Boo My Domesticated Feral Cat

by Caroline

My cat, Boo, was a wild cat when he began to start living under our porch. Winter was coming in Chicago and if he stayed there much longer he would of frozen. My family began to lure him towards our house with cat food and eventually we put the food in the house. With amplifiers projecting upstairs we were able to close the garage door and trap him inside. After chasing him around for a bit we were able to trap him and take him to the vet.

With no one to care for him he would almost certainly have gone to the shelter and been put down, but because he was young we were able to domesticate him and he became our pet. His name is Boo because of the great fear of humans when we got him.


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Boo My Domesticated Feral Cat

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Apr 07, 2012 Fera cats
by: Patsy

Hi I am a senior in a elderly residential home in Bucks. England. One of our old ladies has for a couple of years fed feral cats. One of them has
has 3 litters. all but one have been found homes. One of her offspring is having kittene herself. Her name is Popsy, her mother is Mopsy. Popsy is one of het second litter of kittens. I can stroke this one, but Mopsy will only let Trudy (the lady) stroke and pet her. She recently had her kittens taken to go to new homes. We would like to get them both neutered as the kittens are a headache. Hopefully we can do this soon. We have lots of Toms sniffing around, another reason to get them neutered. They are lovely cats and are
Trudys life.

May 26, 2011 Salazar- no longer a feral
by: Cat Whisperer

Salazar, the formerly feral cat, got a present in June 2010. A 3 week old abandoned kitten. She adopted him. Salazar turned 4 in January 2011. She is no longer acts like a feral. She is a little skittish but she can be picked up and hugged. She hops on the bed to sleep with the “big cats” and she requests pets by calling out for attention. The belly and chest rub is a new phenomenon for her.
A feral cat NOT just a feral kitten can be successfully domesticated. Salazar was just shy of 3 years old when she came inside and began her metamorphosis into a very happy, well-adjusted house cat.

Mar 23, 2010 to Leonie about Ferals in Chicago
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Hi Lee – I googled the phrase “Feral cat program..chicago” and came up with the following links for you to check out:

This link is broken at May 2013

Perhaps one of these agencies can best assist you with your feral situation. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Mar 18, 2010 To Caroline from Chicago
by: Leonie (Lee)

Hi Caroline…
I rent (with pet restrictions) in the Portage Park area of Chicago & am in big trouble. I’ve been feeding a nice feral cat for awhile now, that I thought to be a boy, but it got fat too quickly and I believe it is a very pregnant female cat resting on my enclosed front porch…All the no-kill shelters will not take feral cats (only handleable cats) and if I bring it to anti-cruelty for neutering & release, they will abort the kittens.
This is a long shot, but if I trap the cat in a humane trap, do you know any feral cat & kitten lovers in my area with a basement that would take the cat and care for it & find homes for the kittens?…and later have mama cat neutered?…
If you can be of any help, please contact me at….Thank you !!!

Jan 03, 2010 Cat Whisperer
by: Anonymous

Salazar continued

Salazar was miserable inside. She jumped about 5 feet in the air to escape being given her medication. We had no choice but to return her to the wild after a little over a month indoors.

For the next few weeks she slept, relaxed, or sat just outside of the house’s open windows. If she was unseen, a quick call of her name brought her running from the bushes. We opened the doors every dawn & dusk to see if she wanted to return. She danced around the door opening like a big tease.

Then the day after Christmas, she flew into the house at full speed and jumped in her cat bed that was where she left it.

She is a different cat than the one who was captured and tossed in the house. While she is still keeping a safe distance of 2-3 feet from the “big cats,” she is interacting in household activities: grocery unpacking, cat snacking & nipping, laundry, dusting, and the nightly television watching ritual when the whole pride comes together. We can still pet her without recoil during daytime hours but at night all bets are off- she is wild and crazy but NOT terrified of us.

The funny thing: she sits in the exact same places indoors that she did when she was outdoors (of course on the opposite side of the glass).

I figure it will take a few more years to be able to pick her up or sit next to her, but she has 4 cats with which to play and she celebrated her 3rd Birthday indoors all nice and cozy warn and well fed. Isn’t that a PURR-fect ending to the post?

Dec 03, 2009 Balthazar & Salazar
by: Cat Whisperer

Balthazar was a 10 year intact male stray…emaciated and beat up. I took him to get fixed and found out he was Feline Aids Positive- so no inside for him. His partner and/or daughter, Salazar a 6 pound, 3 year old female was luckily also caught on surgery day and she was fixed too. After that, neither left my yard for the next 6 months. Balthazar could be bathed- he LOVED it! Salazar was a feral and it was tough to ever catch her again but she enjoyed being pet through the screen/window AND she loved voices talking to her. Balthazar died on Halloween of ketoacidosis, he had just been diagnosed with diabetes.

That left a tiny helpless female all alone. Luckily, I had previously adopted a young male, who may have been their offspring. I let him out to run with Salazar twice a day. For that next week she slept outside of the windows all day and night. Then I caught her and tossed her in my office. She was terrified. By this point, the other 4 cats in the house already knew her from window meetings and she was no threat because she never fought but completely shut down when scared.

We have slowly been able to walk up to her and pet her in those places that make a cat go crazy…she is now understanding what “the big cats” do. We just started her on very low doses of buspar- it will be a 2 week treatment to help reduce her anxiety. Normally, it is used on cats that inappropriately urinate to help them get over a period of anxiety. We are at day three and the meds are kicking in. I pet her belly, she walks up to me rolls over, lets me touch her nose and then gallops away (her manner of playing). I can now pet her when she is sitting in windowsills or on furniture and she does not recoil-BIG change. I am hoping one, maybe two 2-week rounds of the buspar will speed the bonding along. She is sitting on my desk now- about 6 inches from my keyboard—purring like crazy.

Sep 04, 2009 Hi Larry
by: Michael

Having read about the experiences of visitors who have made submissions and based on my own (I have two stray cat companions), the key is to keep going the way you are. In other words gradually with patience let this cat become familiar with you. The more gentle interaction the better but at the cat’s pace. Never forcing the issue. Eventually, this cat will become relaxed with you and much “tamer”. He or she will come inside one day all being well you should have a domestic cat companion with whom you have well and truly bonded! It will be a great relationship judging by the other stories.

And I agree a vet’s visit is the first thing to do for a checkover and neutering.

Other visitors may be able to give better advice. But one thing for sure you can’t force things as you will alienate the cat. Friendship is gradual. And cats, as we all know, cannot be forced to do things feral or domestic. You gotta tease it out of ’em. Although I am aware of the need for a bit of speed to avoid this cat getting picked up or hurt by someone.

Sep 03, 2009 feral cat
by: larry kincaid

hi, i live in tucson az and recently moved into a new home. seems there is a young feral cat living under the house. for the last 4 weeks i have been feeding and finally can sit in front of the food dish while it eats. when i attempt to reach out she immediately retreats. will i ever be able to pet this cat, should i trap her, really want to keep this cat but she needs to see a vet i’m sure. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. would hate to see her picked up by animal control. thanks larry at

Aug 14, 2009 Please do TNR.
by: Anonymous

It’s a wonderful story.

I also want to respond to Lenae. Please contact PAWS or the Anti-Cruelty Society of America to help with a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return)–it’s also called TNVR (because they vaccinate the cat too). Basically, you humanely trap all the cats (mama and her family) and then the vet will spay/neuter and vaccinate, then return to the same area. Returning to the same area is quite critical for their survival (unless there is some other threat to their well-being there, they should be returned to where they know the area, it’s shelter, the other cats, possible predator habits, etc.) Doing TNR will prevent more suffering and reduce the population over time. In a 2-year period, a cat and their offspring can produce more than 25,000 cats!!! If you don’t have money to do a TNR (usually the shelter or vet charges a very nominal fee) I bet they would still help you. You could also see if some of your neighbors would chip in (I’m thinking it might $25/cat if they charge you, though some places are $50 and some are essentially free). Keep in mind that feeding aloning without “fixing”(while the instinct of those of us who love animals is to feed) can increase suffering and contribute to more and more kittens being born.

Jul 05, 2009 Looking for an angel for my 6 feral (stray) cats….
by: Lenae

I’m posting this on July 5, 2009…..I’m taking a chance that maybe there is some kind soul out there near the Portage Park area of Chicago (near Central and Montrose) who has the patience, love, room in their home, and the finances to take in a sweet, shy family of 6 feral cats that I’ve been feeding outside for about 8 months..(there’s Mama cat with an injured tail, and her first two young, about 1 year old now, and 3 new kittens about 7 or 8 weeks old)… If I owned my own home, I would have brought them inside when the mother only had the two young, but I am renting and my landlady would not allow it..then the mother cat became pregnant again, and I felt so helpless…I also do not have the finances for the necessary exams and vaccinations that they would require…

The mother cat is such a good mother to her offspring, and it amazes me how their little family stays together and her little girl cat helps with the new kittens…It would be a shame to break up the family…
I know this is asking a lot, but if you have the love and the means to accept this feral family, please contact me as soon as possible…my email address is

May God bless all homeless animals and those who care for them !!

May 28, 2009 WOO-HOO FOR BOO!!!
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

GREAT STORY!!! I agree wholeheartedly with Michael. Your kind spirit and determination saved this wonderful feline who probably would’ve either frozen/starved in the winter or put down at a shelter. Thank you for taking the time to care. You will never be disappointed.

May 27, 2009 Boo
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Hi Caroline, thanks for sharing. I love these stories because it is one feral cat saved rather than lost. It is a positive act rather than a negative, for me. It is constructive rather than destructive and it makes me feel better.

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