When Federated Farmers sought snaps of farm cats at work, it wasn't necessarily ready for what was to come.

It seems the line "let's celebrate the mouse and rat catchers of New Zealand' gave a few rural types the perfect excuse to brag about their countrifed killing machines.

Federated Farmers spokeswoman Leigh Catley said the light-hearted competition through social media was sparked after a casual conversation about the often overlooked farmyard felines.

"Nobody ever thinks about the farm cat and what work they're doing," Catley said.

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However, the results soon spoke volumes about what farmers really thought.

"The humble looking farm cat…some of them don't look that humble...We've got some smug looking cats.

Jenny McDiamid provided this shot of Bear the cat with a bunny. Photo / Supplied
Jenny McDiamid provided this shot of Bear the cat with a bunny. Photo / Supplied

"Some of the things these cats catch! It's given me a whole other idea for another competition – cat kill….Cats wandering around with little baby rabbits…birds. This is the kind of people we're dealing with, they'll send you a picture of a ferret."

Catley said it was intially surprising when photos began arriving of dead animals who clearly weren't cats, although "sometimes we get the cat in the pic".

Actually, not a cat but presumably the work of Glenys Blain's moggy. Photo / Supplied
Actually, not a cat but presumably the work of Glenys Blain's moggy. Photo / Supplied

It wasn't all killing fields however, cats snaps arrived of all kinds.

"We've had some awesome photos of cats in hay sheds, milking sheds," Catley said. "They're out there working.

"Probably my favourite, I think his name was Clyde, the caption read "Clyde working hard all day" and he's sitting in the laundry basket."

Sophie Davison noted this is about the extent of Clyde's work on the farm. Photo / Supplied
Sophie Davison noted this is about the extent of Clyde's work on the farm. Photo / Supplied

Catley said the comments which people made about the photos showed the cats were considered to be members of the family.

She said one frequent theme was cats around feeding calves

"When there's milk going from the bobby calves the cat's not far away."

"They're earning their keep these cats. No doubt about that. It has been quite entertaining."

Catley also said there was a serious element to such a competition.

"It does help connect rural urban people. It doesn't matter where you live or what you do, everybody appreciates the idea of the animals on the farm doing what they do, helping out.

"And keeping the pests down is really important. And some of these cats are working hard."

Elle Wright captioned her photo 'best rat catcher' but noted the cat was on her day off. 'Before you ask, no she does not have any dignity or self respect.' Photo / Supplied
Elle Wright captioned her photo 'best rat catcher' but noted the cat was on her day off. 'Before you ask, no she does not have any dignity or self respect.' Photo / Supplied

Further entries can be emailed to competitions@fedfarm.org.nz until 5pm today.