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Prettynoises t1_jbiguyx wrote

>feral cats

Feral cats are cats that can no longer be tamed. If a cat is not socialized during kittenhood they have little chance of being friendly towards humans/other cats later on. The only other option besides leaving them outdoors to do their thing is to put them to sleep. This is why TNR operations are so important, and if you ever see any stray cat, report it to a local rescue and check if it's ear is clipped. A clipped ear means it has already been fixed and re-released.

Also, cats can get pregnant as early as 3-4 months old, so it's important to get them spayed/neutered asap (which usually can't happen until about 6 months old I believe) and to not let cats back outdoors if you know they are not fixed (for instance if you happen to see a momma cat with kittens out in the "wild," catching them and turning them into a rescue (or fostering them yourself) is crucial to preventing more feral cats)


Tiny_Rat t1_jbiiqk2 wrote

It's not entirely true that feral cats can't be acclimated to living indoors or with other cats, but it's not easy to do. My in-laws adopted a feral cat (didn't realize it was feral when they got it), which promptly ran away. However, it stayed in the neighborhood, so they started leaving food out for it, and slowly moved the food closer to the door until the cat would come inside to get fed. Then the cat started to at least occasionally hang out inside, at first when they and their dogs were out, and eventually even with them around. This winter it's been really cold and rainy, and the feral cat is getting older, so it more or less decided to become a mostly indoor cat, and seems fine around them, their dogs, and their other (indoor only) cat. It would probably throw a fit if it couldn't go out on demand; it still runs off when strangers come to visit, especially strange dogs; and it's definitely not a cuddly, pettable sort of cat. However, it does spend a lot more time indoors by the fire than I thought a feral cat ever would!


Prettynoises t1_jbijd9x wrote

My cat is a barn cat (kinda somewhere between a house cat and a feral cat, I found him outdoors as a young cat and despite being neutered still doesn't get along with other cats, but is also super sweet and cuddly to me and other humans he likes) and I still struggle to keep him indoors. I've only recently started keeping him indoors 24/7 (and I've had him for 2 years now), and there's even rats in the basement for him to catch and eat, and he still isn't happy with it. I'm worried for him because I'm about to move into a one bedroom apartment that's no more than 600 square ft, and right next to a busy road, so even with his leash I am not sure if I'll be able to take him outdoors.

If you've got any tips on how to keep a previously outdoor cat happy inside, I'm all for it. He doesn't like playing with cat toys, lasers, strings, moving toys, really nothing that isn't alive can keep his attention which makes it difficult.

Realistically I know he'd be happiest as a barn cat keeping critters away from food, but he also has separation anxiety and needs to check on me every few hours, so I don't know that he'd be any happier if I gave him away.


jazzypants t1_jbil8sr wrote

I don't have any ideas or advice. I just wanted to say that it is really sweet how much you obviously care about the cat. This is really difficult. I hate that we can't just talk to them and ask what they want. I had to make a similar decision years ago, and I still wonder if made the right choice.

Good luck.