Kittens2Barns is eco-friendly solution to rodents

By Connie A. Hewitt | Apr 10, 2015
Photo by: Haywood Spay/Neuter Many unfixed pet and outdoor cats conceived in February and are delivering their “sweetheart litters” now. Feline gestation takes about 63 days or 9 weeks.

Haywood County cats are looking for barns and other structures infested with mice.  Do you have one?

Cats have survived outdoors for thousands of years.  Egyptians worshiped cats for an important reason  — They protected grain bins, the life source of the community, from rodents. The diets of royal cats were strictly monitored to guarantee it. Too few mice killed meant no dinner.

Haywood Spay/Neuter based its Kittens2Barns project on the same eco-friendly solution deployed by the royals.  Meat eaters by nature, it is a cat’s instinct to hunt.  Cats are social animals that enjoy the communal living space provided by structures abundant with prey. Kittens2Barns capitalizes on these facts and places healthy, bonded litters in mice-infested barns and sheds.

Most know that the most dangerous place for a feral cat is the county kill shelter.  Under current policy, shelter personnel euthanize trapped, feral and unsocialized cats.  With Kittens2Barns, cats age 3-8 months now have a chance for life as barn cats.

“We are thrilled with the policy adjustment and the lives it will save, “said Susan Kumpf, Haywood Spay/Neuter’s coordinator for the trap-neuter-return (TNR) project.  “Decreasing shelter intakes and increasing the live release rate of healthy animals are the positive results of our initiatives. No more homeless pets means finding the right setting for all shelter animals without regard to origin of birth.”

Stocking a barn with sterilized felines eliminates the need for chemical kills that pollute Haywood County’s water source. An additional public health benefit comes from the deworming, rabies and distemper vaccinations provided at time of surgery for TNR cats, known by their tipped left ear.

Do you have a clean barn or other structure with mice? Got strays or outdoor cats?  Call 400-5981 to schedule a fix.

HS/N's $10 Beat the Heat special for Haywood County pet cats and dogs includes a rabies vaccination. Operation Pit provides free surgery, rabies protection and microchip.  Call 452-1329 or visit for more information or to donate online.