highly-competent serial killer now. He went through a shrew phase at the very beginning, but soon progressed through voles and mice to rabbits, pigeons, and even crows. The older one brought me a vole very proudly; I don't know if he went after more difficult prey too, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did (he died last year at 13).
 

rowan666

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My neutered males both took to hunting at ages 12 and 9, when they'd been indoor cats since kittenhood! The younger cat is a highly-competent serial killer now. He went through a shrew phase at the very beginning, but soon progressed through voles and mice to rabbits, pigeons, and even crows. The older one brought me a vole very proudly; I don't know if he went after more difficult prey too, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did (he died last year at 13).
There's hope for our useless pair yet then! lol actually out best yard cat was also previously an indoor cat for years too untill she attacked their child (so they said) so they then kept her outside in a pet carrier!! until we took her on, I'm not fond of cats atall but I do miss her, she definatley more than earned her keep
 

Feival

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We've had a feral cat turn up over winter, seen less rats about since. But our boxer yard dog also has a few scars from a rat fight. She came off worse 🙁
 

hibshobby

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19 November 2009
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Another vote for Cats Protection League feral/semi feral cats - probably one or two boys although last two were girls and well up for it. We gave them water and one meal per day and they sorted themselves out for whatever else they wanted or needed. We also have barn owls, buzzards and foxes and there seems to be plenty of "wildlife" for all.
 

weesophz

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21 September 2011
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West o' Scotland.
we have 3 at our yard, YO just leaves dry food and water out for them and they generally rather eat the mice! were doing a great job until another livery decided she was going to feed them tinned food, now they are fat and we are seeing mice all the time! WHY?!
 
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