Currently we have three cats living on the Farm and Stable yards. Semi-feral cats can often be found living on farmyards and around stables, where they help with a very important job… pest control! As you can imagine, an environment like a farm is quite a comfy place for a mouse or a rat – lots of nice warm places to live and hide away and lots of food to eat. It’s impossible for us to completely mouse proof the animal enclosures, so the cats have their work cut out!
The friendliest of all of them is Mishka, a little tortoiseshell female. She lives in the stables and when the weathers nice, can often be seen lying out on the mounting block, waiting to be fussed by the riding school staff and volunteers! When it’s cold she much prefers to stay near the radiators in the stable office.
We also have two semi-feral cats, a black and white brother and sister pair, Panda and Pru. They came from Croydon Cats Protection Society, Pru lives in the Farm feed room and Panda likes to hang out around the gardens and chicken area. These two aren’t quite so friendly! Semi-feral means a domesticated animal that’s reverted back to being a bit more wild, but are often used to living around humans. Panda quite likes some of the staff members, so you’ll often see him sitting around keeping a watchful eye on people and being nosy about what we’re up too. Pru is very shy, and only comes out when the farm is empty!
All three of them do an excellent job keeping our mouse population in check, so it’s rare you’ll ever see any sneaky mice on the farm!
Our recent cats came from the Cats Protection Society, one of many groups specialising in re-homing unwanted pets. There are thousands of unwanted cats (not to mention other animals!) awaiting adoption in centres across the UK, so it’s well worth looking into if you’re looking to get a new pet. There are many places, big and small, that have rescue animals awaiting loving new homes, so it’s worth while having a look around.
There are lots of other advantages to re-homing or adopting cats from a centre rather than independently or from breeders. Often the adoption centres might offer financial assistance for veterinary care, will neuter your cat and ensure it has a clean bill of health before they leave.
Not to mention the feeling of giving an animal a loving home, when they may not have come from the best of circumstances!