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What Are Feral Cats?

Posted by Jennifer Smith on

Feral cats are not like domestic cat breeds; and unfortunately, they are sometimes deemed as un-adoptable. Feral kitties are outside cats that were born and raised in the outdoors without a home. They survive on what they find in the wild and their own instincts. They may become aggressive if they are approached by wildlife; strays or even companion animals and humans. However, with proper socialization, they can become house pets.

Like other wild animals, free-roaming cats may carry parasites and other diseases, such as rabies, tick diseases, toxoplasmosis and giardiasis. 

They can become an annoyance to homeowners who find homeless cats sifting through trash.

Pet owners should not try to "save" feral adult cats by entering them into homes; but instead, reduce the homeless cat population by beginning a trap-neuter-release (TNR) program. These community cats should not enter into humane societies or cat shelters, either. They have a higher risk of euthanization. 

Tips to start a TNR Program

  • Get a group of loyal, cat loving volunteers to help.
  • Get plenty of cat food, water, toys
  • Prepare one humane trap per cat
  • Shelter for the cats (A cat fence helps keeps feral cats secure during the TNR Process and keeps them in their natural habitat.)

Notes: Remember, feral cats will not approach humans and will not eat in front of them. They will wait until left alone. They are best approached in the evening hours when they are most active.