by Bob Tucker
Smokey - a very loving cat
I love your site, really good and informative. Here is a little feral cat info that I have learned over the past few years. They can be tamed and turned into domesticated cats. It takes a lot of time and patience. At the present I have a former feral laying beside my monitor and another just jumped up on the table. Food, patience and a string is mostly what works. You can get them close with the food after a while and gradually start touching and petting them. When you are brave enough to try it, you can start to handle them.
I've had quite a few bites and scratches along the way.If you can get to the kittens early enough, the string will get them close to you and they will eventually let you handle them. Over the past four years, I have managed to tame forty or more like this. I have recently had two pregnant mothers come to my door meowing and asking for help. The kittens were born in the house and the mothers took them outside later on. I just got through playing with and handling two kittens from one of these feral mothers. I've managed to get most of them spayed and neutered but have a few more to go. I have probably had to trap only 6-8. This really scares them and some will move on elsewhere; some of these have made some great pets. I've only managed to send two kittens to other homes.
The cats are only tame to me but if someone will spend the time with them, the kittens can make great pets. Most of mine stay in the woods around the house and come around at night, for food or when I whistle to call them. I have found that the wild ones will not bite me after the get used to me, I can only guess that they respect or care for me or they are smart enough not to bite the hand that feeds them.
I presently have about twenty little buddies that I care for. I've had the neighbor problems also. When I had some of them touch and pet a cat, they start to think a little differently. When I explain that these cats get rid of the rats, mice, snakes and moles and throughout the neighborhood and that they may hold the answer to finding a cure for AIDS, they start to appreciate the cats much more.The photo is Smokey, I call the photo Baby Cat, which was his name until I brought him home. He was the first one and is a very loving little creature.
Thanks for all the good info......Bob Tucker, Helena, Ar.