can a feral cat be friendly

Feral and friendly is entirely a behavior-based distinction and some cats do transition from feral to friendly over the course of their lives. If so, that’s great! However, you want to allow any socialization of feral adults to occur naturally while they live outside and interact with humans on their own terms.

How do I tell the difference when the cats are outdoors?

Because it can be challenging to assess each cat’s level of socialization during a stressful event like trapping, it’s a good idea to use the following guidelines to observe cats outdoors on their own.

NOTE: The Socialization Continuum exhibits significant variation. It is possible for cats to fall outside of the socialized-stray or unsocialized-feral classifications. Learn more variations possible using our Socialization Continuum guide.

Stray: May approach people, houses, porches, or cars

Feral: Will not come near people and will probably hide in places to avoid them.

Why does it matter?

  • Knowing the various levels of socialization that cats can display will enable you to choose the appropriate methods for taking care of, supporting, and safeguarding them. For all the information, see our guide “The Cat Socialization Continuum: A Guide to Interactions Between Cats and Humans.”
  • If someone has the time and resources to foster and adopt, stray cats can learn to live with people again and might make excellent candidates for adoption into indoor homes.
  • It can be challenging to distinguish between feral and stray cats, particularly when they are scared or trapped. Many times, scared stray cats need some time to unwind and demonstrate their socialization level.
  • Because they have not been socialized to people, adult feral cats cannot be adopted into indoor homes. It is in their best interest to stay outside since they will probably die if they are taken in by animal control or placed in a shelter.
  • No matter how socialized a cat is, trap-neuter-return benefits all community cats and saves the lives of feral cats. TNR program cats are euthanized, microchipped (if they don’t already have one), spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and treated humanely when they are trapped. If stray cats are doing well and don’t have microchips that identify them as lost, they can either be fostered and adopted or brought back to their outdoor home.

3 Ways to Help a Friendly Cat

The chance of catching someone’s pet cat when trapping in a neighborhood is fairly high. This is part of the reason it’s critical to inform the public in advance about trapping by using our door hangers, which are excellent for that purpose.

You might want to take a suspected trapped pet cat to your veterinarian or a nearby rescue organization so she can be scanned for a microchip ID, which will identify the cat’s owner. You can also post “Cat Found” flyers around the neighborhood.


Can feral cats bond with humans?

So you’ve decided to give a feral cat a forever home. The good news is that this cat will show you a loyalty like none you have ever known before. You will develop a bond that is nothing short of amazing, but this bond will only happen over time, coupled with patience, a whole lot of work, and love.

Can a feral cat become affectionate?

Most feral cats are fearful or people and are not likely to ever become a lap cat or enjoy living indoors. Kittens born to feral cats can be socialized at an early age and adopted into indoor homes. Alley Cat Allies does not, in general, recommend trying to socialize a feral kitten over 4 months of age.

Can a friendly feral cat be domesticated?

Can a Feral Cat Become a House Pet? You may have a chance of taming or domesticating a feral kitten. However, it’s not generally recommended to tame a feral cat — and it’s usually not possible to tame an adult one.

Why is a feral cat so friendly?

In many parts of the world, feral cats may not be aggressive or fearful of humans. Cats in some parts of the world are born and raised feral, but consistent close proximity to humans means they may not fear humans like feral cats in other parts of the world do.