General Questions:

For cat rescuers:

For barn/property owners:

Do I need a barn or will some other type of structure do?
We usually place cats within farms or rural properties. We have put cats in chicken coops, warehouses, garden or work sheds, garages, tack rooms, and more.

What type of location is acceptable for placement of cats?
We look for a site where either someone lives or people come each day to care for the other animals (horses, chickens, cattle, goats, sheep, etc.). They can then feed and check on the cats, as well. We look for a rural site where either someone lives or people come each day to care for the other animals. A location that is a reasonable distance from heavy traffic or other vehicular dangers is preferred, as well as housing that provides adequate shelter from weather.

It is always best if there is something for coyote control such as Great Pyrenees dogs, llamas or donkeys. Having outside lights will deter them, too. Keep in mind that all barns are not created equal: an older barn may be better than a newer barn. An older barn usually has more hiding places for the cats. Also, the barn needs to be able to close up at night to protect the cats in the cage at night during the relocation period.

Where are the cats housed during the confinement period?
We actually build pens/cages to fit the site location, and based on the number of cats being placed. Our most common sizes are 2 x 6 feet or 2 x 9 feet with a door at each end.  The feeder/waterer is at one end and the litter box at the other end. In the middle we place pet carriers as needed. For one or two cats, we often use an extra-large wire kennel that measures 2 x 4 x 3 feet.

What do I need to provide for the cats?
Adopters should have a safe place to acclimate the cats and a safe barn or large shed where the cats can live during the winter. If the place where the cats will overwinter is not heated, you should provide a heated water bowl so the cats have access to fresh water. We also ask that the cats have access to dry food all year round. Please also ensure the cats have plenty of hiding spots like a box or hay bales to hide in or around.

Daily visits should be made to ensure the bonding essential to the location. The cats need to be provided fresh food and water on a daily basis during the confinement period, as well as afterwards. Establish a regular schedule and the cats will anticipate feeding time.

During set up, we ask the new caregivers to provide the dry cat food, wet cat food, and kitty litter.

Why must the cats be confined in pens/cages for 2-3 weeks?
A cat that knows where resources are is more likely to stay on your property. Giving your new barn cats time to adjust and acclimate to the sights and sounds of your property, along with giving the cats a chance to learn that your property provides food, shelter and safety gives you the best chance of the cats staying nearby. The confinement area can be a tack room, office, a small milk room, a shed or even a large wire dog kennel. The room should be secure with a roof and solid walls. If there are rafter spaces, please secure those so the cats cannot climb the walls and escape through the beams. Providing a hiding spot and a perching spot (like a bale of hay/straw) will help the cats feel safe. The confinement area should have a litter box (as appropriate) and food and water. If you use a kennel, it should be large enough to house a litter box, food/water dishes and a hiding spot.

What is the difference between a “feral” and “friendly” cat?
Generally speaking, the cats that NTBD places in rural or farm properties are independent cats that prefer to limit their interaction with people. A feral cat is an unsocialized outdoor cat who has either never had any physical contact with humans, or human contact has diminished over enough time that they are no longer accustomed to it. Most feral cats are fearful or people and are not likely to ever become a lap cat or enjoy living indoors. A “friendly” cat would want to have your attention and might follow you to the house from the barn. We often call these cats “Backyard Buddies”.

Do you ever place friendly outside cats?
Yes, we sometimes get friendly cats from adoption groups or animal shelters that are deemed un-adoptable or are cats that demand to be outside. A “friendly” cat may want to have your attention and might follow you to the house from the barn. We refer to these cats as “Backyard Buddies”. We have placed them in neighborhoods where they often they sleep in the family’s garage or backyard shed.

Why can’t you bring me barn cats in the dead of winter and the heat of summer?
Placement of cats is driven by the weather. Cats are acclimated to their new location for two to three weeks. When the temperature is below 32 degrees or higher than 100, we cannot put the cats in a cage unless this location has the appropriate heat (winter) or airflow with fans or air-conditioning (summer). As a rule, we do not place cats in the month of August.

Can I get kittens for my barn?
Typically, NTXBD does not place cats younger than 9 months old into rural placements. Very young cats are typically easily socialized to live with people and should be adopted as pets. Very small kittens can be prey items for hawks, owls or other hunters.

Why do I need to provide food?  Won’t they catch their own?
Your barn cats will likely hunt and eat prey items (rats, mice, snakes, ground squirrels, etc) but we can’t guarantee that the cats will be good hunters or that there will be an ongoing supply of prey items. Keeping dry food available help them to stay on your property and keep them healthy to chase mice!

Tell me more about these Barn Cats.
1) They will be adult cats (feral and semi-feral) that are 9 month or older
2) Cats will have been sterilized
3) They will have current Rabies and Distemper vaccinations
4) They have a flea treatment and a deworming treatment
5) Documents verifying vaccinations, etc.

What is the adoption fee for Barn Cats?
Fees are waived but a suggested donation is greatly appreciated. NTXBC is waiting on approval for paperwork submitted to the IRS to become a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. Once approved all donations will be tax deductible, as allowable by law.

I have chickens.  Will cats bother my chickens?
Cats will chase “chicks” but not adult chickens. Most folks put their chicks in a fully secure area, away from cats and away from other creatures (hawks, owls) that will consider them prey. If you have chickens, you will have mice/rats.

What do you look for when selecting barns for placement?
1) Does someone live on the property or is someone there each day?
2) Do the other animals look well carried for?
3) Is there something for coyote control? (Great Pyrenees dog, llama, donkey)
4) Is there a safe place to put the cage for the two to three-week acclimation period?
5) Is the location far removed from any road or highway?
6) If there is a dog on the property, is it cat-friendly?

Why do you recommend placing groups of cats?
Cats are social animals and prefer some company, either of people or other cats. Because our cats are less social with people, having other cats can provide your new cat with a sense of security and a social connection. Cats placed independently onto properties are more likely to leave, seeking out other cats with which to interact. We have a higher success rate of cats staying on the property when placed in groups of two or more cats.

Where are the cats housed at the barn site during the acclimation/relocation period?
We actually build pens/cages to fit the site location, and based on the number of cats being placed. Our most common sizes are 2 feet by 6 feet, or 2 feet by 9 feet with a door at each end. The feeder/waterer is at one end and the litter box at the other end. In the middle we place pet carriers as needed. For 1 or 2 cats, we often use an extra-large wire kennel that measures 2 feet by 4 foot by 3 foot tall.

Where will my cats be housed prior to placement?
At this time, we do not have on-site housing for the cats in our program. We keep a list of available cats and coordinate their placement once a barn has been identified.

To surrender a cat to NTXBC, I know it must have been spayed/neutered. Are there any low-cost clinics in the DFW area?
Yes. Those are listed in TriFold on this website.

My vet does will not treat my feral cats. Where can I find a vet that does?
There is a list of feral-friendly vet clinics in the LINKS section of this website. (However, before we can publish this list, we need to verify that the vet still is taking feral cats as clients and add the one’s we know that do in our area).

My cat is declawed. Will you take it?
Not usually. Cats need their claws for protection in a barn environment. If you have a declawed cat that needs an outdoor environment, we could offer it as a “Backyard Buddy”, and placed in a neighborhood backyard. It may take a few weeks for us to find an appropriate placement.

What medical care is required BEFORE a cat comes to North Texas Barn Cats?
1) We take adult cats (feral and semi-feral) that are 9 months or older that have:
2) Been sterilized
3) Rabies vaccination that is current
4) Distemper vaccination that is current

Will you pick up my cats?
Usually we are unable to pick up cats. You will need someone locally to trap the cat, get it sterilized/vaccinated and coordinate delivery to Hurst, Texas. We already travel to 19 North Texas counties to place cats.

What colors/types of cats are accepted?
We prefer not to take solid white cats. They can be seen in moonlight and are a “target” for a coyote or owl that is also nocturnal. We might be able to place the cat as a “Backyard Buddy” if it is a friendly cat. I have cats to place but am outside your service area. How can I find a barn for my cats? Check out the LINKS section for Other Texas Barn Cat Groups.

Do you do a barn/property visit before the cats are placed?
No because we often place them in locations out of the DFW area. We set up a date/time to deliver the cats but retain the right to not leave them if we do not feel comfortable with the location.

Do you ever get to a location that is deemed it unacceptable, and not leave the cats?
Yes, but this is a rare occurrence. The questioning of the property owner usually rules out acclimation areas that are too small or not secure, or locations not as described. The cats’ safety is paramount. We always retain the right to not leave the cats.

Can I visit my cats at their new barn home after they have been placed?
No – sorry! This is a privacy issue for the barn owner. When you release the cats to NTBC, you put the lives of these cats in our hands. We try and make the very best decision for the cat/cats.

What is your stay rate at a barn site?
Sometimes they all stay and sometimes 2 out of 3 stay…you never know. This is very hard to determine because you may not even see the cats once they are released. We have had them move to neighbor’s barns, just disappear, or are so elusive the barn owners only know that the rodents are gone. But, if these cats end up at animal services, none of them survive. Placing them in a barn home at least gives them a chance.

How do I rid my barn cats of FLEAS?
The typical cat flea doesn’t ask a lot from life. All it wants are the basics: a comfortable place to live, proper nourishment, and the chance to raise little flea babies. WHAT? Not flea babies!

That is why, if given the opportunity, fleas will eagerly hop onto your cat’s back and take up residence. Therefore, year-round flea prevention is a MUST for all cats, but especially for those that spend all or part of their days in the great outdoors.

Fleas are the most common of all external feline parasites. While fleas will most likely make your cat terribly uncomfortable, they can also be a source of disease. Not only can fleas carry the bacteria that cause Cat Scratch Fever, but they also transmit the dog and cat tapeworm.

Tapeworm is one of the most common internal parasites suffered by pets, partly because tapeworms are carried by fleas. Most cats are infected by tapeworm at some time in their lives either by exposure to infected fleas or when a cat eats rodents that host tapeworm larvae.

Fortunately for cats, fleas and tapeworms are easily prevented with topical medications. While you can certainly purchase liquid medications such as Revolution, Bravecto, Advantage II and others, it is impractical and often expensive to do so. These medications require you to apply it to the cat’s skin, not a practical solution for feral cats.

However, many owners of outside cats use DE (Diatomaceous Earth) to kill fleas and also ants. NOTE: Only FOOD GRADE DE is safe for pets.

Apply DE in these areas:
1) Cats bed/sleeping area
2) Add catnip to the DE and sprinkle on the ground. The cats may roll in it or eat it.
3) If the cats can be caught, sprinkle 1/4 cup onto their fur and within 5 days, the fleas will be dead.

Do not inhale the DE

Another option is to feed DE to your cats. Note: This is a recommendation only, we are not vets. From fleas to lice to worms, DE can be a safe and effective way to help give your pet's health a fresh start.
• ½ tsp for cats 2lbs to 7lbs
• 1 tsp for cats at 8lbs to 10lbs
• 1 ½ tsp for cats over 10lbs.
a. Mix into single serving of wet food daily for ten (10) days
b. Give a seven (7) day break
c. Repeat again for another ten (10) days. Be sure to keep their water bowls clean and filled because they will be more thirst!

Your local garden center, feed store s or on-line suppliers carry Food Grade DE in bags from one pound to 55 pounds