Feral cats are cats that have lived in the wild entirely, typically since birth. Some are cats that might have been abandoned by their owners or cats that got lost and never found their way back home. Eventually, these cats will turn into untamed animals. These feline creatures are usually incapable of socializing with other species, humans to be more specific, since feral cats show fear and act wildly as their defense mechanism once they encounter other species. Feral cats usually live within a group, which is often called a feral colony, though some live alone for the reason that they were abandoned or they just feel like living alone in the wild.
Taming adult feral cats is much harder than taming feral kittens since the adult ones have already adapted their existence in their natural habitat, which is apparently away from domestication. It may take a while for you to tame a feral cat, but here are some steps and pointers on how to tame a feral cat:
- The first step is to understand the nature of a feral cat. Most feral cats have no experience of physical and emotional contact with people, and most of them are settled in living in the wild. While some may have contact with people, cats that allow people to touch them or give them food, which are called semi-feral cats. Semi-feral cats are mostly cats that were formerly tamed that have gone wild.
- The second step is to choose what to catch. Given that you know what you can choose from, it is best to evaluate the difficulty of what you desire to domesticate. For starters, it is advisable to tame feral kittens or semi-feral cats, as these sorts of feral cats are much easier to be tamed. But mind you that it is not necessary for you to take feral kittens away from its group or from its feral mother, since kittens are best to stay with its mother until it reaches 2 months old.
- It will also be best to bring the cat’s whole family, including other kittens and their mother. Once they are indoors, you should start housing them in a cage until they are well-adapted to the new environment that they are living in.
- It is required for you to have your new pets get shots from the veterinary, but you have to tell the vet immediately that your cat is feral. Some cities also provide a service wherein they will help you in taking feral cats to veterinary clinics. The shots that will be given by the vet will include feline vaccination, which will allow them to be immune from terrible feline diseases. This will make your cats immune from parasites, worms to be exact, which are airborne and very contagious that may also affect you and your family. This implies that it is very important for your cats to have vaccine shots.
- Start communicating with them in small ways. Well, you really don’t need to talk to them, try communicating with them just by sitting next to them, playing with them, staying near them while you are feeding them or just simply make them get used with you being there.
- Then comes the tricky part – this is where you will really need to be patient. By this time, your cats will eventually approach you. What should you do about their new-found extroversion? Here’s the thought, while a kitten is approaching you, naturally, you will try to pick them up or touch them before they are ready, but the feral kitten’s instinctive move would be to bite or scratch your arm. Since this bond is new to both you and your cat, it would be best for you to start petting them using a pillow case (to make your hands look less threatening). When you think it’s time to move up a notch, you can start to feed them with treats from your hand.
- Allow the cats to get used with you petting them. Until such time that you can massage them, pick them up, have their nails trimmed and so on and so fort, just remember to let them become accustomed with you slowly.