Feral cat describes a domestic cat which has been born in the wild, or the descendants of such an animal, which has had little or no contact with humans, and thus is not socialized. It is distinguished from a stray cat, which has been kept as a pet and lost or abandoned. The offspring of a stray cat can be considered feral if born in the wild. In many parts of the world, feral cats are the offspring of unaltered domestic cats
The term "feral" is sometimes used to refer to an animal which does not appear friendly when approached by humans, but the term can apply to a member of any domestic breed without human contact. Hissing and growling are self-defense behaviors, which, over time, may change as the animal (whether "feral" or "stray") begins to trust humans who provide food, water, and care.
Feral cats born and living outdoors, without any human contact or care, have been shown to be adoptable and can be tamed by humans, provided they are removed from a wild environment before truly feral behaviors are established. Such behaviors are established while it is still a kitten being raised by its mother.
Feral Vs Stray
Trap-neuter-return (TNR) involves trapping feral cats, spaying or neutering them, and then returning them to the place where there were originally trapped, where ongoing care is provided by caregivers When neutered, the cats receive vaccinations against rabies, and attention to other medical needs, such as dental care and flea treatments.TNR programs are prevalent in several countries, including England, Italy, Canada and the United States, supported by many local and state governments. Various long-term studies have shown that TNR is effective in stopping reproduction and reducing the population over time. TNR results in fewer complaints, as nuisance behaviors diminish following neutering, and the quality of life of the cats is improved.The practice is reported to save moneyand garner more public support and better morale than efforts that involve killing cats.
Claws & Paws Rescue (CPR) promotes the humane treatment and responsible guardianship of cats. When these conditions are not met, some cats become free roaming, feral, or homeless. CPR strongly supports humane policies and programs that work to reduce the overpopulation and abandonment of cats.
CPR supports trap, neuter, release programs for cats that are not suitable candidates for adoption. The goal of these programs should be to eventually eliminate feral cat colonies. CPR supports the removal of socialized cats and kittens (that is, those that can be handled and relate to humans) from feral colonies so that they may have the opportunity for adoption, because life on the street is not acceptable when life in a loving home is a possibility.