Friday, April 3, 2009

What is it? Stray or Feral?

I don't know how many times I've heard about a "Feral" cat that needs to be trapped only to get there and find out that it is simply another stray. So, I thought I'd post a little entry about this.

Is the cat Stray or Feral?

A "Stray cat" generally means one that doesn't live in someone's home. It lives on the streets, fends for itself, often finding someone who will feed it or other food source and so returns to that person/source regularly.

Wikipedia defines a "Stray cat" as the following:
A stray cat (or alley cat), though unowned, still exhibits temperament similar to that of a pet

A "Feral cat" is defined as one that is not friendly to people and is "wild". Wikipedia defines it as the following:

A feral organism is one that has escaped from domestication and returned, partly or wholly, to its wild state. Feral cats are born in the wild and may take a long time to socialize or may be abandoned or lost pets that have become wild.


If you walk into an area where you know there are cats and you are able to walk up to one of those cats without it running away, it is a Stray.

If you set a live animal trap and catch a cat who tries to bolt away from you so quickly that the entire trap moves, it is probably Feral.


Stray cats can be Feral, but that doesn't mean that all Stray cats are.

Feral cats are mostly Strays but most Strays are not Feral.

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