The Animal Kingdom – crazy cat lady

I figured I would start with the most reasonable animal I’d like to add to the mix – a garage cat. Clarice is a pampered inside cat and likely wouldn’t survive for five minutes outside. Besides, with all of the possible diseases or vermin that an outside cat would come across, I would prefer to have one that lived exclusively outdoors.

This is one animal that I think could quickly become a reality. As I mentioned in my introductory post, cats are fairly low-maintenance – an outside cat wouldn’t even require a litterbox (although it might be a good idea to provide one so they stay out of the garden).

Here is the rundown of my barn cat dreams:

Benefits
From time to time, I see mice running around in our garage and along the border of our property. I don’t see them much, but the very fact that I see them occasionally tells me that they’re definitely out there. We’ve also chased a chipmunk out of the garage on several occasions who dug up some of my seedlings in the poly house. A garage cat would very likely put a stop to this!

I also enjoy cats as companions – it would be nice to have company if I’m working in the backyard alone. We almost always had outdoor cats growing up, and as long as the population stayed down they were pleasant to have around.

Potential Concerns
Obviously with outdoor cats there is a greater risk than indoor cats. I think it’s safe to say there’s even a greater risk than raising something that you would contain in a coop or a hutch – we wouldn’t be able to necessarily keep track of it or shelter it. It could easily get run over. It could decide to leave the yard. It could have a very unpleasant encounter with any of the wild animals that roam our area – squirrels, hawks, raccoons, feral cats, velociraptors…plus, almost all of our neighbors have dogs and I’m not sure how that would play out with a roaming kitty.

I have a little bit of a concern about it digging in the garden or doing it’s business where it shouldn’t, but one cat is fairly simple to clean up after if that’s the case.

We also have a lot of birds in our neighborhood, with my favorites being several cardinals that sing to each other all day. It’s just part of nature, but I know that a cat has the potential to be deadly for some of my feathered friends.

This wouldn’t be a concern for us, but it’s worth mentioning: you should always spay/neuter your outdoor cats or the population can very quickly get out of control! I for sure wouldn’t keep a garage cat unless it was fixed. They tend to roam less if you do this anyway, so it’s a good practice all around.

Costs/Set-up
Well, we’d need to clean our garage first…ha. No, seriously, our garage would need to be cleared out and organized, for the cat’s sake and for our own peace of mind. We would need to do some tweaking, too – a kitty door for it to go in and out and a warm box for it to sleep in when the weather got bad.

My parents almost always have outdoor kittens available, but they would need to be fixed. This typically costs between $75-$125 per cat. Some vets offer discounted rates for spaying barn cats, but I have yet to find one in Milwaukee that does this.

Other than that, the only other cost would be food. We already buy food in bulk for Clarice, plus a hunting cat wouldn’t eat quite as much food as she does. I would estimate that we’d maybe spend another dollar or two per month (an $11 bag of food lasts Clarice a good 2-3 months).

Like I said, getting an outdoor cat is a pretty real possibility for us in the near future. Maybe if I help Jason clean out the garage I can get him to come around to the idea 😉

Advertisements

One Comment to “The Animal Kingdom – crazy cat lady”

  1. Cats, birds, bad combination.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: