What Is a Feral Cat? Things To Know

What Is a Feral Cat?

There are many different types of cats, from the domesticated housecat to the elusive big cat. But one type of cat that is often misunderstood is the feral cat. So what is a feral cat? This blog will explore everything you need to know about feral cats, from their history to their current situation.

What Is a Feral Cat

A feral cat is a wild, undomesticated cat that lives outdoors. They are usually the result of unowned cats who have been abandoned or have accidentally gotten loose. Feral cats can be tricky to deal with and often cause problems for homeowners and local wildlife. In this blog post, we will also discuss the dangers of feral cats and some tips on handling them. Stay tuned!

What Is a Feral Cat?

A feral cat is a domestic cat that has been abandoned or has returned to the wild. These cats are typically not spayed or neutered so that they can reproduce quickly and easily. A single female feral cat can have up to 12 kittens per year! As a result, the population of feral cats continues to grow, which can lead to problems for the cats and their human neighbours.

Feral cats often live in colonies or groups near food sources (like dumpsters behind restaurants) or abandoned buildings. They typically avoid people and are very wary of strangers. Feral cats can be dangerous to humans because they may carry diseases like rabies. They can also be a nuisance because they may dig through trash, urinate and defecate in yards, and make a lot of noise.

If you see a feral cat, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. Do not try to approach or touch the cat, as it may attack. If you are concerned about a feral cat colony in your neighbourhood, you can contact your local animal shelter or wildlife agency for help.

In some cases, it may be possible to trap, spay or neuter, and release (TNR) feral cats back into their colony. This can help reduce feral cats’ population over time and make them less of a nuisance. If you are interested in learning more about TNR, please contact your local animal shelter or wildlife agency.

What Is the Difference Between a Stray Cat and a Feral Cat?

There are many differences between stray cats and feral cats. Stray cats are typically former pet cats who have been abandoned or lost, while feral cats have never had any contact with humans and therefore tend to be much more wary and suspicious of people. Stray cats are typically socialized to humans, while feral cats are not. 

Ferals also tend to live in colonies with other ferals, while strays are more likely to be found alone or in small groups. Ferals are also much more likely to be aggressive toward humans, while strays may be friendly or even affectionate.

Another key difference is that stray cats usually have a home or guardians, while feral cats do not. This means that stray cats typically have access to food, water, and shelter, while feral cats may not. Finally, stray cats are often spayed or neutered, while feral cats are not. Catching and transporting feral cats for spay/neuter surgery is difficult.

While these are the most common distinctions between strays and ferals, it’s important to remember that each cat is an individual and may not fit perfectly into either category. If you’re ever unsure whether a particular cat is stray or feral, your best bet is to contact a local animal shelter or rescue group for assistance.

What Are the Dangers of Feral Cats?

Feral cats are a big problem in many communities. They can damage property, spread disease and even kill indigenous wildlife. In addition, they may be a danger to humans, especially small children.

There have been several reports of feral cats attacking people, including children. In one case, a six-year-old boy was playing in his backyard when a feral cat jumped on him and started clawing and biting him. The boy suffered puncture wounds to his head and face and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.

In another incident, a woman was attacked by a feral cat while she was out walking her dog. The cat scratched and bit the woman, causing her to bleed profusely. She was also taken to the hospital for treatment.

Feral cats can also spread disease. They can carry rabies, which is a deadly disease that can be passed on to humans if they are bitten or scratched by an infected animal. Cats can also have other conditions, such as feline leukemia and feline AIDS, which can be passed on to cats and humans.

What Is the Feral Cat Population In the United States?

The number of feral cats in the United States is unknown, but estimates range from 30 to 40 million. Feral cats are unowned cats that live outdoors. They are the offspring of lost or abandoned pet cats or other feral cats. Feral cats are not socialized to people and, therefore, cannot be adopted and typically live out their lives in the wild, where they face many dangers.

Feral cats typically live in colonies near sources of food and shelter. The average life span of a feral cat is only two to three years, but some have been known to live into their teens. Feral cats are proficient hunters and can significantly impact local wildlife populations. They are also at risk of being hit by cars, contracting diseases, and being attacked by other animals.

What Should I Do If I Find a Feral Cat?

If you find a feral cat, the best thing to do is to leave it be. Feral cats are wild animals and are not used to being around humans. They may be scared or aggressive and scratch or bite if they feel threatened. Suppose you must approach a feral cat, use caution and wear gloves.

If you have a cat of your own, keep it up-to-date on its vaccinations. This will help protect your cat if it comes into contact with a feral cat.

The best way to reduce the feral cat population is through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs. TNR involves trapping feral cats, spaying or neutering them, and then returning them to their colony. TNR is the only effective and humane way to reduce the feral cat population over time. It also improves the lives of individual cats by lowering their stress levels and keeping them healthy. If you are interested in TNR, please contact your local animal shelter or rescue group for more information.

What to Feed Stray Cats and Feral Cats?

If you are wondering what to feed stray and feral cats, the best thing to do is offer them a variety of nutritious foods. Stray and feral cats are typically scavengers and eat just about anything they can find. However, there are some things that you can do to make sure they are getting the proper nutrition.

One of the best things you can do is offer them various wet foods. Wet foods are typically more nutritious than dry foods and are also more palatable for cats. You can find a variety of wet foods at your local pet store or online. Make sure to offer them a variety of flavours and textures, so they do not get bored with their food.

You should also offer them a variety of dry foods. Dry foods are not as nutritious as wet foods, but they can still be a good option for stray and feral cats. Offer them a variety of dry foods so they can have something to nibble on throughout the day.

In addition to offering them wet and dry foods, you should also provide them various cat treats. Cat treats are a great way to provide them with additional nutrition and to keep them occupied. Offer them multiple flavours and textures, so they do not get bored with their snacks.

Finally, make sure to offer them fresh water at all times. Cats need to stay hydrated, and offering them fresh water will help to keep them healthy. You can find a variety of water bowls at your local pet store or online.

By following these tips, you can ensure that stray and feral cats get the proper nutrition. By providing them with a variety of foods, you can also help to keep them healthy and happy.

Can Feral Cats Become Pets?

Most feral cats are too wild to be domesticated, but some may be tamed with time, patience, and socialization. Whether or not a feral cat can become a pet depends on the individual cat’s personality and background. Some ferals have had too little contact with humans ever to be genuinely time, while others may be more amenable to domestication.

If you’re interested in trying to turn a feral cat into a pet, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviourist first. They can help you assess whether or not the cat is a good candidate for taming and provide advice on the best way to go about it.

The process of taming a feral cat can be long and challenging, but it can be incredibly rewarding. If you’re up for the challenge, there’s a chance you could end up with a loyal, loving companion.

FAQs of What Is a Feral Cat

How far do feral cats roam?

Feral cats are typically described as cats that have had little to no contact with humans and live outside in the wild. They are often seen as a nuisance to homeowners and businesses because of their tendency to roam around and scavenge for food. The average feral cat will travel between 1-2 miles from their home base in search of food or shelter, but some have been known to roam much further.

Feral cats typically live in colonies of other ferals or with a few friendly strays. The size of the colony will depend on the resources available in the area, but it can range from a few dozen to several hundred cats. The cats will often stick to their own specific area and not venture too far from home, but there have been instances.

How often do feral cats move their kittens?

Feral cats typically move their kittens every couple of weeks, but this can vary depending on the specific situation. Factors that can influence how often a feral cat moves her kittens include the availability of food and shelter, the presence of predators, and the weather. In general, though, it is not uncommon for a feral cat to move her kittens every two weeks or so.

How many feral cats are in Australia?

There is no definitive answer to this question as there is no reliable way to estimate the number of feral cats in Australia accurately. However, based on the best available data, it is estimated that there are approximately 2.7 million feral cats in Australia. This includes both domestic and stray cats that have returned to a wild or semi-wild state.

Feral cats are a major problem in Australia due to the significant impact they have on native wildlife. It is estimated that feral cats kill up to 75 million native animals each day, making them one of the biggest threats to the survival of many Australian species. In addition to hunting native animals for food, feral cats also spread diseases such as toxoplasmosis, which can be deadly to native wildlife. 

Where to buy feral cat traps?

There are a few different places where you can purchase feral cat traps, such as online retailers or pet stores. When choosing a trap, it is important to consider the size of the trap and the type of bait that you will be using.

If you are looking to trap a feral cat, we recommend using a live trap. This type of trap will allow you to safely capture the cat without harming it. You can then take the cat to a local animal shelter or rescue organization, where it can be spayed or neutered and placed into a good home.

As for bait, we recommend using wet food or tuna fish, as this will usually attract feral cats. Once you have baited the trap, be sure to check it regularly so that you can release any animals that may have been accidentally caught.

Why is a stray cat meowing at my door?

There could be a few reasons why a stray cat is meowing at your door. One reason could be that the cat is looking for food and is hoping you will feed it. Another reason could be that the cat is lost and is looking for a place to stay. If you have an interest in helping the cat, you can try to find out why it is meowing and see if there is anything you can do to help.

Why is a stray cat following me?

There could be a number of reasons why a stray cat is following you. Perhaps the cat is hungry and is looking for a food source, or maybe the cat is simply curious about you and wants to explore. It’s also possible that the cat has been domesticated at some point and is looking for companionship. Whatever the reason, it’s important to be cautious around stray cats as they may carry diseases. If you’re concerned about the cat, you can try to contact your local animal shelter to see if they can help.

Why is a stray cat rubbing against me?

A stray cat may be rubbing against you for a few reasons. They may see you as a potential source of food, or they may simply be showing affection. If you have been feeding the stray cat, they may view you as a friend and want to show their appreciation. Additionally, cats often enjoy being petted and may be seeking your affection.

Where are feral cats native?

Feral cats are initially from Africa, Asia, and Europe. In the United States, they are found in every state except Hawaii. Feral cats typically live in rural areas but can be found in urban areas as well. The exact number of feral cats in the US is unknown, but it is estimated that there are between 30 and 40 million feral cats living in the country.

Will a feral cat always be feral?

No, a feral cat can be rehabilitated and domesticated if it is caught young enough and given enough care and attention. However, an adult feral cat that has been living on its own for a long time will likely remain feral.

How much to feed a feral cat?

The amount of food you should give a feral cat will depend on the size and age of the cat. A kitten will obviously need less food than an adult cat. In general, you should provide around 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of dry food per day per cat or around 4-6 ounces of canned food per day per cat. If you’re not sure how much to feed, ask your veterinarian for guidance.

How big does a feral cat get?

Feral cats typically weigh between 3 and 4 kg (6.6 and 8.8 lb). However, some male feral cats can weigh up to 5 kg (11 lb). Feral cats have an average body length of 40 cm (16 in), with a tail length of 20 cm (8 in). The width of a feral cat’s head is typically 12 cm (4.7 in).

Feral cats are typically smaller than their domestic counterparts. However, some can grow to be much larger, especially if they have access to plenty of food and water. Feral cats living in urban areas tend to be the largest, as they often have a steady diet of human food scraps and garbage. Rural feral cats, on the other hand, are usually smaller, as they have to fend for themselves and often go without food for long periods of time. Male feral cats also tend to be larger than females.

How much do feral cats sleep?

Feral cats generally sleep around 18 hours a day. This is broken up into shorter periods of around 4-5 hours at a time. When they are not sleeping, they are typically hunting or grooming themselves.

Will a feral cat let you pick it up?

No, a feral cat will not let you pick it up. Feral cats are wild animals, and as such, they are not used to being handled by humans. If you try to pick up a feral cat, it is likely to hiss, scratch, or bite in order to defend itself. If you want to tame a feral cat, it is best to slowly earn its trust over time by feeding it and providing it with shelter. Once the cat gets used to your presence, it may eventually allow you to pet it or even pick it up. However, this process can take weeks or even months, so patience is key.

How long before a cat becomes feral?

A feral cat is a domestic cat that has been abandoned or has run away and reverted to a wild state. They are usually wary of humans and often live in colonies with other feral cats. It is difficult to estimate how long a domestic cat would need to be on its own before it becomes feral, as it depends on the individual cat’s temperament and previous experiences. Some cats may take to a wild lifestyle very quickly, while others may never truly become feral.


In conclusion, a feral cat is a domestic cat that has been abandoned or has run away and become wild. Feral cats are often seen as a nuisance, as they can reproduce quickly and create large colonies. However, many people appreciate the role that feral cats play in the ecosystem, as they help to control rodent populations.

If you are considering adopting a feral cat, it is essential to be aware of the challenges that come with taming a wild animal. But with patience and love, your feral cat can make an excellent addition to your family.

We hope this post has helped you to understand better what is a feral cat and how it came to be. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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To provide you with the expert assistance you need, Vet Ranch with licensed veterinarians can answer your health-related pet issues. For the purpose of sharing knowledge with each other, we have jointly created this website, where you can get useful information from us and also where we expand our knowledge through your comments from you.