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Wildartist – I love cats – but not always having cats. Only once have I purposefully brought home a cat years and years ago. All the rest simply find me. This place came with a bunch.They work for their living pretty much. My barn is relatively mouse free – they live there. But, I am also very careful housekeeping. Grain is put up tight. Floors swept and grain/feed cleaned up daily. Re Decon: I don’t worry about the smell because one or two is not a problem – if it were a big nest it might reek. I do use some traps but if you forget to check them you can have the same rotting carcass issue. My main garden is hotwired and fenced – they can’t get in there ’cause I feel same as you. Any house cat I’ve had I trained to bang on a set of bells I hang from the doors when they need to go out. One accident – ok – reprieve. Second? You live outdoors. (Of course, they have insulated cat houses around or they can stay in the barn in winter)
Note to people living near a pond etc. – this seems to be a magnet for rats. Rats are awful creatures! A friend had them get into the walls of her old house – the racket was awful and creepy. I brought over a trap and got 3 families of the big *******. We used to have rat issues on some of the ships I managed as well. Constantly working against them. Hate rats even more than mice – musta been a plaque victim in another life!
Freedom: keeping stuff in garbage cans is great.

Tolik – I have no idea why they do this – but they aren’t the first males (neutered) that do this – you must have ‘civilized’ cats! My sister had a favorite cat that got ‘angry’ at her when she went on vacation and would pee in her shoes! Only when she was on vacation. She learned to send her to a kennel when she went away. Anyway, cats are fascinating and very smart animals.