What to Look Out For in Feral Cats

behaviour of feral cats

Feral cats are simply those left behind by their owners when they move to a new house or locality. They have often been clipped or trained to use a scratching post, but they are still a wild animal and will scratch anything within their range. Their behavior can be so disturbing that at times the neighbors decide to block them from the main road.

An Overview

A close up of a cat

The behaviour of wild cats is unpredictable and at times very alarming. They can come out of hiding to attack the occupants of your home and then disappear again. Their attacks can include violence towards humans and other animals. It is a known fact that cats are capable of preying on small animals like birds and rats. These animals are particularly fond of young children who tend to wander around unsupervised.

It is quite possible that they might even pick up diseases from other cats or dogs. As an example, some scientists have detected parasites in feces of wild cats. This is not the first time that such evidence has been discovered. There have also been instances of mastiffs eating cats and dogs.

Basic Reasons

A cat that is looking at the camera

There is however a good reason why most people do not consider cats to be wild animals. It is because they are domesticated. In fact domestication was responsible for the fact that behaviour of feral cats has changed. They were tamed and brought up to be tame by humans. They have now returned to the wild and are exhibiting wild cat behaviour once more.

It is believed that cats were brought back to Britain from their homeland in sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa is now a country in south-west Africa. It is the most populous country and home to most of the world’s wild cats. It also has large forested areas where cats can live. It is therefore not surprising that there is a widespread presence of these felines in Britain.

It is important to understand that domestic cats differ from wild cats in that they do not hunt or eat other animals as domestic cats do. Their main diet is still food but they will raid bird feeders and prey on birds and rodents. Domestic cats are therefore slightly different to wild cats in that they are not hostile towards humans and will usually avoid confrontation. However, they will playfully nip and scratch at children and adults alike.

There are many reasons as to why cats behave in such strange ways. Some believe that it has to do with them being territorial animals. Other experts believe that it has to do with a lack of proper socialisation. Yet other think that it is a mixture of all three factors combined.

Experts Advice

Experts believe that cats will become more aggressive if they do not have enough littermates or similar dominant neighbours. If they do form social groups then this can lead to them becoming confused between their own interests and those of other cats. This can lead to them behaving inappropriately. There are a few things you can do to help them behave more appropriately. Keep your home clean, keep your garden free of fences and electrical cords, keep your area well lit and tree-sit when it starts to get dark outside.

There are many ways in which you can tell if your cat is anxious or shy. They may look around the room and wander a lot, they may pace the length of the room, looking for any sign of a cat, rabbit or rodent. Also they will rub against doors and furniture. If you see them doing this then gradually approach them and try to talk to them. Cats love to be stroked and will calm down very quickly.

Cats are very territorial creatures. They live in large colonies of up to fifty cats. They fight and kill other colonies when they feel that there is an imbalance in the number of members in the group. If you have more than one male and female in the household, they will fight to dominate the other, especially if they are of the same sex. If this happens more than once then you should take action to remove the cats. Fighting usually leads to serious injury or death.


Feral cats can be wonderful pets and adoptions go smoothly and will get over quickly. They do have certain behavioural issues that need to be worked on including house-breaking, not sleeping in their litter box and hunting. When you adopt a cat from an animal shelter or humane society be sure to talk to the owner about any behavioural problems the cat has. If the answer is negative then there is no need to bring the cat home. Keeping it for its entire life is cruel to the animal.

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