How we work
North Texas Barn Cats provides hardware kenneling for confinement during the acclimation time frame. Equipment generally consists of a kennel run which is a minimum of 6 ft L x 2 ft W x 2 ft H. We also supply two gravity feeders (one for water and one for dry food) and a litter box for each run. Large dog kennels may also be used as kenneling.
Kenneling should be staged in an enclosed area that is protected from the weather. This may not always be possible. When an enclosed area is not possible, the acclimation area should be discussed and approved with your NTX-Barn Cat representative.
The standard protocol for acclimation requires that cats remain in the kenneling for a minimum of two weeks. After two weeks, you should open the doors to allow them to explore the broader area. After one week in the larger area, the cats will be ready to explore the outside world.
The dates for release and equipment return are included on the Care Giver Contract. If a cat door to the larger area has been installed, it can be opened at this time. Remove blankets from caging and place them where the cats can access them. Their scent is on the blankets and the cats will associate these locations as safe places.
After the acclimation period is complete and the cats return to be fed their daily treat, NTX-Barn Cats will pick up the equipment. The date included in the Care Giver Contract is not a hard date. Your NTX-BC representative will contact you when they are in your area or you may contact them to arrange a date and time for equipment return.
Once you have agreed to and signed the conditions stated in the Care Giver Contract you have adopted the Barn Cats. The conditions are simply stated below and are more detailed on the Care Giver Contract.
- You agree to replace the loaded equipment should something happen to it
- You agree to protect the cats from weather and predators while in the kenneling during the acclimation period
- You agree to not surrender an animal to any local shelter or animal service without contacting NTX-BCs first
- You agree to hold NTX-BC harmless from any scratches, bites, or injuries while the cats are in your possession
- You understand that NTX-BC does not know and cannot provide details about the personalities of the cats
- NTX-BC cannot guarantee that all cats will permanently stay at the new location
We do not charge a fee for the adoption or placement. However, we do operate as a 501c non-profit organization that gladly accepts donations to assist with the placement of the cats.
The cost to provide a fully vetted cat is approximately $65. This covers the spay/neuter fee, current rabies shot, a current kitty distemper shot (FHCPCH), a dewormer treatment, and a 30-day flea treatment.
Also covered by donations are kenneling hardware, accessories such as gravity feeders and litter pans, as well as transportation costs.
Safe Acclimation Tips
- Successful confinement periods range from 2 to 4 weeks
- Make sure the confinement area is located near a place where the cats can hide once they are allowed out of the kenneling
- A long confinement period, such as three to four months, is unnecessary and can be harmful to the cats and to the relocation project
- The cats being relocated are usually feral (wild). They fear people and are more afraid of you than you will be of them. Expect to be hissed at, spit at, and lunged at when you are close to their holding crate or opening the crate. It's their nature and they should not be scolded or yelled at for it. The cats will often sense your emotions and can tell if you get angry with them. Always, always, talk to them in a gentle and soothing voice.
- When necessary to open a cat's crate (to give them food or water or to take out the litter box for cleaning), always keep one hand on the door of the crate so that you can close it quickly if the cat makes an attempt to escape. Always remember to MOVE SLOWLY when the cage door is open and you are reaching in to place food/water, take out the litter pan for cleaning, or changing out soiled newspaper.
- Newspapers are good for keeping the confinement cage from getting too dirty. Sections of newspaper can be placed around the box in the crate without disturbing the cat too much (they will mostly crouch down in their box to hide) and the newspaper can then be pulled out and replaced as needed.
- You can use a long-handled brush and a small brush and dustpan to sweep up scattered litter in the cage after removing soiled newspaper and before putting clean newspaper back in the crates.
- Ensure that the cats have a small box in the crate to hide in. A cardboard box about the size of one that holds a case of longneck beers will fit nicely alongside a medium-size litter pan. Be sure to cut the four top flaps off of the box and cut a couple of inches off one side of the box closest to the litter pan so that the cats can easily get in and out of the box.
- There are few barns that really are escape-proof. Cats will escape through the tiniest hole if they get out of their confinement crate. Try to plug all holes, if possible, until after the cats are released.
- If a cat does escape, set food and water out and sprinkle their used litter (for scent) around the barn. Cats often hide for a period of time but will often stay on the premises. Leave them plenty of food and water to prevent them from leaving in search of food.
- New caretakers should make contact with the cats daily by talking to them or by playing a radio softly so that they get used to human voices. Usually, those people who make the effort to communicate with the cats will have the most successful relocations.
- In cold weather, the confinement crates may need to be covered with extra blankets and a heating source provided nearby, if possible.
- If possible, provide a source of light at night. Emergency droplights work great for this and can be hung near the confinement cages and will make it easier for you to check on the cats after dark. It's a good idea to keep a flashlight handy, too.
- Keep a trash can close by the crates during the confinement period to easily dispose of used litter and newspapers from the crate.
- New cats can be relocated into an already established colony. Introduce them slowly, as you would any new cat into your home. In a colony setting, confine the new cats to a large crate or cat playpen in an area where the established cats sleep and eat.
- After a two to four week period, the cats will be quite familiar with each other and they all should live together in relative peace when they are released.