Cats on the smallholding

On the smallholding, cats are a useful method of rodent control and, as such, their running costs are tax deductible.

The Cat Protection League often has feral or semi-feral cats for rehoming to farms, stables and smallholdings, but even the house cat can be a prodigious hunter.

To avoid unwanted kittens, always have female cats neutered. Neutering males will stop them wandering off and fighting with other toms, so is also recommended.


Toxoplasmosis is a disease of man and most warm-blooded animals. It is a major cause of abortion in ewes. The causal parasite can be carried by cats (and probably other members of the cat family). In cats, the infection is often sub-clinical, although it can be acute, and usually fatal, or in a chronic, relapsing form.

Many humans, especially vets and cat-owners, carry the antibodies to toxoplasma in their blood and have never been ill with the disease. The main danger to humans of toxoplasmosis is to pregnant women and those with suppressed immune systems.

Rosemary Champion

About Rosemary Champion

Rosemary lives on a 12 acre smallholding in Angus, in the east of Scotland, where she keeps Ryeland Sheep, Shetland cattle and assorted poultry. She was destined to be a smallholder from an early age.

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