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.
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