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Running a Successful Barn Cat Program
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Running a Successful Barn Cat Program

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Presented at the American Pets Alive No-Kill Conference 2014.

Presented at the American Pets Alive No-Kill Conference 2014.

Published in: Lifestyle

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  • 1. RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL BARN CAT PROGRAM OPTIONS FOR FERAL AND BEHAVIORALLY CHALLENGED FELINES Monica Frenden - Austin Pets Alive! monica.frenden@austinpetsalive.org
  • 2. WHY START A BARN CAT PROGRAM? • These cats have no other live outcome • Socialization of adult ferals is extremely difficult and resource intensive • Barn cat programs are inexpensive and easy to start
  • 3. WHICH CATS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR BARN PLACEMENT? • Unable to be returned to their original habitat • Unsuited for traditional adoption • Healthy • Capable of life in a managed colony
  • 4. CATS APA! DOES NOT BARN PLACE: • Kittens under 16 weeks are sent to foster for socialization • FeLV+ cats • Declawed cats • Geriatric cats • However, alternative, creative placement is always an option for any cat!
  • 5. DETERMINING TEMPERAMENT: FERAL OR FRIGHTENED? • Silent - no meowing • “Airplane Ears” - low and wide, not perked up • Disinterest in interactions (the sound of can of food opening, toys, voices, flinching when touched with a wand) • Body position - low and wide, arched up, trying to be invisible or ready to flee! • Escape attempts - crate thrashing, bloody noses
  • 6. WHAT TYPES OF HOMES ARE SUITABLE? • Farms / Ranches • Stables • Warehouses / Factories • Greenhouses / Nurseries • Wineries • Junkyards • Churches • Storage facilities • Shops: Repair shops, woodworking shops, retail stores
  • 7. ADVERTISING TO FIND GOOD HOMES • Your website - have an online adoption application • Newspapers • Flyers, post them anywhere farmers, animal lovers, or equestrians might go! • Craigslist • Equine clubs, publications, trail rides, and events • Farmer’s markets, county fairs, horse shows • Radio
  • 8. LOCATION AND ADOPTER REQUIREMENTS • Off busy roads • No recent coyote predation • Shelter provided in a building or structure • Daily food and water • Long term vet care, as needed • Willingness to confine cats for the relocation period
  • 9. HOUSING FERALS AT THE SHELTER
  • 10. FERAL CAT DENS ANIMAL-CARE.COM LIVETRAP.COM ~$75/EA.
  • 11. THE RELOCATION CRATE and the art of the Hidey Box
  • 12. THE RELOCATION PROCESS best known practices • Crate kept inside building/barn where cats will live • Cats confined for 2 to 4 weeks. (2 weeks is minimum, 4 weeks is optimum) • Feed cats and clean crate daily, plan for mess! • Feed canned food daily and make a special ‘call’ to teach the cats the sound of your voice = food • At the end of 4 weeks, crate door left nonchalantly open for the cats to exit at their will.
  • 13. THE WHOLE PROCESS STEP-BY-STEP, APA! STYLE
  • 14. STEP 1: APPLICATION RECEIVED Check for obvious red flags & basic suitability
  • 15. STEP 2: GOOGLE MAPS IS YOUR FRIEND!
  • 16. STEP 2: GOOGLE MAPS IS YOUR FRIEND!
  • 17. STEP 3: DETAILED EMAIL IS SENT
  • 18. STEP 4: ADOPTER RESPONDS, WORK OUT THE DETAILS, SEND KITTIES HOME!
  • 19. STEP 5: FOLLOW UP APA! follows up with all barn cat adoptions at: 1 week 3 months 1 year
  • 20. FAQ • Adoption fees • Crate deposits • Home checks • Excessive hoop-jumping
  • 21. FAQ • Adopt all year long • Adopt cats in pairs
 (unless you have a cat-hating singleton) • Make adoption easy • Provide the tools for success
  • 22. WHAT’S KEEPING YOU FROM STARTING A BARN PROGRAM?