Feral Cats Are Not Scary and Can Be Cared For with Caution!
11 December, 2015

There are many misconceptions about feral cats that make them out to be scary and dangerous. A feral cat is simply one that has not been domesticated and was born outdoors with usually no human interaction. A stray cat, on the other hand, is typically one that was a ‘house’ cat and was either abandoned by his owner or lost. Both have to get used to surviving outdoors and can be afraid of people depending on their surroundings. Most strays tend to gravitate near homes because they remember that humans feed them.

What should you do if you encounter a stray or feral cat?

When approaching a new cat, always take caution because both stray and feral cats might lash out of fear. Usually, a stray cat will be friendlier and not seem too scared when someone approaches. If you think you have found a stray cat, please take the kitty to your veterinarian. Hopefully, they have been microchipped and you can return the cat to its owner and everyone will be happy!

Make sure to approach a feral cat with care and caution

If you decide to care for a feral cat, you can do so without necessarily inviting the cat into your home. You can provide shelter and food and for the cat(s) so they can come by, eat and might even stay in the home you provided. Most feral cats are afraid of people so be very careful when approaching the cat. Let the cat come to you and live his life on his or her own terms.

In time, depending on the cat’s background, the kitty will start to trust you, especially with daily feedings. Try sitting down at his or her level so you’re not as threatening. Let the kitty come and sit by you when he or she is ready. A stray cat tends to be more socialized since they have been around humans during their life and will Feral cats that are unusually loud have not been spayed or neutered

Feral cats that are unusually loud have not been spayed or neutered

If you hear a cat fighting and howling from protecting their territory or mating, the feral cat needs to be spayed/neutered. You can reach out to local nonprofit groups for help who will humanely trap the cats and get them spayed/neutered. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to have all house cats spayed and neutered including indoor cats. You never know when one will escape or get lost and it’s just better for their overall health.

Feral cats can be adoptable or socialized if they are young enough and are spayed

Feral-born kittens can be adoptable the earlier they are removed from the colony and the more quickly they can be socialized to people and life in a human household. Volunteer organizations that manage feral cat colonies, do what they can to try to pleasantly trap feral cats, spay or neutering them, notch their ears to indicate they are spayed or neutered, and then either adopt them out if they are still young and have any social skills, or returning them to their colony to live out their lives without reproducing.

There are many misunderstandings and prejudice against feral cats. They are not mean or vicious but are just afraid and haven’t had the proper domestication or socialization provided to them. Their life span is thereby shortened as they have to care for themselves in the wild.

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