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Feral and Domestic Cats, What’s The Difference?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

feralkittenEven though feral, stray and domestic (pet) cats are all members of the same species, feral or stray cats are different. The main important difference is their relationship and interaction with people.

You need to know the difference between a feral cat, or a domestic cat that may be lost. Knowing the difference can help inform how best to interact with the cat. Intervention would be in each cat’s best interest.

A feral cat is a cat who has either never had any contact with humans or their contact with humans has been reduced over time. They are fearful of people and  can survive on their own outdoors. Usually, a feral cat will never become a domestic or pet cat.
Kittens born to feral cats can be socialized at an early age and adopted into homes.My older cat Molly, was once a feral cat born in the swamp in the back of my apartment complex. I found her when she was five weeks old and the rest is history. Stray cats can readjust to living with people and can be adopted as companions. Feral cats cannot unless as my cat Molly they are taken in as small kittens under three to five months old. You can put cat food, water bowl or even cat treats outside and feral cats will eat and drink and even come back day after day for more but they will usually not let you touch them.

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