Caroline Rodgers wrote:I don't have a farm or homestead YET, but on my grandmother's/great uncle's farm that I spent a ton of time at as a kid: they always had barn cats when the farm was functioning. They considered them essential for pest control.
Bryan Elliott wrote:We have some cats around the place. You can't touch them, they run when you look at them--just the right kind. We have plenty of birds, we have quail, what we don't have is rats and mice. I'm sure they get a bird every once in while but they sure haven't hurt the population.
Su Ba wrote:I keep cats on my farm for rodent control. They're just another aspect of my permaculture approach on my homestead farm.
Devin Lavign wrote:
Su, your in a very different location with some very special issues. Hawaii, correct me if I am wrong, has a horrible problem with invasive rodents. So farm cats could really almost be a necessity for your area to combat that. I also don't think cats became the nuance invasive like they did in Australia, is that right?
There’s no getting away from the fact that cats are obligate carnivores. Their bodies are magnificently designed and their instincts sharply honed to find and hunt prey.
Devin Lavign wrote:Nicole, that Mollison anti cat thread was linked in my OP. However the argument is really more to do with Australia, where Mollison is from, where cats are an invasive species wrecking havoc on the ecosystem.
Libbie Hawker wrote:I love cats, and have two indoor-only kitties (who are pretty old now...I don't think they'd want to go outside at this point.) But I'm not a big fan of outdoor cats. They do a lot of harm to local wildlife populations.
They are excellent at rodent control, though! So what's a person to do? :/ I think I'd rather keep a couple of terriers and put them to work on the rodents, but bring them in at night so they can't go prowling around, murder-fying too much wildlife. That's just me, though. Cats do have important utility on a farm--most of them tend to get over-zealous, though!