Domestic Cat Pole Barns
I know my loyal, long time column readers think I am stretching way out there when I start writing about domestic cat barns. Reality being stranger than fiction, one of them exists!
Now neither our mom, nor any of our grandmothers were crazy cat ladies with housefuls of feline friends. Even though our grandpa Pete (Dad’s dad) was a building contractor, there were apparently period of his life when farming (to some extent) was also a means of survival, if not an income. Dad used to tell us stories of squirting barn cats when milking cows. Maybe this attachment is how we ended up having a cat or two around our house when we were growing up.
My Dad was oh so creative with cat names. We had a pair of Siamese cats- MeMe and YowYow. Idea being mom could call for them by saying “Meow Meow”. Far too weird to have ever been made up!
After freshwater fish, more Americans are owned by domestic cats, than by any other pet.
Researchers from University of Illinois, in Urbana, wanted to know if domestic cats benefit from stimulating surroundings and attention from humans around them. Now some of you are probably thinking your hard earned tax dollars may have funded this project – maybe, however I am not hunt-and-pecking out a protest article about squandering state and/or federal tax monies.
Amy Fischer, a UI animal-sciences professor she and her colleagues created a research setting for cats in a temperature-controlled pole barn and included a two-level open structure, natural light, a giant climbing tree, furniture, toys, scented objects and lots of hiding holes.
Interested parties can read more about Ms. Fischer’s cat house project here: https://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2018-08-28/ui-researchers-study-confirms-cats-crave-stimulation.html.
You and your cats may not see a need for a new post frame cat barn. However if your worldly possessions (or pets) have overwhelmed all of your available space, it might be time to either reduce your inventory, or add a new pole barn to protect those valuable felines.