10 Facts You Should Know About Feral Cats

Oct 15, 2012 · Updated Apr 29, 2017 · ·
  1. Anne
    feralcatfacts.jpg
    Here at TheCatSite.com, we have a special place in our hearts and on our website for these special, and often misunderstood, felines.

    Feral cats are domestic cats, not wild animals, and we have a responsibility, as cat lovers and human beings, to try and help them. They may not be pets, but they are not pests either. Even if you're not actively involved in rescue efforts or feral cat management, you can still help by educating people around you about feral cats, and promoting awareness for their needs.

    Here is a list of 10 facts about feral cats that we need to get across to people. Read, learn and help educate others. Share this information with people around you, post it to your Facebook wall or your Pinterest board, and get the word out.

    10 things everyone needs to know about feral cats -

    1. Feral cats are domestic cats that were born and raised with little or no contact with people.
    2. Feral cats are not stray cats. Strays are homeless pet cats, while Ferals were born in the wild, and were never socialized to humans.
    3. Some feral cats can be tamed (socialized to humans) but this takes time and effort and is more suitable for kittens then adult cats.
    4. Feral cats often live in colonies, forming groups around food sources.
    5. Killing feral cats does not lower their numbers. New feral cats will soon take up their place.
    6. The only humane way of controlling the feral cat population is by TNR - Trapping, Neutering and Returning them to where they were trapped. Read more about TNR here.
    7. If you feed feral cats, you have to TNR, to prevent overpopulation.
    8. Feral cats can have happy healthy lives outdoors. Humans can help that by TNR'ing feral cats.
    9. Studies show that feral cats pose no public health risk. Read more here.
    10. You can also help feral cats by providing shelter during the cold season and water during the dry season.
    Become a feral cat angel - help educate people about these special kitties!

    Already a Friend of Ferals? Let us know in this thread about the things you do to help feral cats and get our Friend Of Ferals badge!

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  1. Shane Kent
    #3 "but this takes time and effort"
    And worth every little bit of it :blush:
  2. tarasgirl06
    @butch3, providing food and safe shelter is wonderful -- thank you so much for caring.  It is also very important that feral cats be spayed/neutered.  You can visit Alley Cat Allies' website for the very best and most comprehensive information on feral cats, and also find references for free/low-cost spay/neuter in your location, or email Alley Cat Allies to see if they can direct you to a clinic that does this.  Your being able to feed them in a shed is very good, because you should then be able to entice them into humane traps and/or carriers using food.  Please visit alleycat.org to get all the information you need.  And THANK YOU again.
  3. butch3
    I love my little furry freinds and an hour ago I found the black feral in the shed having kittens so I gave her milk and food and closed the shed door so the other cats would not bother her. I hope this is the right thing its 2am and I'm going to bed. I'm at my aunts house who takes care of all the cats by feeding them. she does it for her husband but she does not really like them. I want to make sure the mom and babies are safe. What do I do
  4. tarasgirl06
    Thank you for this.  And thanks to the posters for their caring; RafiCat, you are so right.  That is why the ancient Egyptian and West Asian/North African societies loved and revered cats, and why in many societies in those areas, cats are still accorded great respect and love.  They should be respected, protected, and well cared for everywhere, whether feral, free-roaming, or homed.
  5. raficat
    You should also point out that ferals are useful in keeping the rodent population down. They are a community resource.
  6. carmie
    A new batch of feral kittens used to appear in a shed behind the building where I worked. One year, because one of them had a real inborn attraction to people, I caught all five and had them spayed and neutered. I am not sure if I should have just returned them to the shed. Sweetie, the people-oriented kitty, was easily domesticated with very few bumps in the road. Two of the others, PeeWee and Cairo, made slower progress. The other two were simply wild animals. I wish I had caged them up and taken them back to the shed, but I kept trying. Each one in turn made its escape and I never saw them again. I feel very guilty about that. I removed them from a source of shelter and food (people from the newspaper office fed them too) and forced them in an alien environment with no food or shelter. I found a good home for PeeWee. Sweetie died last year of cancer (only five years old). I still have Cairo (pronounced Kay-Row) who is still a work in progress. Like all the others, she had never been lifted off the ground, and it still panics her. She has found her purr, but she can snap back into that feral fight or flight mode in a flash when she is startled. I do think Sweetie, PeeWee, and even Cairo are better off, but I dearly wish I had taken the other two back to the shed when it became clear they were not adjusting.