Feral cats are basically stray cats which have gone wild or raised in the wild atmosphere. There are semi-feral cats too which can tolerate some amount of human contact. They generally form a kind of colonies around them where they will get food supply and shelter. Places like airbases, farms, and rubbish tips are their main targets. You will find most of the urban ferals near the markets, dustbins or even at that areas where some animal lovers provide food to them. The basic question that is asked by the people is how to tame a feral cat?

Taming A Feral Cat

how to tame a feral cat

Adult stray cats require a lot of patience to be tamed whereas it is easier to tame a feral kitten if it is captured at a young age. The colonies of feral cats can act as a pool of disease. Diseases like FIV/FeLV may get transmitted to pet cats when they come in contact with the ferals. Fear of rabies is also there which affects the humans. We all know that feral cat lead a miserable life, so those kittens who get adopted and tamed by the human beings are the lucky ones.

According to the nature of the feral moms, they give birth to the kittens in a quiet place. Generally they search for that place where her kittens will not be visible for at least some weeks. Because of this they do not get in contact with the humans at all, which makes them wild. When the kittens start playing and gambling, they get noticed by the humans. They are not easily captured at this time. It is recommended to capture them in humane traps and should be taken from the mother at the age of 4 to 6 weeks so that you can tame him/her easily.

You can capture an older kitten too, but the process may not be that successful as the kittens become wilder by that time. Make sure you do not take the kitten from the mother before he/she completes the four weeks. If you will take the kitten at a very young age, he/she will become vulnerable to many diseases and in most of the cases the kittens never survive. If you want to prevent the future litters, make sure you spay and capture the mother too.

This taming process may take from three to six weeks. It basically depends on their state and age of wildness. It depends on the individuals too as some tame up easily while others take a lot of time. You need to be extremely patient and committed if you are going to tame a feral kitten. This process of taming is very much worthwhile because you are saving lives and making them loving and affectionate companions.

There are various steps involved in this taming process. Like:

  • Repression in a large pet carrier or cage
  • Handling the cat with a protective towel
  • Suppress the cat in a small room
  • Give the cat exposure to other humans
  • Place the cat in the adoptive homes.

Step 1 – Repression:

Feral kittens are generally terrified of humans. If the kitten is acting most vicious then he/she is the most scared one. But that kitten is surely capable of giving you a nasty bite or scratch if he/she will get a chance to escape. Do not forget that the kitten will see you as a predator and will think that it is fighting for his/her life. Make sure to visit a doctor soon if you get a bite as all the bites are serious.

Before bringing the feral cat to your home, talk to a vet and get him/her tested for the diseases that might be contagious. If you have other pet cats at home, try to keep the feral cat away from the other cats for some days and wash your hands after handling the cat. If you are using a trap to capture the kitten, transfer it carefully to a pet carrier or cage which will be large enough for bedding and a small litter box.

Be careful while transferring the kitten from the trap to the pet carrier otherwise the cat can even escape at the time of the transferring process. For few days, do not handle them much and let them feel safe and comfortable. Try to visit them quietly but frequently so that the cat will get familiar with you. Keep this process as slow as possible.

Many cages have water bowls and food attached with the doors of the cages so that it will become easier for you to give food to the cat without even placing your hand inside. You can also place the kitten in a small room or even in the bathroom if you do not have a cage or pet carrier. To make the kittens used to the smell of the humans, many people use worn clothes for the cat’s bedding.

Step 2 – Handling:

After two days, you can try to pick your kitten with a towel. If the kitten is showing some positive signs like by keeping calm and quiet, gently rub his/her head from the behind. Do not ever try to approach the cat from the front because it may frighten the kitten and can give you a bite or hiss.

Try speaking with the kitten in a soft and gentle tone and make the kitten feel comfortable and loved. Keep this first physical contact short and simple. Kittens like baby food, so you can give it to them so that they will trust and love you more. You can repeat this process several times in a day.

If you will brush the kitten with a soft pet brush, it will give him/her the feeling of motherly love and the kitten will start transferring its parental love to you. Not only this but it also helps in removing the fleas from the body of the kitten.

Make sure you do not stare a kitten for a long period of time. Cats feel that you are aggressive towards them. Do not try this otherwise you will make them feel uncomfortable. You can use kitty tease toys to play with them. After playing, remove the toys from that place otherwise the kitten may swallow the strings which can lead to severe issues.

Step 3 – Containment:

After some weeks, you will see the considerable amount of improvement in the kitten. Start taming the kitten, it will increase the dependence of the kitten more on the human. It will also decrease the wildness in him/her. It is preferred to keep it in small rooms as large rooms frighten the kittens. Try to kitten proof your room before letting them out into the room. Seal all the cracks and corners so that our kitten will not get trapped into it. Be careful with the open toilets as it may cause injury to your kitten. Keep the kitten away from the poisonous plants.

You need to be really protective and considerate about the kitten at this stage.

Step 4 – Exposure:

When you get the confidence that the kitten will no longer scratch or bite, you can tell your friends to handle the kitten. The more exposure your kitten will get, the more friendly he/she will become. Socializing with humans is an important part for the kittens. Feral cats bond with one human so that they will feel comfortable in a new home.

Step 5 – Placement:

Make sure that the kitten will do the best if there will be no small children in the house. It is a very important point when you are planning to adopt a kitten. Kittens feel more secure and comfortable in the calm environment.

With the help of this article, you will get to know how to tame a feral cat? And also the step by step precautions you need to take for the same. Try to be gentle and calm with the little ones.