Barn Cat Pictures

I love barn cats. It seems natural to me. They live in that middle ground between domestication, living in the polished home, and a wild cat existence outside. The modern day barn cat is as close as we can get to the original domestic cats of over 9,000 years ago. The picture below shows classic, scruffy, tabby barn cats who are buddies:

Classic barn cats

There are some stunning barn cats and barn cat pictures. Another aspect of the barn cat that I appreciate is that they do a service in catching rodents – perhaps not all of them do! I am sure this improves the relationship between the human being and the cat. It seems to make the relationship more balanced. I would expect that barn cats are fairly safe. They have cover and access to proper cat food, I would expect. Some time ago I suggested that feral and/or unwanted cats be shipped out to farms so they could both have a home and be of service. I know this happens sometimes. Although it is probably difficult to manage a relocation such as this.

Barn cat and young coaw friend

Farm animals can befriend barn cats as above.

Below is calico cat –  a female, as they are nearly always female. The color and pattern is stunning against the background of the straw.

The next picture is quite extraordinary. It reminds me of those monkeys in the steaming hot springs in the snow. This shaggy super long haired cat hardly looks like a barn cat.

Barn cat in snow

Barn cat in snow

The next one shows barn kittens. I desperately want to hug and take them home and look after them for the rest of their lives. They are adorable and oh, so vulnerable. They are a bit dirty and need some TLC, it seems to me.

Barn kittens

Barn kittens

The next barn cat picture puts the cats firmly in context. You can’t mistake these barn cats for anything else.

What about the next one. A wow cat picture. I recently presented some cat and horse pictures. Well here we have a relationship that probably had to happen: cat and cow. They look very content together.

What makes a good barn cat?

No need to heat the barn

There are many more but I think I’ll stop there. Which one is your favorite? Mine is the cat with the cow. Just gotta take her away and make her life complete. That is an emotional response. She is probably fairly content, already. As I said, I think barn cats in the right place should be living a fairly good life provided the farmer makes sure they get prompt veterinary treatment when necessary. That last point may be a problem area. Perhaps farmers have a tendency to not treat animals quite as sensitively as a good cat caretaker in the city.

One cat is famous for originally being a barn cat (if you believe cat history); the Maine Coon. The Maine Coon was a barn cat in America for 250+ years until a farmer thought he would show off his long haired cats at a farm show, which was the first step to stardom for this very popular purebred, pedigree cat.

Do you have a personal experience with respect to the quality of life of barn cats. I’d be interested to hear.

Note: These picture are embedded from Pinterest. Pinterest do not provide credits so neither can I, which I regret. They may disappear too because Pinterest is a mess.

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Comments

Barn Cat Pictures — 33 Comments

  1. Barn cats are less likely to be hit by cars if the farm is large enough. Cats don’t stray too far from their territory, where they feel safe. Besides, a fence around the farm wouldn’t hurt.

    Feral cats shipped to farms is a good idea. Where I live, there are millions of feral cats roaming the streets, getting hit by cars on occasion, dying from untreated disease sometimes, and starving on a daily basis. I took three home and feed one more, but can’t take them all in.




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    • I agree that feral cats are in a much better place if they are barn cats on a farm. I feel that barn cats are much closer to the original concept of the domestication of the cat by which I mean they’re free to roam and semi-independent or semi-feral if you like. The first domesticated cats in the world were in effect barn cats.




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    • Children on farms and ranches also learn how to be a good steward of their lands when it comes to invasive domesticated species like cats, with one simple statement from the ecologically responsible parents (those who are directly dependent upon the very lands on which they live, including yourselves), “If you see a cat more’n 100 yards from any building, shoot it! It’s up to no good.”

      Didn’t any of you know this?

      This is why house-cats have a predilection to seek-out human habitation today. Those that strayed from buildings were shot dead and those genetic traits died-off along with them.

      Farmers today now know that it is much more valuable to sustain an ecologically correct environment with helpful native species to keep unwanted species in check. There’s a reason one species was named the “Barn Owl”, and another the “Rat Snake”. Rat Snakes are even better than cats, they kill rodents right in their burrows, where otherwise they would only continue to breed out of control into perpetuity if you only have cats around. Cats kill Rat Snakes, ensuring you will always have a ready supply of rodents throughout your lives. Gray Fox are another excellent mouser and ratter; they even climb trees (the only fox species that does) and will even keep squirrel populations in check, they also don’t even have European poultry on their diets. Another is the remarkable 1.5-inch long Masked Shrew that evolved a poisonous bite, specifically for preying on rodents right in their nests where they breed. The scent of them even drives away rodents (unlike cats that attract T. gondii infected rodents (infected by cats) to anywhere that cats urinate). But what do cats do? They destroy these most remarkable rodent control animals first, the very first chance they get. Guaranteeing that you’ll be plagued with rodents for the rest of your ignorant lives.

      Most farmers are much more intelligent today than any of the other comments on this page so far. They applaud and encourage the existence of these natural pest-control agents. They don’t destroy them with man-made diseased cats.




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      • Look, in some ways I respect your point of view but I can never respect somebody who advocates the shooting of cats wandering outside notwithstanding that they might be feral cats. On this website, I have proved on a number of occasions that it is illegal and a crime to shoot feral cats in most states of the USA. In addition, you cannot be certain if you are killing a feral cat or somebody’s cat companion i.e. a domestic cat. You cannot advocate that. It is entirely unacceptable but you fail to see it. You have a very dogmatic and limited vision. It is heavily biased and you really should think hard about this.

        If you continue to advocate the shooting of cats on this website you will have to be banned. I cannot accept it because I cannot accept the promotion of a crime.




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        • Well, that’s a truly hypocritical stance to take. How do you think you got the species that is the “house cat”, Felis catus? Those that didn’t have the desired genetic traits were killed so they couldn’t breed to make more of the same. This goes all the way back to the Egyptians who selectively bred cats for a high reproductive rate, 3-4X’s faster than any naturally occurring cat-species, a breeding rate that has survived today in your house-cat. They needed them to breed fast for their mummification and animal-sacrifice business. That’s what they were used for in Egypt and how they gained in popularity. They weren’t used to protect grain-stores, contrary to urban legends today (and even contrary to the legend that they are good for farms). They were bred as sacrificial animals, killed at a young age, mummified, then prayer notes to their Goddess Bastet were put into their wraps and left at the proper place of worship so the “soul” of the dead cat would carry their prayer to Bastet. Young mummified dead-cats were sold by the millions to anyone who wanted to contact Bastet. This is the only purpose that cats served in Ancient Egypt.

          The ONLY reason you have today’s house-cats is because people killed any that didn’t fit the mold of what humans wanted. That cat on your lap comes from a long line of cats that had to die by any means. Your cat’s genetically-modified behavior and appearance survived, the rest that weren’t like today’s Felis catus were destroyed.

          You can’t talk about today’s cats without talking about how they were made — by killing the vast majority of them with any unwanted genetic traits. The same way they are still being modified today for man’s purposes.




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          • “chose that didn’t have the desired genetic traits were killed so they couldn’t breed to make more of the same. This goes all the way back to the Egyptians who selectively bred cats”

            Produce evidence of this: hard evidence. You cannot do it. You make stuff up all the time to suit your argument.




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  2. We have very good barn cats and I love them. Although they are fed and watered in the barn, they sleep everywhere – machine sheds, garage, porch, old wooden granaries, under the trucks, in the hay loft, and under certain trees. The most fascinating thing to watch them do is when they are teaching the kittens to hunt. The mother will carefully catch a rodent, to keep it alive, so the little ones can practice their skills. Some will say this is cruel but the kittens need to learn this essential survival skill. My barn cats can go up and down ladders and this seems another skill that is passed on. The cats seem to know the different between small bird species. The swallows, owls and merlins are ignored because the cats know that they are good fliers – but when a warbler or chickadee flies into a building, they are on it like a stink on a skunk. And speaking of skunks, I think they must believe that they are very smelly cats. Once or twice a year I will find a cat that has tangled with skunk and yes, tomato juice works. Trying to give a barn cat a tomato scrub is also an event. When we have a litter of kittens, we usually keep the females – the males are more troublesome and will occasionally kill the little ones. Rarely do we find one that has been hit on the road for they seem know this danger and treat the road as a boundary. Our closest neighbors are 3 miles to the south so we are fairly isolated from other cats coming to visit but we still manage to a have a few litters a year. But the hawks, foxes, coyotes do make meals of the cats. This almost always occurs in the open for barn cats are excellent tree climbers. A snowy winter can also thin out the group but the cats cannot travel across the snow as quick as their predators. Our cats are most valuable for rodent control – mice will chew the wiring out of any vehicle or machine. And although they cannot take down a porcupine or raccoon – two other building eating menaces – they make great mothers, enjoy our company and live very natural life.




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    • A farmer in my area had barn-cats. Operative word, “had”. Everyone living on all sides of their property got fed up with their vermin cats torturing to death all the wildlife so every last one of dozens of their cats were shot dead. This should happen to all free-roaming barn cats. And does today. Yours are probably next. May you be tortured to death like you enjoy seeing helpless chickadees being tortured to death. You deserve it.




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      • A wild life lover should love all animals including barn cats. If you truly are a wildlife lover you should be an animal lover as well and in which case shooting cats should be anathema to you. It should be totally impossible to do such a thing. I cannot believe that you are a wildlife lover. And you seem like a nasty person who seems to be placing some animals at a higher status than other animals which is called speciesism. If you make a second comment it must be polite and well reasoned. If it is not it will be deleted. Sorry about that.




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        • Cats are not wildlife. Cats are a man-made species, created through centuries of selective breeding and killing off any cats that didn’t have the genetic traits that humans desired–namely, their express man-made purpose to kill anything that moved whether hungry or not.

          Cats are no more natural to any environment on earth than some insect that was created in some lab, that once released into the environment would destroy everything in the environment, just as cats do. Please get so much as a high-school freshman’s education in matters of ecology and biology before you respond. Because you’ll need at least that much education to discuss this issue with any credibility whatsoever. You’ve already proved you don’t know even that much.




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          • I did not say that domestic cats are wildlife. I said that if you love wildlife you should love animals in general and you certainly should not be the sort of person who likes to shoot and kill feral cats or semi-feral cats. Of course I know that feral cats are not wildlife. They are the product of irresponsible cat ownership. We all know that. You are too eager to find criticism without reading what I say accurately. That undermines your arguments.

            Also, you persist in referring to random bred cats as being selectively bred. You are using the phrase “selective breeding” in the wrong context in my view. Random bred cats are not selectively bred because no human is involved. Only humans can be engage in selective breeding in my view.




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            • Then you should likewise love deadly Funnel-Web Spiders in your home and not kill them if they get into your home. Maybe you’d like to cuddle and hug a nice vial of Ebola virus too if that’s the way you feel about all forms of life. If you don’t want to hug and cuddle some Ebola virus or Funnel-Web Spiders, then that would make you a hypocrite.




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              • This is a very poor analogy. I don’t think you can equate spiders particulars poisonous spiders with the domestic cat, a mammal, and a companion animal to millions of people. How do you manage to equate the two? The trouble is you look for arguments that just don’t stack up. You are desperate to justify your shooting of feral cats despite it being illegal. You should give up the argument because it will never succeed.




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            • Let’s see if I can…you can’t write like that insulting people and be expected to be published (Admin).

              I have told you numerous times that you cannot be expected to be published on this website if you insult the website owner. That is common sense. You fail to understand common sense. I am prepared to publish your comments if you keep them concise, to the point and without insults. Surely you must be able to understand that?




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  3. Love my barn cats! They control the mice and voles here on the farm but once or twice a year they have a nasty encounter with a skunk or a porcupine. I can deal with that but it is the only time I wish they weren’t so ‘tough’. Feel free to post my ‘Barn Guard’ photo.




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    • Thanks Nat. This is a “real” barn cat photo from someone who has first hand experience of barn cat behavior as opposed to people re-posting photos on Pinterest. For that reason I like it a lot.

      Thank you. If you have the time, I’d love it if you could make another comment and write 15 lines about your barn cats.

      I’ll then convert that to an article and it will be a good one. Barn cat stories are quite rare. They are old-fashioned.




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  4. Adorable pictures!

    A white kitten is so cute and you expressed well: looks so fragile, remind us our stray Angoras here. It breaks our heart to see them that way, sadly we can’t take and save them all 🙁




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  5. Michael I loved all of them to be honest however I was completely in awe of the Grey long haired cat in the snow! What a beautiful, unusual picture the way the cat just gazes into the lense…. so intense he looks almost human.




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    • I agree that this grey cat is very unusual looking and outstanding. I’d love to meet him. He certainly has the coat for the cold weather. He probably likes the cold weather.




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  6. Thank you for this article. I love barn cats so much. The photo with the calf curled around a cat is precious! The HUGE cat in the snow storm on the fence post has an extraordinary demeanor about him. I REALLY want to give him a good, warm home!




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  7. Michael: If you click on a photo on Pinterest a box comes up with the picture or video you want in it. Click the actually picture/video and it should take you to the website that the item was pinned from. However, those sites may not be the original owner of that item, as in this case with a viral picture of two cat standing on their hind legs looking out a window at birds. I think the original photo source is Flickr… I bet this was just lifted from some other site…

    Here is that photo:
    http://pinterest.com/pin/179792210095408188/

    Here is the orgin website:
    http://msflamingo.tumblr.com/post/32395086926/apparently-these-cats-stand-like-this-every-day

    This is where the trail ends. Chez Flamingeau didn’t bother to cite her source.

    So… we can trace the origin websites of items posted to Pinterst, but if the origin website doesn’t cite their sources, we run into a dead end. At least we can go that far. I figure this out the other day when I saw one of your photos posted. I clicked through and it came to one of your older articles. Just didn’t have time to write about it. I believe the complaints must of worked or we just didn’t understand it could be done. Still, sources need to be posted on Pinterest! The link found in the bottom right hand corner of each items box leads to a ‘Pinterst Source Page’ for said website! This bugs me. Is there a use for this I don’t see? I suppose if I like a pix I can find more pix posted from that source… or I could go to the source and find items myself…




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    • Thanks Dan. I’ll see if I can find some credits. As you say these photos ping around the net and the original creator gets lost in the moves. The real problem in Pinterest because they encourage copyright violations. They should insist on a credit on every picture on their site.




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  8. Marc you must be my long lost brother lol
    A family opposite us at home had a cat always having kittens, her name was Tibby, she lived in a shed in their back yard and I spent hours after school in that shed with her and her babies.
    Our late mam always knew where to find me.
    I couldn’t get enough of being with cats and still can’t now, many moons later.




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    • Agreed, it’s first on the list. If there’s cat and kittens in the vicinity, it’s the first place I want to go and hangout. I am not only attracted to them but I even feel left out. When they play and run around and then sleep in piles on top of eachother I wish I could be more a part of it, more in there with them, like they would accept me as one of them. Even if they do accept me I am just too darn big. I can’t help it – i just love to spend time with them. I am glad to know that you also always wanted to go hang out with the kittens when you had a chance. I’m sure you still would if there were kittens accross the street from you now! I know I would 🙂




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  9. Michael – I have read quite alot about the relocation process to do with barn cats. Usually they must first decide which cats should be barn cats and cannot be indoor cats. Once they have done this part they usually take a small group togather out to the barn and often there is a big cage or little house built for the barn cats and when they arrive they are kept in this cage, which is big enough, usually a few joined together if its not an entire garden shed, for about 6 or 7 days. In this time the get used to the sights and sounds of the place and they get used to being fed. There are often other cats already living there so they come along and sniff each other out. It’s a carefully conducted process which prevents them just running off and getting lost obviously. They always try to put said cage/shed in the main central area where they will continue to be living and to be fed. Often barn cats have their own little house or shed which has an entrance and an escape route through a hole at the back which is higher up. In this kind of a place where they take it all very seriously I think conditions are perfect for cats. These kinds of barn cats get vet care and are in touch with shelters where they go the cats. If I were a cat this would be my choice of a place to live to be honest. Freedom and the outdoors beat anything in my opinion, especially when the caretaker is concious and knows about how to care for cats and is not just a farmer who doesnt give a s**t which they often are. To be honest farmers have a horrible track record for their attitude towards nature, especially the ones who raise animals and kill them. These are the old fashioned types who drown the kittens if there are to many and never do a damn thing for the sick ones. They believe that is how it should be. They are the back end of humanity and the ones who drag us all down with our welfare ideas and commitments and they are not good people. I dont feel sorry for farmers even though people say you should.. Farming practices are way out of hand. Organic farming is another thing that has little or nothing to do with what I am talking about here.

    Having said all of that the above photos are beautiful. I know ho you feel about the dirty kitten but I think you are right – it’s just fine and actually at a natural sort of weight for outdoor cats. My kittens were born and grew up outside and I fed them lots of good food and they scarfed it down but they were always a thin and dirty looking, but very healthy. I think it’s the indoor kittens and breeder kittens who get this sort of rounded pot belly look that I personally find to be the more unnatural of the two. My kittens would get dirty running around and chasing eachother in the mud. They were having a wonderful time and I always found it incredibly fascinating. When I finally brought them to my place I felt bad they could not have all of that anymore. Cat’s and kittens just love to roll around in the dirt from my experience. I believe kittens born in the colder and wetter seasons would end up with alot more mud on them like this one in the image for obvious reasons. In summer the soil is more dry and dusty so the kittens don’t end up caked in mud. I think all that dirt is healthy for them just as it is for humans. We humans are the most pathetic of all – we are over obsessed with cleaning ourselves with soap the whole time and it just weakens our systems.

    Like Dorothy I really like the social cat keeping warm with the cow – it’s incredibly sweet and nice.

    The grey cat covered in snow looks exactly like my Gigi in Canada. She would sit out in the snow until she was literally white and all you could almost see was her little face and two yellow/orange eyes. She was tiny, this one looks bigger than her but very similar.

    Ruth – when Red and his littermates and the other litter were born I used to go to my friends house to ‘hang out’ and then spend the whole time playing with the kittens and not actually hanging out or talking to anyone. I even went thereonce for a big thanksgiving dinner and spent the whole evening in another room cuddling with Red. I kept saying ‘yes I am coming in a minute’ and I probably spent a total of about half an hour at the table the whole evening.

    I’m sorry to say but when there are cats around I almost always immediatly lose interest in people. I think they find it a little annoying. At the house where Red and Molly and GIgi come from I was always accepted after a while as a person who came for the cats only really. I would not even go inside or knock on the door – I would just go in the garden and play with and hang out with the kittens. It was always the best when nobody was home. When somebody was home and it was a nice day they would be in the garden so it wasn’t so much fun for the cats and me because we were all a bit scared of the people 🙂




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  10. I couldn’t choose a favourite, I tried but I love all the pictures.
    The three in the barn though remind me of when I was young and desperate for a cat of my own, our late dad was a dog man, he said he hated cats, but in those days I suppose it was considered unmanly to admit to liking them.
    Anyway I had a school friend who lived on a farm and my happiest weekends were spent going to play with her as they had barn cats, I could sit for hours nursing the kittens and my friend patiently let me, although it must have been quite boring for her lol




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  11. I especially love the social cat that is curled up with the calf. Quintessential barn cat! But I love them all. I’m sure the little white one is fine. She’s just been rolling in the hay and muck. Playfully.

    In our parts they call the barn cat vineyard cats. Most vineyards have a barn or three. Many are responsible farmers and have the cats spayed and neutered. Some cats domesticate themselves, many stay feral. That makes it hard if a feral needs medical attention.

    A vineyard is a good place for cats to live easy lives of freedom. Plenty of food and warmth. Lots of room to explore or relax In the sunshine.




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    • Thanks for that information dw. A barn cat at a vineyard sounds better than a barn cat on a farm. A bit more civilised I should imagine. I am pleased to hear that there a lots of barn/vineyard cats.




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