There is a word to specifically name a cat that was born without the control of humans and that has developed without the contact of our customs and training, these are the so-called feral cats, they are much more numerous than you think.
Since ancient Egypt, rulers understood that the cat was the most effective and balanced solution to control the proliferation of rats in cities, this problem already existed in ancient times and did not cease to worry mankind. During the plague epidemic, rats spread the disease uncontrollably.
However, despite the technological and scientific advances of the, even today cities like New York maintain a positive control of feral cats to limit the growth of rats and other invasive rodents. And this occurs in the same way in the rest of Europe. However, the balance in the number of these cats is very important, because although they are beneficial for containing pests, they are also harmful to other species, specifically birds.
Can I bring a feral cat into my house?
Stray cats are anatomically identical to domestic cats, but it is very important to note that since they have not been raised in a human environment, their behavior is diametrically opposite. Ferals live in colonies, a cat alone has very little chance of surviving, living with other cats is their usual way of subsistence and they have it deeply rooted.
They are very open groups in which each one goes for free, although they share hiding and feeding. If when you see them you feel sad because you see that they are “misplaced” without an owner, the first thing you should know is that for them this is their way of life, they don’t know any other, nor would they be interested in changing it.
If we are referring to a species of animal that has managed to become an urbanite and has no problem surviving, cats are the answer. But we are very used to thinking that they are domestic pets and seeing that they live without the protection of humans can seem like an existence too uprooted. Taking home a feral cat, born and raised in the wild, is totally inadvisable, it is impossible for it to behave like a domestic cat.
What prevents a wild cat from acting like a domestic cat?
The turning point is in the first months of the animal’s life, especially the first two to seven weeks after birth. If the cat has contact with humans, it believes that their coexistence is home, that they will be provided with food and that humans can coexist peacefully in a ‘colony’.
If the cat is over two months old and doesn’t have that image, it’s almost impossible for him to get into the habit of staying home, not being aggressive towards people, and not ruining everything he sees when we leave him alone.
For this reason, animal shelters do not accept wild cats, because in this sense they are almost like ‘another breed’. Taking a cat born and raised in nature from the street and putting it in a cage is against its development and harms both the cat and the people or institutions that try to adopt it. The only life path in which a feral cat can become pregnant is to live freely and without human interference, even if it goes against its survival, because it is clear that a stray cat will not have the same health and nutritional measures as domestic cats, shortening their average lifespan. Up to 50% due to diseases and lack of nutrients in their diet. In addition, stray cats often suffer from poorly healing wounds or injuries, such as blindness, lameness, or difficulty chewing, caused by other cats, deteriorating their health, reducing their quality of life, and leading to death.
If you find a cat on the street and want to take it home, you should keep in mind that it may be a wild or abandoned (or lost) pet cat. It is very important to distinguish one or the other. You’ve probably noticed easily that feral cats’ fur is rougher and rougher, they’re thinner, and they probably have a visible scar or scar. You can also recognize it by its behavior, it is easily frightened and vulnerable when the pet is lost or abandoned, but the wild tries to defend itself as soon as you approach it. After receiving it, you should check for chips and see how to act with the advice of your vet.