What is a feral cat?
Definition of feral: living in a wild state after domestication.
So…feral cats have unsocial behavior toward people, some can become tame, and are homeless.
“Free-roaming” is another name given to feral cats. Free-roaming includes lost, abandoned and stray cats.
To be clear – feral cats, specifically, are not socialized to humans. Rarely are they adoptable. They don’t want to live inside a house and are suspicious of us.
But state anti-cruelty laws protect feral cats just like regular pet cats.
Keep in mind that if you managed to catch a feral cat and take it to an animal shelter, they are usually not adoptable. The animal control facility will likely euthanize the animal. Even the no-kill shelters will immediately recognize the cat cannot be controlled (it’s acting like a maniac) and no one will want to adopt it. Feral cats can actually live decent lives outside, just like other wild animals. After all, that IS what they are – wild.
On the other hand, feral kittens are more capable of being adopted if they are socialized at an early age.
One helpful and humane action used with feral cats is called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). This benefits the cats and the community. Cats are captured, taken in to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal symbol of a neutered and vaccinated cat), and then returned to their outdoor home. No more kittens! You can imagine, though, that this technique is not often implemented.
Visit Alleycat.org for more information and ways to help feral cats.
FIND LOCAL SHELTERS http://theshelterpetproject.org/shelters
Be sure to hop back to Strays/Shelters for more info on what to do with a stray cat.
Jessie says: I was a stray cat and very tame. Someone didn’t want me, I guess. *sad eyes*
Gina says: She walked right up to me in the yard and rubbed against my legs. I was shocked. I knew Jessie wasn’t a feral cat by her actions.