If you own a barn, there's a good chance that you also own one or two barn cats. But when you are planning major renovations or new construction around your barn, you may be concerned about how your resident mouse-hunters will respond. Rather than subjecting your barn cats to the noise, hazards, and strangers that come with having their home put under construction, it may be wiser to board them for the duration of the project.
Protecting Your Cat From Construction
Barn cats may be friendly and comfortable with humans, but many are shy and focused on surviving outdoors. When monstrous construction machines and new people enter their territory, most barn cats will flee to safety. Those that choose to hide somewhere in the barn may be inadvertently harmed during construction, while those that hide in the woods may never return. With so many hazards and the potential of losing your barn cat permanently, it's easy to see why boarding may be both the safest and least stressful option.
Collecting the Cat
With any luck, your barn cat will be happy to be approached and placed into a carrier. Otherwise, you may need to set up humane traps baited with food to collect it safely. Your barn cat may not appreciate being trapped and taken for a car ride, but it should still be preferable to living in a construction site. If your cat is out of date on vaccinations or other mandatory medical procedures for boarding, now may also be the best time to get them taken care of.
Communicating With Your Boarding Facility
Whenever you are boarding your barn cat, be upfront with the cat boarding facility about the animal's level of socialization and personality. Your barn cat may take to boarding like a duck to water, or the "vacation" may prove to be stressful and difficult. Working with the boarding staff can help ensure that your cat is placed in a quiet and secluded area and that handling is kept to a minimum, leading to a more relaxing stay.
Reintroducing Your Cat to the Barn
Once your barn project is complete and the construction equipment is gone, you can bring your barn cat home safely. Leave your cat in its carrier in a familiar spot for a few hours before releasing it, making sure it has access to shade, food, and water. This will allow it to get its bearings, recognize home and realize that everything is safe. If all goes well, your cat should resume its normal life upon release, completely unaware of the changes that occurred in its absence and no worse for the wear. Call a cat boarding facility in your region to begin making plans for your barn cat to keep it both safe and happy during your own renovation project.