When a cat is referred to as “feral” it means basically that they are homeless and live in the wild.
These cats are either born in the environment outside, were abandoned, or became lost or ran away. Even though they look cute like their domestic relatives they are considered wild animals.
It is so sad that most feral cats are relegated to horrible and short lives. Those cats that have been cast out of their home into the streets still have the temperament of indoor cats.
When caught these type of feral cats can be tamed and re domesticated relatively easier than those that have had no contact with humans or an indoor life whatsoever.
Feral cats are classified into Three groups: Class One, Class Two, Class Three. The reason feral cats are broken down into categories is that so you know which type of cat you are dealing with if you are ever planning to catch one.
Knowing the type of feral kitten or cat it you plan on capturing will help determine how to deal with it and plan a successful capturing and domestication strategy.
This are your true blue feral cats and kittens. These are cats totally born and bred in an open outdoors environment. These were never indoor cats. The kittens born to these mothers are second generation feral cats.
Class One feral cats and kittens are terrified of humans. They have had no human contact other than an occasional look. These cats and kittens run when they see human beings.
If you get too close physically to this type of cat or kitten they will growl, hiss, or go into attack mode if they feel cornered.
They will definitely bite and scratch you. You have to be careful, these are totally wild animals and may have diseases.
There have been cases however where cats and kittens in this category have been domesticated but it took a lot of time and a lot of patience to do so.
These are the easiest of the Feral classification of cats to domesticate. They were abandoned by their owners and end up on the streets. They are usually recently abandoned.
Kittens and cats in this class will run at first from a person but not too far away. Any little sound frightens them. These cats and kittens were once in a home and now are very scared on the streets.
If you see a Class two kitten or cat and decide to feed them, they will come to you. If you feed them on a regular basis they will look for you and even rub against you in recognition of who you are.
These cats and kittens can be domesticated again with love, kindness and patience as well. These types make very appreciative and loving pets given the chance to be back in a home.
This is the saddest and most heart breaking of the three classes. These cats and kittens are so abused by their owners that they run away from them. Because of the abuse they are terrified of humans but cannot survive in the wild on their own.
Because they are ill equipped to deal in the wild and are frightened and they are often rejected by other feral cats and by feral cat colonies. Usually the level of abuse they endured indicates the amount of socialization they have had as well as any possibility of domestication.
These kittens and cats find it so hard to try and trust a human. These are the ones that are barely visible to the human eye and only come out at night to forage for food in the garbages. They run at the slightest sound.
These are the classes of the “Feral Felines”. It is so tragic that the life span of these beautiful animals are often two years tops. This depends if they have help or not.
If they are lucky enough to be part of a care giver colony where they are fed, neutered and sprayed their life span is about 5 years. It is so tough for a Feral cat on the streets that they rarely live past that.