Can feral cats be tamed and adopted?

Younger than 8 weeks old (and occasionally older) feral kittens can be socialized. However, adult feral cats are rarely adoptable as pets because they have not grown up among people. Contact with others will nearly always be viewed as frightening and avoided.

Cats who have lived outside their entire lives can occasionally adjust to living indoors, but it is typically a very slow, difficult process. Additionally, attempts to domesticate adult feral cats take time and effort away from TNR’s main goal of sterilizing the feral cat population.

How can I calculate the number of feral cats in my neighborhood?

Dr. Julie Levy, a specialist on feral cats, uses the following formula to calculate the number of cats in a town based on surveys of homes that admit feeding animals they do not own (including both friendly strays and pet cats). She divides the number of humans in the neighborhood by six.

However, cats that are not fed by a person are not included in this estimation. Additionally, it overestimates the number of cats because multiple people frequently feed the same cat.

When distributing its targeted spay/neuter funding, PetSmart Charities now divides the human population by 15 to estimate a target number of cat sterilizations. Due to hard winters and predation, other population estimates in colder climates indicate that this method might anticipate an excessively large population in certain areas

Overcoming Typical Challenges

Helping neighborhood cats can be quite difficult. TNR is impeded by rules in some localities, such as prohibitions on outside feeding or restrictions on the number of pets a resident may “own” (with “ownership” determined by whether a person feeds a cat). It may be necessary to change the legislation in regions where conducting a large-scale TNR operation is extremely challenging due to existing laws or a lack thereof.

If you are trapping on land that you own, you’ll probably be secure. However, if the cats you’ve been feeding aren’t on your property, ask the owner of any other place you want to go before you do so.

need access to look after the pets. Compared to trespassing and attempting to go undetected, this will be considerably simpler.

Having the cooperation of the property owner makes feeding and caring for animals easier and more dependable (as opposed to hoping no one in authority cracks down on you or throws away the food). Cats are far safer when released back onto land where the residents know what you’re doing and support TNR than when released back into an unknown environment and hope for the best.

Special consideration must be given to colonies that are situated on land that is owned or managed by the government or that is home to rare, threatened, or endangered wildlife. It will be more fruitful to work with other interest groups to protect cats and wildlife as a whole than than prolonging the “cats vs birds” argument.

If you’re lucky, there may be a wild cat club or knowledgeable person in your neighborhood who has traps you may borrow. You might be able to borrow traps from animal shelters, humane societies, and rescue organizations as well. If all else fails, you might be able to buy traps online or through feed or garden shops.
Ideally, you’ll have more traps than cats so you can quickly capture the majority of the colony’s cats.


Ten carefully placed traps make it much simpler to catch a few cats than just two. Note: If there is no group ready to assist you, wait to begin trapping until you have learnt how to capture feral cats safely and have secured a vet who is prepared to treat feral cats. Before you bring a wild cat to the veterinarian, it is essential that she is experienced in treating them. Start with your own if you need to discover a veterinarian.

Because vets might not know how to deal with feral cats or might not want to, it’s critical to know how to approach them. There are a number of reasons why vets would avoid working with feral cats. • They haven’t participated in TNR and don’t comprehend or support it.
• Might not have the clinic owner’s consent.
• Have no experience neutering or spaying young kittens.

• Have had negative interactions with other owners of feral cats.
By respecting the viewpoint of the veterinarian, you can improve your chances of finding one who will collaborate with you. You might find some allies if you write an effective letter to local veterinarians.

You can assist the cats in your neighborhood even if you are not a part of a cat colony. Many organisations, organizations, and agencies that support community cats rely heavily on volunteers.

Trapping other people’s cats, driving cats to and from the vet, setting up a recovery area, helping out at a spay/neuter event, and fostering and socializing kittens are all examples of practical assistance.


Writing, website creation, marketing, fundraising, and volunteer programs expertise are all advantageous. To find out how your abilities can be put to use, contact any nearby organizations or agencies. Donations of money are always appreciated, and many groups have a “wish list” of the things they most urgently want.

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