Cats as Pest Control on the Homestead

 

Homesteaders often find that they are at odds with a range of different pests, including rodents. You can find different methods to use when it comes to controlling those rodents. Some might use traps, while others might use poison. This tends to be a losing battle though. The traps are not likely to kill as many mice or rats as you have, and the poison could end up hurting your other animals or even getting into your food supply somehow.

Using Barn Cats

One of the best natural and truly organic ways to deal with your mouse problem is to have some cats on the property. Cats, so long as they are not soft house cats that have never seen the outdoors, can do a good job of helping you with your pest control problem. Just a couple of good barn cats can help to keep the levels of mice, rats, moles, voles, squirrels and other rodents to a minimum.

The best option is to raise the animal from a kitten. Ideally, the mother would have been a barn cat as well and will have imparted some of her knowledge to the kitten before you get it. Those that are part of a lineage of cats raised in barns tend to have more of a killer instinct, as well.

When you are keeping your kittens in the barn, during the first few weeks, confine them to a relatively small area that has a bed for them, as well as a litter box. This shows them that this is their area, their home, and they are less likely to wander away for long periods.

Keeping the Cats Safe

Just as the cats can prey on the mice and other rodents, you do have to be careful of some animals preying on your cats. This includes things such as foxes and coyotes, so be sure you have methods in place for keeping those predators off your property. Having some large guard dogs, good fences, and a shotgun ready to go is often enough to deter these types of predators, and it can help to keep all your animals safe.

Not All Cats

Here’s something important you need to realize – even though cats in cartoons tend to have it out for mice and birds, some cats are simply too lazy to care. This means that not all cats are going to be great barn cats, and you might still be overrun with rodents. In those instances, you can find some other methods of keeping the pests out of your home, barn, and other areas. You could also try another cat, or get some help from the professionals.

Keep in mind though that if you are a homesteader living in a rural area, the battle against pests will be ongoing. Even if you have pros come in and remove all the pests from your property, they will come back. This is why having some good barn cats that are always on duty is your best bet.

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