I have a cat at my farm with my livestock. I feed her and she also kills mice at the farm. She also lets me pet her, hold her, etc. She loves attention.

At my house, which is a little over a mile from my farm, I have a mouse problem around my chickens. The cat doesn't tend to go after the chickens at the farm, but I need to bring her to my house to kill the mice.

How would I do this so that she doesn't run away?

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    Welcome to pets.SE! Is the area, where the mouse problem exists, in a room or outside? I remember my grandfather locked the cat occasionally inside the (very big) shed, to get rid of mice there. (Maybe two times in one week) Apr 22, 2021 at 5:30
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    Not directly related to the question, but unspayed females with a few weeks old kittens are the best hunters afaik. If you can "borrow" such a cat, she'd be bringing a dead mouse an hour :) The problem is that she might think it is to tedious to hunt the mice and decide to take down a hen :)
    – ck1987pd
    Apr 22, 2021 at 13:17
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    Also, is the problem about bringing the cat or keeping the cat in your house?
    – ck1987pd
    Apr 22, 2021 at 13:20
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    @JosephCasey Bringing is one part, preventing her from escaping is the second part. So, I wonder if the problem is with bringing or keeping her in.
    – ck1987pd
    Apr 22, 2021 at 14:17
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    Keeping her around my house rather than trying to get back to the farm Apr 23, 2021 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


Get a second cat.

Cats do not like change, and that includes moving them to a new place outside their known territory. Taking your farm cat to your house may not be productive since she will need days (at a minimum) to overcome the shock, explore the new territory and figure out where the food is. If she doesn’t find the mice immediately and you aren’t feeding her, she may wander off to a quieter place in search of food. And when you eventually moved her back to the farm, it will be a new shock all over again, and she may find that another cat has taken over the farm territory, leading to fights or her being driven away.

On the other hand, once tour new house cat settles in there, she can stay forever in a territory of her own. This will be better for both cats, rather than one cat being constantly upset at being moved back and forth as the mice return to whichever place doesn’t currently have a cat around.

As to keeping either cat from running away, cats will stick around in a fixed territory around their home as long as it is safe (no other predators, including other cats) and there is plenty of food. Unlike wild cats, domestic cats need a reason to wander.

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    It aounds a little bit like it would be no shock for the additional cat to move... I assume this was not intended ;) Apr 24, 2021 at 20:11
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    @Allerleirauh I didn’t, so I’ve clarified.
    – StephenS
    Apr 24, 2021 at 20:20

As opposed to this answer, I would go in the other way.

Cats can sometimes be very attached to humans and can get used to a new environment easily with the help of their human companion, as long as there is no other cat claiming the territory. Also, stray cats can have roaming ranges upto 500 meters, so it is one third the way to your house. Assuming there is not many buildings around, it is a short enough distance for the internal compass of the cat to guide her back to her territory, unless there are other predators in the region, like packs of dogs/wolves, other cats etc. Cats are too fast for single dogs and too large for a fox to take down easily.

If she decides to leave your house on her own, there is a very good chance that she will find her range again, but in case she can't, it would be a good idea to attach an easy break collar with your details on it.

The only sure way to know if the cat would stay is to bring the cat. Allow the cat to settle a couple of hours. If she still behaves differently, maybe taking her back is a good option.

Under extreme stress, cats start panting, i.e., keeping their mouths open and taking intense, short breaths from their mouth. If she shows panting behaviour, it is best to take her back right away. If she constantly vocalises her discomfort, it may also be a good idea to take her back. As an addendum, don't be fooled by purring sounds. Cats purr under stress as well, to calm themselves down.

As a rule of thumb, a cat who starts grooming or sleeping after she is done smelling everything is a calm cat. Make sure that you are present when she first settles in. Your presence will be the calming factor for the cat. Also, if she has a favourite rug/towel, bring it in as well for a familiar smell. If she doesn't have one, it is a good idea to take one to her regular territory and let her rub against it for some time before making the transition.

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