I have seen them be tamed enough hang around a few feet away, but never where you could pet them. I used to live near an empty lot where someone had dumped some kittens out years before. There was a large band of feral cats living there and a neighbor worked with some of those. This is my only limited experience with feral cats.
They can be calmed down a lot over time, but I've never seen one completely tamed like a domesticated house cat.
I think it depends on what age they are when you try to tame them. After three months old or so, you might get them to come close to you, but I don't think they'd ever make good pets. Those under three months might be a little easier because they're still haven't learned everything there is to know about being "wild".
Yes and no. You can take a feral cat in, house it, feed it, and over a long period of time gain its trust. It may even allow you to pet it sometimes, or MAYBE on a blue moon hold it for a few seconds, but you're never going to make an adult feral cat into a lap cat or a cuddle bug. That being said if you take in a pregnant feral cat and handle the kittens the kittens will grow up tame. Past six weeks of age this becomes increasingly difficult to do. Feral cats can be excellent mousers on farms and are even very useful members of said farm (as long as their population is under control) but that does not mean they will garner a 'pet' relationship with the owner of the property. They're either working animals or a nuisance. If you feel bad enough for them to take one in you will do so at your own risk. Besides not becoming completely docile feral cats also have a tendency to maintain wild behaviors like marking their territory by peeing all over it or hunting - even if its prey ends up being your kids' hamster. Or perhaps they'll defend their territory by beating the tar out of any other cats you might have. These are not exactly great pet qualities.
Absolutely, they can. It's a fairly slow process with adults, but it's totally possible for both adults and kittens. My last cat was feral, and I've trapped hundreds of cats of all ages and "rehabbed" them, then re-homed after a spay/neuter. Many went on to become house cats, while some of the older ones became human-friendly barn cats. That last cat was about three years old when I started working with her, and it took a little over a month before she'd let me pet her. She became such a sweet, lovable pet (and yes, one that likes to be held and petted) that my ex decided to keep her -- it's been about 8 years and she's still an awesome pet. I've heard similar reports from the forever homes some of my "project kitties" went to.
Kittens tame a LOT faster, and have a higher success rate. I was just looking to see if I'd written a hub on the subject yet, and I haven't -- I touch on it in this one http://wychic.hubpages.com/hub/Solution … -Your-Cat, but I will add the caveat that I say most feral cats won't be tamed into pets because, in general, most rescue operations just don't put the resources into them. It's certainly not to say that it can't be done, because I have personally done it for many cats.
by Marissa 7 years ago
How can I keep a feral cat out of my yard, flower garden and off of my porch?Don't get me wrong; I like cats when they're kept inside, and all cute and cuddly. This cat, and a few others, are descendants of my neighbor's cats (which are allowed to roam around outside all day), and they are now...
by Brian Leekley 7 years ago
Do you advocate feral cat spay or neuter and release programs?With no-kill shelters, foster homes, and adoption for cats that are just lost or abandoned and not feral.
by robinpow 8 years ago
Feral cat won't use litter box, has been indoors 5 months. HELPHave 4 lg. cat friendly dogs, 2 cats and the feral. Have offered different litters, offered different litter boxes, even a little box in the 'no dog' zones of the house. The feral still uses hubby's desk, or goes under the dinning room...
by Melissa Flagg COA OSC 2 years ago
What does it mean when a cat pees on you?One of my cats has the stangest behavior. Occassionally, he will jump up on your lap, only to urinate. Does anyone know why? or how to stop it/
by gryphin423 7 years ago
My cat Zoe loves to walk around the house with her pet squirrel and cry sadly and then puts it in my shoe or near the closed door I am behind. I am guessing it is similar to my one cat I had years ago that would catch birds and leave them on my doorstep, sort of an "I Love You Mom" thing....
by Holle Abee 6 years ago
A couple of months ago, three feral mama cats took up in our yard, and all three had kittens. In all, there were 8 kittens, and I fed everybody three times a day. I worked very hard to tame the adult cats and I was successful. I then began taming the kittens. One had become very tame and sweet. He...
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