Cats are admittedly adorable, and entertaining to watch. However, most people prefer to keep a cat inside. So why keep a barn cat? After all, there’s rat poison or rat traps that can be used to control rat and mouse populations on farms right? And if not those, maybe a dog like the rat terrier?
Well, yes and no. My family tried that route and we found that at least on our homestead, traps don’t keep up with the amount of mice. As for the poison. That would work except for the fact that the mice eat stuff in our garden too, and we have dogs. We also live near a road, so for us personally, turning the rat terrier out wasn’t really an option.
Putting poison out in the garden meant a few things. First, there was a chance of a dog finding it and eating it before we could stop them. We have had a few emergency vet visits because of that. Our dogs are dearly loved and the most painful death I ever witnessed in a dog was from rat poison that we found out that the dog had eaten and it was already too late for the dog to be saved.
Secondly, there is the fact that when it rains, if there is rat poison out in the garden, protecting the plants, the rat poison is being dissolved into the ground. The plants will then suck up some of what made up that poison.
Thirdly, if mice ate the poison outside and we didn’t find them, another animal could find the dying or dead mouse and accidentally poison itself by eating that mouse. So, we decided to get a cat. This has been working out splendidly. The only thing that I question, is if one cat will be enough to get rid of as many mice as seem to be in the sheds and gardens.
Since getting Taffy, and since he learned to hunt, we have been seeing a drastic decline in the mice and sparrows on our homestead.
If you have a barn cat, what led you to decide to get one? Let us know in the comments below.