Why kittens are the best livestock guardian animals
If you keep "prey" animals as a farmer (such as chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, etc) that wild, nocturnal or aerial predators (coyotes, foxes, owls, hawks) tend to hunt, a livestock guardian animal is usually needed to protect the farmer's investment. Dogs such as Great Pyrenees or large animals such as llamas and donkeys that live outside with the prey animals are traditionally a farmer's preferred choice. However, I would like to make a case for the benefit of a livestock guardian attack kitten, who will eventually retire to become a beloved barn cat who keeps the barn and coops free of mice.
The following is an account of the first 10 minutes of my day today, a small snippet of the constant devoted training required of your kitten. I encourage you to consider the benefits of using kittens to protect your investments in livestock. I share this information as an example of what you can expect in reality by training your livestock guardian kitten. Instagram only shows you the sweet moments of farm life, and I am here to dispel any false beliefs of eternal serenity and peace. It is my duty as a Farmgirl to do so.
I am awakened before dawn by claws and teeth pouncing on my face. Another nose ring bites the dust, but at least I still have both my eyeballs. As I check to see if all my blood is intact, the beast rests across my airways purring sweetly, acknowledging that I am master of this domain. I make my way to the bathroom only to discover my family was spared from murder during the night, thank heavens. A savage attack by a rouge toilet paper roll was ceased by my 2 pound terror. (Image too graphic to post.) I thank my lucky stars.
I prepare morning coffee while sacrificing my bare legs to the tiny guardian's training. One must always be prepared to climb a tree and this takes numerous practice attempts throughout the day. Note: young cats kept indoors during training do not have trees readily available at all hours, so legs are the best substitute. I add cream to my dark roast and band aids to my shopping list.
Parkour to the living room where the ninja-in-training lands IN my coffee cup, resulting in the use of stain stick, multiple curse words, and the making of another cup of coffee. He recovers quicker than I do, thanks to licking caffeine off of his hind legs. More bounding and bouncing around the room and across furniture ensues. Once exhausted, the tiny beast finally slumbers in my lap while I dress my wounds with homemade calendula oil (recipe to follow in next week's blog post). Rest little one. We are safe for the moment, thanks to you.
Rigorous training continues day after day to be a fierce guard animal, usually until around 6 months of age. Make no mistake--the work is hard, the hours long, and the teeth sharp. Below is a list of unique skills your very own attack kitten uses to guard your farm. Other more commonly used livestock guardians do not possess these advantages. Also unlike other animals, a livestock guardian kitten's training continues even in your absence. A LGK's commitment is second to none and their training does not require your delicate flesh to be torn open at all times by fangs and claws (so we pray).
Constant batting of objects off of counters and tables and across the floor leads to superior fine and gross motor skills (wax on, wax off) although you may be missing your favorite earrings for several months.
Pens and pencils scatter across the floor like the bones of prey. So if you are looking in your pencil cup, you will find it empty my friend.
Eye of the tiger sneak attack laser focus (as seen in first photo above) may cause damage to bare feet, so take precautions.
Poop gas bombs distract the target. Bomb drills happen at least twice daily. Duck and cover. Keep your masks accessible.
See photo of weapons of mass destruction below.
No security system can be perfect, including guard kittens. Once they outgrow the kitten killer stage, usually around one year of age, after you have invested a fortune on vaccines, spaying/neutering, deworming, flea preventatives, etc, they become lazy mooches who judge your existence every waking moment, which is thankfully not often. So you will have to get another kitten to replace the first one and start all over. And yes, this is how crazy cat ladies are created. Now you know.
Razor sharp fangs