When we think of barns, we often picture cows, horses and pigs, among other "barnyard" animals. But, did you know that cats are actually common around barns and farmland as well? If you own a farm yourself then you might already know the purpose that felines serve when it comes to maintaining a barn or fields of crops.
Farm cats, as they're most commonly referred to, are any feral, semi-feral or domestic cats living outdoors on a farm. They might live in structures like barns, but they rarely reside in a house with people. Even though they don't produce milk or eggs like other farm animals, cats serve a valuable function: natural pest control. By keeping them on the property, farmers allow farm cats to hunt any small rodents or vermin that have the potential to harm their crops. Some farmers advocate for leaving out food for farm cats, while others believe that doing so lessens their need to hunt for food. Additionally, leaving out food has the potential to attract unwanted vermin like skunks onto the property. Another important thing to remember is that not all cats will take to the farm cat lifestyle right away. Veterinarian Deb Eldredge says that an ideal farm cat "comes with the farm," considering some felines who have previously lived in suburban homes or shelters might run away from a barn if not properly conditioned first.
The one major upside to having a farm cat, though, is how well they get along with the other animals. If you need proof of this, look no further than this cat and its horse friend. If this sweet moment doesn't make you want to open your own farm and adopt some cats to go with it, I don't know what will.