HomeReaders ForumCat wrongfully labeled feral: ‘I kept looking for this vicious wild cat that had terrorized a family’

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Cat wrongfully labeled feral: ‘I kept looking for this vicious wild cat that had terrorized a family’ — 10 Comments

  1. I rescued a cat who was labeled “feral” by the shelter. She was not adoptable, but a rescue group was able to get her out. The shelter manager said that if I got bitten, I better not bring her back. Outside of the shelter, she is the sweetest, most docile cat you could ever meet. She was simply terrified in the shelter environment. I wonder how many terrified cats are wrongfully labeled: “feral”?

    • Great comment Grace. I’d love you write some more on that story. I could then make it an article. It is an important subject.

      • sure- would be glad to have you write an article-

        Although I am not set up as a non-profit rescue, I have often worked with legitimate rescue organizations to pull cats from shelters. I foster them, get them vetted and try to locate permanent homes for them. When I saw the picture of a Hope (as we aptly called her) on the shelter page, I knew I needed to act quickly. Hope was a beautiful long haired gray/blue cat. In the shelter photo, Hope looked frightened. Her eyes revealed that she was terrified and I felt given the chance, she would become a wonderful pet. I had often worked with the Humane Society to rescue cats from this NC shelter, but they were now under new administration and changes were being implemented. I did not go to the shelter myself. Instead, a volunteer from the Humane Society went to retrieve her for me. I was to meet the woman later to pick up this cat. I found out later from the rescue volunteer that the shelter manager was reluctant to let her take this cat. This particular cat was deemed feral and was not adoptable. The shelter manager eventually relented with the warning that if anyone should be bitten, the cat was not welcome back. When I got Hope home, she was fearful, but not aggressive. She hid for a few weeks, This is not uncommon when cats are put in an unfamiliar situation. But I allowed her to come out in her own time and she soon came to love affection. She would often sit at my feet just staring up at me waiting for a gentle touch or little attention. In a short time, Hope had gone from non-adoptable to a completely trusting and loving companion. Cats are not so different than people. They all have their own unique personalities and respond to stress differently. People who don’t understand that are likely to think that a stressed or terrorized cat is not adoptable when they simply are not adjusting to a stressful environment. The shelter is an extremely stressful setting for many animals and I am sure that many are not given a fair chance because they cannot tolerate the stress and may react in a way that is deemed “feral.” I am so glad that Hope was given a second chance. She has turned into a delightful companion despite her troublesome experiences.

  2. I really like this story. It’s disturbing but thankfully a happy ending. It does tell a tale. The man who described Sebastian as feral wanted him dead. I suspect he dislikes cats. He sounds like a a grumpy old sod who hates cats and is fed up with them in the neighborhood. He just wants them trapped and killed. If it was legal he’d probably shoot them or poison them. There are quite a lot of people like that.

    I am really impressed with Laura. What a wonderful woman she is. I admire her tremendously. She deserves recognition and a medal. Thanks Laura for taking the time to tell the story. It is much appreciated by me and it may well save the lives of some mislabelled cats.

    • Sometimes and sometimes the caregiver will be able to tell a tame cat is simply lost. I had a shy one named Surprise kitty who had to be fed away from the others. I don’t know how colony cats communicate other than a slap but there seems to be levels of who’s in charge.

  3. This is a perfect example of why I support TNR. Cat’s are judged for temperament when they go in for vetting. Tame cats can find a family and are more likely than not with a feral colony simply to survive after being abandoned by their family.

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