TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › What do you call them????
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What do you call them????

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
The technical term for homeless cats is feral but most of us use a different word to describe them.
I have always used stray.
What word do you use to describe feral cats?
post #2 of 23
I have always used stray too
post #3 of 23
I call the ones round here my 'visiting' cats!
post #4 of 23
I also always use the term stray, but I guess all strays are not feral (being lost house cats) and not all ferals are strays (born feral, never strayed from a home).
post #5 of 23
I voted for feral, cause I consider feral cats to be well, feral, as in not socialized, but stray cats to me are just cats that are lost or were once house cats and got booted by irresponsible owners. I don't call them wild either, cause that brings to mind for me tigers and lions
post #6 of 23
To me a friendly outside cat who apparently has no owner is a stray or barn cat. A feral is a wild animal who happens to be a cat. They look at you like a fox or rabbit would look at you, as if you are a threat to their life.

Most outside cats are not feral...just abandoned pets who are either friendly to humans, or at least not terrified of them. A feral is one who probably never had contact with people, and if they did it wasn't positive. Or it happened too late in their life to tame them.

I call feral cats wild things. If they hang around, I name them and trap them so they can be speutered and released! But in discussing them on the board, or with other cat people, I call them feral, because to me that tells so much about the kitty!
post #7 of 23
I call them all strays. But then there are strays you can get close to and strays you can't.
post #8 of 23
I always said "Stray" because "feral" sounds a little aggressive to me.
post #9 of 23
I checked feral, but I should have checked other. To me there are 2 distinct categories. Feral are cats that were born outside & have had little to no human interation. Strays are cats that once belonged to someone but either ran away or were abandoned.
post #10 of 23
I call them all strays. But like Traci says there are some you can get close to and some you can't.
post #11 of 23
Until i came here i always called them strays
post #12 of 23
If they are friendly -stray
If they are wild acting -feral


To me a stray is an animal that was obviously someone's pet once, while a feral was born into homelessness.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277
I voted for feral, cause I consider feral cats to be well, feral, as in not socialized, but stray cats to me are just cats that are lost or were once house cats and got booted by irresponsible owners. I don't call them wild either, cause that brings to mind for me tigers and lions
if a cat shows up & will let me approach it, even pet it, i call it a stray. that's what Chip, Java & Cable were. but if they run from me, or won't get too close - then i call them feral.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Most members of TCS are more educated about cats, than the general population.

Do you think that the average person is familiar with the difference between stray and feral?

Would they use the word feral, when describing a "stray" in your neighborhood?

What word do you think that they would they use?

Thanks for your feedback.
post #15 of 23
Um, it depends on the cat. Really wild ones that are unapproachable and have to be trapped are feral to me. Cats wandering around outside that can be coaxed to come to you or just run up to you I call stray.
post #16 of 23
I call other peoples ferals,ferals

I call my own colony the furry ferals

If i am going to feed them ,i say i'm going to feed 'The Tribe'
post #17 of 23
I think the average person, which I consider myself to be, especially before I came to TCS, always called the scared outside cats, "Wild" cats. I had never heard the term "Feral", in reference to cats, until I came here. In fact once I learned that feral, was the proper term for a wild cat, I had to "show off" my knowledge to everyone I knew.

No one I have known before TCS, has ever used the term Feral.

When I first saw the termonology here on TCS, I thought they were talking about vicious, dangerous non domestic cats. Now, I know what a feral is, but I don't think the average person on the streets is familiar with that term. I think most people think of them as strays, or wild cats.
post #18 of 23
I've encountered quite a few people who have never heard the term "feral," even people who have cats of their own. It's like it never occurred to them that cats can be born into homelessness and never have human contact.
post #19 of 23
Truth be told, I never really knew the term feral before coming to TCS! So I've always called all of them strays. But yes, elicon- I've always known that cats can be born into homelessness
I just always called ferals wild cats 'till I found TCS and learned that term....
post #20 of 23
I call them all feral, DH says stray.
post #21 of 23
I think most people would use the term stray or "wild" in regards to a cat that wouldn't let them pet or approach them.

But my aunt used to take care of a group of ferals that lived behind her house so I knew that term already.

Where I live currently, there are strays (well only one and she has a new home!) and then there are "those damn cats that live with the neighbor behind us!" Seriously, this neighbor has at least 6 or 7 cats who seem to think our yard is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Which is fine, except when they chase off our cats!

~Julia
post #22 of 23
I checked other because to me, it just depends.
The proper defination I believe of a feral is a cat that was born in the wild.
The defination of a stray is a cat that was once a pet that reverted to living in the wild to survive. Isis and Luna are former ferals, they were very hard to work with when we first brought them in. They were terrified of everyone and everything and would try and get out at every opportunity. But with lots of love and patience, they've become loving house cats. Still skittish and fearful of anyone but Brad and I, but they are slowly getting over that too. I've seen strays around here and they are nothing like Isis and Luna were. They will let you approach them, but will run if you try and pick them up. I wish I could convert all the stupid people in the world to understand that pets are something to throw away at your convience, they are your responsibility for their lives.
post #23 of 23
I call cats that live on the streets strays, but if they are living in like big groups in the country, I call them feral or wild, because no one has tamed or domesticated them.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › What do you call them????