HomeCat BehaviorHave You Seen a Feral Cat Lately?


Have You Seen a Feral Cat Lately? — 5 Comments

  1. Hi, I do believe this is a great web site.
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  2. I wonder how far out the numbers are. I also wonder how it affects the cats if the number is exaggerated – I think you are right in that its probably not a good thing for them since the way of dealing with them is not good. It will just invoke more dealing with them to over shoot the number. I am totally confused about the estimation in London. Even in outer London I’ve hardly seen a stray cat. So whoever wrote that must have extrapolated from something that was in the first place wrong. I wonder from whose article you got that number and what the purpose behind the article was since we’ve talked about extrapolation being almost by definition a biased thing when used.
    I am also a little confused about the number here in Switzerland because I have not seen a stray cat here either and I have been around the country too – not just where I live.
    When I lived in Canada we fed the stray cats and they were very cautious. Sometimes the little ones would come in the back door and snoop around. They were very sweet – it was very sad. The older ones often did not look well, but they came for the food every day and although you could never touch them or go near them, they were by these definitions not feral, but stray, strays born of strays and even futher down the generations – stay, but they knew humans. What made me sad at the time when I knew so little about all this, was how scared they were of humans, even when we fed them. It made me think that people around where I lived must have been mean to them for them to get like that. Just like the raccoons in cities, they live such a hard life and it’s terribly sad. I remember the baby raccoons were sweet but when they grew older it was like they became very scared and aggressive too if they felt cornered. I knew other people in Toronto who fed the stray cats in their back alleys. The cats always lived in the parallel back alleys to all the roads, where the garages are – I’m sure under houses or in disused garages. I remember one big black cat who lived in my neighbourhood. I was wary of him because he was bigger than my cat and I was worried for my cat. He was out in the deep of winter. I dont know how he survived. Its terribly sad to see all of these things really. I dont know how people can ignore it. I suspect that many people do feed them or help in some small way by letting them in their gardens without chasing them away etc.

  3. I agree with the terminology Michael. I don’t think humans can see the feral cats to count them.

    It doesn’t take much time and caring by a human for a feral cat to graduate to a community cat. When they accept food from humans, even from far away they become community cats. Many community cats don’t want to be domesticated, and don’t even want to be around humans, but they do accept the food and sometimes even shelter, as in the barn cats in the countryside. Here in the wine country many cats are born feral. If they are lucky enough to be born in the spring they have a good chance of survival. The vineyard owners welcome the cats on some level, and that is where the dance starts.

    Friends of mine own a large vineyard. Just yesterday they put the word out to borrow a have-a-heart trap for one of their vineyard cats that they have known about for years, but he is very elusive. He discovered their barn where they feed a few community cats (all having been trapped, neutered and returned) and he has been feeding there as well. My friend could see from a distance that his eyes were swollen and almost shut. Now that he is almost a community cat, we are hoping they can trap him, neuter, heal and return him to the community. He is probably responsible for many a litter out there. It will be good to fix that problem, and welcome him back as a community cat!

    I believe I have over used the words ‘feral cat’ in the last few years. I’ll change that now!


    • Thanks. I really believe that even the so called experts know how many true feral cats there are. It is pretty much pure guesswork. As I say this is important because a lot of so called feral cats actually belong to someone or several people.

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