Although the “domestic house cat” was domesticated thousands of years ago, some cats are born outside and are not socialized with people. Feral kittens, typically a few weeks or months old, can be socialized and become an adoptable pet (see our Taming Feral Kittens page). Some feral cats may actually have been someone’s pet that was abandoned, left homeless, or became lost. These, too, can be resocialized and adoptable.
If feral kittens are left without human contact, they will grow up to be feral cats. Some feral cats can be socialized into pets, however it takes a great deal of time and patience. Since they have had to fend for themselves and survive outside, their survival skills are hard to overcome even when shown a lot of love and compassion.
However, feral cats can also help to keep down rodent populations. If you have a barn, ranch, or large property that is relatively safe, you may want to consider contacting CC4C to “adopt” several feral cats to keep down rodent populations. The “problem” with feral cats is not that they are feral, but that cats are very good at reproducing and, unfortunately, unfixed feral cats can become overwhelming.
Feral cats that are taken to a shelter or pound will be euthanized because they are not adoptable. Please think twice about taking a feral cat to a shelter!
CC4C strongly encourages you to consider the humane, compassionate, and more effective alternative, which is trap-neuter-release (TNR) for feral cats in your neighborhood and we may be able to assist you.
More information About Feral Cats & Programs Can Be Found At:
The Humane Society has a good document entitled “An Overview of Caring for Feral Cats” and provides a list of feral cat organizations in California.
Humane Society: www.humanesociety.org/issues/feral_cats/
Alley Cat Allies: www.alleycat.org
Feral Cat Coalition, http://www.feralcat.com/
Feral Cat Resources Directory: www.feralcatresources.com
Animal Welfare Federation of CT: www.awfct.org/feralcats.htm
Best Friends Animal Society: www.bestfriends.org