Most of the cats at the Aiken County Animal Shelter (ACAS) are sweet, laidback and cuddly. They do best inside – playing with their cat toys on the floor, sleeping on your bed or purring on your lap as you watch TV.
But occasionally the shelter receives barn cats. These felines are more aggressive and often unsocialized. They haven’t had much contact with humans and, as a result, don’t like to be held or pampered. They are extremely independent and usually have a bit of an attitude. However, it’s this brashness that makes barn cats such good hunters and ideal for getting rid of mice and other pests.
“Callie is perpetual energy,” said Diane Mansur, referring to the 1-year-old, medium hair Calico cat she and her husband, Raymond, adopted from the ACAS. “She’s inquisitive and always chasing and hunting mice on our property. We’re really pleased with how well she’s fitting in he
The Mansurs adopted Callie after they spotted mice around their horse farm in Windsor. So far, she has hunted down at least six mice. Sometimes she eats them but usually she proudly drops the “gifts” at her adopters’ feet. During the day, Callie roams the farm and often hangs with the horses, but at night she’s safe inside a large equipment shed.
“We have dogs and other animals, so we didn’t want to put poison out and we’ve tried mouse traps, which sometimes work but can get messy,” Raymond said. “Frankly, we’ve always found cats to be the best way to control mice and protect our feed, so we’re very happy with Callie.”
As instructed by the shelter staff, the Mansurs kept Callie confined for three weeks before letting her roam the property. The barn cat must first learn that the farm is her home and source of food and care, or she is likely to run away.
Another recent barn cat adoption was Elwood, a large, 2-year-old, black feline with a penchant for being mischievous. He sometimes plays a little rough with his human caregivers.
“My sister and I brought in food, treats and blankets to donate to the shelter and he was there in the lobby,” explained Elwood’s adopter, Suzy Lee of Wagener. “We have five acres and once he gets the lay of the land, he should make a good barn cat for us.”
Elwood has only been at his new home for a week, so he hasn’t explored the property yet. But he seems to like his new digs.
“I think adopting these barn cats is a good thing to do,” Suzy said. “It’s well worth the effort to give an unwanted cat a home.”
Barn cats at the ACAS are free to good homes. If you are interested in adopting one or more, please call the shelter at (803) 642-1537.
Their lives are in our hands.
by Bob Gordon, FOTAS Director of Communications
By the Numbers
Feb. 7 to 14: Give Love Valentine’s Special: Dogs & puppies $14, cats & kittens $7
Pets of the Week
KATLA & CORDELIA
Domestic Shorthair, females, 9 months old, Calico, each is 7 pounds – $0 (bonded sisters are barn cats)