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Barn Cat Exam

Barn cats need care, too! Perform this regular check on your barn cat, to keep it happy and healthy.

By Audrey Pavia


Make sure your barn cat stays healthy and happy with these tips
Your barn cat may enjoy independent farm life, but you can keep your cat healthy by spending time with it weekly and performing an easy exam.
Barn cats are wonderful pets. They help keep the property free from vermin while adding to the homey ambience of the farm.

Because barn cats live outdoors, they sometimes take on the life of a feral cat. Even though you feed them and make sure they have water, they might not be handled very often. If you want to keep your barn cat healthy, perform a simple exam on it once a week. On a day when your chores are light, sit outside and call your barn cat to you. Have it stand beside you or in your lap as you give it the following once over:
  • Hobby Farm HomeRun your hands along the cat’s sides, under its tummy and around its head. You’re looking for lumps, bumps and abscesses, as well as ticks and embedded burrs and foxtails.

  • Gently lift the cat’s paws and examine them for cuts or foreign objects between the pads.

  • Look inside the cat’s ears. They should be clean and odorless. If you see dirt or waxy discharge, your barn cat may be suffering from ear mites.

  • Using your first and second fingers, part the hair near the base of the cat’s tail to look for signs of fleas. If you see tiny black or brown specks on his skin, pick up a few and put them on a paper towel. Wet the spot and wait a few minutes. If the dark spots turn into small, diluted drops of blood, your barn cat has fleas.
If you find anything suspicious on your cat during this exam, contact your vet. Even though your barn cat is a tough, outdoor kitty, he still needs help staying healthy now and then.

About the Author: Audrey Pavia shares her home in southern California with four cats, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and a Rex rabbit. You can read more about farm pets and other animals in her "Animal Talk" column in Hobby Farm Home magazine.

This article first appeared in the January/February 2009
Hobby Farm Home.

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Barn Cat Exam

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Reader Comments
this article sounds like it was written by a second grader who hasn't seen a barn cat within 50 ft, but the idea of barn cats is a good one. It's making the best situation out of somebody else's mess.

People have to be responsible for their animals, ensuring their are spayed and neutered. If they can't keep a pet for the entire pet's life, they shouldn't get one.

Until this mess is under control, the idea of barn cats is a good way to save a cat. Don't blame those trying to help for those who are causing the problem.
rose, San Francisco, CA
Posted: 10/27/2011 5:44:15 PM
Barn cats - bad idea.

LINK
Concerned, Everywhere, CO
Posted: 10/13/2011 11:14:29 AM
THERE are just some things that you can't do with a cat. and one of them is trying to ctch a wild one. don't worry about the cat, it will take care of itself.
tom, anchorage, AK
Posted: 1/21/2011 10:44:10 AM
how can you catch a barn cat to have her fixed? we had a cat move into the barn, which is great for us because we now have no mice or other pests, but she is very wild, runs when we go in, but she has had kittens and they are just as wild if not more so, we need to have her fixed, but there is no way we can ctch her, and we have tried a live trap, she won't go in at all, and niether will her kittens
lori, lebanon, OK
Posted: 7/9/2010 8:04:15 PM
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