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Wild cats and ferals

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was wondering....

I´m pretty sure we don´t have any wild cats here. At least not in this part of the country, I heard of some homeless cats in a small village in another part of the country, that were causing a bit of trouble.

So, you guys sometime talk about wild cats, and sometimes ferals and sometimes homeless cats, I would assume homeless cats where cats that used to be pets, but are now lost (please correct me if I dont understand this right ), but the other two kinds cats that live in colonies and have never been pets (but could be children of pets, or not???)
Are feral and wild cats 2 words for the same thing, or is there a difference?

Could someone help me in my confusion???

post #2 of 6
Depending on where you are from, ferals and wild cats are different. Ferals are in the United States at least, unsocialized cats whose only intent in life is to survive whatever it takes. They generally meet up forming colonies and forage for food in dumpsters, and trash cans and whatever else they can find. Strays are cats that were once owned, or born from a previous pet but the mom or the kittens or the male were kicked outside and virtually ignored- forcing them to go into the feral colonies (eventually) and adopt that form of survival that they all have. They are also often driven away out of colonies time and time again because the ferals sense the difference.

In other countries, ferals are wild enough that even after trapped they cannot be handled easily. For me when you talk about a wild cat, you are talking about a bobcat, or ocelot or panther, a far cry from just a feral. People that do not understand ferals are generally afraid of the cats and claim them to be wild and unable to be socialized, which is bunk actually. Ferals can be worked with, but you need an insurmountable degree of patience and a lot of time, and you have to understand their ways.
post #3 of 6
this is a little different from the way singapore would classify their cats.. in singapore we do not have a distinction between strays and ferals... we just call them strays as long as they are on the streets.. some of the ladies here are feeding the cats and they have a collar but they do not stay with the family.. we call them strays too...however, the only way we can tell if they have been abandoned or not is by touching their fur... usually, abandoned cats have smoother fur and they are bigger in size... other than that, thay are all the same....
it's no wonder i got so confused when i first came in..
post #4 of 6
In Australia, it depends on who you speak to.

Feral cats are generally those that live in the wild, that is in bushland and decimate all the wildlife.

Stray cats are generally those that live on the streets and cause trouble and disturbances. (But no mention of these cats being dumped and left to fend for themselves. )

Wild cats, well that either conjures up images of the big cats like lions, tigers or panthers, cougars and the like or a feral cat. It just depends on the area of where you live. I've found that in rural areas, it's more likely that a person is talking about a feral, and in the city, it's a tiger or a lion.

That's just the overall opinion which is incorrect. There are differences. Feral cats can live on the streets and will forage from bins and rubbish. And stray cats just don't seem to be able to prey on other animal. Some people in Australia make me ashamed to call myself Australian at times. *sigh*
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by hissy
For me when you talk about a wild cat, you are talking about a bobcat, or ocelot or panther, a far cry from just a feral.
I actually forgot for a moment that the "big cats" were called wild cats as well, I thought maybe that "wild" and "feral" applied to different "level" of kitties living in the wild, and not as pets. In our language we only have a word for a pet and for wild cats as all cats that are not pets. When we talk about "wild cats" we genarally don´t mean lions and tigers and such....and actually the only "cats" living in Iceland are kittie, none of the "big" ones.
Thats why I got so confused with all those different names...
post #6 of 6
As well as Tigers, Cougars, a Snow Lynx, Bobcats, Servals and caracles we also have an endangered African Wild Cat - the very species from which the house cat was domesticated. He has quite a noticably different personality than even the some of the most anti-social ferals I have ever encountered.

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