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Feral cat question

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have a question, What defines a cat as a 'Feral' vs just a Stray Cat.
My kitty is 4th generation of cats which have lived in the area of my friend's home. She has been feeding them for quite a few years. The eldest died last year.
She has gotten the other moms spayed though not before they had at least one litter. She has been able to capture most of the kittens & had them spayed & given their shots & found homes for most of them. A couple have become her house cats.
My question is: Is my kitty considered a Feral?

Her mom is still living out on the streets though has had all her shots & was spayed after my kitty was born. This litter was born in the garage so we were able to get the sick kittens taken care of & placed in good homes & had mom spayed also. She is still quite wild & lives outside. Is she considered to be a Feral?

Thanks, just wondering about the term Feral

post #2 of 4
A feral is basically a "hands off" cat. One that has extreme distrust of humans, and one that you absolutely cannot handle without heavy gloves, long sleeves and lots of prayer. A stray is someone's cat that they have kicked out of the house for one reason or another and it has to scavage to survive, yet will let you pet it and handle it.
post #3 of 4
Yes, ferals are basically domestic cats that have "gone wild" due to lack of contact with humans in the crucial stages of socialization. Since they still belong to the species of the domestic cat, kittens of feral cats that are socialized at an early age can become wonderful and loving pet cats (as opposed to true wild cats that can never make very good pets.

Like hissy said, strays are simply friendly house cats that are for some reason homeless.
post #4 of 4
True wild feral cats can make wonderful pets. Granted, not usually housepets, but sometimes they do come around. I think why most people give up on ferals is because they do not come around in a timely manner and it can take months, even years for one to allow you close. But once they do, they are remarkable animals. I have two at the moment, Karma and Stryker who if you told me years ago they would even come into the house, much less into our laps, I would of laughed at you! However, that is what has happened to these two ferals that were fiercer than lions at one point. Over time, they have decided we are good to trust and now are two of our best lap kitties.......lol
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