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Barn Cat husbandry


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Sorry if this isn't in the appropriate topic, but I thought that it fit. Move if necessary.


I would love to hear the common-sense approach to worming and vaccinating barn cats. My two sweeties came about 9 months ago when they were 5 months old. Adopted from a barn cat rescue. They had a rabies and FVRCP vaccination. I am hoping that I can minimize having to crate them to bring them into a vet. I tried to get a mobile vet out here, but she doesn't appear to come to my area.


Because they will eat birds/ small mammals even though they are fed kibble twice a day, I know that I need to treat for parasites. What is a good worming schedule, what wormer(s) do you recommend, and where do you buy? For vax, what do you do? Vax schedule? Vaccinate yourself, and if so, where to buy? In VA, law requires the vet to administer the rabies.


Thanks in advance for advice.

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Sorry I don't have any answers to your specific questions, but an alternative to crating the cats if they're crate shy (or if you just don't want to buy more crates) is to put them in pillowcases to transport them.


Years ago I helped a vet when she was doing vaccine clinics that she did in her clinic's parking lot. A number of people would show up with cats in pillowcases (tops firmly secured with a knot or a rope, of course). It worked amazingly well, even better for some of the cats than crates. Because the cats couldn't see what was going on around them and they were effectively swaddled, they didn't tend to panic, and the shots could be given right through the fabric without having to remove them. Easy Peasy.


One woman came toddling over with 3 pillowcases in each hand, a total of 6 cats that we never actually saw. And the whole process was very quick, as opposed to some of the cats in crates who'd hide and hiss or claw in the back of their crates and were hard to position to get the right spot fr the shot.

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With our barn cats over the years, we don't deworm unless their health started to decline from it. Poor coat, loss of weight, etc. As they get older, (7+) deworming spring and fall, our wettest times of the year, would work good. Like cattle, goats and sheep, we can create parasites that are resistant to dewormers by deworming too often when an animal doesn't need it. All outside animals naturally have parasites-most can deal with them on their own.

For vaccines, we've sometimes had the vet do them when she comes out to look at a large animal, otherwise we just have to crate them and bring them in. We have them vaccinated with the five way as kittens and then just the rabies as required by law after that.

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We use this for deworming once per year for the barn cat:



It doesn't cover tapeworms but you can get the tabs over the counter/online too if you see signs of tapeworms. We always had to treat for tapeworms in our indoor/outdoor cats (they would either throw up a worm or we would see the 'rice' pieces by their tail). So I had just started giving them tapeworm tabs twice per year and it appeared to solve the problem. They're old now and don't go outside anymore.


You can get a 5-way vaccine at Tractor Supply for $10 or so. After they have had their kitten shots and once more as an adult we usually don't worry about the 5-way again. Our county holds free rabies clinics or they can go in to the regular vet every 3 years for that.

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