Sunday, March 21, 2010

How many cats are too many?

Here on the farm we have problems with rats on occasion. We get the population under control for 6-8 months only to have a huge problem all over again. We've used rat bait and rat traps inside our feed shed where none of our animals have access to it, but our best rat control are our barn cats. We currently have 6 cats. Paisley is our indoor - outdoor cat and is pretty much just a pet. I've yet to see her venture out to the pasture. We have 5 other cats that actively roam our 6 acres and are fed in the barn daily. They're all neutered males and most seem to be very good hunters, bringing us moles, mice, squirrels and the occasional bird. I'm not thrilled about the birds, but I've come to realize there's nothing I can do about it. Well, to get to the point, we're once again having a problem with rats. They chew holes in the feed sacks, poop all in the feed shed and make holes and tunnels in the pastures. A co-worker has a litter of kittens so I've decided we need a couple more to grow up and help out with our rodent problem. I've heard from many sources that females make the best hunters, but since the females are triple the cost to get fixed I'm sticking with getting males for now. I've already picked out an orange tabby and a cream colored one. You might be wondering what does it matter what color they are? Well if I'm going to be adding more cats I might as well add pretty ones. :o)
So, as I've titled this blog "How many cats are too many?" this begs the question, will 8 be too many? Seriously, I really want to know. We're currently going through about 16 pounds of cat food every 2 weeks. Keep in mind we have 6 cats total, even though only 5 of them are barn cats. I like to keep our cats sleek and trim... you won't find any fat, chubby ones around here.
Let me know your thoughts and I'll share pictures of the kittens once they're old enough to leave their mom.

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