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Do feral cats make good pets?

No, feral cats do not make good pets. But they can make good pets once domesticated. The amount of work needed to domesticate a feral cat depends on the cat and the person. A true adult feral cat is a wild animal and may be impossible to domesticate. Please note that I am using the word "pet" to mean an animal kept for companionship. The key part of this is the word "kept" meaning looked after full-time, almost always in the home.

However, some feral cats are semi-feral or strays. These cats will be easier to tame and domesticate. Kittens born to a feral cat mother can be tamed relatively easily if immediately socialized to the human environment.

There are some nice stories on PoC of feral cats being tamed. If not tamed, feral cats can make lovely companions at a distance. There are many charming relationships between human and feral cat where each respects the other and gives each other the space they require.

Associated selected pages. There are many more.


Dorothy said…
I disagree about Feral's not being good pets. Perhaps we should define 'pets' to be fair. My beautiful Yellow feral has been living on my property now for 3 years. The first picture I posted of her on POC she was clearly quite wild. With lots of slow coaxing, I can almost call her my own though she would disagree whole heartily. She sleeps outside my back glass patio door in plain sight on her heated pad. She has now refused two different shelters I've provided for her, but she likes the opened tarp cover between two chairs for shelter when it rains. She puts her nose right on the glass when she's hungry and darts away when I open the door to put the food down, and watches the edge of the door until it is completely closed before she comes to eat. I am beginning to think that it is all a game with her because, when her boyfriend playmate Shadow is with her, her behavior is very different. She becomes more brave and I am believing that the time is coming when I will be able to stroke her fur. She will sniff my hand up close and even touching it if he is there. He moves in and out of the house always looking back at her as if trying to show her how it is done. She seems to want to please him more than me. If he isn't there, she doesn't show as much interest in being up close and personal.

So in trying to define what a pet is I'm confused. I spend a lot of time watching her, planning for her, looking for her, waiting, and trusting that she will show up. That is a lot of attention. I don't think she'll ever be an 'in the house' kind of pet, but she is my pet nonetheless, but enjoys complete freedom. The amount of entertainment she provides is remarkable. The concern I feel for her is huge. But I am not compelled to force her to conform. It is a fine relationship we have. Trust and understanding makes us a family.

She's my pet. Bigfoot the cat is in my bed however. That is a different kind of pet.

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