Cats are an important part of every homestead site, whether or not the homestead owner is a cat lover. Cats serve a very important role in diminishing the number of vermin and other critters that routinely carry disease and consume even the most well-stored dry goods and supplies.
Whether you are the proverbial prepper or just want to get away from the hectic life in “civilized society”, there are a great many reasons that you will need, not just a cat or two, but a family of feral felines on the selected homestead site.
For cat lovers, cats are a great comfort, if not somewhat annoying from time to time. Cats are in every sense of the word, very fickle creatures. When they demand attention, it does not matter what you are doing, they will feel quite justified in interrupting anything and everything you are doing in order to receive the attention that they are quite certain they deserve … as long as they want it.
When they are annoyed or sense that you are angry, they will move just out of swinging range and seem to mock their humans in a most reproving fashion, often casting glances back as if caught up somewhere between contempt and dismay that you would ever question their motives or their rightful place.
Cats, it should be remembered, were once revered as gods, and it seems as if they believe that we mere humans should never forget such a fact, and should continue to respect them accordingly. This is, oddly enough perhaps, the same reason that some people love cats and some people hate them or are merely put off by them.
No matter what your personal feelings may be towards the cat, it would behoove you to have more than just one or two on the homestead site, especially once it has been properly established and there is an ample supply of stored goods and supplies on site. If you already have indoor cats, it is probably good advice to keep them as indoor pets, especially in the great outdoors.
Domesticated cats have often been declawed … though I personally abhor such a practice. As such, they are effectively defenseless and may quickly be killed off in the great outdoors. These cats are ill-equipped to protect or defend themselves and incapable of hunting in any meaningful fashion.
Do not allow the indoor cats to roam around the yard as they will inevitably explore and one day, will cease to return home forevermore. If you love your pet cats, keep them as pet cats.
When it is time to get cats to assist in the security and protection of the stored goods and supplies on the homestead site, there are many different animal shelters full of feral, wild cats that will have a tech there, more than happy to allow some of them to be free to live in the wild rather than putting them down … or killing them as is a more accurate term.
If one shelter will not help, try finding another. Some “concerned” people and groups like PETA, honestly believe that killing these animals is more humane than allowing them to live in their natural state, but a few phone calls should be enough to find a compatible person at a local animal shelter.
Do not move the cats unprotected! Use animal cages to keep them caged until you are safely on the homestead site. Have milk and other goods prepared and available for the release of these animals in those general locations … next to the milk and/or other treats that have been prepared for them.
These locations should be pre-selected and situated in and around places where the cats can make their homes and where they can begin working right away to protect the goods and supplies stored therein.
There should be at least one or two cats in every structure wherein goods and supplies are stored, especially in regards to dried foods and other tempting treats for varied and sundry critters that want to constantly raid … and potentially poison these stores.
Cats should also be housed in the barn, work sheds and/or other locations where they can get in and out at their convenience, without impediment. These cats will breed and multiply so it is important to be prepared to store goods and supplies for them as well.
Take care of the cats and they will continue to take care of the property. However, it is also wise never to feed them too well as, if they are always full and contented, they will have little incentive to hunt for local prey in the form of visiting vermin.
As the cats do breed, some will move on but most will stay. If possible, get two to three cats, with no more than one male in the beginning, and allow them to breed in accordance with their ability to survive. In this way, the cat population should never grow to the point that you are forced to begin taking more cats back to the shelter than you were able to remove in the first place.
Spaying and neutering may also be an option in the case of young kittens before they are fully feral, though this can be a challenge as well. While the cats may present some challenges, they can and do serve a very viable and important role in the protection of goods and supplies that will, by necessity, be stored on any homestead site.
Let us know what you think please!