If you live out in the country, you may be inclined to get a few outdoor cats to keep your property free of rodents. This is a good idea in theory, but there are some downsides to keep in mind. Are barn cats good for pest control? Can they help you keep pests away from your home? Let’s do some investigating to find out.
What Barn Cats Are Good for
Barn cats are great for catching mice, squirrels, snakes, and bugs. They get a thrill out of hunting for these creatures, and you get the benefit of not having to kill them yourself. You may get the occasional “present” at your doorstep, but that is just your barn cat showing his love for you. Appreciate the fact that the pests are out of your yard, and simply throw away any gifts you get.
The Downsides to Keeping Barn Cats
One of the biggest issues that come with having barn cats is the fact that you have to feed them. Their food will draw in a variety of wild animals, including raccoons, possums, snakes, skunks, and more. If you choose to let your cats live off the land, you run the risk of having them starve or become malnourished. Even the finest hunters need a little help sometimes.
If you have more than one barn cat, you may end up with a litter of kittens that you have to tend to. You could let all of them turn into barn cats as well, but that will quickly skyrocket your cat population. One female cat can produce an average of 12 kittens per year if she is not spayed. If she has female kittens, the numbers grow exponentially from there. Unless you manage to get your barn cats spayed or neutered, you could soon run into problems with overpopulation.
Are Barn Cats Good for Pest Control?
If you manage to get your barn cat fixed before releasing him or her outside, he or she could help you control pests on your property. The only thing you have to worry about is attracting even larger animals with the food that you put out. Only set out enough food for your cat to eat without anything left in the bowl. This may mean feeding him more than once a day. With the right steps at the right times, this could be a good decision for you.