Incarcerated Barncats released today!

After four weeks and three days, we released the barn cats today.
Five arrived, one escaped at week 1.5 and i do not know if she is here or not?? The other four served their full term in cages. They were / are scared and quite hissy, have not been happy campers AT ALL! Totally feral. The cat-lady who had been fostering them in her garage that brought them over wanted to come here to help release them. So, she finally made it today. She brought out five shelters that the volunteers made. Styrofoam boxes filled with straw and covered with black plastic with little hoods over the circle doors. Put two of the shelters (with a couple of pinches of catnip tossed in the bedstraw) in the barn room with their food and water. There are about three crawl holes dug into the gravel at the floor, ONE of these cats is too big to fit through!!! I’ll dig the holes a little bigger for him in the morning. (his name is Truman)

Here they are in their cages…awaiting the cat lady.

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Great news !!!

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So, did they tear off and hide or did they at least hang around? Did they come back for food?
And WHERE are their pics or were they too camera-shy?

They are slinky skuttling scardiecats! I took a video and the two black ones scooted out through the crawl holes i made. One i think is too big for the holes…and i’ll dig them bigger today. The fourth came out…skulked around and got out a hole. I do wonder if i will ever see them now that they are loose…??? I’ll take a pic of the coolest boxes the catlady brought for them. Hopefully they all found their way into one. It got down to 35 last night.

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You’ll see them - they know it’s “home” . Bless you for helping them !!!

This is super cool !!! IMHO

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Will you be putting out plenty of food bowls for them? And water bowls too?
I hope they stick around.
If they don’t take to the styrofoam boxes do they have stalls or a haybarn to sleep in out of the elements?
Keep us posted on your new residents.

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The barns and sheds compound is volumous and complex. Many buildings and cubbyholes in which to hide. Three different squarebale hay lofts and stacks PLUS 200 covered roundbales stacked. Yes i provide heated water bowls on the floor for chickens and cats. Plus overflow (constantly running hose into the sheep tanks (two of them around) Plus into the creek…and there is the entire flowing creek. many many places to drink and hide.

They have a perpetually full tray (big rubbermaid pan 12"x4") of good quality kibble and eventually (not ‘there’ yet…they need to learn to come when called) a noon meal of a communal rubbermaid pan of canned (wet) catfood–1 can per cat. Daily throughout the winter then i’ll cut back during summer to 1/2 can each.

I’ll get pics of them when they start making ‘special guest appearance’ s…lol

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Oh gosh…

I did not see them, any of them. Nor evidence they are still here. The kibble food wasn’t even touched. I opened a couple cans of cat food for them for tonight.

The only think i saw was a mouse…running over to their food pan, climbing in, grabbing a kibble and running back outside. i hate those meeces to pieces!

I think that once they realize they are hungry and there is nothing to be frightened of they will start coming back.

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i sure hope so!
poor little guys…

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Will take them til Saturday and some sunshine… they will appear … just keep talking so they hear your voice and can watch you from ‘hiding’ places… they will not wander away after the weeks of comfort and food; smarter than that !

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any update ?

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Not much of one…except yesterday evening, i went into the horsebarn (talking to kitties all the way) and when i opened the door into their little feeding room, a black one (think it was the larger of the two blackies, “Cherry”) slunk out one of the holes. And the food (wet food, not the dry) had been eaten and licked up! Of course i put down a couple more cans…
Hope i’m feeding more than one!

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You might already know this but ferals, like foxes, do not like to enter spaces that lack an escape route. Those styrofoam houses should have two means of egress.

Wet food, yum. Wishing you many years of happy barn cats. You sound like a great parole officer.

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Thanks for the tip! There are thousands of hidey-holes here. Those cat boxes were not made by me, her TNR volunteer group made them…and the catlady provided them, actually she MADE me take them. …Then called me when she got home to ask if i had put them around and made suggestions where to put them. So i complied. I did point the entrances of the three in the feed room so that each one is about two feet from one of the three exit crawl holes i made at the floor of this room. So they can scoot out-Out easily enough. Theyare totally in my way. Come spring they’re gonna go up into the upper hay loft.

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We’re going through hundreds of motion-activated photos. All 5 cats are present and accounted for and seem to be hunting like crazy! This is one of the black females, Cherry, who carried around her prize for about 30 minutes lol… She was So Proud :smile:

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Success! I bet they’re living their best cat hunting lives!! Best wishes with your mouser brigade.

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WOW, and just as planned you now have barn cats working for their living. Great success!

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so so so happy. The three girlcats …at least from the past 3 days of snapshots, are hunkering down and hunting. Some shots had two of them staged in different little corners…waiting for a mouse to happen by. The two boys however only hunker down over the wet food. Both boys are chonks btw LOL. :slight_smile:

I’ve bought another space heater…one of those new safe ones that turn themselves off when jiggled. Will heat that little feed room in Jan/feb.

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If and when the males tame down they have potential to be heater cats. So convenient to pick up and hold a chonk for a quick warm up.

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