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Okay I get that a lot of people here don't agree with cats being outside no need to repeat that point of view here.<br><br>
I would like us to get a kitten. My dd absolutely loves cats, dh always has had cats and would love one, and so would I. The problem is no cat's in the house due to my family's (mom,sister,brother,neice,etc.) serious allergies to cats. And yes they visit often.<br><br>
I always thought we would get a kitten when our shed was built and it was spring. We have a large shed not heated, but it doesn't get very cold or hot here. We are outside a lot. We live on 2 acres on a small dead end road. We have rats and mice around but not in the house. 1/4 of our property is forest. <b>What can I do to make this the best situation for a cat?</b> I have only seen two cats ever while living here for 4 yrs so I assume there are not that many cats in our neighborhood.<br><br>
We plan to pick a kitten from the SPCA. I suppose we still have the option of not getting a kitten but I'm not sure we will choose that.<br><br>
Thanks.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>marlee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7918251"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We plan to pick a kitten from the SPCA. I suppose we still have the option of not getting a kitten but I'm not sure we will choose that.</div>
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Just an FYI: most SPCA's and shelters have in their adoption policies that adopted cats are to be indoors-only.
 

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I would look in the paper for a free cat that is identified as "outdoor cat" "a good mouser" or "independent outdoor kitty". There are plenty of cats already acclimated to the outdoor life who need homes. I don't think it's wise to get a kitten for the purpose of having an outdoor cat. For one, kittens are extremely vulnerable other cats, dogs, and traffic. It will be at least 2 years before your kitten is mature enough to hold his own with the local cats. For another, to be responsible at all you'd need to keep the kitty inside until he was fixed, and fully grown so as able to have any chance in a fight. So, that negates your need to keep cat fur out of the house. Lastly, a kitten raised outside who did survive would have questionable social skills IMO. You really have no clue how that kitty will grow up to behave. Those aren't ideal circumstances and there is a definite chance you won't wind up with what you wanted.<br><br>
To me the only responsible choice would be to adopt an adult outdoor cat. You can meet the cat and get a clear idea of temper and behavior. The cat already lives outside, so you aren't adding another cat to the outdoor crowd.<br><br>
But keep in mind ANY cat should be kept indoors for a few weeks until they know your house is 'home base'. Otherwise they may just wander off <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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if for some reason the weather gets rough, could you put a space heater and a warm blanket in the shed? of course with her food/water etc. I guess besides that lots of love..and the kiddy should be happy<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> , I've also heard of some kind of shampoo that helps to make their hair non-allergenic although I have no experience with it. Good Luck<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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I grew up with outdoor kittens and cats. My parents never did anything "special" for them to make them more comfortable out there and they always stayed and were happy. The only thing my dad did when we'd get kittens is he'd feed them canned food or tuna for a couple weeks so they new where to come for food, he'd also butter their feet, (i know it sounds weird) but it seemed to work. Just my personal experience<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Kailey's mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7918363"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've also heard of some kind of shampoo that helps to make their hair non-allergenic</div>
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It's the saliva that causes a problem, not the hair.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>joy2bmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7918388"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">he'd also butter their feet, (i know it sounds weird) but it seemed to work.</div>
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I've heard that too. My mom did it with our cats when we moved, and they just licked it off.<br><br>
We got a free kitten from a farmer, to be our mouse control. She was actually 4 months old by the time we got her, so fairly sturdy. We kept her in the bathroom the first day, then the basement for a week. Then she was outside. There's a hole in our garage just big enough for her to get through, and we put her bed and food/water in there over the winter. It stays much warmer in there than outside, even though it's not heated. When the dog is outside, they snuggle in the doghouse, and I think the cat sleeps in there alone sometimes, but she's got the garage to run to if needed.<br><br>
She eats on the porch now, because it's easier for me to remember to feed her, and she's decided to sleep there as well now that it's warmed up.
 

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We have two barn cats, both came to us as adults. The male is neutered, the female was pg when she came. She's very young. Both cats are allowed in for visits in the house, and we are outside a lot. We also have livestock, which keeps the cats warm and busy. We keep a nice home for them in the barn, but I give them a lot of access to the enclosed porch, too, in spite of my allergies (which are worse with dogs).<br><br>
But THIS RIGHT NOW is the season for kitties to roam. Our female was hit by a car this week. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> She went missing, and reappeared, delivering stillborn kittens in her barn stall. It is going to take her a long time to recover, and she'll never be the healthy cat she was a few days ago. I'm heartsick. Of course, we live on a busy road, and you live on a dead end. I knew this was part of the risk, and I frankly feel that, in spite of the risks of our location, every other aspect of a cat's life at our place is so good, it's worthwhile. I know others disagree, and that's fair.<br><br>
My advice: Get attached. Feed her well. Give her lots of litterboxes, even outside. Be absolutely sure there are no poisons around. Let her come into the house to visit daily. Get her spayed. Make sure she's safe from raccoons, even as an adult. And be prepared for her to be gone in an instant, at any moment.<br><br>
I wish I could have spared our kitty this terrible injury, but I don't regret taking her on.
 

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As a previous poster said, a lot of shelters do ask that you agree to keep a cat indoors. So, you might want to check that out before getting your heart set on a shelter cat. For what it is worth, I agree with the shelters - but I know you don't want debate so I'll respect that. And, it does sound like you have one of the better set-ups for keeping an outdoor cat safe. I do want to make sure you have thought alot about the allergy issue, though.<br><br>
Most people who have "outdoor" cats really have indoor/outdoor cats. Cat comes inside for feeding/love/spending time with the family. You say that your visiting family has serious cat allergies. If these allergies are truly serious, they will be triggered by a cat who only comes inside an hour a day. So, think hard about how often you will be letting the cat come inside and where in the house they are allowed to go. I would recommend never on soft furniture or carpeted spaces. It is impossible to get the allergens off of those.<br><br>
If you do decide to get an outdoor cat - please get a full or almost grown cat so that you can neuter or spay before allowing him/her out to roam. Otherwise, you *will* be contributing to the feral cat population or you'll just be refilling the shelter with unwanted kittens. Do not assume that just because you've only seen 1 or 2 cats roaming that there aren't more out there.<br><br>
A cat as young as 5 months - before their first heat - can get pregnant. A boy cat as young as 6 months can impregnate a female cat. So, keep your kitten inside until you can spay/neuter, or better yet, adopt an older cat. Just make sure the cat you get is not declawed. Releasing a declawed cat into the outdoors can be a death sentence.
 

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A lot of shelters would deny animals good homes and let them rot in a cage instead. If you want to keep a cat outside don't tell them. Its none of their business anyway.<br><br>
As someone pointed out you need to keep it close for at least the first few weeks or it'll wander off. Kittens can adapt to the outside just fine. If I were going to get one for outside I'd make sure it was a warm time of year so it had time to develop a winter coat.
 

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my family has always had farm cats. they stick around real well provided that you are extremely consistent with giving them food. twice a day: morning and evening works well. i'd suggest mixing cans with dry food. this gives them enough at each meal that they eat it and fill up, and doesn't leave leftovers for raccoons, etc. important to keep a bucket of fresh water filled daily for the cat. might be nice to get two cats, not one, so the outdoor cat has company. try building a little nest for them with some straw. could even get a small doghouse. they will need cover when it's hot and when it rains, and when it snows. if/when you do go out of town, you will need to hire a neighbor or pet sitter to come over and feed your outdoor cats. they will come to depend on you, just like an indoor pet. oh, and don't forget to get your cats all of their shots at the vet. outdoor cats need them even more than indoor cats do, since they are exposed to other cats, animals, etc. definitely get the cats fixed immediately. people are always looking for homes for their cats. check the local paper. i suspect that if the people trying to "get rid of" their cats cannot find a home for them, then they drop them off at the animal shelter-- so if it's not possible to adopt from the shelter, might want to just bypass this step and get the cats directly from someone giving them away. don't forget: even outdoor cats can live a very long time, 15+ years. they are a commitment, if you decide to take them on.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rpe</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7920495"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A lot of shelters would deny animals good homes and let them rot in a cage instead. If you want to keep a cat outside don't tell them. Its none of their business anyway.</div>
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This is ridiculous. If you (personal or institution) take on the time and expense of rescuing an animal, you absolutely have a right to put limits on the conditions that animal is adopted into. Especially if you are talking about conditions that severely curtail the animals safety.
 

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All cats need during the winter is a warm dry place to sleep.<br><br>
We usually have a covered box with rags in it. That box is kept in a shed or barn.<br><br>
A well fed barn cat makes for a wonderful hunter, normally. Some cats just arent hunters.
 

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We have two wonderful barn cats. I think the best place to get one if you are wanting a good outdoor cat is probably from someone who has a litter of kittens from their barn cat. Right now in rural areas I am seeing free kitten signs up. This is how we got both our cats- it was especially good for us because they were raised with chickens, dogs, and other livestock and their mothers taught them to hunt. They live in our cow barn and keep the rodents out of the grain.<br><br>
When they were little I crated them at night to they wouldn't get stepped on by the cow and the coyotes and other big critter wouldn't eat them. I had food out 24/7 until they were successfully hunting and now I only feed once a day in the evening so they know the barn is their home base.<br><br>
We had both of them fixed at 6 months, per the vets instructions, which seems to reduce their roaming, fighting, and the added bonus of not producing anymore free kittens.<br><br>
At least where I live the county animal shelter and even the SPCA often offer cats and kittens as barn cats if they were taken from an outdoor situation and are a bit wild or were already born in barns.<br><br>
Here are my two. The first is Malcolm waking up from a nap on top of the grain bin. The second is Ellie on watch on top of a fence post.<br><br><a href="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v389/pygmywombat/malcolmthecat.jpg" target="_blank">http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...colmthecat.jpg</a><br><br><a href="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v389/pygmywombat/100_2178.jpg" target="_blank">http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...t/100_2178.jpg</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>avengingophelia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7920940"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is ridiculous. If you (personal or institution) take on the time and expense of rescuing an animal, you absolutely have a right to put limits on the conditions that animal is adopted into. Especially if you are talking about conditions that severely curtail the animals safety.</div>
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I can understand where you're coming from, but I think that a loved, well-fed outdoor cat that gets hit by a car at age 12 has lived a fuller and better life than a cat who spends 6 months in a shelter and is then euthanised due to a lack of "qualified" adopters.
 

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You could have a cat enclosure. That would be better than letting your cat roam.<br><a href="http://catnet.stanford.edu/articles/enclosures.html" target="_blank">http://catnet.stanford.edu/articles/enclosures.html</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2tadpoles</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7921560"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I can understand where you're coming from, but I think that a loved, well-fed outdoor cat that gets hit by a car at age 12 has lived a fuller and better life than a cat who spends 6 months in a shelter and is then euthanised due to a lack of "qualified" adopters.</div>
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I'm sorry, I am going to respectfully disagree with this. I would much rather that a kitty (or dog, for that matter) is humanely euthanized than have it be hit by a car at ANY age. Most animals that are hit by cars are not killed instantly and suffer huge amounts of pain from broken backs, etc. before they finally are relieved by death.<br><br>
And, quite frankly, if anyone tried to tell me that it was none of my business where my Danes lived after I have put tons of love and effort into rehabbing them I would tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. I have every right to deny any home that applies for one of my Danes that does not match what I believe to be ideal living standards for my fosters.<br><br>
Anyway, sorry I took that off-topic. Just couldn't leave it without a response. You may have the floor back.....
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Danemom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7925292"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would much rather that a kitty (or dog, for that matter) is humanely euthanized than have it be hit by a car at ANY age. Most animals that are hit by cars are not killed instantly and suffer huge amounts of pain from broken backs, etc. before they finally are relieved by death.</div>
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I didn't say that getting hit by a car is a less painful death than being euthanised.<br><br>
The focus of my post was on the quality of the animal's life <i>prior</i> to its death.
 
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