The Old Feral Tom Cat

by Jan Plant
(Marion,Texas U.S.)

The Battle Scarred Warrior

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The Battle Scarred Warrior

I'm not sure where this old warrior came from. He looks fairly good here. When he first showed up he was very thin and would only come to feed in the dark. The last couple of weeks he's been coming at breakfast and allowing me to actually get a bit closer.

He's actually responsible for Splitter and his litter mates coming here. He stood out by the underside of our deck and called. I heard it but at the time didn't understand it until the kittens jumped up on the deck.

He's a wily ol' gent. Been trying to trap him for months. As you can probably see he could really use some vet care. But so far he's managed to escape all of our ideas. But I won't give up. This pitiful looking ol'guy is the only one of the "wild Bunch" that isn't neutered.

Which causes problems as other intact toms come around from time to time and the fur flies. I generally use a pot and wooden spoon to bang 'em off! LOL! I'm sure that's a sight to the other cats.

If anyone could give me a guess-ta-ment on his age that would be great. I'm pretty sure if I ever do get him in a trap I'll need two pairs of welders gloves! LOL!


More from Jan about the "wild bunch"...

Feral Cat Friend and Protector Jan Plant

The Boss Cat

A Beautiful White Feral Cat

The Runts

Hi Jan.... I changed to title as inverted commas don't work to well for file names and the title becomes the file name. Hope that is OK. I actually liked your title.....Michael

From The Old Feral Tom Cat to Feral Cats

Comments for
The Old Feral Tom Cat

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Jun 30, 2010 Ol Tom's
by: Barb

We also have a Tom cat who we feed and care for. We live in a cul-de-sac with some "woods" behind us. I saw him out there and just happened to be eating some turkey. I thew some down for he and he gobbled it up. He was very skinny and so hungry. I hurried home and got some dry cat food, went back and got as close as he would let me. I put it down and he ate every pebble. I did this for several days, but after the first day put it in a bowl and would shake it and say "food kitty". sat it down and stood back while he ate. After the fifth day he followed me home, I saw him in the back yard lurking around. I called him with the food bowl and he came on the deck to eat and has eaten around us every since. I occasionally let him inside, when he has a bad cut/wound that needs attention. When we can afford it I will take him to the vet to be taken care of and neutered. His name is Zim kitty and my daughter and I love him, my husband tolerates him. We have 4 other cats.

May 20, 2010 desperate stray cat
by: lesley

Hi- have had a ginger cat - big head small body- tom cat visiting for last ten years- always put out food for him but now he seems quite desperate and is warming to my presence and attention. My remainining cat - maine coon dosen't like him but seems to tolerate him- probably sensing his desperate state- not sure how to deal with situation? husband thinks I should scare him off - but don't want to do this! also I think his eyesight is going - any advice???

Mar 16, 2010 Son of Mexican Cat
by: Anonymous

I have a feral cat who has been living at my house for 5 yrs. and I just now have been able to touch him. As soon as I am able to hold him and put him in a carrier , I will take him to the vet to be neutered and for some much needed vet care.
Almost once a week he fights and get his poor ears nearly tore off. He lives on my back deck and sleeps in a little cat house I got from Wal-mart.
I am wondering, after I get him neutered and patched up, will he still fight other cats?
His father was Mexican cat (also a feral cat who roamed the neighborhood, now dead)so he is son of Mexican.

Dec 18, 2009 Appreciation
by: Jan Plant

It's so kind of you to check in. Your red tom must be as wily as this ol'boy. Come to think of it I can't recall naming him. How sad on my part. Well, see how he's old and pretty much the king, he will now be known as Cole. LOL! As in Old King Cole. Whadda ya think?

These ol' guys can be really slick. We have tried everything. My only recourse now, if he gets hurt or I notice any infected wounds, will be to call my vet friend and dart him.

But I really don't want him traumatized by that experience and I'm concerned that if his health isn't real good it may stop his old heart. So...perhaps we'll leave him in peace for awhile and work out something else.

So sad about your kitty. Am glad that you are a kind soul and your other ferals are very lucky to have a kind hearted human to look out for them. We
are relocating four in January to a friend's farm. I will miss them dearly but know they are going to where they can hunt and have lots of room to roam.

And I can go see them once in awhile. Thank you again for your comments and visiting Cole's page. I'll be adding Merlin's sometime today.

Dec 18, 2009 Feral Toms
by: Anonymous


We have a big wiley ole' guy that hangs around our farm too... very scarred of and shy of people. He's been here for four years, so we know he is at least this old... it is very hard to tell.

I don't think they usually live much past ten when they are feral and unfixed. We dubbed our guy "Bob" and he pretty much lives here on our porch and helps keep our barns free from vermin 😉

We've tried everything to catch him and fix him, but he is way too smart for even the 'humane traps' the cat shelters loan out. We fix all the females that wander in but have wound up raising a few liters of his before catching them...

He makes some beautiful babies and we handle them so they will be good pets for the young kids who come to take riding lessons and fall in love with them 🙂

I worry about him, being a Tom he is always fighting... he gets pretty torn up some times but he's a tough one.

Reminds me soooo much of this one in the photo with the exception being Bob is a red tabby. His kittens are usually flame and buff points with blue eyes... Some folks in the farm areas shoot at the ferals so we feed, fix and keep as many as we can.

With two barns and numerous outbuildings, they are all needed! We had one female we'd been trying to catch for well over a year show up on the doorstep with a fish hook stuck through her cheek... we live on the river... she would never let me touch her before that day but she seemed to know I'd help her and she let me pick her up, take her to the vet and handle her wound, daily.

After that, she was my girl and followed me around every where I went. She was hit by a car not long ago and that really was hard for me.

Ya' fall in love with these semi-wild cats when you see and feed them every day. I think it is wonderful that you are all helping these cats & pitch in to give them the best lives you can.

Does your guy have a name yet??

Dec 18, 2009 Difficult
by: Michael

My measuring methods for the age of domestic cats relate to true domestic cats not feral cats so it is hard to gauge age as it is said that feral cats live much shorter lives.

I see quotes from 3 - about 5 years for feral cats. While well cared for domestic cats can live to 20+.

I am sure, though, that the life span of a feral cat varies tremendously from environment to environment and climate must play a part.

I would say that this boy is somewhere around 7+ years old (a wild guess).

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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3 Responses

  1. Friend of A Tom says:

    My old cat was a former feral cat who decided one day he had taken a shine to me. Because he was neutered so late, he still had feral traits – big head, 20 lbs, he would spray to mark territory, and he was a quick and stealthy hunter. He was unafraid of other cats and people, serene & placid even as he refused to be picked up or moved or made to do something he didn’t prefer, but because he had been hunted by urban feral dogs, he was terrified of dogs. He was the single smartest cat I have known in my life, and he wasn’t a cuddler but he would jump up on my shoulder and allow me to walk around with him so long as his head was the equal of mine. After he chose, for whatever reason, that one day to give up the feral life and follow me into the warehouse where I worked, and jump up onto my desk, he lived with me for 17 years. It is curious how they sometimes pick people, why? I don’t know. Miss that dear old boy, forever.

    • Wow, that is a nice story. They are special friends when they choose you like that. I guess he knew life was better with you. I like the whole cat, the unneutered cat. They are different and harder to live with and no one should not neuter their cat but despite that I like unneutered male cats. They behave more like wild cats.

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Sarah Hartwell says:

        One of my first cats, Scrapper, was a late-neutered ex-feral tom. He was the most intelligent cat I’ve known and he bonded so closely with me that he’d walk to heel. The, of course, there was Mr Minns, who decided to come in from the cold … in some ways the natural successor to Scrap-cat.

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