Stray vs Feral

I just realized how long my last post was. Wow – sorry. I guess I had a lot to tell about Oscar’s story! I talked about Oscar being abandoned. Who knows really! He’s not fixed so his biological urges could have made him dash out of someone’s home and then get lost. He could have been dumped in the little park that adjoins the conservation area. Or yes, he could have been abandoned when someone moved away.

Here’s why I know he’s not a feral cat:

  • He comes up to humans. Despite being chased off by neighbours, he is people-friendly or at least people-curious. As of 2 days ago, he lets me pet him full-out. You know; the big, 2-handed, all over the body petting.
  • He tried to get into my house a long time ago. Despite having females in the house, a feral would never try to get in.
  • He meows. They say meowing is a trait picked up by cats who live with humans. Go figure. He purrs too… a little purr. While he sometimes hisses when he gets food, it’s rare, soft, half-hearted, and not really meant to intimidate. I’ve also seen this in rescues I’ve fostered.
  • He is a food snob. No really. He won’t eat bits of real meat, fish, or pork. He will not eat most wet cat foods. I’ve tried him on ones for kittens, ones my girls won’t eat, ones my girls love. He will eat any type of dry cat food I put out for him. Oscar, you are easy to please!
  • I think he understands doors.

So there you go. I think Oscar is not only human-friendly but fully re-hab worthy. And his friendly (if shy) nature will make him a good house cat. Better than that: if I can do what I hope to do in the next few weeks, he will be the perfect adoptable indoor-outdoor lap cat.

What do you think? Am I out in left field?

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4 thoughts on “Stray vs Feral

  1. Regardless of their situations at birth, every single cat has the capability to be feral, and every feral cat has the capability to become a house cat (all be it with a LOT of work on trust0. Kittens born to feral mothers can become beautiful friendly house cats if introduced to people while they are young.

    A truly feral cat wants nothing to do with humans. so regardless if he has human contact prior to his meeting you, he is not ‘feral’. he is /was homeless. 🙂

    • Exactly! He does not exhibit the traits of a feral. However, I know that he will develop more and more of those traits if he is outside and on his own longer. Since cats are the only animal to ever self-domesticate, they retain the capability to un-domesticate individually as their needs require.

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