This is a definition by a lady, Dee, who lives in America and who knows a lot about feral cats because for many years she has cared for them. Here definition is practical and pragmatic.
|What I would call semi-feral cats.|
A FERAL is unapproachable also, but will remain in the open unless threatened.
A SEMI-FERAL will allow a certain amount of close distance but can be easily spooked. These are very workable and the ones that I most bring home and work hardest with.
The STRAYS IN THE WILD are those that were domesticated at one time but have been out long enough that they have become skittish. They’re a piece of cake to turn back around.
The DOMESTICATED speaks for itself.
Below is a definition by a scientist, Mr Slater who writes in a superb book about the domestic and feral cat which is entitled: The Welfare of Cats.
“A feral cat is one that cannot be handled and is not suitable for placement in a typical pet home, that is, the cat that is un-socialised.”
I think these two together, one from a scientist and the other from an experienced cat lover provide a nice combination to define the term “feral cat".
Quite naturally, there are varying degrees of wildness amongst the feral cats of any country. This means that people must be careful when defining what a feral cat is, which is why the definition in italics is a good one because it is based upon an individual cat's personality and characteristics. One should not generalise when it comes to selecting out feral cats. Each cat should be assessed individually.