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Stray versus Feral: They are not the same!
05-26-2014, 09:45 AM,
KittyReeves Offline
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Stray versus Feral: They are not the same!
For some reason, a lot of people think the terms "Feral" and "Stray" are interchangeable. And they're really not.

A "stray" cat is a cat that was born outside, but has some human contact when they were young. Strays are usually skittish but they will come up to humans from time to time. These are usually cats that either were former pets that were abandoned or cats that were born outside from another strays and have had some human contact. They're human contact it general from people either feeding them or when some one might have taken them in for a short while. If you bring a stray in, regardless of their previous human contact, it can take a very long time for them to come to you or warm up to you. We had a stray, and it took her 3 years to even sit on the same couch as someone. Two years after that, she was the friendliest cat ever. She'd jump up on anyone's lap, twine around ankles and beg for pets, and steal your cereal when you weren't looking. We just took it very slow with her, and she eventually showed her full personality and potential.

A "feral" cat is a cat that was also born outside but has had no human contact at all, and usually respond to humans very negatively when they are adults. Feral cats will run as soon as they so much hear a human, and will hiss, growl and possibly attack if you try to approach or if your corner them. You can "rehabilitate" a feral cat, but it takes a very long time. We had a feral cat for 6 years, and the closest she would come to someone was if they were across the room, and only at her dinner time. We had another feral cat, and it took her roughly 4 years, but she eventually let my father pet her. But only very rarely, and she would still tear off at the slightest sound.

Whew. And THAT ladies and gents is what the difference between "feral" and "stray is".

TL;DR Both types of cats were raised outside, but "stray" cats have had some human contact while "feral" cats have had none.
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06-17-2014, 02:04 PM,
Happyflowerlady Offline


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RE: Stray versus Feral: They are not the same!
I think that this is an excellent discription of the difference beetween a stray cat and a feral cat. The only thing where I look at this different is that a stry cat is not necessarily one that was born outside. It might have been born outside , but often a stray cat is simply someone's pet cat that got lost, ran away, or the people moved away and left the cat. Somtims people rnt a place and then find out that they aree not going to be able to kep their pet, or they just don't have enough extra money to pay for the expensive pet deposit. They may try to find the cat a home, but the cat doesn't like th new home, and runs off; or some people just move, leaving their cat and thinking that it can "fend for itself".
Or sometimes a person discovers their cat is going to have kittens, and drops them off somewhere. None of this is a good way to treat your cat, but it happens.
When that cat has kittens, then the kittens might end up as feral cats if no one finds and adopts the mother and the kittens.
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