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The needs of the barn cat

ALPENA, Mich. — During our “Pets of the week” segments, we showcase animals who make great companions in the home. However, the Huron Humane Society also hosts some animals which need different lifestyles.

When most people visit the Huron Humane Society for a pet, they’re looking for a furry friend to sleep at the foot of their bed. But not all animals are suited for that lifestyle. Humane Society member Kelsie McConnell said rescued feral cats, like Maurice, might be more comfortable with outdoor life.

“I definitely think being in a barn setting will definitely make him happier. As inside he’s very standoffish— you can’t touch him or anything.”

The good news seems to be that, in a rural community like ours, people need that kind of cat.

“So, actually there’s a lot of people who come in just looking for mousers and outdoor cats. You’d be surprised how many people do come in and ask for those.”

However, Humane Society President Cindy Johnson said you can’t just throw a cat in an outdoor space and call it a day.

“An owner provides him food and water and litter. Whatever he needs. So he becomes accustomed to his spot. ‘This is his spot.'”

In other words, a feral cat needs to be shown that this new place is his home. If he doesn’t feel comfortable, he may just roam off again.

McConnell said you also need to keep realistic expectations for affection.

“He’s not going to be a typical lovey–dovey barn cat. He doesn’t want to be touched or anything.”

You can learn more about adoption on the Huron Humane Society website.