Can a feral cat be domesticated?
I recently "adopted" a feral cat who had been hanging around our house for the last 3 years. He sleeps on my bed at night, is very non-agressive and gentle and purrs when I pet him but other than that will not interact with us much, and runs away when we approach him. He is definitely still in survival mode. Will this change or should we just accept that this is his nature? My last cat was super affectionate and I miss that!
on Jan 12th 2013
- Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!
Because of the way your rescued cat is acting, I'd doubt that he was "feral". There is a difference between a truly feral cat and one who just lived outside. Feral cats are wild animals and cannot be approached or caught without risking serious injury. They should be kept in cages and rehab is about 50-50. In any case, it will take a while for him to realize his good fortune in being taken into a loving home. Some cats, like your last one, are cuddle-bugs and some show affection only on THEIR terms and not your's. In any case, provide him with all he needs, supervise him so he doesn't bolt back out, vet him, neuter him and admire him from afar until he decided to bestow his affection on you. And thanks for taking him in. You are good people!
Izadore (Izzie) answered on 1/12/13. Helpful? / 0
He might not have been a true feral but a "hard stray". A hard stray is a cat that has likely had been around people at some point, but has been left on it's own for so long that it has become extremely cautious of humans. In any case the fact that he does let you pet him and that he does sleep with you is a good sign. As time goes on he will most likely learn to trust you and be come more comfortable. Try playing with to help build a bond, also giving him treat doesn't hurt. When you give him the treats or maybe a little wet food put it down and sit several feet away. Once he readily comes up and eats the food with you at that distance move a little closer, keep doing this until you can sit right next to him while he is eating and then maybe petting him. Doing this will get him to associate you with great things and soon he won't leave you alone.
Darian *Little Man* answered on 1/12/13. Helpful? / 0