Feral cats are used to being alone and solitary. They usually spend their lives outside and do not have adequate social engagement with humans, so whenever they get close to one, they berserk and hide.
However, some cat owners adopt stray cats when they see one on the road. In this article, you will learn how to tame a feral cat you might see on the side of the road or around your neighborhood.
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Can a Feral Cat Become a House Pet?
You can tame a feral cat, especially when it is some weeks old. However, in general, it is nearly impossible to calm a feral cat and train it to be a house pet.
They usually have low socialization with humans and will act hostile towards people. Therefore, it will be a stretch to finally domesticate a feral cat.
Therefore, before taming a feral cat, assess how feral it is by finding out its age and testing its reaction to human eye contact and offered food. Do not come too close to the cat without wearing thick gloves, a long sleeve, and a mask.
Ways to Train a Feral Cat
You can see feral cats roaming around your neighborhood. These cats were born outside and were not trained to behave like domesticated cats.
Some cat lovers encounter feral cats and think to themselves if these cats can be trained and tamed to become domesticated cats.
Mainly this prompts them to ask, “is it possible to tame a feral cat?” The simple answer to that is an absolute yes!
However, to tame a wild cat, you must follow a series of steps. It is not an easy job to tame a stray cat and is not for the faint-hearted. This requires tons of patience, time, and love.
Step 1: Gaining the trust of the feral cat
Since feral cats are known for having no to minimal social interactions with humans, it is normal for them to get freaked out and threatened when you try to approach them.
So, how can you gain a stray cat’s trust?
- You can do this by feeding a cat outside. Befriend a stray cat and make them feel comfortable with your presence while providing for their everyday needs.
You should not bring the feral cat to your home because, most likely than not, they will feel like they are in some danger. They need to feel secure and safe with your presence at first.
- Make sure to offer them the cat food in the same place at the same time every day. You need to establish a routine that a feral cat could get used to.
This way, they will not see you as a threat and will see that you provide them with their basic needs.
Do not also try to touch them at this time unless you are hundred percent confident that you have built their trust.
Step 2: Giving a feral cat overall checkups
While it can be tempting to bring home a cat right away, you might need to be sure that you have made them feel safe in your presence.
You need to ensure safety for your children or any other pets at home. You need to put your feral cat in a cage or pet carrier and bring it to a trusted veterinarian.
It is crucial to have the feral cat get checked up, vaccinated, and neutered or spayed. Although this will not be a smooth-sailing attempt to do so, you will need patience and time for this work.
Once the feral cat starts to trust you, you may do this step for everyone’s safety.
Step 3: Bringing home a feral cat
Once you notice that your feral cat is relaxed in your presence, allows you to carry them to the veterinarian, and lets you touch them slightly, these are a few signs a feral cat trusts you.
This is a good signal that they are ready to stay at your home and be comfortable in your environment!
A haven is one of the most important ways to tame a feral kitten.
- Making them enough space to move around and get comfortable with the new environment will help them relax their presence with you.
- Provide them with necessary cat tools such as a litter box, food, water, bowls, and even toys to give them entertainment.
- Dim the light in the room it stays in, and ensure minimal disturbance
- Put your old cloth near its place for it to get used to your scents
- Put some hiding places for it to feel safe while playing
It is not advisable to leave the windows and doors open in the early days of their stay at your house because there is a possibility that they might escape.
Step 4: Spending time with them
Your feral cat socialization is one of the things that you need to focus on to tame them.
You can improve their socialization skills by spending more time with them. But it is not recommended to touch them right away and be playful with them.
- Start by making them get used to your presence.
- Create a routine and be with them at a certain time of the day.
- Sit with them for hours without attempting to freak them out.
- Let it roam around while you are just there near them. Maintain distance between you two.
- Talk to your feline using your calm voice. As much as possible, do not raise your voice around your cat.
Once it starts to soften with your presence and lets you touch them, take that positively.
Step 5: Pet the cat
It might take some time for your feral cat to feel comfortable fully.
- Buy them lightweight toys.
- When you observe through their body language that they are easing with you, it is your time to attempt petting and touching your cat. You can start this by extending your hand to your cat and seeing what he will do about it.
- If he comes near your hand and tries to sniff around it, take it as a sign that he is getting comfortable with you and is ready to close the distance between you two.
Let your cat initiate the contact, then attempt to pet them gently and carefully.
Hence, a feral cat that you want to be domesticated is a great challenge to take on. Most cat lovers want to adopt and learn how to tame a feral cat. But this needs time, patience, and effort to accomplish.
With the right follow-through of steps, the feral cat you found on the street could be a trained and well-behaved house pet you could ever ask for!
Just remember to trust the process and wait for the right time your cat finally softens towards you.
Hi, I am Amy Sawy, a veterinary professional working in the field for nearly 15 years. This site is established to provide cat guardians access to helpful information and health care advice. My co-worker and I run this site mainly to help inexperienced families currently taking care of their cats without professional guidance.