FERAL CAT FOCUS “BLUE COLLAR” BARN/WORKING CATS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY “HIRE” A BLUE COLLAR CAT?
They are a cleaner alternative to toxic pesticides. They’re less expensive, and more effective. They are the perfect new hire for wherever pests interfere with your barn or business. They’re strictly business. And their business is solving your rodent problem.
WHAT GEOGRAPHIC AREA DOES FERAL CAT FOCUS PLACE CATS?
We place cats in the following Western New York counties: Erie, Niagara, Wyoming, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus or Genesee.
DO I HAVE TO BE APPROVED BEFORE I GET A CAT?
We screen our barn/working cats’ homes just as we would for a companion cat. These cats are not house pets. They have different needs and homes must meet different requirements.
IS THERE AN ADOPTION FEE?
You must sign an adoption agreement. There is no adoption fee but donations are welcome to help Feral Cat FOCUS cover some of the medical costs.
WHY ARE TWO CATS BETTER THAN ONE?
There are certain cats that would prefer a one cat home, but for the most part cats like the company of other cats. We have found that an “only cat” becomes a “lonely cat” when it is relocated to a new environment and may leave in search of another place to “hang its hat”. We want the cat to stay in its new home, out of harm’s way, with people that care about the cat. We work to place at least two cats together that have formed a bond or get along with each other. If a cat comes in alone we try to find placement where there are other cats. The move will be less traumatic and adjustment to their new home is easier if they have the security of a trusted companion.
WHY MUST CATS MUST BE CONFINED FOR THE FIRST THREE WEEKS?
It is difficult for feral or semi-feral cats to acclimate to new places and people. These cats need time to adjust to new surroundings and do better if introduced to smaller spaces first. The tendency of the cat is to return to its previous location. Feral Cat FOCUS will teach you the time-tested procedure that will prevent that from happening.
Cats allowed to roam immediately may not realize that they will have food and shelter and may never return. Confining your new cat for three weeks will help it become comfortable with its new home. Confinement helps them learn to recognize their new home and know where to return for food and shelter.
You can allow the cats to explore the property after three weeks of confinement. Ideally, you should release the cats when the weather is clear (no rain or snow) so that they can explore in comfort. Leave the re-location/confinement cage in the area as a safe place to hide or sleep for at least a week. Continue to leave food and water out for the cats at all times!!
WHAT DOES FERAL CAT FOCUS PROVIDE?
Your cat/s will be delivered to their new home by a Feral Cat FOCUS volunteer. The volunteer will provide all the guidance, advice and information you need.
We will lend you a confinement cage (42 in – 48 in dog crate) for the cat to live in for the first three weeks. This allows the cats to acclimate to their new home without the danger of having them run away in search of their old home.
We will provide “start-up” supplies for the cat/s.
WHAT DO WE ASK OF YOU DURING CONFINEMENT?
A secure place to keep the cat/s for three weeks to acclimate them to their new environment before release.
A commitment to keeping the cats confined for three weeks!
You need to provide a litter box, litter, dry and canned food.
You need to provide a daily supply of food and fresh water at all times.
Make daily verbal contact with the cats during confinement so they become familiar with you and bond with you and the sound of your voice, etc.
WHAT DO WE ASK OF YOU AFTER RELEASE?
As the boss of your new “hire”, your responsibility to your new employee is to provide daily food and clean water, shelter, and basic health care throughout the animal’s lifetime.
- Monitor and provide for the safety and well-being of the cats as their caregivers.
- Adequate, safe, and warm shelter to protect the cats from predators and the weather in any season. .
- Barn cats/working cats cannot be expected to survive on just their hunting catches. They cannot live on mousing alone and need additional nourishment. Adequate food and fresh water must be provided daily (the cats’ natural instinct to hunt will get the “job” done).
- Make daily verbal contact with the cats after release so they become familiar with you.
- Provide veterinary care in the event of a severe injury or illness.
WHAT CONSTITUTES “SHELTER”?
Enough space for the cat to separate from people, noise, and activity as he/she chooses.
Shelter that will protect the cat from cold or wet weather. These cats aren’t fussy about décor or design.
An appropriate place for the cat to eliminate. Cats need to have a place to bury their urine and feces. A flowerbed, a sand box, or a litter box protected from rain are all good options.
WHAT “HAPPENS” TO THE RODENTS?
The cats will need a short adjustment period in their new environment before getting to work. Once on the job, you may find remains of rodents lying around. But mice and rats are smart, and word spreads quickly that your barn/business is no longer a safe place for pests. Before long, the mere presence of your barn/working cat will be enough to keep most rodents away.
WHAT IF MY BARN (OR BUSINESS) IS BUSY? WILL A CAT LIKE THE ACTIVITY?
Feral cats usually will stay around once they’ve become accustomed to their new home but will keep their distance during busy times. A semi-feral cat or somewhat friendly cat might do well at a high activity level barn or location where it will receive attention.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CATS?
You will enjoy watching the cats, learning their habits, communicating with them and having a daily relationship with these cats. Some of them, in time, will allow petting from a trusted caregiver; others will keep a safe distance but enjoy playing or sleeping while you are nearby. Many are curious about people and may interact with you (to a greater or lesser degree) at feeding time. It is possible, slowly, over time, for your cat to get more social – especially if there are lots of other people in and around your barn or business. If that happens, it won’t affect your cat’s effectiveness with rodent control.
WHAT IF I’M NOT REALLY A CAT PERSON?
All our barn/working cats want from you is safe shelter and regular food – otherwise, they’ll mind their own business. It’s unlikely that people with allergies will be affected by these cats because they live outside and many prefer to not come in contact with humans.